The stars of the latest recreation of Great Expectations Harry Lloyd, Vanessa Kirby, and Douglas Booth out promoting their PBS’s Masterpiece Classic. Such a beautiful heartbreaking story, I can’t wait to see this new version!
Charles Dickens’s Great Expectations premieres on PBS’s Masterpiece Classic. The story is a familiar one: Pip, a young orphan living with his elder sister, is unexpectedly invited to the house of a reclusive wealthy old woman, Miss Havisham (Gillian Anderson). After months assuming she is preparing him as a potential husband for her adopted daughter (the callous Estella), she unexpectedly breaks all contact, and he reluctantly returns to his life as a blacksmith’s apprentice. Fast-forward a few years, and Pip (now played by up-and-comer Douglas Booth) learns that a “mysterious benefactor” has set aside a large inheritance for him if he can transform himself into a gentleman. Convinced it is a test by Miss Havisham, he sets off for London with the goal of becoming a well-respected man about town, finally worthy of Estella’s hand.
Much of the cast of Great Expectations is brilliant (particularly Booth who, despite his chiseled boy-band good looks, fits the role of a dashing, out-of-place, Victorian dandy very well), but it’s the supporting roles that deserve the most praise. Ray Winston deftly captures the growling, mud-soaked convict Abel Magwitch, who accosts the young Pip in the book’s famous opening scene. And Gillian Anderson (who, at the tender age of 43, was a controversial choice for the usually decrepit-looking Miss Havisham) twitches and fidgets her way through the role with an uncanny kind of fragility—a fresh interpretation, which paints her as a child refusing to grow up, as opposed to an embittered old hag.
The premiere of Great Expectations airs on PBS’s Masterpiece Classic at 9:00 p.m., both on Sunday, April 1.
Photos: US Vogue