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"All Creatures Great and Small" series on Masterpiece Theatre

Just thought I'd let those who had not heard that Masterpiece Theatre is broadcasting a remake of the 1970s series "All Creatures Great and Small" based on the books by James Herriot. The series was filmed in Yorkshire and has beautiful country scenery, worth watching for that alone!

Posted by
908 posts

One of my favorite shows. I’ve always wanted to live at Skeldale House! I laugh out loud at times watching the original—Robert Hardy is so wonderful as Siegfried. Makes you realize what a fantastic actor he was. I enjoyed the first episode of the new version and look forward to the series. I noticed that Brian Percival directed the first episode. He directed the first episode of Downton Abbey, and I think directed North & South (the version with Richard Armitage).

Posted by
4998 posts

Good reminder, John. I’ve been eagerly anticipating the new episodes. The Herriot character was truly a vital resource in his day, treating patients from great draft horses to small bunnies and tortoises.

I’m looking forward seeing yet another portrayal of Tristan. I wonder if the “Bangers and Mash” incident will be included again . . . where Tristan surprised everyone with his outstanding meat and potatoes preparation, but it turns out that it’s the only thing he could cook!

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718 posts

Or ‘Spot the Location’ for us locals!

Actually, I know a fair few of the posters on here have visited Grassington and should have no problem recognising ‘Darrowby’ and indeed the exterior of ‘The Drovers’ (the interiors are shot miles away and are more, um, esoteric!) although the new ‘Skeldale House’ has a false front added to it for filming which confused the heck out of me when I was looking for it!

I was worried that having read all the books and watched all the original 1970’s BBC series, the new one wouldn’t be up to snuff, but it more than delivers, and looks gorgeous. My only complaint is that, to date, as far as I am aware, nobody has uttered the immortal line ‘Nah then, vitnery...’

US viewers who are watching on PBS Masterpiece and have just started, will be pleased to know there was also a Christmas Special and a second series has been commissioned, although what the status of filming is due to COVID and the fact that we’ve had major snow today - ‘bleaching it down’ as my friend says - I’m unsure.

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2 posts

I'm very excited to see this, but may have to wait til I can get the DVD due to poor tv reception with PBS. The original series and the books are a part of why I look forward to visiting Yorkshire someday. Has anyone visited the "World of James Herriot" in Thirsk?

Posted by
5654 posts

Wonderful stories, great scenery.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/All_Creatures_Great_and_Small_(2020_TV_series)

The series, which was shot in the Yorkshire Dales, is produced by
Playground Entertainment for Channel 5 in the United Kingdom, and PBS
in the United States.[7] The BBC series which was broadcast between
1978 and 1990, was filmed largely in the northern part of the Dales
(Wensleydale and Swaledale), whereas the new series has been filmed
further south in the national park (around Nidderdale).[8][9]
Grassington in Wharfedale has been used as the setting for the
fictional town of Darrowby (Askrigg was used in the BBC series).[10]

Posted by
651 posts

The new series is really good too, but Yorkshire is always the star!

Posted by
718 posts

** the new series has been filmed
further south in the national park (around Nidderdale).[8][9]
Grassington in Wharfedale has been used as the setting for the
fictional town of Darrowby (Askrigg was used in the BBC series**

Unless I miss my guess plenty has been filmed in Wharfedale as well as using Grassington. The opening scenes where James gets off the bus too soon are shot up near Malham Tarn, the stand off on the bridge is at Barden and I think we spotted Helen’s farm in Upper Wharfedale! I’m biased of course - I live in a village on the Wharfe, albeit a little further downstream.

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5654 posts

Grassington is a good guess.
https://www.screenyorkshire.co.uk/funding/productions/all-creatures-great-and-small/#

Filming locations All Creatures Great and Small is set in the glorious
Yorkshire Dales. It filmed across a range of locations in Yorkshire,
including the beautiful and historic market town of Grassington, which
plays a central role in the drama as ‘Darrowby’ Village.

Wainwright walk took us through the original Great and Small locations (Reeth, Swaledale) which we enjoyed.

Posted by
1268 posts

I'm getting a great memory just from the books, as a teenager I babysat a precocious brother/sister duo that wanted chapter after chapter of those books read aloud, my willingness to indulge that earned me "preferred baby sitter status" with that family.

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31295 posts

I haven't seen the earlier series of "All Creatures", but I watched the first episode of the new series on KCTS and really enjoyed it. The scenery of the Yorkshire Dales was beautiful, and it reminded me of my travels in that area. I'm looking forward to the next episode.

Posted by
4529 posts

The old BBC series had little scope for deviation away from the stories in the books, at least until they had exhausted them. With Alf Wright no longer around to keep on the good side of the current series takes a lot more liberties with the source material. Doesn't mean it isn't enjoyable, but it is like watching one of the=ose recent Agatha Christie adaptations where someone completely different from the book did the deed etc.

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7928 posts

We visited Alfred Wright’s (aka James Herriot) house in Thirsk in 2001. It was fantastic and the highlight of our 3 mo trip. Loved his books, loved the 70s series, and am now loving this new series... it’s wonderful.

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651 posts

Marco i read that one of his children said the new series was alot truer to the books than the 70s series, expect for how his father and mother got together. But cant remember where i read that so could be wrong!

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3527 posts

Another fan here. We recorded the 1st episode. I've seen it twice. I'll have to watch it at least one more time before I let it go.

I thought all the actors were excellent in their roles, but I especially liked Clive. His portrayal was so realistic. 😉

Posted by
4529 posts

Marco i read that one of his children said the new series was alot truer to the books than the 70s series, expect for how his father and mother got together.

That is a pretty big thing that the BBC was asked not to mess about with back then. Also this adaptation seems to have taken some cues from Alf Wright's actual life rather than what was in the book which was itself fictionalised (for example he had one job after qualifying before coming to Yorkshire and it was just into the second world war he moved to Yorkshire, not before it, although these are not examples of changes).

Also the books are episodic so the various pieces have been put together differently in various adaptations including the earlier cinema films. The BBC one rushed through some bits before knowing it was going to last so many episodes and picked them up later.

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126 posts

John, thanks for posting about this new adaptation being broadcast as I didn’t know about that. I’m really enjoying this show. It has such good acting, interesting stories and, of course, beautiful scenery.