BBC makes a ´woke´ version of Dickens classic to make it ´more accessible for younger people´

Dickens´ writing lives on/Shutterstock Images

A new BBC drama series based on a 19th century story has been adapted to 21st century tastes.

Written by Peaky Blinders creator Stephen Knight, the beloved Charles Dickens novel, Great Expectations, has been given a new twist, referencing the evils of Empire which were not present in the original Victorian book.

Starring Ffion Whitehead as endearing orphan Pip and Olivia Coleman as spooky Miss Havisham, the 1861 novel has been adapted into a slightly more modern drama which creators hope will attract new audiences to it.

In one scene, criminal Magwitch, one of the central characters, describes the British Empire as having been ‘built on the lies of privileged white men’, The Telegraph reports.

Asked by the newspaper about whether he is concerned his version of the beloved tale may upset traditionalists, Knight said: ‘It’s everyone’s right to react in the way they want to react.

‘But I would say that the book exists, it is still there. This is not an attempt to say the book is wrong or this is better.’

The star of the show, Whitehead, 25,  plays opposite Line Of Duty actress Shalom Brune-Franklin, 28, in the role of his love interest Estella. He described Empire as “a horrible thing” in an interview while promoting the show, challenging anyone who disagreed.

“The Empire was a horrible thing which involved a lot of British people going out and enslaving, pillaging and destroying a lot of cultures around the world.

“It was powered by greed. If there’s anyone walking around believing that the Empire was a great thing they are kidding themselves.”

Top Boy actor Ashley Thomas, 38, is cast as lawyer Jaggers, and The Split star Rudi Dharmalingam, 41, plays Jagger’s assistant Wemmick.

This Is England’s Johnny Harris, 49, portrays escaped convict Magwitch.

Adult Material actress Hayley Squires, 34, plays Pip’s sister Sara Gargery as Killing Eve actor Owen McDonnell, 49, takes on the role of her husband Joe Gargery.

The highly-anticipated six-part drama will be arriving on BBC One and BBC iPlayer from next Sunday.

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