Young Gerald explored his passion for the animal kingdom with his inspirational tutor, Dr Theodore Stephanides. The backdrop was sunshine, happiness and the love and laughter of a doting, slightly eccentric family,
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TV series based on the autobiographical novel by Gerald Durrell, the naturalist, explorer, writer and conservationist, which tells the story of his family settling on Corfu island in 1933 after his father's untimely death. They lived there until 1939. His family was rather eccentric and allowed the 8 to 14 year-old Gerald to keep wildlife as pets; he also made friends among the local humans. Written by
I seem to remember that the weather in the winter of 1987 in the UK was not the best, including the terrible storms that October. But at least around that time the nation was able to soak up the sun in a small way by watching this exotic escapism.
Memories of it being much replayed on VHS recordings back in the day by my family made me pick up a copy on DVD 20 years later, and I'm glad I did. I should mention that I've not read the book (another to do) so I'm not able to compare in that sense.
The acting is very fitting to the surroundings, Hannah Gordon is serene as the mother, and credit to Brian Blessed, he's still the Brian Blessed we all know (and love) but fittingly he is not as bombastic as usual. The rest of the family are adept at conveying the charming calamity of the Durrell family, in other words, English eccentrics in the sunshine.
The local element is also excellent, plenty of passing characters who perhaps could only of existed in 1930s Corfu, all adds to the dream like element of the show.
And of course wildlife is core to the show, and there is plenty of close ups of various insect life inserted, the story lines are not rushed as is fitting the atmosphere, so it somehow adds to the whole experience.
My Family and Other Animals could be the perfect solution if you want to add some real warmth to a wet Sunday afternoon.
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