Being released on Boxing Day, new Paramount Plus series The Castaways is sure to be the best kind of binge-watch for the post-Christmas period.


Dropping as a boxset to fill the streaming void, the new series stars Sheridan Smith and Céline Buckens as sisters Lori and Erin, who set out to have a holiday of a lifetime but are quickly upended as things turn into a nightmare.

When they set out for an island-hopping adventure and have plans to go to Fiji, the sisters have a major argument which results in Lori boarding the plane solo – but the plane never arrives at its destination.

The series features a pretty heavy dose of action as Smith's Lori navigates the plane crash by herself, and Smith told and other press that the series was quite unlike anything she's done.

Speaking at a screening of the series, Smith said: “You know what? I’ve loved it, I’ve never done anything like this before and the [team] were so supportive, they were like, ‘We’re going to make you look like a badass in this’, I was like, ‘Oh my god, good luck’. I’m used to playing cardigan-wearing mums up north somewhere.

"But yeah, they really helped me and gave me loads of confidence and I absolutely loved it. Running up and down the beach at first, I was getting a stitch but at the end, I was loving it. I definitely would love to do more of this genre if I get cast – I don’t know, we’ll see how it goes.”

Smith is of course known for her roles in various dramas after rising to fame in sitcoms like The Royle Family and Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps. More recently, she's had starring roles in hard-hitting dramas like The Teacher, Four Lives and No Return.

Four people stand on a beach staring out into the ocean, with the closest figure holding a rifle
Lasarus Ratuere as Felix Vatubua, Brendan Cowell as Mike Brasse, Dominic Tighe as Daniel Eldridge, Sheridan Smith as Lori Holme in The Castaways. Paramount Plus

But The Castaways also sees Smith tackle some very real fears of her own, including heights and deep water, which were faced in various dramatic scenes.

Revealing more about confronting her fears, Smith also said: “Yeah [it was a different role], she starts off very much like a wallflower. She’s kind of brought up her younger sister. But as the story goes on, she toughens up somewhat.

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“I was terrified of water and I’m in the water for most of the show. I’m scared of heights and I was up a tree and on a cliff so yes, it was a challenge. I like a challenge and I was in safe hands... I’m so glad I took it.”

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The new drama is based on the book of the same name by Lucy Clarke, which will certainly see many twists and turns as the episodes of the mystery thriller unfold.

According to the synopsis: "Lori and Erin are on the holiday of a lifetime to Fiji. But after a huge fight, Erin never boards their final flight and the plane never arrives at its destination. Months later, no plane has been found, no survivors discovered. Until now.

"Each shocking twist will help to reveal the truth about what happened to Lori and the other passengers – a truth that someone on the island will kill to keep secret."

As well as Smith and Buckens leading the cast, other cast members include Brendan Cowell (Avatar: The Way of Water), Dominic Tighe (Hotel Portofino) and Lasarus Ratuere (The Tourist).

The Castaways will be coming to Paramount Plus on Tuesday 26th December 2023. Check out more of our Drama coverage or visit our TV Guide and Streaming Guide to find out what's on.

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