‘The Durrells’ review: Episode 5 is the best yet

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Louisa Durrell faces a personal battle for her family’s way of life and an unexpected proposal this week as ITV’s popular new drama continues.

When Louisa’s formidable Aunt Hermione (the self-appointed head of the family), Prue, Geoffrey and Larry’s girlfriend Nancy come to stay with them on Corfu, she finds herself having to prove herself.

‘An immoderate volume of creatures,’ remarks Hermione upon her arrival and establishes herself as a woman of particularly difficult temperament. As if poor Louisa didn’t have enough to cope with already!

Fearing Hermione’s judgement, Louisa struggles to keep her relationship with Sven a secret from her aunt, however Leslie unfortunately lets it slip. After observing their behaviour, Hermione calls a family meeting and outlines her plan to return them to England. By this point Louisa is so emotionally exhausted that she wonders whether Hermione is right despite Larry’s attempts to convince her otherwise.


Louisa decides to show Hermione, Prue and Geoffrey how wonderful Corfu can be but the tour doesn’t go as well as she might have hoped.

‘I’m always willing to admit mistakes. If I make any,’ Hermione tells a frustrated Louisa. A trip to visit Countess Mavrodaki causes yet more strife when Hermione spots Margo kissing Angel and the Countess is distressed by the presence of three strangers in her home.

A wonderful punch-the-air moment occurs in the episode when Louisa finally stands up to Hermione after she threatens to take custody of her children and, ‘borrowing’ Spiros’ car, she decides to drive her maddening aunt to the harbour. Sadly (or should that be marvellously) Louisa’s erratic driving skills end up putting them both in a precarious situation and they’re forced to talk as they await rescue. Hermione accepts she can’t force them to return and admits her severe stance was mostly due to her missing them.


When Theo introduces Gerry to Mrs Vadukakis the youngest Durrell is asked to help create a version of the RSPCA in Corfu. Unfortunately an incident involving sparrows, a furious Mrs Vadukakis brands Gerry a ‘little savage’ leaving the boy upset and guilty over his actions. Later, Gerry apologises and the matter is put behind them.

Elsewhere, Larry faces a crisis of confidence when he learns his novel has been rejected and tries his hand, albeit briefly, at manual labour. Of course hard graft isn’t Larry’s calling and he soon realises he’ll only ever be a writer, much to Nancy’s relief! Following the Countess’ revelations concerning her darker moods, Margo decides she needs to learn more responsibility and Louisa is left stunned after Sven proposes to her but love is in the air when she decides to accept. Will it be happily ever after for them?

Fun, immersive and packed full of wit, a wonderfully engaging story and a brilliant guest turn from Barbara Flynn as Aunt Hermione sees The Durrells deliver its best episode yet.


Aired at 8pm on Sunday 1 May 2016 on ITV.

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