'The Larkins': There's lots to enjoy in this fresh take on 'Darling Buds of May'

Compared to the popular '90s version, 'The Larkins' has more plot, more characters, and has been widened to show the social context of the village

12 December 2021 - 00:00

HE Bates’s Darling Buds of May series of comic novels set in the English countryside have been a firm part of British culture since their publication in the 1950s. The original television series, which aired in the 1990s, has enjoyed similar popularity. Now ITV brings a new adaptation, The Larkins, to Britbox.

Simon Nye (writer): The books are great because they have a kind of breeziness that still works today even though they were set in the 1950s. Modern viewers are different from viewers 30 years ago and so there’s more plot and we’ve widened it to show the social context of the village and added some characters. The first book is what we’re covering in these first six episodes. It’s modern in the sense that it moves along more quickly than it would have perhaps 30 years ago and we’ve just filled it with lovely character actors — there’s so much great acting on show and there’s lots to enjoy. There’s a lot of grit in amongst the joy and the loveliness so I hope that people don’t get the impression that it’s all just jolly chatting amongst the bluebells..

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