FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEGILLIAN ANDERSON STARS AS MISS HAVISHAM IN
ONE OF CHARLES DICKENS' GREATEST WORKS
February 7, 2012 is the 200th Anniversary of the Birth of Charles Dickens
Available on DVD and Blu-ray from PBS Distribution April 3rd
Release Timed with Premiere Airing on PBS on April 1st and 8th
Arlington, Va.; February 7, 2012 - PBS Distribution today announced it is releasing "MASTERPIECE CLASSIC: GREAT EXPECTATIONS" on DVD and Blu-ray. Nothing is quite as it seems in this lush retelling of Dickens' classic coming-of-age story featuring colorful characters - conspirators, rogues, rakes, and wretches. This remarkable tale of rags to riches to self-knowledge stars Gillian Anderson ("The X-Files," "Bleak House"), David Suchet, Ray Winstone, and Douglas Booth. "MASTERPIECE CLASSIC: GREAT EXPECTATIONS" will be available on DVD and Blu-ray beginning April 3, 2012. The running time of the program is 180 minutes. The SRP for the DVD is $24.99 and the SRP for the Blu-ray is $29.99.
"MASTERPIECE CLASSIC: GREAT EXPECTATIONS" opens with Pip as a boy (played by Oscar Kennedy) on the marshes near his home, where he encounters the desperate escapee Magwitch. Pip is coerced into stealing a metal file to break Magwitch's chains, but the boy willingly snares a piece of meat pie to feed the famished man.
So begins a classic coming-of-age story about innate kindness and learned indifference. Young Pip expects no more from life than to join his brother-in-law Joe at the blacksmith's forge. But fate intervenes when the neighboring rich eccentric Miss Havisham seeks Pip out as a playmate for her adopted daughter, Estella.
This sets Pip on a course that sees him tested in many ways, not least in being thrown into a wish-fulfillment paradise for a young man, where he has the pleasures of London at his disposal and true love - and great expectations - in his future. Or so he thinks.
Gillian Anderson appears as one of Dickens' most haunting creations: Miss Havisham, a bride-to-be who was left at the altar years before and has worn her fading wedding dress ever since, in a decrepit home where time has stood still, surrounded by the fossilized remains of the marriage feast and hell-bent on getting even with the male sex. Newcomer Douglas Booth stars as Pip, the promising young man who is snared in Miss Havisham's lair. On the way to becoming a gentleman, he falls in love with Miss Havisham's beautiful adopted daughter, Estella, played by Vanessa Kirby ("The Hour").
"MASTERPIECE CLASSIC: GREAT EXPECTATIONS" co-stars David Suchet ("Poirot") as Jaggers, Miss Havisham's crack attorney; and Ray Winstone ("Sexy Beast") as the fugitive felon Abel Magwitch, who is by turns dangerous, vengeful, and recklessly loyal.
Filling out the spectacular cast are Shaun Dooley ("South Riding") as the kindly blacksmith Joe Gargery, Pip's brother-in-law and childhood hero; Mark Addy ("The Full Monty") as the village blowhard, Uncle Pumblechook; Paul Ritter ("Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince") as Wemmick, Jaggers' super efficient clerk who has a secret life; Paul Rhys ("Vincent & Theo") as Compeyson, whose dastardly swindles link several lines of the intricate plot; and Harry Lloyd ("Game of Thrones") as Pip's guileless buddy Herbert Pocket (in real life Lloyd is the great-great-great grandson of Dickens himself). Not to mention many other colorful Dickensian characters.
"MASTERPIECE CLASSIC: GREAT EXPECTATIONS" was directed by Brian Kirk ("Game of Thrones," "Luther") and written by Sarah Phelps ("Oliver Twist"), based on the novel by Charles Dickens. The producer is George Ormond. The executive producers are Anne Pivcevic for the BBC and Rebecca Eaton for MASTERPIECE on PBS.
MASTERPIECE is presented on PBS by WGBH Boston. Rebecca Eaton is Executive Producer. Funding for the series is provided by Viking River Cruises, with additional support from public television viewers and contributors to The MASTERPIECE Trust, created to help ensure the series' future.
About PBS Distribution
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MASTERPIECE CLASSIC: GREAT EXPECTATIONS
Street Date: April 3, 2012
Run Time: 180 Minutes
SRP: DVD, $24.99 and Blu-ray, $29.99
Format: DVD and Blu-ray