CHRISTOPHER STEVENS: Final stay at The Durrells and it's all sunny silliness and no sign of Nazis

Mail Online | 4/8/2019 | Christopher Stevens for Daily Mail
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Like every idyllic Greek island holiday, our sojourn with The Durrells on Corfu has to end. But for the first time in this gentle Thirties romantic drama, we received a chilling reminder of why.

Reality - Distance - Series - English - Widow

Reality has hovered at a great distance for the past three series, as English widow Louisa (Keeley Hawes) brought up her four unruly children in a glorious, shambolic paradise beside the Mediterranean.

We knew, in theory, that Fascism was on the rise in Germany and Italy, and that it threatened Greece too. But the weekly tales stayed faithful to the light, humorous spirit of Gerald Durrell's autobiography, My Family And Other Animals.

Captain - Corelli - Mandolin - Jackboots - Jetty

If it suddenly turned into Captain Corelli's Mandolin, all jackboots on the jetty and Greek villagers shot as saboteurs and spies, that would be an unbearable way to leave.

The final series began with bags of reassurance that, though nowhere in Europe can escape the coming storm, The Durrells won't descend into invasion and internment.

Opening - Episode - Terrorist - Sinister - Police

The opening episode introduced a political terrorist and a sinister police martinet, but played it all for farcical laughs. No Nazis Please, We're British!

From the start, all the family were eager to assure us that nothing had changed in their sun-soaked, penniless lives. Gerry (a newly baritone Milo Parker) was carrying a tame barn owl around in a satchel.

Novelist - Brother - Larry - Josh - O'Connor

Novelist brother Larry (Josh O'Connor) was leaning out of an upstairs window, threatening to hurl his typewriter at a honking pelican.

Gun-mad Leslie (Callum Woodhouse) was taking potshots at fruit, and scatterbrained feminist Margo (Daisy Waterstone) was trying out her latest money-making scheme as a hairdresser. Business as usual, then, Chez Durrell.

Man - Spiros - Distance - Years - Longing

Not quite. Odd-job man Spiros was keeping his distance. After years of hiding his longing for Louisa, he finally declared his love in the last series – only to make a chivalrous withdrawal when his...
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