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Perfect Strangers 

Attending a distant family reunion reveals more than was expected.




5 wins & 9 nominations. See more awards »




Series cast summary:
Michael Gambon ...  Raymond 3 episodes, 2001
Lindsay Duncan ...  Alice 3 episodes, 2001
Matthew Macfadyen ...  Daniel 3 episodes, 2001
Claire Skinner ...  Rebecca 3 episodes, 2001
Toby Stephens ...  Charles 3 episodes, 2001
Jill Baker ...  Esther 3 episodes, 2001
Timothy Spall ...  Irving 3 episodes, 2001
Anton Lesser ...  Stephen 3 episodes, 2001
Michael Culkin ...  Sidney 3 episodes, 2001
Kelly Hunter ...  Poppy 3 episodes, 2001
Kathleen Byron ...  Edith 3 episodes, 2001
Muriel Pavlow ...  Violet 3 episodes, 2001
Sheila Burrell ...  Grace 3 episodes, 2001
Peter Howell ...  Ernest 3 episodes, 2001
Tony Maudsley ...  Peter 3 episodes, 2001
Camilla Power ...  Martina 3 episodes, 2001
Marianne Borgo Marianne Borgo ...  Nazik 3 episodes, 2001
Miranda Raison ...  Young Grace 3 episodes, 2001
Jay Simon ...  Lionel Symon 3 episodes, 2001
Daman Malone ...  Waiter #2 3 episodes, 2001
Anita Carey Anita Carey ...  Sibling's Mother 2 episodes, 2001
Orlando Vitorini Orlando Vitorini ...  Mr. Degazi 2 episodes, 2001
Emma Sackville Emma Sackville ...  Young Edith 2 episodes, 2001
Rebecca Tarry Rebecca Tarry ...  Young Violet 2 episodes, 2001
Learn more

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Attending a distant family reunion reveals more than was expected.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Drama


Did You Know?


J.J. Feild filmed his key role as Richard in five days. See more »


Raymond: Naturally we're in the broom cupboard.
Daniel: You wanted it that way. You were determined to get put into a small room so you could spend all your time complaining.
Raymond: That's right, absolutely. This is infinitely preferable.
See more »


Features Angels One Five (1952) See more »

User Reviews

They ought to issue their own visa card
25 March 2002 | by Philby-3See all my reviews

Mild-mannered surveyor (a valuer, as we call them down here) Daniel (Matthew MacFadyen), an obscure member of the prominent and wealthy Symons family is invited, with his parents to a family reunion at Claridge's Hotel. The family, many of whom he has not met before are indeed a rich and varied bunch, and Stephen (Anton Lesser), a genealogist member, has collected all sorts of surprising information. Daniel also meets cousins Rebecca and Charles (Claire Skinner and Toby Stephens), and their elegant aunt Alice (Lindsay Duncan), who seem to hold the key to part of Daniel's own past. Daniel develops a rather un-family like attraction to Claire, which is a little awkward as she seems rather close to her brother, Charles.

Needless to say, a family like this has plenty of skeletons, but there are also some vaguely uplifting stories, like that of the sisters from Birmingham who by a fluke avoided a German bomb on their house and then lived for months during the war in the country by themselves. Then there is the photo, found by Stephen, which so intrigues Raymond (Michael Gambon), Daniel's father, of his father, a bitter stern man, dancing by himself in an ornamental garden. And who is the third child in the childhood photos of Rebecca and Charles?

All is explained, though the pace slows down a bit towards the end – in fact I felt I'd walked the long and damp distance between the mansion and the marquee too many times. Stephen Poliakoff has created an interesting set of minor characters also, such as wheeler-dealer Irving (Timothy Spall), Poppy the event organiser at the end of her tether (Kelly Hunter) and even Ernest the nonentity patriarch (Peter Howell). The whole thing for most of its 300 minutes has a festive feel to it – a celebration of belonging, for better or worse, to the human family. This family is a little over the top - it would not be surprising to discover they had issued their own visa card - but there's a lot of fun in finding out their secrets.

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Release Date:

10 May 2001 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Almost Strangers See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

TalkBack Productions See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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