Already a stellar year for PBS’ Masterpiece series. It began with the second series of Downton Abbey in January 2012. PBS followed with the announcement that the premiere of the second set of Sherlock 2 would be on May 6. In between, viewers in the States will be treated to the likes of Great Expectations, Mystery of Edwin Drood and Birdsong. We haven’t even gotten to Summer 2012 as of yet and the new season of the brilliant Inspector Lewis.
Premiering tonight on PBS stations across the country as part of the worldwide celebration of Charles Dickens’ 200th birthday, the newest adaptation of Great Expectations stars Gillian Anderson (Miss Havisham), David Suchet (Jaggers), Ray Winstone (Magwitch), Pip (Douglas Booth) and Vanessa Kirby (Estella) in a classic Dickens tale that virtually every high school student in American has a copy of in Cliff Notes form of somewhere.
After the series aired to strong audience numbers in the UK when it premiered on BBC One on Christmas Day, I was immediately intrigued with the casting of Anderson as the historically creepy Miss Havisham. Upon screening, there doesn’t seem to be enough ‘creepiness’ in the portrayal for me, nor is there any sadness that you’re supposed to feel for the character. No creepiness, sadness, scariness and/or vengeance that should surround the central character. This is one, and will continue to be one, of Dickens’ most well-known and greatest novels. That said, the overall acting good, the production is what you’d expect from the BBC and it’s well worth the time over the next two Sundays as this newest adaptation does remain true to the end of the novel.