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Great Expectations viewers make same complaint about BBC's new Charles Dickens adaptation

Olivia Coleman stars in the series


Olivia Coleman, Fionn Whitehead and Shalom Brune-Franklin© Pari Dukovic,BBC
Nicky Morris
TV and film writer
March 27, 2023
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BBC One's new drama, Great Expectations, made its highly-anticipated debut on Sunday night and while most viewers were glued to the screen, others couldn't help but complain about one aspect of the series. 

The six-parter, which stars Olivia Coleman and Fionn Whitehead, is the latest adaptation of Charles Dickens' 1861 novel and follows an orphan named Pip who comes into a large fortune from a mysterious benefactor and subsequently joins high society in London. 

WATCH: The trailer for the dark new Charles Dickens adaptation, Great Expectations

Taking to Twitter, some viewers felt that some scenes were too dark, making it difficult to see what was going on. One person wrote: "Yes, I know they didn't have electricity in Victorian times. But don't make period dramas so dark we can't see what's happening," while another added: "Why does it all have to be filmed so dark!? I can barely see anything! #GreatExpectations."

Olivia Coleman and Fionn Whitehead in Great Expectations© Miya Mizuno
Olivia Coleman and Fionn Whitehead star in the new drama

A third person tweeted: "Oh yay another @bbc show shot in the dark #GreatExpectations," while another added: "Just gave up on the new adaptation of #GreatExpectations as I'm unable to see in the dark. Turn the lights on please."

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Other viewers were also bothered by the addition of swear words in the new adaptation, which was written by Peaky Blinders creator Steven Knight. One person wrote: "#GreatExpectations really doesn't need the swearing @BBCOne. Disappointing," while another added: "#GreatExpectations Too dark, too sweary, too unrecognisable."

Many viewers, however, thoroughly enjoyed the opening episode and took to Twitter to praise the show. 

Olivia Coleman and Shalom Brune-Franklin in Great Expectations© Miya Mizuno
Viewers complained that some scenes were too dark

One person tweeted: "I thought the new Great Expectations was very good. Very atmospheric and totally gripping (which is quite an achievement with a story we all know so well)," while another added: "Recreating a true classic is a great thing when it is done this well."

A third person wrote: "Thoroughly enjoyed this latest adaptation of #GreatExpectations. Some inspired casting and great atmosphere.  Looking forward to the next episode."

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