Great Expectations fans furious at BBC for series ending change

Great Expectations: Olivia Coleman stars in BBC teaser

Charles Dickens’ book Great Expectations was adapted by Steven Knight and stars Olivia Colman as Miss Havisham and Fionn Whitehead as Pip.

Whilst there was a lot of praise for the highly anticipated series, the BBC was hit with a lot of criticism over the changes made to the story, including the depiction of opium addiction and sadomasochism.

When episode one first aired, it was watched by 4.4 million viewers, but two million had switched off prior to last night’s finale.

In Dickens’ book, Miss Havisham’s wedding dress which she never took off burned in an accident ultimately leading to her death.

However, the BBC’s reimagining of the scenes saw Miss Havisham set her dress alight on purpose as part of a revenge twist and emerges out of the fire unscathed.

When Compeyson (played by Trystan Gravelle) comes to her, Miss Havisham, who is now free of her dress, tries to shoot him before setting Satis House on fire.

Compeyson and Magwitch (Johnny Harris) fight in the burning building and die in the inferno, while Miss Havisham watches Satis House burn, surviving her ordeal.

Another change that the BBC made to the series was the conclusion of Pip’s story, with his character in the novel reuniting with Estella (Shalom Brune-Franklin), who finally opened her heart to him.

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But, in the final episode of the show, Pip declines her proposal and instead opts to marry his childhood friend

Despite the rejection, Estella’s love life ends on a positive note, when she was shown dancing with Jaggers at Pip and Biddy’s wedding.

Viewers were left outraged at the changing of the iconic scenes and branded the show an “abomination” on their Twitter accounts.

@Art2Wear fumed: “What an abomination? The only way to describe BBC’s Great Expectations. The last episode they even changed the ending.”

They added in a second tweet: “Why? Why? Why. Total RUBBISH… Why would anyone think that changing the ending of Great Expectations would be a good idea?!…

“Right, I avoided Dickens for years. Finally, read Great Expectations and bloody loved it. It is a PERFECT story. Why the hell would they change it??? And this ending?? Utter b*****ks.”

@Scousegrrl added: “It isn’t right to ruin the ending of a famous novel. It makes a mockery of the story if Pip & Estella aren’t reunited in the end. Dickens himself realised that. 3 times the BBC have ruined GE adaptations.”

@Paulhjthomas commented: ‘@bbc once again throws up its arrogance in an appalling adaption. Shame…”

Conservative MP Nadine Dorries exclaimed: “Such a predictable and awful shame. What a waste of licence fee payers money. The BBC has ruined Great Expectations.”

@AndrewF74872234 said: “BBC 1 so-called Great Expectations is actually poor expectations. Utter rubbish. A waste of licence payers’ money. Who commissioned this garbage?”

Rob Hopkins penned: “Well call me a traditionalist if you like, but that last instalment of the new ‘Great Expectations’ on BBC last night took far too many liberties with the story for my liking. I spent most of it going “That’s not what happened!”. Much preferred the last one…”

However, some were more complimentary of the final episode, with @JayJmufc praising: “I love it, I noticed the character Jagger was so much like the character in Taboo played by Tom Hardy then realised Tom Hardy produced Great Expectations.” (sic)

Great Expectations is available to watch on BBC iPlayer.

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