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Perfect Strangers (BBC Drama, Michael Gambon, Matthew MacFadyen)

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Perfect Strangers BBC Drama, Michael Gambon, Matthew MacFadyen

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 Perfect Strangers 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 (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.

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

Writer and Director: Stephen Poliakoff / Producer: John Chapman

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