I have been to my share of weddings and funerals and often wondered who some of the people were. Only to be told by someone that they were my relatives.
My older brother can be more scathing, all these people come up to you tell you how they are related to you but they never ever have visited our home when we were young.
The perfect strangers of the title are members of the same Symon family.
Stephen Poliakoff focusses on young Daniel Symon (Matthew Macfadyen) who attends a reunion at a hotel of his sprawling family, many of whom he has never met.
His father Raymond (Michael Gambon) reluctantly attends with his wife Esther. He has been estranged with many of them in the past, maybe due to financial problems that he faced.
The first episode sees Daniel being embarrassed as his father makes an impromptu speech on the stage.
Poliakoff uses the family reunion as a conceit. Stephen (Anton Lesser) the designer of the family tree actually tells Daniel that part of the family tree is false. Stephen's mother was Jewish and used a false family tree to evade the Nazis.
Daniel takes a shine to his cousin Rebecca. She and her brother Charles are the only young people in attendance.
Poliakoff takes his leisurely time with his story. There are some eccentric characters and secrets within the Symon family. Timothy Spall and Michael Gambon shine in the first episode.
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