Firstly the BBC did Great Expectations. Now everyone loves a bit of Dickens at Christmas and I am definitely one of those people. However, having just studied this particular novel for my English A-Level I wasn't exactly thrilled by the prospect of reliving all those painful hours of revision, but nonetheless it was Christmas, it was Dickens and it starred Ray Winstone as Magwitch, what could possibly go wrong? Turns out actually not much.
Generally, I really liked it. Douglas Booth, formerly a model for Burberry and Boy George in the BBC Worried about the Boy, was an excellent Pip as was Vanessa Kirby's Estella and Winstone's performance really was incredible. There was, however, for me one weakness, Gillian Anderson as Miss Havisham. For some reason I just didn't like her and I can't quite pinpoint why. Hopefully the upcoming film will have a much better Miss Havisham as she is to be played by Helena Bonham Carter, which some have described as the role she's been destined to play for all her life. Apart from her though, and the omission of Biddy, it was very enjoyable.
The second big adaptation of the holidays was Treasure Island on Sky 1. Now, everyone knows the story we've heard it hundreds of times seen countless versions and we all have our favourites, for me its a no brainer, The Muppets Treasure Island starring a young Kevin Bishop wins every time. But boasting perhaps a more high calibre cast was this latest edition. Once again for the most part I really liked it. The look of the two part series itself really was beautiful. The richness of the scenery and the cultural diversity of the pirates shown through their costumes really created a magical world in which the story fitted perfectly.
There was the introduction of new talent with Toby Regbo, also seen recently in One Day and as the young Albus Dumbledore in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1, playing the anti-stereotypical action hero Jim Hawkins. The good guys really were just that, even if only in their acting abilities, Rupert Penry-Jones as Squire Trelawney, Daniel Mays as Dr. Livesey and Philip Glenister as Captain Smollett all brought something very original to the roles. The pirates too all had their unique personalities within the crew and each one stood out. Elijah Wood was stunning as Ben Gunn and his mad man act was brilliant.
However, much like Great Expectations there was one flaw, and that flaw happened to come in the shape of Eddie Izzard as Long John Silver. Now don't get me wrong I am a huge Izzard fan and I love him but for me he wasn't right. It wasn't even that he was bad because he wasn't; he just wasn't Long John Silver. Despite this though it didn't by any stretch of the imagination ruin the programme which in general I really liked.