Synopsis by Hal Erickson
Budgeted at six million dollars -- a hefty sum for Australian television -- the six-hour miniseries Great Expectations: The Untold Story helpfully endeavored to plug the plot holes thoughtlessly left behind by Charles Dickens in his original novel. The emphasis was on the escaped convict Magwitch (John Stanton), who, after being helped out by the young Pip (Danny Simmons), was captured by the authorities and transported to Australia. There, Magwitch turned over a new leaf and went into business, building up a huge and profitable operation. Still grateful to Pip for past kindnesses, Magwitch bequeathed his entire fortune to the boy, and it was at this point that the miniseries' narrative ended and the original Dickens story line took over (albeit briefly). Representing a rare collaboration between writer/director Tim Burstall and his producer son, Tom Burstall, Great Expectations: The Untold Story was broadcast by Australia's ABC network in February of 1987. The project was subsequently released theatrically as a feature film, pared down to a more manageable length -- and eliminating an important subplot involving Pip's erstwhile lady friend, Estella (Anne Louise Lambert), in the process.
assistance, Australia, convict, redemption, upper-class