TV UK TV

Perfect Strangers (BBC-2 2001, Michael Gambon, Matthew MacFadyen)

Perfect Strangers

First seen on the BBC in 2001 Perfect Strangers is a kind of postmark to Poliakoff’s previous TV work Shooting the Past (a masterful work also) in that it features similar themes (self discovery and understanding) and features a similar liet-motif at it’s heart ( a series of unexplained photographs).

Essentially the serial is about a huge family tree style gathering for many members of the Simon family. Michael Gambon as Raymond Simon is the star of the peice as a curmudgeonly member of the family but it’s son Daniel (Matthew MacFadyen) on whom the plot revolves. He becomes involved with the beautiful Rebecca (played by the lovely Claire Skinner) and her brother Charles (the always excellent Toby Stephens) who are deep in the middle of a fued with their Aunt Alice (the mesmerising Lindsey Duncan).

Alongside this are anecdotes of other members of the Simon tree, the cast is absolutely top flight and besides those already mentioned there is a great turn from the fabulous Timothy Spall.

production details
UK / BBC Two / 1×90 minute episode / 2×60 minute episodes / Broadcast 10-24 May 2001

Writer and Director: Stephen Poliakoff / Producer: John Chapman

cast
MICHAEL GAMBON as Raymond
LINDSAY DUNCAN as Alice
MATTHEW MACFADYEN as Daniel
CLAIRE SKINNER as Rebecca
TOBY STEPHENS as Charles
JILL BAKER as Esther
TIMOTHY SPALL as Irving
ANTON LESSER as Stephen
MICHAEL CULKIN as Sidney
KELLY HUNTER as Poppy
KATHLEEN BYRON as Edith
EMMA SACKVILLE as Young Edith
MURIEL PAVLOV as Violet
REBECCA TARRY as Young Violet
SHEILA BURRELL as Grace
PETER HOWELL as Ernest
TONY MAUDSLEY as Peter
MARIANNE BORGO as Nazik
CAMILLA POWER as Martina