My Family and Other Animals
Airing Sunday, November 25, 2007 on PBS
(Check local listings; dates and times may vary)
Aired previously April 2006
Truly, madly delightful ... it's a triumph. Corfu looks exactly as it should, as do the family, the other characters, and even the cast of animals... It's very, very funny.
-- Jennifer Selway, Daily Express
One of literature's most charming, eccentric, and amusing childhood memoirs comes to life in a nostalgic adaptation of Gerald Durrell's sun-drenched, fauna-filled autobiography.
Eugene Simon stars as 12-year-old Gerald, the youngest member of the Durrell family who pack off together for Corfu in 1935 to escape the dreary English climate. There, Gerald discovers his life's vocation: nature, particularly insects, reptiles, birds, and small mammals, which Corfu has in splendid Greek excess.
Imelda Staunton (Vera Drake) plays Mrs. Durrell, Gerald's long-suffering mother, a middle-aged widow who moves the family from villa to villa around the island according to the whims of her children.
These also include Larry (Matthew Goode, Match Point), a budding avant-garde writer; Leslie (Russell Tovey, Poirot), a gun-obsessed sportsman; and Margo (Tamzin Merchant, Pride & Prejudice), a teen beauty partial to two-piece bathing suits on an island unaccustomed to the style.
The Durrell's acculturation to the island is greatly aided by Spiro (Iranian comedian Omid Djalili, Casanova, Gladiator), a larger-than-life taxi-driver who learned his curious English in Chicago; and Dr. Stephanides (Chris Langham), a scholarly physician and naturalist, who bonds with Gerald over a sea slug.
High on the list of all-time-favorite books of both young and old in Britain (it was also a bestseller in the U.S.), My Family and Other Animals ends with the onset of World War II, when the Durrells return to England. But the story continues: Larry went on to renown as Lawrence Durrell, author of the Alexandria Quartet and many other novels, poems, and travelogues. Gerald grew up to be a famous naturalist, animal-collector, and conservationist, as well as the author of 37 books. My Family and Other Animals was originally published in 1956.
Author Gerald Durrell | Production Notes | Synopsis
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Preview: My Family and Other Animals
Author Gerald Durrell
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