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PERFECT STRANGERS (article first published : 2003-11-3)

Michael Gambon, Lindsay Duncan, Claire Skinner, Toby Stephens and Timothy Spall star in a great drama on BBC Prime on DStv on November 7 at 21h00.

Written and directed by Stephen Poliakoff, this engaging drama interweaves stories past and present to tell the revelatory story of a large and widely dispersed family. Filled with humour, joy and pain, this drama is ultimately about new beginnings.

At an elaborately organised reunion, held in a grand London hotel, Raymond, his wife Esther and their son, Daniel, find themselves irresistibly drawn into their family. Meeting distant and not-so-distant relatives for the first time, they begin to establish their positions within this richly varied family. Acting as their guide is Stephen, the self-appointed “pedigree-hunter” and archivist, who unravels their entwined stories to make sense of their personal histories. His extraordinary collection of family photographs sets off a series of discoveries, which are both mysterious and disturbing.

Matthew MacFadyen (Spooks) leads a cast which boasts many of Britain’s finest actors, including BAFTA winner Michael Gambon (Wives And Daughters), Lindsay Duncan and Timothy Spall (both BAFTA nominees for their performances in Poliakoff’s Shooting The Past), Claire Skinner (Life Is Sweet, Second Sight) and Toby Stephens (The Great Gatsby, The Tenant Of Wildfell Hall).




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