All Creatures Great and Small

It’s been a while since I posted anything entertainment-related, so I figured that Friday was a good day to talk a little bit about what I’ve been digesting.  I seem to be generally attracted to British shows (Jeeves and Wooster, Jam and Jerusalem, Pride and Prejudice, etc) and this instalment is no different.  For your enjoyment, I present James Herriot‘s All Creatures Great and Small.

All Creatures follows the adventures of James Herriot, a Yorkshire country vet who began his practice in the 1940s.  Lead Christopher Timothy is joined by Robert Hardy as Siegfried, the energetic gentleman who owns the Yorkshire veterinary practice, and the charming Peter Davison as his brother, Tristan.  (In the first episode you learn that their mother had a weakness for Wagner).  Carol Drinkwater plays Helen Alderson, James’ love interest.

All Creatures is a wonderful series, almost as good as James Herriot’s books, which are filled with touching and funny stories that make you cry and laugh out loud, often at the same time.  The series certainly captures the spirit of the books, and aficionados will enjoy Siegfried’s bluster, Tristan’s propensity towards disasters, and the blossoming love between James and Helen.  It is also wonderful to see the actors really working with the animals (including sprawling in the mud chasing after piglets and the full examination of a cow who is in labour).  It gives us a city folk a glimpse of the joys and trials of country farm life, however idealized it may be for the screen.  All Creatures is a very worthwhile way to spend some time in front of the digital hearth.

And as a special bonus, here is a short documentary on the making of the series.  You may want to wait until you have finished watching the show before you check this one out 🙂

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