BBC rewrites DICKENS to make the British Empire more beastly in new TV adaptation of Great Expectations
Now the BBC is rewriting DICKENS to make the British Empire more offensive in new TV adaptation of Great Expectations starring Olivia Colman
The BBC has injected a strong anti-colonial message into its adaptation of Charles Dickens’ classic novel Great Expectations, it has been revealed.
Written by Peaky Blinders creator Stephen Knight, the beloved novel has taken on a new twist, alluding to the evils of Empire that were not present in the original Victorian book.
In one scene, criminal Magwitch, one of the main characters, describes the British Empire as “built on the lies of privileged whites,” The Telegraph reports.
Asked by the newspaper if he fears his version of the beloved story could upset traditionalists, Knight said: ‘Everyone has a right to react how they want to react.
“But I would say the book exists, it’s still there. This is not an attempt to say that the book is wrong or that this is better.’
The new show stars multiple Oscar-winning British actress Olivia Colman as the terrifying Miss Havisham and Ffion Whitehead as the orphan Pip.
Written by Peaky Blinders creator Stephen Knight, the beloved novel has taken on a new twist
Knight also reportedly told his cast that the adaptation would aim to remove the rigidity long associated with Victorian Britain.
Still set in the 19th century, the 1861 novel has been adapted into a slightly more modern drama that the makers hope will attract new audiences.
The show’s lead actor, Ffion Whitehead, expressed hope that the BBC’s dramatization will make the canonical novel “more accessible to younger people.”
The actor, who is no stranger to period dramas having previously starred in Dunkirk, plays orphan Pip, the protagonist of the novel.
He described Empire as “an awful thing” in an interview while promoting the show and challenging anyone who disagrees.
“The empire was a terrible thing, with many Britons going out and enslaving, plundering and destroying many cultures around the world.
“It was driven by greed. If there’s anyone out there who believes the Empire was a great thing, they’re kidding themselves.”
The new show stars multiple Oscar-winning British actress Olivia Colman as the terrifying Miss Havisham.
Still set in the 19th century, the 1861 novel has been adapted into a six-part costume drama that the makers hope will attract new audiences.
Colman and Whitehead star opposite Line Of Duty actress Shalom Brune-Franklin (right), 28, in the role of Estella. The drama can be seen on BBC One and BBC iPlayer from this Sunday
Whitehead, 25, plays orphan Pip opposite Line Of Duty actress Shalom Brune-Franklin, 28, in the role of his love interest Estella.
They star Top Boy actor Ashley Thomas, 38, as lawyer Jaggers, and The Split star Rudi Dharmalingam, 41, who plays Jagger’s assistant Wemmick.
49-year-old Johnny Harris from This Is England plays escaped convict Magwitch.
Actress Hayley Squires, 34, plays Pip’s sister Sara Gargery while Killing Eve actor Owen McDonnell, 49, takes on the role of her husband Joe Gargery.
The highly anticipated six-part drama will air on BBC One and BBC iPlayer from this Sunday.