The Larkins on ITV is a new six-part television adaption of H.E Bates’ novel, The Darlin Buds of May – and everyone is talking about it this month.
It was almost one of the channel’s biggest hitters, with both original fans of the 1991 show and new ones tuning in to watch the story of the Larkins, a family living and working in rural Kent during the 1950s. But it’s only two episodes in and fans have already reportedly started switching off the show for good.
Unlike Netflix’s Maid or other ITV winners like Angela Black, many of those watching the new adaption haven’t warmed to the series straight away. So whether you’re already watching and want to know more about the show or are tuning in just for the drama, this is what you need to know about The Larkins on ITV.
When is the next episode of The Larkins?
The next episode of The Larkins is on ITV on Sunday October 31 at 8pm.
There have already been two episodes of the new series so far, as it begun earlier this month on October 10.
It’s due to last for six weeks with one episode per week, meaning that the final show of the series will take place on November 14 2021.
Where was The Larkins filmed in 2021?
The new series was filmed in Kent, mainly in the villages of:
- West Peckham
All four villages had a 1950s look for the show. Particularly Faversham though, where all the shops in the Market Place received a full vintage makeover.
One passerby also claimed to have spotted the iconic Larkins car in Margate, suggesting filming happened in the seaside town too.
Buss Farm in Pluckley was the exact location of the farm for the original series but ITV haven’t revealed the specific one where filming took place this time.
Bradley Walsh, who stars in the new series, told The Radio Times, “The joy of shooting here in Kent is the fact that this is where the books took place, so you get an affinity with it and you get a real feel for it. I think the farm we’re working on has a good couple of hundred, three hundred acres maybe, it’s beautiful.
“The interiors are the true inside of the farmhouse, it’s so lovely.”
While executive producer, Sophie Clarke-Jervoise, said that the team did look at other locations but just kept coming back to Kent. “We wanted these lovely rolling hills, farms in the background, it’s just gorgeous, we’ve been so lucky,” she said.
Production also took place in London and Surrey. Eagle-eyed fans spotted films crews at Flanchford Farm in Reigate and at a nearby primary school in Betchworth earlier this year.
What year is The Larkins set in?
The action of The Larkins takes place in the 1950s, although it’s not clear what year specifically.
H.E Bates’ first book about the family came out in 1958. So, many people think the series takes place around the middle to end of the decade.
He went on to release five more books in the series. The show only follows the events that occur in the first one, though.
Some have contrasted the idyllic scenes of The Larkins with another show set in the 1950s, currently on BBC iPlayer. Ridley Road is also set in post-war England but instead of a rural picture of family life, it tells the story of one woman infiltrating her way into London’s growing neo-Nazi movement.
The Larkins reviews
It’s a reboot fans were eager to see but reviews of the show suggest that The Larkins isn’t for everyone.
One Twitter user wrote, “#TheLarkins This just goes to show you shouldn’t mess with an original. I haven’t laughed once and haven’t warmed to any of the characters. Ma & Pa haven’t got the affection between them we’re used to. The original Larkins are irreplaceable. DJ is Pa Larkin!”
And it was a common complaint. Fans of the old series said that the new cast just couldn’t match the original.
“Thought I would watch The Larkins, but it’s a no from me. Ma and Pa Larkin is and will always be David Jason and Pam Ferris!!”, another viewer wrote.
Others took issue with the picture-perfect scene of Kent in the 1950s, calling it an England that never existed. The most damning review came from The Independent, who gave the show one star.
Television critic Sean O’Grady called it an “abomination”. He said that the best thing about the show was that “it’s no more glutinously sentimental than the original television version, which was rightly euthanised like a surplus piglet about 30 years ago.” Ouch.
He went on to say, “It’s a sort of Brexit Television, set in a post-war green and pleasant England that never was and never will be, but for which so many feel an overwhelming nostalgia (and so much so that they’re prepared to vote in their millions for a better yesterday).”
However, others have called the new novel adaption a “smashing little programme”. One Twitter user said that the critical reviewers of the show are taking the show “far too seriously”.
And others said the complete opposite to the casting critics. They pointed out the similarities between Joanna Scanlan, Ma in the new series, and Pam Ferris, the original Ma.
But ultimately, you’ll have to be the judge of whether the new show lives up to its name.
If you’re looking for another show to occupy your time while waiting for the next episode, check out Impeachment: American Crime Story‘s first few episodes on BBC iPlayer. While The Trick, filmed in the UK, is a one-off feature length programme based on real events that happened in 2009.
If you’ve missed episodes of The Larkins so far, catch up on ITV Hub now.