June 25, 2009

All Creatures Great and Small (TV series)

Posted in Film & Television at 12:12 pm by j128

All Creatures Great and Small was a British television show based upon the books by James Herriot. It ran seven series from 1978-1990 with a break in 1980 when the characters were drawn into World War II so two specials were made in 1983 and 1985. In 1988 the series was revived and continued.

Unlike the two previous films, the TV series was able to have more character development as there was so much time available. James Herriot was played by then-unknown Welsh actor Christopher Timothy, well-known actor Robert Hardy (Cornelius Fudge in two of the Harry Potter movies) was Siegfriend Farnon, and his ne’er-do-well brother Tristan Farnon was played by Peter Davison. Helen Alderson, later James Herriot’s wife, was played by Carol Drinkwater (series 1-3 and specials) and Lynda Bellingham (series 4-7, as Carol Drinkwater became unavailable). Mary Hignett was Skeldale House’s housekeeper, Mrs. Hall, who is replaced by a new houskeeper Mrs. Greenlaw (Judy Wilson) in the revived series as Mary Hignett died shortly afterwards at the end of the first three series.

The series is very enjoyable to watch and it is quite easy to become glued to it, wondering what happens in the next episode, etc., etc. It’s available on VHS and DVD, some of the DVD special features include “Who’s Who”, a list of the actors and their filmography.

All of the episodes I have seen so far are immensely enjoyable and there are always the moments of wit and humour. The episodes are at least an hour in length.

The role of Tristan was increased during the first series as Christopher Timothy suffered a car accident and broke his leg (in one episode he is walking with difficulty, the made excuse is that he hurt his ankle) so the script and filming locations were redone (Christopher Timothy was subsequently restricted to studio shooting) for Peter Davison.

As far as I know, series 1-6 are available on region 1 DVD (plus the specials). See the article All Creatures Great and Small on Answers.com for more information and a list of the episodes according to the series.


All Creatures Great and Small on Answers.com – the article mentioned above concerning the TV series and two films previous to the series.


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