There are so many versions of this beloved story of Dickens. It is hard not to confuse one from another, so let me begin with the facts. This BBC TV series were made in 1981, and run as long as about 300 minutes. It stars Gerry Sandquist as adult Pip, Sarah-Jane Varley as grown-up Estella (now the former is no more, and the latter seems retired).
The original story is a very famous one, which is about a boy Pip whose love for Estella changes his life forever, so I won't repeat it here. The series here actually cover the story very faithfully, and even the minor characters are not neglected. There are slight changes here and there, but they are minor ones compared with previous filmed versions. So, you see not only Herbert Pocket but his poor father and mother (whose only concern is the aristocratic families). This means you spend so many time to reach the conclusion, and you should see it at two sittings. And you will watch Mr. Wopstle's terrible Hamlet.
About many actors that join in the production; some are good, some not, others so-so (like many standard BBC products), but most memorable is Miss Havisham played by Joan Hickson (better known as Miss Marple in the same BBC series), and Jaggers by Derek Francis. In fact, these Jaggers and Wemmick (by Colin Jeavons) are the most convincing in the whole history of the adaptaions of "Great Expectations." And you can see Patsy Kensit as young Estella. She is good, but the best Estella (as a cruel and enticing girl) still remains Jean Simmons in David Lean version.
This is no classic, and sometimes it betrays its TV origin. Sometimes you notice the drastic contrast between the tone of the interior shot and that of exterior shot, (which happens often in BBC outings, as is the case with "Bean" or "Monty Python"). But all in all the result is satisfactory with its good pace. Slightly above average.