“Masterpiece: All Creatures Great And Small – Season One” Review by Suzanne 2/1/21
I loved this series when it aired, so I was happy to get the DVD as well. I can’t wait for season 2!
The series is based on autobiographical books written by a British veterinarian, Alf Wright (who went by the pen name James Herriot), in the 1930’s. He started practicing in a rural area called Yorkshire Downs. They made a film of his books, and then a TV series in the late 70’s, which lasted, off and on, for a decade. That was a successful series, and this is a version for modern audiences (yet still based on the books and set in the same world).
Nicholas Ralph plays the main character, a shy young vet (named James here), who goes to work for an odd fellow, a vet named Siegfried Farnon (Samuel West). Siegfried has a younger brother who’s also studying to be a vet. Callum Woodhouse plays the younger brother, Tristan, who seems more interested, at first, in chasing girls and drinking than in work. Anna Madeley plays Mrs. Hall, the housekeeper. She’s a mother figure to all of them, but there’s definitely some sexual tension between her and Siegfried. The late Diana Rigg plays an eccentric old rich lady with a fat dog. Her scenes are great.
James develops a huge crush on a woman named Helen (Rachel Shenton), who has a boyfriend that doesn’t seem worthy of her. Most of the stories are about how James learns to be a good vet and prove himself to Siegfried and the local farmers, and then Tristan has to do the same thing (as well as redeem himself in his brother’s eyes). It’s a gentle but entertaining sort of story. It really seems to capture the pace of rural life well, and it gives us beautiful film of the English countryside as well. This is definitely a show the whole family can watch.
Proofread and Edited by Brenda
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