THE STRANGE SENSE OF AN ENDING
>> Really enjoyed Great Expectations on the BBC over the Christmas break, not least because I was intrigued to see how they decided to end it. Would they go with Dickens’ original, or the revised, ‘happier’ version, or their own? In the end it was probably closer to the former rather than the latter, but it seemed to make sense within the structure of the story they told.
But even if they had ended it with a spaceship taking Pip and Estella to the moon, does it matter? Rarely does a new version of a Shakespeare play pretend we’re all in 1590 – each individual director teases out new elements and relevances for our times. Similarly, new television and film adaptations of Dickens’s novels, with their different endings and ideas, help keep alive the notion that his work isn’t simply to be preserved in aspic, but can mean as much in 2012 as it did in 1861.
This is what I explored in my first piece of 2012 for The National. But without the spaceship.