How to watch Great Expectations: live stream the Olivia Colman Dickens adaptation for free

Watch Great Expectations
(Image credit: BBC)

Watch Great Expectations online

Great Expectations aired on BBC One in the UK and all six episodes are now available, on demand, on the BBC iPlayer streaming service, completely free to watch. In the US, Great Expectations is available to watch on Hulu ($7.99 a month after a 30-day free trial). Use a VPN to watch BBC iPlayer from abroad if you're away from home.

Olivia Colman brings the resentful Miss Havisham to the screen and Fionn Whitehead portrays the impressionable class fugitive Pip in this six-part, 2023 adaptation of Charles Dickens' timeless critique of the social order. 

Developed by Steven Knight, who, like the novel's protagonist, is the son of a blacksmith who had to shake off his roots in pursuit of a loftier existence, the limited series captures the Dickensian vision of 19th century London in all of its inherent ugliness, from the squalid, manure-strewn streets, to the cruel and opportunistic gentleman financiers projecting the illusion of respectability while pillaging all in their sights.

When a chance encounter thrusts open the door to Pip's unlikely dream of entering high society, little does the young man know of the price he'll end up paying for the privilege. London is a place that delights in beating the innocent to their knees – but Pip is able to strike a Faustian bargain with one of its power brokers.

He's intelligent, but more than that he’s malleable and fiercely ambitious. So it is that under the tutelage of Jaggers, he's able to clamber up the class ranks. All the while, however, he's inwardly degenerating, and tortured by fragments of his life that he's left buried in the past.

It's one of the great British novels, a tale that was originally released as a weekly serial and thus lends itself perfectly to TV. Follow our guide to find out and watch Great Expectations free online from anywhere.

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How to watch Great Expectations for FREE in the UK


Great Expectations premiered in the UK at 9pm GMT on Sunday, March 26 on BBC One. All six episodes are now available.

You can also stream Great Expectations FREE on BBC iPlayer, which is available to use on a wide array of devices. These include: desktop on Windows and Mac machines, on smartphone apps for Android and iOS, as well as media streaming devices like Apple TV, Amazon Fire, Chromecast, Roku and more. You can also get BBC iPlayer on PlayStation and Xbox consoles.

Outside of the country? Use a VPN watch iPlayer while abroad.

How to watch Great Expectations online from outside your country

If you find yourself stuck in a country where your favorite on-demand services aren’t available, then that's probably down to annoying geo-blocking restrictions.

Luckily, there’s a simple solution. Downloading a VPN will let you to watch Great Expectations online no matter where you are, simply by changing your IP address to one that's back in your country of residence. Now, here's how to get started with this essential bit of streaming software.

Use a VPN to watch Great Expectations from anywhere:

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Three simple steps to using a VPN to watch Great Expectations:

1. Download and install a VPN - we recommend ExpressVPN.

2. Connect to the relevant server location - launch the VPN app, click on 'choose location' and select the right location i.e. UK for iPlayer.

3. Head to the chosen broadcaster's stream - in this case, head to BBC iPlayer.

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How to watch Great Expectations online in the US without cable


In the US, all six episodes of Great Expectations are available on Hulu.

To watch Great Expectations, just sign up to Hulu’s basic (with ads) plan. It costs $7.99 a month after a 30-day free trial, and you can cancel your membership at any time.

However, you get better value for money if you combine Hulu with Disney Plus and ESPN Plus. The Disney Plus bundle combines all three streaming services for the great value price of just $12.99 per month. 

So, as well as everything on Hulu, such as Abbott Elementary, The Great, Love Victor, Snowfall and Normal People, you also get everything Marvel, Star Wars, Pixar and The Simpsons from Disney Plus and top quality live sports from ESPN Plus.

Better still, Hulu is available to watch on an enormous range of devices, among them Android, iOS, Apple TV, Chromecast, Echo Show, Fire TV, Roku and games consoles.

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Can you watch Great Expectations 2023 in Australia?

At the time of writing, the 2023 adaptation of Great Expectations is only being televised in the UK and US.

If you're from either of those countries and you're in Australia, a workaround is to use one of the best VPN service providers to tap into coverage from elsewhere, as described above.

The software is generally ideal for this as it allows you to change your IP address and appear to be in a completely different location - and all through a safe, encrypted connection. Just bear in mind that most paid streaming services require a credit card based in the same country.

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Watch Great Expectations 2023 in Canada

Great Expectations with Olivia Coleman is now available to watch on Disney Plus in Canada.

UK citizen? Remember, you can use a VPN to watch Great Expectations for free on BBC iPlayer from abroad, just as you would back home.

Great Expectations (2023) official trailer

Great Expectations (2023) full cast

Alongside Olivia Colman, Fionn Whitehead and Shalom Brune-Franklin, Great Expectations will also star Ashley Thomas (Top Boy, The Ipcress File), Johnny Harris (A Christmas Carol, The Salisbury Poisonings), Hayley Squires (Adult Material, The Essex Serpent), Owen McDonnell (Killing Eve, Death in Paradise), Laurie Ogden (The Colour Room, The Show Must Go Online), Matt Berry (The IT Crowd, Snuff Box), Trystan Gravelle (The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power, Baptiste) and Rudi Dharmalingam (The Split, Our Girl).

Great Expectations (2023) production credits

Steven Knight has written and executive produced Great Expectations alongside Tom Hardy (A Christmas Carol, Inception), Ridley Scott (The Martian, Blade Runner), Dean Baker (Taboo, Trophy), David W. Zucker (The Good Fight, The Man in the High Castle), Kate Crowe (Misfits, You Don’t Know Me) and Tommy Bulfin (Peaky Blinders, The Tourist) for the BBC – the team behind FX’s A Christmas Carol – with Brady Hood (Top Boy, The One) and Samira Radsi (Holiday Secrets, Knightfall) as directors.

Aatif Sulleyman

Aatif is a freelance copywriter and journalist based in the UK. He’s written about technology, science and politics for publications including Gizmodo, The Independent, Trusted Reviews and Newsweek, but focuses on streaming at Future, an arrangement that combines two of his greatest passions: sport and penny-pinching.