How to watch Great Expectations anywhere



David has been watching TV outside of his home country for over 12 years. In addition to his streaming expertise, he has a wealth of experience in watching sports and documentaries, having spent many years following these genres. He is an avid fan of The Detectorists and Blue Planet, and also has a keen interest in English football.

It is one of the most hotly anticipated TV events of the year in the UK, by one of the most famous writers of all time and starring one of the defining acting talents of her generation alongside one of the hottest and most talented young casts around.

The new BBC adaptation of Charles Dicken’s Great Expectations promises to approach this seminal novel differently, much as the Armando Iannucci film, The Personal History of David Copperfield, did for another Dickens classic.

The BBC have thrown big money at this show, and the results look to be something very special.

Quick Start: How to watch Great Expectations

  1. Sign up for ExpressVPN.
  2. Download the app, open it and select the United Kingdom.
  3. Head to BBC iPlayer.
  4. Search Great Expectations and enjoy streaming.

UK viewers can look forward to watching the whole adaptation. But viewers outside the UK will have to wait even longer.

But if you are the impatient sort, perhaps you would be interested in a little trick which will let you watch it at the same time as people in the UK, no matter where in the world you are.

So if you’re away for work, travelling or an expat, you don’t need to miss out.

If so, then all you need to do is keep on reading.

Where is Great Expectations being shown?

Great Expectations is being broadcast in the UK exclusively on BBC 1. It is also being streamed both live and on-demand on the BBC iPlayer streaming service.

Unfortunately for overseas viewers, the BBC iPlayer is only available for UK viewers too and works hard to stop people in other countries from watching.

Fortunately, there is a simple trick to unblock it and watch Great Expectations on BBC iPlayer from literally anywhere.

How do I watch Great Expectations where I am?

To watch Great Expectation on BBC iPlayer outside the UK, you will need a streaming device and a BBC iPlayer account (of course) plus a little app called a VPN.

A VPN lets you connect to different servers around the world. And if you choose one located in the UK, it will appear to the BBC iPlayer as if that’s where you are.

This means you can watch Great Expectation and anything else that takes your fancy from absolutely anywhere.

Where to get a VPN?

You can find a VPN online easily enough. But the key is to get one that works with the BBC iPlayer and is fast enough to stream with.

ExpressVPN is one of the fastest VPNs around and works well with the iPlayer.

It can be downloaded onto almost any device, and there is even a 30-day money-back guarantee to give you lots of time to try before you buy.

NordVPN and Surfshark VPN are two other VPNs worth taking a look at. They too have everything you need, plus a 30-day money-back guarantee.

But our recommended VPN, if you want to watch Great Expectation, is that it is ExpressVPN that is the best one to choose.

The final decision is yours, though!

30-day money back guarantee

How to stream Great Expectations outside the UK

Once you have picked the right VPN, just follow this simple guide to get everything ready to start streaming:

Step 1

Visit the ExpressVPN website to sign up for their 12-month deal. It will save you 49% as well as giving you an extra three months for free.

Step 2

Download the ExpressVPN app from either your device’s official app store or the ExpressVPN website.

Step 3

Open the ExpressVPN app and log in to your new account.

Step 4

Connect to a UK-based server. To do this, click Selected Location, choose a server in the United Kingdom, and then press the Connect button.

ExpressVPN app connecting to the UK.

Stream the show anywhere with ExpressVPN.

Step 5

Open the BBC iPlayer, either on the website or the app. Log in to your free account and enjoy Great Expectations from literally anywhere in the world.

30-day money back guarantee

What is Great Expectations all about?

The premise and plot of Great Expectations

Great Expectations is one of the great coming-of-age stories. It tells the story of Pip, an orphan who dreams of more.

When he meets the mysterious Miss Haversham, opportunities begin to open up. Love blossoms too.

But there is a dark side to everything that happens, and the big question Pip has to decide is whether the positives of his new life and the opportunities he is presented with outweigh the negatives.

The main characters and their roles in the show

The main character of Great Expectations is Pip, an orphan child who grows up as the story progresses.

It is his meeting with the mysterious Miss Haversham, an almost spiritual character who never leaves her huge but run-down home and is both his fairy godmother and tormentor in equal measure.

The other main character is Estella, a temptress and love interest who is present throughout much of the story. Beyond them, Great Expectations is, like all Dickens stories, dotted with amazing eccentric characters aplenty.

Critical Reception of Great Expectations

After all the hype, it is perhaps no surprise that Great Expectations has not lived up to everyone’s expectations.

Some critics have been excessively harsh, with the Evening Standard describing it as “irredeemably awful”. The Independent was slightly kinder saying, “Even with the infusion of sex and violence, it’s hard to feel excited about this new take on Dickens.”

Others were more positive with Digital Spy saying, “It truly feels alive, its maggoty touch crawling into reality” and that it was “thrilling to see and thick with atmosphere.”

TV shows are always divisive, but despite some critical attacks, Great Expectations looks set to be a big crowd-pleaser.

Who stars in Great Expectations?

The huge cast of Great Expectations includes:

Olivia Colman – Miss Haversham

Olivia Coleman in a red dress holding an award

Olivia Colman has become a national treasure since her breakthrough role in Peep Show.

She is in almost everything these days, it seems, and her most notable credits include The Crown, The Father, Fleabag, Les Miserables, The Favourite, Broadchurch, The Night Manager, and much more.

She won the best actress Oscar for The Favourite in 2019 and has also won numerous BAFTA’s, Emmys, and other awards.

Fionn Whitehead – Pip

Fionn Whitehead plays the lead role of Pip. His previous credits include another Dickens adaptation, The Picture of Dorian Grey, Inside No. 9, Black Mirror, Voyagers, Queers, and Dunkirk.

Shalom Brune-Franklin – Estelle

Shalom Brune-Franklin plays the role of Estelle.

She played big roles in shows including The Tourist, War of the Worlds, Line of Duty, Cursed, Our Girl, The State, and Doctor Doctor.

Matt Berry – Mr Pumblechuck

Matt Berry

The inimitable Matt Berry was made for Dickens, and he plays the role of Mr Pumblechuck.

Berry is best known for his role as Stephen Toast in the Toast of London and Toast of Tinseltown series on BBC. He has also appeared in The IT Crowd, The Book of Boba Fett, Train Guy, Archer, Harvey Breaks, House of Fools, and many more.

Who Created Great Expectations

Great Expectations was written by Charles Dickens but this adaptation has been created by Stephen Knight.

He is known for writing screenplays for films such as Dirty Pretty Things, Eastern Promises, and Locke.

He also created TV shows as diverse as Peaky Blinders, Who Wants to be a Millionaire, and Taboo.

Where was Great Expectations filmed?

This adaptation of Great Expectations was filmed on location in London and Godalming in Surrey, United Kingdom.


Great Expectations is a much-hyped show that is visually stunning and has a stellar cast, lots of action and drama, and brings this classic tale into the 21st century without losing any of its period charm.

Great Expectations is bound to be a popular success in the UK even if some critics weren’t so keen. But if you want to watch it anywhere else in the world, you need to use a VPN to do it.

ExpressVPN is the one to choose. Just download the app, log in, connect to a UK-based server, and then sign into the BBC iPlayer as usual.

It’s worth the effort for this lavish modern take on the period drama and for the cracking story it tells.


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