New TV series “The Island” Premieres On MEGA

    “Here, one feels that there is an invisible force that urges you to tell the story,” says Thodoris Papadoulakis.  He is the director of a television series that was just launched on a private Greek TV station based on British writer Victoria Hislop’s best seller “The Island” .  It recounts the fictional story of a family’s ties to the now unoccupied island of Spinalonga that served as a leper colony from 1903 to 1957.

    Many Greeks were anxiously awaiting the premiere for this series, which is the most expensive production that the TV channel MEGA has ever taken on. Even the people of MEGA TV were surprised by the overwhelming response.
    According to AGB the numbers for the series on the first night they were as follows:
    People Watching in Total: 48.3%; 58.9%; 65.5%; 61.6%; 44.2%
    People Watching ages 15-44: 53.7%; 65.4%; 72.8%; 69%; 49%

    “That must be how Victoria Hislop felt, who revives a stigmatized era in her book ‘The Island’,” adds Papadoulakis.
    After 1957, when the last patient left the island, Spinalonga fell into abandonment until it was re-discovered by tourists in recent years.
    Spinalonga boasts its own glorious pages of history. Located off Lassithi prefecture in eastern Crete, the island’s name has its roots in the Venetian period, coming from Spina Longa meaning “Long Thorn”.
    Due to its position, the island was fortified from its earliest years to protect the entranceway of the port of Ancient Olous. Significant fortifications as well as buildings of architectural interest today were built later by the Venetians.
    Mr. Manolis Fountoulakis, the last survivor of Spinaloga, passed away this past summer and the age of 86 years old.



    1. What a marvelous story. Not only were these people outcasts and forcefully removed from their loved ones and society as a whole, but how they prospered and created a world of their own goes to show the resilience of humans.

      Great job Eleni, hope to read more of your stories.

    2. Excellent article. Eucharisto. One can understand why it was so expensive for TVE and Mega with superb set creations and filming going on for around a year in Plaka and Elounda. The production has been a matter of pride for those involved and trumps anything that Hollywood could do with the story. The island’s historic and modern legacy is embedded in the local community and (as a non-Greek) I think only a Greek production could do justice to any story about Spinalonga.

    3. I have read the book three times and am now watching the series on the Internet. Although I don’t know much Greek (I am teaching myself) I can understand some things and guess at the rest since so far the series is very similar to the book. The actors are fantastic! I was so impressed by Katerina Lexou when she was leaving the village to go to Spinalonga. I have never seen a face show so many emotions! I am just hoping that the series will eventually come out in DVD with subtitles or dubbed in English or Spanish so I can understand everything. Bravo Mega!

    4. When I was on holiday in Crete in October 2010, the show had just started and the whole of Greece was glued to the TV. Everyone talked about looking forward to the series in UK early 2011. No sign of it yet – does anyone have any idea if is due anytime in UK?


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