ITV’s new version of The Darling Buds of May continued in the UK tonight!
Set in the late 1950’s, The Larkins follows the golden-hearted wheeler dealer Pop Larkin and his wife Ma, together with their six children, including the beautiful Mariette, as they bask in their idyllic and beautiful patch of paradise in Kent.
Bradley Walsh (Doctor Who, Law & Order: UK) and Joanna Scanlan (Notes on a Scandal) lead the cast as Pop and Ma.
They’re joined by Bridgerton actress Sabrina Bartlett as Mariette Larkin, the part originally played by Catherine Zeta-Jones, alongside Tok Stephen (Grantchester) as Cedric ‘Charley’ Charlton.
Also appearing are Peter Davison (All Creatures Great and Small) as the Vicar, Robert Bathurst (Downton Abbey) as Johnny Delamere, Tony Gardner (Last Tango in Halifax) as Alec Norman, and Amelia Bullmore (Gentleman Jack) as Miss Edith Pilchester.
Here’s a plot recap for the fourth episode, ‘In which the Larkins rescue the railway station’, which aired on ITV at 8pm on Sunday 31st October 2021:
It’s strawberry picking season and the Larkins and many of the villagers including Pauline are off to pick fruit.
Despite being left to the wiles of Pauline, Lil and Pol, Charley enjoys himself even though he is pretty dispirited when he sees Tom make his move on Mariette.
Determined to stay in the running, Charley decides to resign from the tax office much to his boss and parents’ disbelief.
Meanwhile Pop meets local trainspotter Kate Farley, who tells him the station is about to close.
Pop pleads for a stay of execution with Station Master Fox who explains that the train is just not used enough.
Pop takes action, and with the help of a reluctant Miss Chand, her school children, and the villagers, seizes the opportunity to save the railway, as well as the chance to sell his strawberries on the refreshment trolley.
The train is packed all week but Mr Fox says it will still close.
After discovering that the old stationmaster has been pocketing funds, Pop takes justice into his own hands, confronts Fox and has him carted away by PC Harness.
The railway line survives and we leave the Larkins hosting a party at the station to celebrate.
The complete original The Darling Buds of May series is available on DVD on Amazon.