Great Expectations on BBC One: Amazing cast led by Olivia Colman as Miss Havisham

26 Mar 2023, 20:02
24 Mar 2023, 18:20

Fionn Whitehead, Great Expectations, Johnny Harris, Olivia Colman, Owen McDonnell, Shalom Brune-Franklin

BBC One’s latest period drama starts this week and, while Great Expectations has been adapted many times before, this cast is arguably one of the best yet.

Olivia Colman’s casting as infamous literary villain Miss Havisham is worth tuning in for alone.

Helena Bonham-Carter, Gillian Anderson, Anne Bancroft and Charlotte Rampling have all portrayed the baddest bitch in books.

But Olivia Colman brings her own hint of menace to the character, who she describes as being “rotten on the inside”.

So who else is in the cast of Great Expectations on BBC One?

Here’s everything you need to know!

Olivia Colman as Miss Havisham in Great Expectations (Credit: BBC/FX Networks)

Great Expectations cast on BBC One: Olivia Colman plays Miss Havisham

Beloved actress Olivia Colman plays Miss Havisham in the cast of Great Expectations on BBC One.

And if you think you’ve seen her play the worst of the worst – Queen Anne in The Favourite, Susan Edwards in Landscapers, Godmother in Fleabag – you haven’t seen anything yet!

Casting The Crown star as Miss Havisham was a spark of genius.

She’s brilliant at both comedy and dark dramas (see Flowers if you don’t believe us) and is perfect for the role of wealthy spinster.

Once jilted at the altar, Miss Havisham insists on wearing her wedding dress for the rest of her life.

She lives in a ruined mansion with her adopted daughter, Estella, and schemes to have a young orphan called Pip fall in love with Estella, just so that Estella can “break his heart”.

Academy Award-winner Olivia Colman portrays Susan Edwards in the cast of Landscapers.

Olivia, 49, is known for playing Queen Elizabeth II in The Crown.

She also played the evil stepmother in Fleabag, and DS Ellie Miller in Broadchurch.

Olivia has also appeared in Rev, Peep Show, The Night Manager, and Flowers.

Her film roles include Queen Anne in The Favourite – for which she won an Oscar – PC Doris Thatcher in Hot Fuzz, Anne in The Father, and Leda in The Lost Daughter.

Most recently, Olivia played Sarah Nelson in Heartstopper, and Hilary in the acclaimed film Empire of Light.

She also played herself in Staged.

Frankly, she can do no wrong, and is THE most compelling reason to watch Steven Knight’s version of Great Expectations.

Fionn Whitehead as Pip in the latest adaptation of Great Expectations (Credit: FX Networks/Pari Dukovic)

Fionn Whitehead plays Pip

Actor Fionn Whitehead, 25, takes on the role of hero Pip in the latest adaptation of the famous Charles Dickens novel.

His first acting role was in the 2016 ITV miniseries Him, where he played the leading role of Him, opposite Katherine Kelly.

He went on to win the lead role of Tommy in the 2017 film Dunkirk.

In 2018 film Black Mirror: Bandersnatch, Fionn starred as Stefan Butler.

Other notable film roles include Adam Henry in The Children’s Act, Jackie Bunton in The Duke, Dorian Gray in The Picture of Dorian Gray.

He recently played Branwell Brontë in the romantic drama Emily.

Shalom Brune-Franklin stars as Estella in Great Expectations (Credit: BBC One/FX Networks/Pari Dukovic)

Great Expectations cast on BBC One: Shalom Brune-Franklin is Estella

Shalom Brune-Franklin plays love interest Estella, who is entrapped by her adopted mother Miss Havisham.

The actress, 28, will be known to fans of The Tourist for her portrayal of Luci.

Shalom has recently starred in several high-profile British dramas, although she’s actually lived in Australia since she was 14.

She recently played Ella in Love Me.

In 2020, she portrayed the Prime Minister’s illegitimate daughter Rose Dietl in Roadkill, opposite Hugh Laurie.

She also starred as DC Chloë Bishop in Line of Duty, Lilly in War of the Worlds, and Sister Igraine in Cursed.

The actress has appeared in several Australian series including Bad Mothers, Doctor Doctor and Barracuda.

Ashley Thomas is Mr Jaggers in Great Expectations (Credit: FX Networks/Miya Mizuno)

Ashley Thomas portrays Mr Jaggers

Actor Ashley Thomas, 38, stars as Mr Jaggers in the cast of Great Expectations on BBC One.

Mr Jaggers is a successful London lawyer, who becomes Pip’s guardian during his stay in London.

Ashley has been on our TV screens ever since 2008, but he’s perhaps most famous for playing Isaac Carter in 24: Legacy from 2016 to 2017.

He portrayed Jermaine in Top Boy between 2013 and 2019.

In 2021, he starred as Henry Emory in the TV series Them, and went on to play Paul Maddox in The Ipcress File a year later. 

Other notable roles include Detective Chris Gamble in the NYPD TV movie in 2019, Malcolm Rose in Ice, Gil in Beowulf: Return to the Shieldlands.

Actor Johnny Harris as Magwitch in Great Expectations (Credit: FX Networks/Pari Dukovic)

Johnny Harris portrays Magwitch

Actor Johnny Harris portrays Magwitch in the cast of Great Expectations.

The actor, 49, is perhaps best known for playing Mick in three series of the iconic Shane Meadows TV show This is England.

He recently played Charles Stone in the ITVX series Without Sin opposite Vicky McClure.

In 2020, he starred as Charlie Rowley in the brilliant The Salisbury Poisonings, based on the tragic true story.

Johnny Harris also portrayed Franklin Scrooge in the divisive Stephen Knight adaptation of another Dickens novel, A Christmas Carol.

He’s also known for playing Neil Valentine in The Fades, Ronnie Morgan in Fortitude, Agamemnon in Troy: Fall of a City, and Bruno Bernardi in Medici.

His many film roles include Jimmy McCabe in Jawbone, Quert in Snow White and the Huntsman, and Gary in RocknRolla.

Great Expectations cast on BBC One: Hayley Squires as Sara Gargery (Credit: FX Networks/Miya Mizuno)

Hayley Squires portrays Mrs Sara Gargery in the cast of Great Expectations on BBC One

Actress Hayley Squires, 34, portrays Mrs Sara Gargery.

If Charles Dickens were writing the novel now, he’d probably call her Karen.

Actress Hayley is best known for her leading role in Adult Material.

She recently played Mary in Maryland, one of the women who reported a sexual assault.

She’s also starred in the Apple TV+ romance The Essex Serpent.

You might also recognise her from the British films I, Daniel Blake, True Things, The Electrical Life of Louis Wain, and Happy New Year, Colin Burstead.

Her first ever TV role was in Call the Midwife; she played Maureen Warren in the first ever episode in 2012.

Killing Eve actor Owen McDonnell as Joe Gargery in the cast of Great Expectations (Credit: FX Networks/Pari Dukovic)

Owen McDonnell stars as Mr Joe Gargery

Owen McDonnell portrays Pip’s kind brother-in-law and father figure Joe Gargery.

The actor will be well known to fans of crime dramas.

He is probably most famous for his role as long-suffering Niko Polastri in Killing Eve.

In 2021, he appeared as dodgy Frank Mercer in the second series of The Bay.

Owen’s character was the man behind the murder of Stephen Marshbrook, but he didn’t get his hands dirty though, he paid a hitman to do it!

In 2022, he has also starred as Mark Ryan in Three Families, Sean in The Holiday, and Callum Wilding in Death in Paradise.

He’s also known for playing Jack’s brother Ryan Kelvin in Silent Witness.

Previously, Owen starred in Mount Pleasant, Women on the Verge, Paula, Dominion Creek, and Single-Handed.

Great Expectations cast on BBC One: Matt Berry plays Mr Pumblechook (Credit: FX Networks/Miya Mizuno)

Great Expectations cast on BBC One: Matt Berry plays Mr Pumblechook

Matt Berry, 48, plays Mr Pumblechook in Great Expectations.

If you don’t recognise his face, you’ll definitely know his famous voice!

The comedian and actor is known for playing Steven Toast in Toast of London, and Toast of Tinseltown.

What We Do in the Shadows fans will know him as Laszlo Cravensworth, a role he’s played since 2019.

And he’s famous for playing Douglas Reynholm in The IT Crown, too.

He also portrayed Detective Inspector Eli Rabbit in Year of the Rabbit.

Due to his distinctive voice, Matt voices dozens of characters and adverts on TV, too.

The Split actor Rudi Dharmalingam as Wemmick (Credit: FX Networks/Pari Dukovic)

Rudi Dharmalingam stars as Wemmick

Actor Rudi Dharmalingam, 41, stars as Wemmick in Great Expectations.

He recently played mutant Shiv in the cast of The Lazarus Project, who had the ability to time travel.

The Split fans will know him for playing Rose’s husband James.

Fans of the series were devastated when his character was killed off in the third series.

Rudi previously starred as Nik in the popular miniseries Wakefield.

He also portrayed Milan in BBC’s Our Girl, Jyotiranjan ‘Joe’ Clarke in Tin Star, and Dominic in Dark Money.

Hollyoaks viewers might recognise him as Tariq in the C4 soap.

He first popped up as a barman in Cutting It in 2003!

Trystan Gravelle as Compeyson in Great Expectations (Credit: FX Networks/Pari Dukovic)

Trystan Gravelle portrays Compeyson

Welsh actor Trystan Gravelle, 42, plays criminal Compeyson in Great Expectations.

He is Magwitch’s enemy, and begins the fire in the jail which allows Magwitch to escape and later encounter Pip – a meeting that changes his life forever.

Trystan is known for playing Victor Colleano in the cast of Mr Selfridge, a role he played between 2013 and 2016.

He’s also played Fabien in The Aliens, Henry Collins in The Terror, Adrian Pollock in Quiz, and Matthew Hargreaves in Exile.

More recently, he’s played Pharazôn in The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power, and Baldwin Montclair in A Discovery of Witches.

Who else stars in the cast of Great Expectations on BBC One?

Relative newcomer Laurie Ogden stars as Biddy in the cast of Great Expectations.

She’s previously played Evelyn in The Colour Room, opposite Phoebe Dynevor.

Tom Sweet portrays Young Pip, and Gunpowder viewers might recognise him as Young Robert Catesby.

Child actress Chloe Lea, who played Viv in The Dumping Ground, stars as a Young Estella.

Meanwhile, Andor actress Bronte Carmichael portrays Young Biddy.

Read more: Great Expectations on BBC One: First look at Olivia Colman as Miss Havisham

Great Expectations begins on Sunday at 9pm on BBC One.

What do you think of the cast of Great Expectations on BBC One? Leave us a comment on our Facebook page @EntertainmentDailyFix.

About the Author

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.