Great Expectations (1967 TV series)

Last updated

Great Expectations
Great Expectations (1967 TV series).jpg
GenreHistorical drama
Based on Great Expectations
1861 novel
by Charles Dickens
Written by Hugh Leonard
Directed by Alan Bridges
Starring Gary Bond
Francesca Annis
Maxine Audley
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Original languageEnglish
No. of series1
No. of episodes10
Producer Campbell Logan
Running time25 minutes
Production company BBC
Original release
Network BBC One
Release22 January (1967-01-22) 
26 March 1967 (1967-03-26)

Great Expectations is a British television series which first aired on BBC 1 in 1967. [1] It is an adaptation of the 1861 novel Great Expectations by Charles Dickens, which follows a humble orphan suddenly becoming a gentleman with the help of an unknown benefactor. [2]


All episodes survived the BBC's routine junking and were released on DVD in 2017 by Simply Media. [3]

Plot summary

Main cast

One notable aspect of the production is Audley was only 43 when she played the old and decrepit Miss Havisham. Although this drew little to no attention at the time, Gillian Anderson, who was also a mere 43 when she played Havisham in the 2011 BBC adaptation, had some outlets calling attention to her casting in the role.

Critical reception

This adaptation has been positively received, and was hugely popular at the time of broadcast. "Even with so many different adaptations of Great Expectations jostling for position," Archive Television Musings wrote, "this 1967 serial – although it may lack the budget and scale of some of the others – is still worthy of attention. Tightly scripted and well acted, it’s a very solid production which still stands up well today." [4]

Archive status

The original master videotapes of the series were wiped during the BBC's archival clearing of older programmes throughout the 1970s. Although thought by some as lost for decades, all ten episodes survived as 16mm film copies which, most likely due to poor storage, suffer from a great vary in quality. Episodes 7 ("Pip's Benefactor") and 9 ("Retribution"), for example, are of the poorest quality, suffering from muffled sound, black lines on the top and bottom of the frame, and an overall lower image quality. Episodes such as 1 ("The Convict"), however, exist with high sound and picture quality, with only minor scratches and dirt on the film. As Simply Media did not have the budget required to put the films through restoration, all episodes are presented on the DVD with these physical shortcomings, with a disclaimer at the beginning of the DVD. [5]

Earlier version

The BBC previously adapted Great Expectations as a 13-part serial in 1959 written by P.D. Cummins, starring Dinsdale Landen in his television debut as adult Pip. Although popular at the time (even being rebroadcast in 1960), it has since fallen into relative obscurity. It has never been fully released online or onto DVD as one of the episodes (Part Eight) is missing from the BBC Archives. Part One is available to view for free at the BFI Mediatheque service, and the other surviving episodes can be accessed by booking a screening session at their building on Stephen Street in London. [6]

Other cast members include Colin Jeavons as adult Herbert Pocket, Michael Gwynn as Joe Gargery, Jerold Wells as Magwitch, Kenneth Thornett as Mr. Jaggers, Ronald Ibbs as Mr. Wemmick, Marjory Hawtrey as Miss Havisham, Richard Warner as Orlick, Helen Lindsay as adult Estella, Margot Van der Burgh as Mrs. Joe Gargery, Gabrielle Hamilton as Biddy, Nigel Davenport as Bentley Drummle, and Colin Spaull as young Pip. [7]

Related Research Articles

<i>Great Expectations</i> 1860–1861 novel by Charles Dickens

Great Expectations is the thirteenth novel by Charles Dickens and his penultimate completed novel. It depicts the education of an orphan nicknamed Pip. It is Dickens' second novel, after David Copperfield, to be fully narrated in the first person. The novel was first published as a serial in Dickens's weekly periodical All the Year Round, from 1 December 1860 to August 1861. In October 1861, Chapman & Hall published the novel in three volumes.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Miss Havisham</span> Fictional character in Charles Dickens Great Expectations

Miss Havisham is a character in the Charles Dickens' 1861 novel Great Expectations. She is a wealthy spinster, once jilted at the altar, who insists on wearing her wedding dress for the rest of her life. She lives in a ruined mansion with her adopted daughter, Estella. Dickens describes her as looking like "the witch of the place". In the novel, she schemes to have the young orphan, Pip, fall in love with Estella, so that Estella can "break his heart."

Estella (<i>Great Expectations</i>) Dickens novel character

Estella Havisham is a significant character in Charles Dickens' 1861 novel Great Expectations.

Pip (<i>South Park</i>) 14th episode of the 4th season of South Park

"Pip" is the fourteenth episode in the fourth season of the American animated television series South Park. The 62nd episode of the series overall, it first aired on Comedy Central in the United States on November 29, 2000. Going by production order, it is the fifth episode of the fourth season instead of the fourteenth. The episode is a parody and comedic retelling of Charles Dickens's 1861 novel Great Expectations, and stars the South Park character Pip, who assumes the role of the protagonist of the novel, who is his eponym. "Pip" features no other regular characters from the show. The story is narrated in a live action parody of the anthology television series Masterpiece Theater, with the narrator played by Malcolm McDowell.

<i>Great Expectations</i> (1946 film) 1946 film by David Lean

Great Expectations is a 1946 British drama film directed by David Lean, based on the 1861 novel by Charles Dickens and starring John Mills and Valerie Hobson. The supporting cast included Bernard Miles, Francis L. Sullivan, Anthony Wager, Jean Simmons, Finlay Currie, Martita Hunt and Alec Guinness.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Abel Magwitch</span> Fictional character

Abel Magwitch is a major fictional character from Charles Dickens' 1861 novel Great Expectations.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">John Wemmick</span> Fictional character

John Wemmick is a fictional character in Charles Dickens's 1861 novel Great Expectations. He is Mr Jaggers's clerk and the protagonist Pip's friend. Some scholars consider him to be the "most modern man in the book". Additionally, Wemmick is noted as one of Dickens's "most successful" split characters, insofar as Wemmick's character represents an exploration of the "relationship between public and private spheres in a divided existence".

Great Expectations is a British-American television serial based on Charles Dickens' 1861 novel of the same title. The serial was first broadcast in the US in three parts on The Disney Channel in 1989, and in the UK in six parts on the ITV network in 1991.

<i>Great Expectations</i> (1934 film) 1934 film by Stuart Walker

Great Expectations is a 1934 adaptation of the 1861 Charles Dickens novel of the same name. Filmed with mostly American actors, it was the first sound version of the novel and was produced in Hollywood by Universal Studios and directed by Stuart Walker. It stars Phillips Holmes as Pip, Jane Wyatt as Estella and Florence Reed as Miss Havisham.

<i>Great Expectations</i> (1974 film) 1974 US/UK drama film by Joseph Hardy

Great Expectations is a 1974 film made for television based on the Charles Dickens 1861 novel of the same name. It was directed by Joseph Hardy, with screenwriter Sherman Yellen and music by Maurice Jarre, starring Michael York as Pip, Simon Gipps-Kent as Young Pip and Sarah Miles as Estella. The production, for Transcontinental Films and ITC, was made for US television and released to cinemas in the UK. It broke with tradition by having the same actress play both the younger and older Estella. The film was shot by Freddie Young. It was filmed in Eastmancolor and it was entered into the 9th Moscow International Film Festival in 1975.

<i>Great Expectations</i> (1999 film) British TV series or programme

Great Expectations is a 1999 television film adaptation of Charles Dickens’s 1861 novel of the same name. It was aired on BBC Two in the UK, and on Masterpiece Theatre in the US.

<i>Great Expectations</i> (1917 film) 1917 silent drama film

Great Expectations is a lost 1917 silent drama film directed by Robert G. Vignola and Paul West, based on the 1861 novel Great Expectations by Charles Dickens. Jack Pickford stars as Pip and Louise Huff as Estella.

<i>Great Expectations</i> (1981 TV series) British TV series or programme

Great Expectations is a 1981 BBC drama serial based on the 1861 novel by Charles Dickens. It was directed by Julian Amyes and adapted by James Andrew Hall.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Compeyson</span> Fictional character

Compeyson is the main antagonist of Charles Dickens' 1861 novel Great Expectations, a 'George Wickham'-esque man, whose criminal activities harmed two people, who in turn shaped much of protagonist Pip's life.

<i>Great Expectations</i> (2011 TV series) 2011 TV serial directed by Brian Kirk

Great Expectations is a three-part BBC television drama adaptation by Sarah Phelps of the Charles Dickens’s 1861 novel of the same name, starring Ray Winstone as Magwitch, Gillian Anderson as Miss Havisham, Douglas Booth as Pip, Vanessa Kirby as Estella and David Suchet as Jaggers. The adaptation was first broadcast on British television over the Christmas period in 2011.

<i>Great Expectations</i> (2012 film) 2012 British film

Great Expectations is a 2012 British-American film adaptation of Charles Dickens' 1861 novel of the same name. The film was directed by Mike Newell, with the adapted screenplay by David Nicholls, and stars Jeremy Irvine, Helena Bonham Carter, Holliday Grainger, Ralph Fiennes and Robbie Coltrane. It was distributed by Lionsgate.

Great Expectations: The Untold Story is a 1987 Australian film which was made as a feature film and a mini series.

Pip (<i>Great Expectations</i>) Fictional character

Philip Pirrip, called Pip, is the protagonist and narrator in Charles Dickens's novel Great Expectations (1861). He is amongst the most popular characters in English literature. Pip narrates his story many years after the events of the novel take place. The novel follows Pip's process from childhood innocence to adulthood. The financial and social rise of the protagonist is accompanied by an emotional and moral deterioration, which forces Pip to recognize his negative expectations in a new self-awareness.

Great Expectations is a historical fiction series developed by Steven Knight, based on the 1861 novel by Charles Dickens. It premiered on BBC One on 26 March 2023, followed by its US premiere on FX on Hulu later the same day.


  1. "Great Expectations 2 Miss Havisham (1967)". BFI. Archived from the original on 28 September 2020.
  2. Baskin p.83
  3. "What the Dickens? Charles Dickens DVD releases". SimplyHE.
  4. "Great Expectations (BBC, 1967) – Simply Media DVD Review". 28 June 2017.
  5. "DVD Review: Three Classic Charles Dickens BBC Productions".
  6. "Great Expectations (BBC, 1967) – Simply Media DVD Review". 28 June 2017.
  7. "Great Expectations (TV Mini Series 1959) - IMDb". IMDb .