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Steven Knight to adapt Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations for BBC1

Steven Knight

Story by Jack Foley

ACADEMY Award-nominee and BAFTA Award-winning writer Steven Knight (pictured) has signed up to write a six-part limited series adaptation of Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations, once again teaming with producers Ridley Scott and Tom Hardy.

Great Expectations is the second Dickens adaptation penned by Knight, following the hit limited series A Christmas Carol, which launched on the BBC with an audience of 7.8 million viewers (all-screen 30-day figures).

Great Expectations is the coming-of-age story of an orphan nicknamed Pip. Dickens first released it in a series of weekly chapters, beginning in December 1860, before it was published as a novel.

Knight will write and executive produce Great Expectations (6×60’), which will also be executive produced by Tom Hardy, Ridley Scott, Dean Baker, David W. Zucker, Kate Crowe and Mona Qureshi for the BBC – the team behind A Christmas Carol – with Marina Brackenbury as co-executive producer.

Knight commented: “Adapting Dickens’ work is a delight. I chose Great Expectations as the next work to bring to the screen not just because of the timeless characters, but also because of the very timely story. A story of class mobility and class intransigence, told through an intensely emotional and personal first-person narrative. As the son of a Blacksmith myself, Pip’s journey from the forge into society is a very special one to me.”

Charlotte Moore, Director of BBC Content, added: “Great Expectations is the second in Steven Knight’s series of Dickens adaptations and the perfect choice given its timely and personal narrative. His original take on one of Britain’s most loved classics will make it must see drama for a whole new generation.”

Eric Schrier, President, FX Entertainment, said: “FX is honoured to begin the next chapter of collaboration with Steven Knight, Ridley Scott, Tom Hardy and their teams, as they reunite for this modern adaption of Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations.

“Their inaugural Dickens adaptation, A Christmas Carol, was a great success both creatively and commercially. We want to thank our partners at the BBC, Scott Free and Hardy Son & Baker, for their support and can’t wait to get to work on this project.”

Great Expectations and A Christmas Carol are the first two in a series of adaptations of Dickens’ novels, commissioned by Piers Wenger, Controller of BBC Drama, and Charlotte Moore, Director of BBC Content, and produced with FX Productions.

The BBC and FX also produced the acclaimed drama series Taboo, starring Tom Hardy, written by Steven Knight and produced by Knight, Tom Hardy, Chips Hardy, Ridley Scott, Dean Baker and Kate Crowe.