All Creatures Great and Small: What to Know Before Watching

All Creatures Great and Small: What to Know Before Watching

As we near the premiere of MASTERPIECE’s new series All Creatures Great and Small Sunday, January 10, at 9pm on ThinkTV16 and CET, there are a few things to know about the series before tuning in… it is definitely a show you won’t want to miss!

What is the show about?

All Creatures Great and Small is a new series based on British veterinarian and author James Herriot’s beloved books. The sometimes heart-breaking – but often hilarious – story of young Herriot will sweep you away to the breathtaking beauty of the Yorkshire Dales. There you will meet James’ eccentric boss, his charming brother, and a beautiful farmer named Helen as well as many two- and four-legged friends! At its core, All Creatures Great and Small is about true human connection we long for as human beings.

Who’s who?

The irresistible up-and-coming star Nicholas Ralph plays James Herriot and, when you fall in love with the series, he’ll be the one to blame. James’ boss, the charismatic Siegfried Farnon, is played by Samuel West (On Chesil Beach, The Darkest Hour), who can also be seen in two of our personal favorites – Mr. Selfridge and in Grantchester. The silly, unpredictable and high-energy brother Tristan Farnon is played by The Durrells in Corfu’s own Callum Woodhouse while the housekeeper Edna Hall is played by Anna Madely (Patrick Melrose, The Child In Time). The actor who played the beloved Harry Potter character Neville Longbottom, Matthew Lewis, plays wealthy landowner Hugh Hulton and the legendary Diana Rigg (Mystery!, Rebecca, Victoria) plays the grande dame Mrs. Pumphrey.

Where did the premise for the show come from?

The show is based on the beloved All Creatures Great and Small books by James Alfred Wight, published under the pen name James Herriot. Ever since their publication in 1970, these stories have held a special place in people’s hearts throughout the world. Chronicling the heartwarming and humorous adventures of a young vet, the books introduced readers to Herriot’s unconventional mentor and the cast of farmers and townsfolk who lived and work in the Yorkshire Dales in the 1930s. There was also a show in the 1970s.

How close is the show to the books or the old series?

This new adaptation preserves the rich and uplifting spirit, tone and values of Herriot’s iconic characters and stories, and brings to life the sharply entertaining and incredibly funny tales of country life in the North of England for a modern audience.

The new adaptation gives a fresh take on various female characters from the books! Firstly, Mrs. Hall’s character is more richly developed. Edna Hall isn’t just the shrewd housekeeper with a wry sense of humor anymore — she is at the emotional center of the Skeldale House family… complete with a compelling and mysterious backstory. Also, Helen’s character has also been modified to give her a more modern feel and appeal. Helen has become far more than James’ love interest in this adaption – she carries the weight of her family’s farm and has little time for romantic prospects. She’s fiercely strong and independent and is someone who is unfazed by anything. Viewers will also find a deeper backstory to Siegfried!

How many episodes are there to watch and when are they airing?

This a seven-part series that airs Sundays, January 10 through February 21, at 9pm on ThinkTV16 and CET. Also as an exclusive Passport benefit: the entire first season will be available to stream starting January 10 at 9pm if you want to binge-watch it!