The Durrells

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The Durrells
Series titles over painting of house and trees
Genre Comedy-drama
Based on The Corfu Trilogy by Gerald Durrell
Written by Simon Nye
Theme music composer Ruth Barrett
Country of origin United Kingdom
Original language(s) English
No. of series 2
No. of episodes 12
Production
Executive producer(s) Lee Morris
Sally Woodward Gentle
Simon Nye
Producer(s) Christopher Hall
Cinematography Julian Court, James Aspinall
Running time 46–47 minutes
Production company(s) Sid Gentle Films
Masterpiece
co-production
Release
Original network ITV
Picture format 16:9 1080i
Audio format Stereo
Original release 3 April 2016 (2016-04-03) – present
External links
Website www.durrell.org/wildlife/the-durrells

The Durrells (also known as The Durrells in Corfu on American television) is a British comedy-drama series based on Gerald Durrell's three autobiographical books about his family's four years (1935–1939) on the Greek Island of Corfu,[1] which began airing on 3 April 2016.[2] The series is written by Simon Nye, directed by Steve Barron and Roger Goldby, and produced by Christopher Hall. The executive producers are Lee Morris and Sally Woodward Gentle.[3] Lee Durrell, Gerald Durrell's widow and director of the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust, acted as consultant.[4] The series is partly filmed on Corfu and at Ealing Studios in London.[5][6]

Story[edit]

The series begins in 1935, when Louisa Durrell suddenly announces that she and her four children will move from Bournemouth to the Greek island of Corfu. Her husband has died some years earlier and the family is experiencing financial problems. A Homeric battle ensues as the family adapts to life on the island which, despite a lack of electricity, is cheap and an earthly paradise.

Characters[edit]

Main

Recurring

  • James Cosmo as Captain Creech
  • Maximilian Befort as Max
  • Manolis Emmanouel as Sotos
  • Andrew Bicknell as Headmaster
  • Graham Seed as Mr Trevitt
  • Liz Watts as Nancy
  • Ben Hall as Donald
  • Hara-Joy Ermidi as Alexia
  • Yorgos Tryfonas as Market Trader
  • Nick Orestis Chaniotakis as Monk
  • Arsenis Grimmas as Guest House Manager
  • Spiros Kasfikis as Durrell's House Owner

Episodes[edit]

Series 1 (2016)[edit]

(1935)

No.
overall
No. in
series
Title Directed by Written by Original air date UK viewers
(millions)
1 1 "Episode 1" Steve Barron Simon Nye 3 April 2016 (2016-04-03) 8.81[nb 1]
The island of Corfu's distinct contrast with England is what enthrals Bournemouth mother Louisa Durrell to uproot her disenchanted family from a life of no prospects and venture into one with a lessened need for conformity. However, the appeal becomes ever distant to see upon their arrival. An austere life involves her attempting to withstand her three sons' and daughter's lack of regard for anything other than their own interests, with Gerry befriending an animal lover and forming an exponentially growing menagerie; Leslie's penchant for using firearms, until an incident compels him to give it up and search for love; Margo discovering the local community's less-than-favourable attitudes toward women; and Larry's attempts to quell his mother proving this beyond a doubt; all begins with a welcoming local man, Spiros, whose unintentional gift of a housemaid is somewhat fleetingly relieving for Louisa, until her children inevitably get in the way.
2 2 "Episode 2" Steve Barron Simon Nye 10 April 2016 (2016-04-10) 7.69[nb 2]
As Louisa deals with a despondent Margo, suffering from unrequited love and the middling advice from her siblings, Gerry's continuing disregard for education and his animal collection gaining more than first hoped and Spiros' attempts to take her mind off her money troubles (involving disappointing results from foraging, both for food and saleable items) and disintegrating house, Larry ends up requiring some rudimentary medical care from an unexpected source.
3 3 "Episode 3" Steve Barron Simon Nye 17 April 2016 (2016-04-17) 7.58[nb 3]
Louisa, alongside trying to avoid Sven following an argument, begins to worry over Gerry's burgeoning relationship with a convict and, attempting to investigate the cause of his imprisonment, finds the two stealing from the Countess's goldfish pond. After finding she is not cut out for working at the surgery, Margo strikes up a friendship with the Countess. Leslie laments over finding his girlfriend with her ex-boyfriend and later rues his actions after spotting the two on an alcohol-fuelled night out with Larry.
4 4 "Episode 4" Roger Goldby Simon Nye 24 April 2016 (2016-04-24) 7.14[nb 4]
Louisa finds herself torn between two men when throwing Leslie out leads him into a life of crime after being taken in by two local thugs, and using a supposedly rejuvenated Captain Creech to make Sven jealous. Leslie soon ends up in court following a string of accusations from a local turkey farmer, culminating in the addition of an armed-robbery charge. Being caught trying on one of the Countess's dresses to impress the gardener leads Margo to worry for her job, until the Countess surprises her by giving her the dress. Meanwhile, Gerry mourns the death of one of his bats and is encouraged to set up a centre for scientific learning with the rest of his animals.
5 5 "Episode 5" Roger Goldby Simon Nye 1 May 2016 (2016-05-01) 6.93[nb 5]
A visit from some priggish relatives seems to deem the family's immigration to Corfu more temporary than first thought, and Louisa's aunt's insistence that they must return to England is made even more demanding by the revelation of her relationship with Sven. Larry, despondent at the rejection of his novel by publishers, subdues himself into a life of labour—soon discovering his ineptness. Margo tries to balance her devotion to the Countess and her growing adoration for her gardener, and Gerry's plans to embark into the world of conservation are thrown into disarray by his attempts to feed his adopted baby owls.
6 6 "Episode 6" Roger Goldby Simon Nye 8 May 2016 (2016-05-08) 6.58[nb 6]
The family's concerns over Sven's true intentions are brought to light when Louisa realises that Sven's romantic feelings for her are merely a ruse to hide his homosexuality. Larry finds himself stuck when Nancy insists they must move to England together, while he is hesitant to leave his family behind. Leslie suffers an injury perusing Gerry's makeshift zoo, leading Gerry to question his future caging animals. Margo attempts to relieve the Countess of her agoraphobia by inviting her to the wedding party.

Series 2 (2017)[edit]

(1936)

No.
overall
No. in
series
Title Directed by Written by Original air date UK viewers
(millions)
7 1 "Episode 1" Steve Barron Simon Nye 23 April 2017 (2017-04-23)[note 1] 7.32
One year has passed, and Louisa is fed up with being poor; to satisfy their new contemptuous landlady Vasilia, who repossesses the family's chairs over non-payment of rent, she sets up a market stall, the failure of which at first is taken by delight by fellow Briton Hugh Jarvis, who proceeds to try and woo her after the family uses his olive-pressing services. Purveying homemade British food doesn't work at first, before Spiros' advice on how to approach the Greek boosts sales. However, news her produce has resulted in food poisoning in the local residents is not well-received, but after discovering Vasilia has contaminated their food due to perceiving Louisa as a rival in her attempts to repair a past relationship with Hugh, warns her off - and the whole situation absolves Larry of his chronic writer's block, using the situation as inspiration for his next novel. Meanwhile, Gerry becomes preoccupied with finding otters, and when his mission to get up close to one is foiled by its death in a trap, he resolves to set up an otter breeding programme, while he develops hatred towards work-inept Leslie after he inadvertently shoots dog Roger; acne prompts appearance concerns for Margo, who has gained a boyfriend in monk Pavlos, but is disheartened in learning of his vow of celibacy, and dabbles in exploring how to become a nun in response.
8 2 "Episode 2" Steve Barron Simon Nye 30 April 2017 (2017-04-30) 6.61
After Gerry goes missing, Louisa feels she has become too complacent in her parenting and has let her family down, particularly Larry, who is feeling downcast at the lack of response following the publication of his novel. While she attempts to drum up support for Larry's novel by disemminating leaflets for a reading, she resolves to give Gerry a proper education by hiring Spiros as a tutor, who transpires to be more stringent in teaching as she thought. However, the book reading draws a marginal crowd, and Larry chides his mother for the failure, and her generally lacklustre parenting, both before and after he receives mail praising his novel; as a result of this and Gerry's magpies stealing pages of his next novel's manuscript, Larry makes the decision to leave home. Meanwhile, Leslie and Margo become swayed by alcohol, with Leslie dipping his toes into selling it by selling homemade liqueur using the monks' recipe, and Margo's determination to become a nun is bogged down by her too readily able to enjoy it. Gerry finds a female mate for his otter, and is concerned when they struggle to procreate.
9 3 "Episode 3" Steve Barron Simon Nye 7 May 2017 (2017-05-07) 6.32
A birthday party leaves Louisa with even more concerns about her advancing age, which her family attempt to relieve her of. Margo's acne exacerbates, while Leslie develops a passion for photography. Larry becomes tempted by Vasilia, to the family's dismay, and Gerry finds that his tutor's proclivity to teach can be easily distracted from. Louisa becomes concerned over Sven's new relationship with a woman and feels worried he is keeping up the rise of being heterosexual; this draws Hugh's attention, and his intrusion into Sven's private life isn't well received.
10 4 "Episode 4" Edward Hall Simon Nye 14 May 2017 (2017-05-14) 5.96
The Durrells find themselves shut in when a torrential rainstorm hits Corfu, and not only are the family dealing with the grumpiness emerging from Larry's affliction with the mumps, but the unusual Mrs. Haddock (arriving with Aunt Hermione), who claims she is able to be in contact with the dead, and offers to conduct a seance for Louisa to engage with her deceased husband. Donald's insistence in conducting his tutoring duties proves annoying to Gerry, while Leslie's aggravation grows as his indoors reclusion continues, and Margo's also, as her acne troubles remain unsolved.
11 5 "Episode 5" Edward Hall Simon Nye 21 May 2017 (2017-05-21) 5.49
A hastily, and ill-advisedly, thrown together cricket match does nothing to soothe relations between the factions of the Greek and the English ex-pats - Spiros and Hugh, to be more specific - and actually works to exacerbate them. Larry is determined to use his Britishness to repel Vasilia (whose determination for the two of them to get married is forced upon him), who at first finds his attempts charming, but her capricious nature gets the better of her and purposely kisses Hugh in full view of Louisa, prompting her to develop doubts over the future of their relationship, and him to, in a desperate effort to keep her, speak of his intentions they should move back home to England. Meanwhile, Gerry finds teasing Donald with in-efficacious methods of winning over Margo a welcome distraction from his persistent attitude they must work.
12 6 "Episode 6" Edward Hall Simon Nye 28 May 2017 (2017-05-28) 5.57
Three different mothers are born as a fraught Leslie is on hand to help Lugaretzia's daughter give birth, Louisa aids with Florence's, and Gerry is overwhelmed with exuberance at the prospect of some otter cubs - all of which, as well as Corfu's rich culture and wildlife, helps Louisa realise she should refuse to fulfill Hugh's wish for the two of them to return to England. Hugh, however, finds himself in a more dangerous situation, as Vasilia, in a last-ditch attempt to win him back, and in a frantic displeasing at his choosing of Louisa, stabs him, and flees; Larry turns up at her doorstep for one last liaison, and she rejects him, adding more disappointment to his day as he later discovers he has missed everything exciting, an opinion soon put to rest when Donald, prior to leaving Corfu, engages in a fight with Margo's conceited new lover, Zoltan.


  1. ^ The episode's world premiere date was at the BFI and Radio Times Television Festival on 8 April 2017.[10]

Series 3 (2018)[edit]

(1937)

A third series was confirmed to be in production by writer Simon Nye at the BFI and Radio Times Television Festival on 8 April 2017. He described the third series as having "some exotic new animals",[10] and that production would begin in three weeks' time, upon Keeley Hawes's arrival in Corfu for filming. It will be set in 1937. [11]

Reception[edit]

Reception to the first episode was positive, with Gerard O'Donovan (The Telegraph) calling it "a series that's not only sun-drenched and liberating, but also catches its source material's high good humour without labouring it and weaves an authentic sense of the innocent exoticism of the original," before awarding it four stars.[12] The Daily Mail's Christoper Stevens bestowed even more praise, giving it five stars and focusing on the cast's performance, naming Keeley Hawes "magnificent as the indomitable, gin-sozzled[dubious ] widow Louisa Durrell" and Milo Parker's performance as Gerry "excellent", before commenting on the show's "cascade of Carry On humour."[13][dubious ]

The opening episode averaged just under 6.4 million people and was watched by 29% of the audience over the hour, including those watching on ITV's +1 channel, and was the biggest drama launch of any channel so far in 2016[14] and the most-watched show of the day (including +1).[15] Following a seven-day catch-up period, the figure aggregated to just under 8.2 million people.[16] Citing the show being "ITV's best rating new drama of the year and its highest rating new show since September 2014", ITV recommissioned the show for a second series on 15 April 2016.[17] Over the course of the first series, ratings averaged out at 6.9 million viewers.[18]

The show and its episodes attained high ratings on IMDb, around 8/10.[19]

Broadcast[edit]

Internationally, the series was acquired in Australia by the Seven Network[20] and premiered on 24 August 2016.[21] In the United States, PBS began airing the show, retitled as The Durrells in Corfu, on 16 October 2016 at 8pm.[22] The Durrells started screening in New Zealand on 26 October 2016 on Prime TV. In Canada, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation began airing Series 1 on 13 September 2017.[23] In Spain, the series has been acquired by the streaming platform Filmin [24]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Early life of Gerald Durrell comes to TV screens soon". Jersey Evening Post. 24 March 2016. Retrieved 1 April 2016. 
  2. ^ "ITV commissions new six-part drama The Durrells". ITV Press Centre. 18 June 2015. Retrieved 1 April 2016. 
  3. ^ "The Durrells (TV Series 2016–)". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 1 April 2016. 
  4. ^ Huntman, Ruth (26 March 2016). "Gerald Durrell was my hero … I married him for his zoo". The Guardian. Retrieved April 26, 2017. 
  5. ^ https://www.thesun.co.uk/tvandshowbiz/3316695/the-durrells-filming-locations-corfu-mediterranean-itv/
  6. ^ https://www.standard.co.uk/stayingin/tvfilm/the-durrells-series-2-cast-locations-and-three-other-things-to-know-as-the-keeley-hawes-drama-a3520631.html
  7. ^ a b c d e f "BARB - Weekly Top 10 Programmes". BARB - Weekly Top 10 Programmes. Broadcasters' Audience Research Board. Retrieved 9 May 2016. 
  8. ^ "BARB - Weekly Top 30 Programmes". BARB - Weekly Top 30 Programmes. Broadcasters' Audience Research Board. Retrieved 9 May 2016. 
  9. ^ "Digital Spy - Forums - The Ratings Thread (Part 67)". Digital Spy. Retrieved 16 May 2016. 
  10. ^ a b "Radio Times - "There's going to be a third series of The Durrells"". Radio Times. Radio Times. Retrieved 9 April 2017. 
  11. ^ http://www.radiotimes.com/news/2017-09-22/theres-going-to-be-a-third-series-of-the-durrells/
  12. ^ O'Donovan, Gerard. "The Telegraph - Keeley Hawes is a ray of sunshine in The Durrells - review". The Telegraph. Retrieved 11 April 2016. 
  13. ^ Stevens, Christopher. "The Daily Mail - "A gin-soaked mum and mischief in the sun - it's perfect Sunday telly: Christopher Stevens reviews last weekend's TV"". The Daily Mail. Retrieved 11 April 2016. 
  14. ^ "Twitter - ITV Media". Twitter. Retrieved 11 April 2016. 
  15. ^ "Digital Spy - Forums - The Ratings Thread (Part 67)". Digital Spy Forums. Retrieved 11 April 2016. 
  16. ^ "BARB - Weekly Top 10 Programmes (w/e 3rd April 2016)". BARB - Weekly Top 10 Programmes. Broadcasters' Audience Research Board. Retrieved 11 April 2016. 
  17. ^ "ITV Media - Press Releases - "ITV recommissions hit drama The Durrells"". ITV Media. Retrieved 16 April 2016. 
  18. ^ Cite error: The named reference ITVPCS2 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  19. ^ "IMDb - The Durrells". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 12 August 2016. 
  20. ^ Knox, David (30 June 2016). "Seven picks up UK drama The Durrells". TV Tonight. Retrieved 27 August 2016. 
  21. ^ Dunk, Tiffany (24 August 2016). "Seven takes punt that The Durrells can recreate Downton Abbey’s huge success". news.com.au. Retrieved 27 August 2016. 
  22. ^ "Screener - TV Listings - "The Durrells in Corfu on Masterpiece"". 8 October 2016. Retrieved 8 October 2016. 
  23. ^ http://www.cbc.ca/mediacentre/press-release/cbc-announces-fall-2017-broadcast-premiere-dates-for-new-and-returning-tele
  24. ^ "Los Durrell". Retrieved 27 September 2017. 
  1. ^ 28 day data: 7,247,000 on ITV, 1,218,000 on ITV HD and 343,000 on ITV +1[7]
  2. ^ 28 day data: 6,076,000 on ITV, 1,241,000 on ITV HD and 372,000 on ITV +1[7]
  3. ^ 28 day data: 5,954,000 on ITV, 1,304,000 on ITV HD and 330,000 on ITV +1[7]
  4. ^ 28 day data: 5,438,000 on ITV, 1,370,000 on ITV HD and 326,000 on ITV +1[7]
  5. ^ 28 day data: 5,300,000 on ITV,[8] 1,261,000 on ITV HD and 364,000 on ITV +1[7]
  6. ^ 28 day data: 5,141,000 on ITV and 1,223,000 on ITV HD;[7] 7 day data: 213,000 on ITV +1[9]

External links[edit]