The Durrells goes to America

Following the unprecedented popularity of The Durrells which aired in the UK in the spring, this six-part drama will now be broadcast to an American audience.

Keeley Hawes (Upstairs Downstairs, Wives and Daughters) stars as an intrepid widow who decamps from dreary 1930s England to a sun-dappled Greek island with her four recalcitrant children. The Durrells, a six-part adaptation of Gerald Durrell’s My Family and Other Animals and its two sequels airs on Masterpiece on Sundays, 16th October – 20th November 2016 at 8pm ET on PBS.

Critics were enthralled by The Durrells during its recent UK broadcast:

The Daily Mail called it “a masterclass in ideal Sunday telly,” while The Daily Telegraph wrote “ has all the classic ingredients for Sunday night viewing,” and praised the program’s “warmth, nostalgia, beautiful locations and a star, in Keeley Hawes.... [It’s] more than enough to lift the spirits, salve the soul, and make us dive for a laptop to book our very own bit of bliss in the sun.”

Co-starring with Hawes, who plays Louisa Durrell, are Josh O'Connor (Florence Foster Jenkins) as her eldest son, Larry, the instigator of the family’s sudden move to Corfu and a budding writer on his way to becoming the famous novelist Lawrence Durrell; newcomer Callum Woodhouse as son number two, Leslie, an impulsive firearms enthusiast; Daisy Waterstone (Cyberbully) as daughter Margo, sixteen and man-crazy; and Milo Parker (Mr. Holmes) as eleven-year-old Gerry, who only has eyes for wildlife and grew up to be a world-renowned naturalist.

Also appearing are Alexis Georgoulis (My Life in Ruins) as Spiros, a Greek taxi driver and all-around fixer for the disoriented Durrells; Yorgos Karamihos (Ben-Hur) as Dr. Theo Stephanides, Gerry’s zoological soulmate; and Ulric von der Esch (183 Days) as Sven, a handsome Swedish expat, living his own bucolic fantasy on Corfu, into which he entangles Louisa.

A tight budget and desperation—not holiday-making—originally drive the Durrells to sink their meager savings into boat fare to Corfu, where they hope to find a refuge more welcoming for their unconventional ways than the stuffy UK. They arrive on an island with no beach resorts, night clubs, tourist shops, or even electricity—for this is 1935.

What Corfu does have is endless opportunity for living, loving, shooting, and animal collecting—depending on your preferences.