Masterpiece Theater: Another Television Presentation of Gerald Durrell's My Family and Other Animals: The Durrells in Corfu
Editor's Note: This is not the first time that a series, My Family and Other Animals, based on Durrell's 1956 book of the same name, has been dramatized on television. We viewed the 1987 mini-series, also a Masterpiece production, previously, which led to us reading the 1956 book; there is a link to Find a Library, using your postal code, to locate a copy nearby. And if you can find a copy of the earlier television version, we can attest to it's excellent cast.
Here's an article written by the publicity staff about the new version:
|Publisher:||[New York] : Penguin Books, 1977, ©1956.|
|Edition/Format:||Print book : English View all editions and formats|
The new series, The Durrells in Corfu, premiering October 16th at 8/7c, is a six-part adaptation of *Gerald Durrell's My Family and Other Animals (and its two sequels, Birds, Beasts and Relatives and The Garden of the Gods), and follows one unconventional mother and her four children on their quest to start anew. But before you escape to Corfu, be sure to meet the family. Get to know the colorful characters, and the actors who portray them, with Masterpiece's introduction to this sun-drenched series with a biting wit.
Louisa Dixie Durrell
Part mother bear, part circus ringleader, Louisa Durrell makes the fateful decision to bring her family to the other side of the world. Louisa's deep love for her children is evident by her constant wrangling, bargaining, and finding ways to get them out of trouble. But Corfu has a habit of shaking things up, and by every account Louisa could use a change. Will this new life bring her love, happiness, or something unexpected?
Strengths: Courage, Food Foraging, and Faking It 'Til She Makes It
Weaknesses: Gin, Financial Woes, and the Promise of Romance
Cast Secret: According to The Telegraph (UK), actress Keeley Hawes () once listed My Family and Other Animals when asked for "A Book That Changed Me." She said, "Having never travelled or really been anywhere, it opened up a whole other world of possibility for me."
This wannabe Bohemian can be found furiously pounding away on his typewriter, working hard (or hardly working) on his big break. The eldest Durrell is doing his very best to be an infamous, debauched author, but his erratic work ethic means that his greatest works exist only in his imagination. Will Corfu awaken his muse, or he destined only for stiff drinks and sarcasm?
Strengths: Writing, Dramatics, and Brutal Honesty
Weaknesses: Writing, Kumquats, Narcissism
Cast Secret: Actor Josh O'Connor took Larry's antique typewriter back to his hotel so he could practice using it, but the constant tapping earned him complaints from his neighbors. "They were like, 'Can you please shut up? Use a laptop."
The family misfit (and that's saying a lot) is the second-eldest sibling, Leslie: a gun-toting, melancholic teenager who much prefers the independence of the outdoors to his siblings' company. Because of his strong connection to his mother, Leslie fancies himself the man of the house, and frequently tries to prove himself as alpha male by hunting, gathering, and shooting everything in sight. Let's hope, for his family's sake, that Corfu helps this lone wolf develop into something more human.
Strengths: Marksmanship, Grit, and Brute Strength
Weaknesses: Machismo, Moodiness, and Generally Low Intelligence
Cast Secret: Actor Callum Woodhouse had to learn many new skills for the role of Leslie, including how to skin a rabbit and how to shoot, disassemble, and clean a variety of firearms.
*Gerald Durrell (1925–1995) was a British naturalist, zookeeper, conservationist, author, and television presenter. He is the author of the memoirs My Family and Other Animals; Birds, Beasts and Relatives; A Zoo in My Luggage; The Whispering Lands and The Garden of the Gods as well as over twenty-five nature books. A student of zoology, he founded the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust on the Channel Island of Jersey.
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