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UK television

A new series on PBS - All Creatures Great and Small by the author James Herriot. Yes, it has been done before (late 1970's), but this version of Herriot's book is charming and features wonderful landscapes.

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Just to add to this message. The series is on Detroit/Seattle with new episodes on Sunday at 6pm on west coast and repeats on Mondays 2pm and Sundays at 2pm. Its a wonderful series situated in fictional Darrowby in the dales of Yorkshire. It is the updated version, but it is still charming, loving and tender series about a Scottish vet who leaves Scotland to take a vet position in the dales. The series. depicts the daily life of James Herriot and the people he comes in contact with on a daily basis.

For our neighbours to the south if you need a little laughter, love and peace this is really a wonderful series to watch and will restore your faith in people (soapy I know)......

Peace and love to our southern neighbours - hopefully soon life will return to normal for you, your neighbour to the north and the entire world.

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2455 posts

Thanks Frances & Sue for the kind reminder. We intend to tune in. We will watch on KCTS from Seattle.

Sue, we miss visiting Victoria! Sending our best regards to you and all our friends to the north.

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597 posts

Thanx Sue for the encouragement. We are hoping life gets easier here soon.

Concur with the recommendation on the series. I loved the books.

Fyi, we are now using PBS Passport streaming service. It's $5 month or $60 a year. All the new episodes of this series are available on it. No waiting. I had resisted using this service in the past but signed up recently when we had to take down our satellite for over a month while some home construction was on going. (We can't get over the air TV where we live). Lots of other programming as well like RS travel.

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4361 posts

This modern remake was mostly filmed in Grassington in the Yorkshire Dales, whereas the 1970s series was filmed in Askrigg. It’s a great part of the world. Yorkshire isn’t known as God’s own country for nothing. Alf Wainwright (pen name James Herriot) actually lived in Thirsk, where there is a museum about him.

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649 posts

Alf Wight was the real name behind James Herriot. Alfred Wainwright (‘AW’) was the legendary Lakeland Fell Walker and guide book author. Born in Blackburn he relocated to Kendal in the Lakes where he lived for the remainder of his life. He’s a hero of mine but when viewed through modern day eyes he gets a bit of a bad rap for some of his views and stances on life. But he was a man of his time and attitudes were different, much less enlightened back then. The man revealed in the guidebooks is largely well worthy of admiration.

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4179 posts

Great to see the latest production! Maybe those are TV special effects, but I think that’s real Yorkshire mud and water on the pristine old cars in the program. They were in machines in the earlier series, and are antiques now. But they’ve held up amazingly - or have been painstakingly mail twined or restored.

Wonder if the same cow gets used over and over for different scenes, or if there’s a whole stable of bovine extras?

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5487 posts

After a career in TV and Film production I’ll offer an opinion on the cow. They’ll be more than one used.

Location shooting can be more expensive ( housing crew, paying for film permits, etc ) but many producers and directors desire the realism.

If you watch the Inspector George Gently series which was set in the 1960’s and filmed in and around Durham all you have to do is remove satellite dishes, put 60’s car on the streets, extras in period clothing and maybe some store signage changes...these days might be done digitally but not a guarantee. All about inconvenience fees.

It’s called movie magic.

As far as the cow ALWAYS have a back up!

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2104 posts

Thanks so much for the tip and kind words, Frances. I watched the first episode with my husband and we loved it. We stayed in Grassington a few years ago as part of a trip through northern England so that makes it extra special. Can’t wait to go back.

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2455 posts

Thanks again. We watched the show last evening and enjoyed it very much. It was fun to live vicariously. It's an area we have not had the pleasure to visit- yet!

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2745 posts

About the cow- they use both live and animatronics ones. The artificial cows are used during the vet procedures. So James isn't up to his armpit in a real cow's backside.

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4179 posts

CJean, thanks for the information about modern TV production methods! I’m sure the actors must appreciate on some level not being on the less savory end of living and working among animals.

I’ve only seen the final 20 minutes of Episode 2 so far - that’s what I could catch on TV last night. But I recall a scene from the series 40 or so years ago, where Christopher Timothy’s Herriot unexpectedly slid thru cow manure (like a baseball player sliding into third base), much to the amusement of everyone else on screen. Perhaps, though, this set with mechanized beasts is redolent with the aroma of a sprayed floral fragrance, not authentic barn smells? Or if method actors are insisting on an authentic environment?

On the other hand, Nicholas Ralph’s Herriot probably isn’t actually ascertaining the pregnancy of a cow, so his armpit’s safe there. So will the bunnies, cats, and dogs be living, breathing critters, or is UK TV refraining from having too many animals in the credits?

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9503 posts

Finished the series last night thanks to PBS Passport, a worthy investment for great TV to stream, as cjtraveler noted. Rethinking a walking trip planned for Northumberland. Maybe the Dales instead.

BTW, the original series was charming too, but the books are a great read.

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149 posts

Acorn TV, streaming service with lots of UK TV shows, has a series called the Yorkshire Vet. It’s a documentary following the two vets now running the ‘Herriot’ practice. The older vet worked with the man himself. Opening shots are of Thirsk and the museum...the practice is now run out of a purpose built building. This is real life vet work, arms up cows’ rear ends and all!

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649 posts

Hi Laurel -

The Yorkshire Dales and Northumberland are close enough together for you to travel between them and maybe split your time. I suppose it depends on the sort of walking you were planning. Both areas have myriad footpaths and organised trails. For my own part as someone who was born on, and lives on the doorstep of the Dales I can advise you could walk for years up there and never retrace your steps. I’m living proof! But I also have a soft spot for Northumberland which is wilder and less populated. The coastal path (which I’ve done only some of) is quite magnificent.

Of course for the best of both worlds you could walk Hadrian’s Wall which kind of splits the difference, Dales to the south, the wilder aspects of Northumberland to the north! Feel free to PM me if you think I might be able to offer any useful advice (although on the COVID thing, the answer is still ‘we don’t know at this stage if we are honest!’).

Ian

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4179 posts

lanlubber, I guess a practicing veterinarian can keep the patients at arm’s length - lol.

Seriously, that’s got to be tough, not being able to talk with an animal, asking what hurts, where, or being able to explain what a treatment’s going to involve, difficult or unpleasant.