28 June 2009 | pninson
The Whole Story
This is the first adaptation of "Great Expectations" that covers the entire book. Over 12 30-minute episodes, Dickens' novel is faithfully transferred to the screen.
The only downside to this is that the novel does ramble a bit in places and therefore, so does this series. There are a few superfluous characters and sub-plots, so it's a little slow and talky in places. On the other hand, you do get the richness of detail that is missing from theatrical productions and some of the other television versions.
The best thing about this production is that Estella is portrayed perfectly. Both Patsy Kensit, who plays the young Estella, and Sarah-Jane Varley, who plays the adult part, portray her exactly as I pictured her when I read the novel all those years ago. It's not so much a matter of how the actresses look, but how the part is written and how the roles are performed.
Joan Hickson's Miss Havisham is definitive.
I'd recommend this highly to any fan of the novel. It's long, but it's well worth it to have the whole story rather than a condensed version.