Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations
Arts & Culture

MASTERPIECE: The Durrells In Corfu

CALLUM WOODHOUSE as Leslie, KEELEY HAWES as Louisa, MILO PARKER as Gerry, DAISY WATERSTONE as Margo and JOSH O'CONNOR as Larry.
Courtesy of John Rogers/Sid Gentle Films & MASTERPIECE
CALLUM WOODHOUSE as Leslie, KEELEY HAWES as Louisa, MILO PARKER as Gerry, DAISY WATERSTONE as Margo and JOSH O'CONNOR as Larry.

Airs Sundays, Oct. 16 - Nov. 20, 2016 at 8 p.m. on KPBS TV

Based on a true story.

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, ages 11 to 21, on THE DURRELLS IN CORFU, a six-part adaptation of Gerald Durrell’s “My Family and Other Animals” and its two sequels, airing on MASTERPIECE, Sundays, Oct. 16 - Nov. 20, 2016 at 8 p.m.

THE DURRELLS IN CORFU Coming Soon
Advertisement

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.

Meet the Durrells

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 DAGAR) 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.

Advertisement

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

(front) Spiros Halikiopoulous (ALEXIS GEORGOULIS), Louisa Durrell (KEELEY HAWES) (back) Lawrence Durrell (JOSH OíCONNOR), Gerald Durrell (MILO PARKER), Margo Durrell (DAISY WATERHOUSE) & Leslie Durrell (CALLUM WOODHOUSE).
Courtesy of Sid Gentle Films 2016 & MASTERPIECE
(front) Spiros Halikiopoulous (ALEXIS GEORGOULIS), Louisa Durrell (KEELEY HAWES) (back) Lawrence Durrell (JOSH OíCONNOR), Gerald Durrell (MILO PARKER), Margo Durrell (DAISY WATERHOUSE) & Leslie Durrell (CALLUM WOODHOUSE).

Gerald Durrell drew on (and embellished) the family’s real-life adventures to create three bestsellers: "My Family and Other Animals" (published in 1956), "Birds, Beasts, and Relatives" (1969), and "Fauna and Family" (1978).

THE DURRELLS IN CORFU: Adaptation of the Novel

These serve as inspiration for THE DURRELLS IN CORFU screenwriter, Simon Nye (MEN BEHAVING BADLY, MASTERPIECE’s "My Family and Other Animals"), whose adaptation has a bit of the epic quality of Greek myth: There’s Gerry’s enchantment with the marvelous animals that populate the island; Margo and Leslie’s quest to cast a spell on members of the opposite sex; Larry’s titanic struggle to produce a novel that someone will publish; and Louisa’s futile stratagems to force her children to get jobs.

But the central odyssey is the children’s search for a suitable mate for their lovelorn mom. Of course, success hinges on whether mother and offspring can agree on what constitutes “suitable.”

THE DURRELLS IN CORFU: Episode 1 Scene

EPISODE GUIDE:

Episode 1 airs Sunday, Oct. 16 at 8 p.m. - Louisa Durrell and her four headstrong children, ages 11 to 21, arrive penniless on the bucolic Greek island of Corfu in 1935. They soon fall in with the locals and a menagerie of animals.

CALLUM WOODHOUSE as Leslie, MILO PARKER as Gerry, DAISY WATERSTONE as Margo, KEELEY HAWES as Louisa and JOSH O'CONNOR as Larry.
Courtesy of Sid Gentle Films 2016 & MASTERPIECE
CALLUM WOODHOUSE as Leslie, MILO PARKER as Gerry, DAISY WATERSTONE as Margo, KEELEY HAWES as Louisa and JOSH O'CONNOR as Larry.

Episode 2 airs Sunday, Oct. 23 at 8 p.m. - At wits’ end, Louisa orders her children to put food on the table. Larry bites the bullet and goes hunting—bad idea. Meanwhile, Margo, Leslie and Gerry pursue their various love interests.

Gerald Durrell (MILO PARKER).
Courtesy of Sid Gentle Films 2016 & MASTERPIECE
Gerald Durrell (MILO PARKER).

Episode 3 airs Sunday, Oct. 30 at 8 p.m. - Gerry’s new soulmate has a surprising background. Leslie suffers the pangs of heartbreak. Louisa has another go with Sven. And Margo takes a stab at the medical profession.

Sven (ULRIC VON DER ESCH) and Louisa Durrell (KEELEY HAWES).
Courtesy of Sid Gentle Films 2016 & MASTERPIECE
Sven (ULRIC VON DER ESCH) and Louisa Durrell (KEELEY HAWES).

Episode 4 airs Sunday, Nov. 6 at 8 p.m. - Leslie gets thrown out of the house and ends up in court. Theo and Spiros are his attorneys. Margo settles into her new job—and a new dress. Louisa has more man trouble.

Spiros Halikiopoulous (ALEXIS GEORGOULIS) and Louisa Durrell (KEELEY HAWES).
Courtesy of Sid Gentle Films 2016 & MASTERPIECE
Spiros Halikiopoulous (ALEXIS GEORGOULIS) and Louisa Durrell (KEELEY HAWES).

Episode 5 airs Sunday, Nov. 13 at 8 p.m. - Louisa’s aunt arrives from England to a string of mishaps. Bad moods and bad luck threaten to end the Durrells’ Greek idyll. Sven comes to the rescue.

Theo Stephanides (YORGOS KARAMIHOS) and Gerry (MILO PARKER).
Courtesy of Sid Gentle Films 2016 & MASTERPIECE
Theo Stephanides (YORGOS KARAMIHOS) and Gerry (MILO PARKER).

Episode 6 airs Sunday, Nov. 20 at 8 p.m. - Big plans are afoot, but the Durrells can’t decide whether to proceed. Larry faces a crisis—and he’s not the only one. Margo’s countess makes a breakthrough.

Margo Durrell (DAISY WATERHOUSE), Countess Mavrodaki (LESLIE CARON) and Dennis (JEREMY SWIFT).
Courtesy of Sid Gentle Films 2016 & MASTERPIECE
Margo Durrell (DAISY WATERHOUSE), Countess Mavrodaki (LESLIE CARON) and Dennis (JEREMY SWIFT).

WATCH ON YOUR SCHEDULE:

Episodes will be available for streaming on demand for a limited time after each broadcast. Extend your viewing window with KPBS Passport, video streaming for members ($60 yearly) using your computer, smartphone, tablet, Roku, AppleTV, Amazon Fire or Chromecast. Activate your benefit now.

REVIEWS:

Critics were enthralled by THE DURRELLS IN CORFU during its recent UK broadcast: The Daily Mail called it “a masterclass in ideal Sunday telly,” while The Daily Telegraph wrote “...it 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.”

CONNECT:

MASTERPIECE is on Facebook, and you can follow @masterpiecepbs on Twitter. #DurrellsPBS

CREDITS:

A Sid Gentle Films Ltd/MASTERPIECE coproduction, based on the Corfu Trilogy by Gerald Durrell. It is written by Simon Nye, directed by Steve Barron and Roger Goldbyand produced by Christopher Hall. The executive producers are Sally Woodward Gentle, Lee Morris, and Simon Nye for Sid Gentle Films Ltd and Rebecca Eaton for MASTERPIECE on PBS. MASTERPIECE is presented on PBS by WGBH Boston.

Explore all national, state and local returns now.