All Creatures Great and Small

James Herriot’s adventures as a veterinarian in 1930’s Yorkshire get a glorious new adaptation in a seven-part series based on his beloved stories.

  • Fred Vigeant
Watch All Creatures Great and Small on Masterpiece Sunday, January 10 at 9:00pm on WITF. You can stream WITF TV live on our website and through the PBS Video app on Roku, Apple TV and iPhone and Android smartphones. The program is also available on-demand through the PBS Video app.

 

Exciting newcomer Nicholas Ralph will make his television debut as the iconic vet who became renowned for his inspiring humor, compassion and love of life. Samuel West (Mr. Selfridge, On Chesil Beach) plays Siegfried Farnon, the wonderfully eccentric veterinary surgeon and proprietor of Skeldale House, who reluctantly hires the recently qualified Herriot into his rural practice. Mrs Hall, the resident housekeeper and matriarch of Skeldale House, is played by Anna Madeley (The Child in Time, Patrick Melrose). Siegfried’s errant and charismatic younger
brother, Tristan, is played by Callum Woodhouse (The Durrells in Corfu). Rachel Shenton (Switched at Birth, White Gold) takes the role of Helen Alderson, an independent local farmer’s daughter who helps her father manage the family farm and care for her younger sister. Dame Diana Rigg (Victoria, Game of Thrones)plays Mrs. Pumphrey, the delightfully eccentric owner of the overly indulged Pekingese Tricki Woo, while Matthew Lewis (Harry Potter, Ripper Street) plays Hugh Hulton, a wealthy landowner and rival to James for Helen’s affections.

All Creatures Great and Small opens in 1937, when James Herriot, fresh out of Glasgow Veterinary College, follows his dream to become a vet in the magnificent Yorkshire Dales, one of England’s most beloved and beautiful landscapes. He soon discovers that treating the animals is as much about treating their owners, and the Dales’ farmers are a tough crowd to please. At Skeldale House, James gets to know his newly formed dysfunctional family: his chaotic and erratic boss Siegfried Farnon, his wayward brother Tristan and the shrewd Mrs. Hall, who is endlessly steering the ship.

When local beauty Helen Alderson attracts James’s attention, he finds another, more enduring reason to stay in the Dales. Since their first publication in 1970, the beloved books of James Alfred Wight, published under the pen name James Herriot, have held a special place in people’s hearts throughout the world. Chronicling the heartwarming and humorous adventures of a young country vet, the books introduced readers to his unconventional mentor and the cast of farmers and townsfolk who lived and worked in the Yorkshire Dales in the 1930s.

This new adaptation of All Creatures Great and Small preserves the rich and uplifting spirit, tone and values of Herriot’s iconic characters and stories, and will bring to life his sharply observed, entertaining and incredibly funny tales of country life in the North of England for a modern audience, introducing a new generation to his life-affirming stories. An earlier television adaptation of the books captivated millions of public broadcasting viewers when it aired in the 1970s.

Watch All Creatures Great and Small on Masterpiece’s 50th anniversary season beginning Sunday January 10 at 9:00pm and continuing to February 21.  The entire series is available immediately to WITF Passport members beginning January 10.  WITF Passport is a benefit to members of WITF contributing $60 or more annually.  Learn more about becoming a member of WITF or activate your passport account if you are already a financial supporter of WITF.

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