“The Durrells” takes place in Corfu, and is based off the popular UK book “My Family and Other Animals”, written by Gerald Durrell about his family’s life in Greece in the 1930s. The series follows Louisa Durrell (Keeley Hawes) and her four children, ranging from age 11 to adulthood, as they move to Greece due to economic pressures and the loss of their father, where they experience intriguing personal journeys while adjusting to a new home and culture.
Producers were insistent on hiring Greek actors to play Greek roles in order to maintain authenticity; Alexis Georgoulis was cast as the local cab driver Spiros, a funny yet warm guardian angel for the family, while Yorgos Karamihos took on the role of Theo.
After the first episode’s premiere tonight, critics are loving the show, stating that, “as feelgood family fare goes, this was tip-top. 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.”
The series’ figures exceeded all expectation – ITV said 6.4m overnight which made it the highest ITV drama outing for about 18 months and the highest drama launch this year on any channel in the UK.
Viewers also praised Georgoulis’ nuanced performance in bringing the character of Spiros to life:
“In particular the casting of Alexis Georgoulis as taxi driver Spiros was a smart choice, restoring this role from blustering buffoon…to that of a much needed – and more subtly entertaining – guardian angel.
For a behind the scenes look at filming and Georgoulis’ role the show, check out our interview with Alexis after production started. Tune in on ITV for the next five episodes of “The Durrells” to follow the family’s quirky adventures on sunny Corfu.