The Durrells is a British six-part drama television series based on Gerald Durrell’s three autobiographical books about his family’s four years on Corfu 1935-1939, which began airing on 3 April 2016 on ITV. The series has been filmed in Corfu, Bournemouth and Ealing and is written by Simon Nye, directed by Steve Barron and Roger Goldby, and the cinematography is by Julian Court and James Aspinall.
The series begins in 1935, when Louisa Durrell, whose life had fallen apart, decides to move from Bournemouth to the Greek island of Corfu. Her husband has died some years earlier and she has financial problems, when she suddenly announces that she and her four children will move to the island. A Homeric battle ensues as the family adapt to life on the island, especially when they discover that Corfu does not even have electricity at that time. But it is cheap, an earthly paradise and the Durrell family make the big step that will change their lives.
Reception to the first episode was positive, with The Telegraph’s Gerard O’Donovan calling it “a series that’s not only sun-drenched and liberating, but also catches its source material’s high good humour without labouring it, and weaves an authentic sense of the innocent exoticism of the original”.
The Durrells is produced by Sid Gentle Films Ltd and executive produced by the company’s founder, BAFTA award winning filmmaker Sally Woodward Gentle. Sid’s Managing Director Lee Morris executive produces the series together with Simon Nye. Christopher Hall is the producer. Citing the show being “ITV’s best rating new drama of the year and its highest rating new show since September 2014”, ITV recommissioned the show for a second series on April 15, 2016.