Great & Small
evocative, amusing, utterly
charming and based on the life and
times of a veterinary surgeon and writer,
the beloved classic All Creatures Great
& Small gets a well-groomed make-over
that is as appealing as the original.
Now, following a record-breaking run on
Channel 5, its out on DVD...
TURN BACK THE CLOCK to 1937 where newly-qualified vet James Herriot (newcomer
Nicholas Ralph) leaves his parents, dock worker James Herriot Snr (Drew Cain)
and Hannah (Gabriel Quigley), back home in Glasgow to take up a position as
an assistant to renowned veterinary surgeon Siegfried Farnon (Samuel West: Darkest
Hour; Mr Selfridge) in rural Yorkshire.
Narrowly missing his appointment with Siegfried when the bus driver drops him
off in the middle of nowhere, forcing him to walk to Darrowby in a downpour,
James finds he has to establish himself and earn acceptance from the locals,
some of whom are intent on giving him a difficult time and have plenty of tricks
up their sleeves!
is a hard taskmaster who demands perfection from his assistants. Having already
dispensed with a number of applicants, he is determined to test James. However,
straight-talking housekeeper Mrs Audrey Hall (Anna Madeley: Deadwater Fell;
Patrick Melrose) seems to take to him and persuades Siegfried to give him
& Small is a delightful,
entrancing period story...
Liberally laced with
well-chosen wit and
humour… the perfect
antidote to brighten up a
very challenging year…
A close encounter with a horse leaves James in the mire and, after Jeremy Sharpe
(Steve Jackson) plies him with his home brew, James creates a potential disaster
when he accidentally puts cats awaiting treatment back in the wrong cages after
At the Alderson's farm to help a calf with a fractured leg bone, James meets
Helen Alderson (Rachel Shenton: White Gold; Hollyoaks) and her twelve-year-old
sister Jenny (Imogen Clawson) and gets too close to comfort to their bull. Helen
advises him to stand up to Siegfried whom, she says, is a good man.
James falls foul of Siegfried, who is about to operate on the wrong cat because
of James' earlier carelessness. The cat belongs to Mrs Dinsdale (Naomi Radcliffe),
who tells Siegfried that her husband Henry (Mark Noble) told her how drunk James
was on the home brew. It almost costs him his job.
James begins to see a grudging respect from Siegfried when he delivers a calf
while its mother struggles to give birth and saves them both to the delight
of farmer Dick Rudd (Alexis Platt) and his wife (Laura Lindsay). James has the
courage to tell Siegfried how insufferable he is.
James begins to get used to Siegfried and the Yorkshire country folk, starting
to love his work and managing the idiosyncrasies of the car Siegfried has given
him to drive!
As James proves his mettle in life and death situations, he is distracted by
Siegfried's unruly younger brother Tristan (Callum Woodhouse: The Durrells;
Cold Feet), who is a disappointment to Siegfried as he originally failed
his exams at veterinary college.
Further trouble is on its way after James incorrectly diagnoses a fractured
pelvis when Dennis Handshaw (Nigel Betts) and his wife Sylvie (Melanie Kilburn)
cannot get their cow to stand.
James shyly approaches Helen to ask her out, but she seems to be dating Hugh
Hulton (Matthew Lewis: Harry Potter; Ripper Street). Could she be a potential
love interest for James?
Liberally laced with well-chosen wit and humour, the series originally aired
on Channel 5 and is taken from the beloved classic autobiographical book All
Creatures Great and Small, which is based on the life and times of veterinary
surgeon and writer James Herriot (aka James Alfred Wight, OBE).
Following the record-breaking television run, the new series is a creditable
remake of the original series which ran from 1978 to 1990, with all its tantalising
period charm, quirky country characters and the breathtaking scenery of England's
The 2020 series became Channel 5's Number One British drama ever and was the
highest rated programme of the year when it launched to a massive five million
Also starring the wildly beautiful scenery, All Creatures Great & Small
is a delightful, entrancing period story of an ambitious young man from Glasgow
who follows his dream of becoming a vet in Northern England.
With the classic farming scenes set amid the splendour of the Dales and an abundance
of creatures needing help, All Creatures Great & Small is the perfect
antidote to brighten up a very challenging year and ideal for animal lovers
Benefiting from a menagerie of guest stars, including the late screen legend
Diana Rigg (Game of Thrones; Victoria) as Mrs Pumphrey; Nigel Havers
as General Ransom (Chariots of Fire; Coronation Street); Philip Gascoyne
(The ABC Murders; Peaky Blinders) as Mrs Pumphrey's Butler; and Naomi
Radclife (Three Girls; Coronation Street) as Mrs Dinsdale, the series
shows the vets as they dispense their talents to treat horses with injured hooves,
farm animals, cats and dogs, including Mrs Pumphrey's spoiled Pekingese Tricky
All Creatures Great & Small also features: Tony Pitts as Richard Alderson;
Mollie Winard as Maggie; Mamie McCoy as Dorothy; Kriss Dosanjh as George Pandhi;
Mark Fisher as A Darrowby Villager; and Derek as Tricki Woo.
Series Music is by Alexandra Harwood; Series Cinematography is by Vanessa Whyte,
Erik Molberg Hansen and Erik Persson; Series Costume Design by Ros Little; Producer
is Richard Burrell; Series Writing by James Herriot, Ben Vanstone, Lisa Holdsworth,
Julian Jones, Debbie O'Malley and Freddy Syborn; and Series Directed by Andy
Hay, Metin Hüseyin and Brian Percival.
All Creatures Great & Small is released by Acorn Media International in
the UK on DVD on 23 November 2020. Running Time: 270 Minutes on 2 Discs | Catalogue
Number: AV3619 | RRP: £24.99. Special Features: Extensive Behind The Scenes
"All Creatures Great & Small is a delightful, entrancing period story…
Liberally laced with well-chosen wit and humour… the perfect antidote to brighten
up a very challenging year… Superb" ****
Maggie Woods, MotorBar
"Irresistible. Always has been, always will be" Mail On Sunday
"Handsomely produced gentle drama… all rolling hills and timeless charm… a breath
of fresh air both literally and figuratively" ****
"Sometimes you want to see superheroes save the world. And sometimes you just
want to watch a vet coax a cow to its feet… One of life's simple pleasures"
The I Paper
"Photogenic wildlife, ravishing Dales scenery and obstinate local eccentrics
with accents you could build a barn door with… escapist comfort food"
The Arts Desk