BBC changes ending of Charles Dickens Great Expectations
The BBC has altered the ending of Charles Dickens novel Great Expectations in both a film and a TV series adaptation.books Updated: Dec 19, 2011 12:46 IST
The BBC has altered the ending of Charles Dickens novel Great Expectations in both a film and a TV series adaptation.
It has also completed the unfinished novel The Mystery of Edwin Drood in another effort to find new ways to perform the novelists work to celebrate the bicentenary of his birth.
They are part of 18 radio and television productions based on Dickenss work to come out in the next few weeks.
Dickens wrote two endings to Great Expectations, but, controversially, both new productions have an entirely new outcome.
The two new adaptations are both a commentary on our money obsessed times as the hero Pip struggles to keep his head after the equivalent of a lottery win.
The television series chooses a compromise ending between the happy and unhappy endings that Dickens wrote about Pips eventual relationship with Estella.
The cinema version, written by David Nicholls, an author, will have a totally new ending. The BBC has helped fund the film, starring Ralph Fiennes and Helena Bonham Carter, which will be released next year.
Literary purists fear that the BBC is meddling, while commentators fear Dickens overkill.
On the other hand, Dr Robert DouglasFairhurst, an Oxford don and author of the book Becoming Dickens, said it was impossible to run out of ways to interpret the writer.
He said Miss Havisham as a cougar rather than a crone on the BBC Ones version is absolutely right and added that Dickens always wrote his endings so they could be interpreted in different ways.
I think Dickens is strong enough to withstand anything we do to him, the Telegraph quoted him as saying.
He has a chameleonlike ability to adapt to changing circumstances, he added.