Primetime DVD Review: “Masterpiece: All Creatures Great And Small”

DVD Review!

"Masterpiece: All Creatures Great And Small" DVD cover

“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.

Buy this DVD!



Below is a listing of the upcoming DVD/Blu-Ray releases from PBS Distribution slated for February.Every purchase helps support public television for all.

  • MASTERPIECE: All Creatures Great and Small – 2/9/21

Genre: Drama
Run Time: 400 min. on 2 discs – DVD and Blu-Ray
SRP: $49.99 / $59.99 (Blu-Ray)


PBS Distribution is a leading distributor of public media content around the world, reaching audiences through multiple platforms and formats. The company operates five streaming channels —PBS MASTERPIECE, PBS KIDS, PBS LIVING, PBS DOCUMENTARIES, and PBS America (U.K.). Other services include transactional video-on-demand, subscription video-on-demand licensing, physical products on DVD and Blu-ray, theatrical releasing, educational, non-theatrical, inflight, and international program sales and co-productions.

PBS Distribution offers consumers and educators the highest quality factual, scripted, and children’s programming including films from Ken Burns, hit series from MASTERPIECE and foreign language dramas from Walter Presents, entertaining and educational PBS KIDS series, and award-winning documentaries from NOVA, FRONTLINE, AMERICAN MASTERS, NATURE, AMERICAN EXPERIENCE, and many independent producers. For over 10 years, the company has extended the reach of programming beyond broadcast while generating revenue for the public television system, stations, and producers. 

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January 2021 Marks the 50th Anniversary of the Iconic PBS drama series MASTERPIECE, that Sparked America’s Infatuation with British Television

Arlington, VA – January 19, 2021 – This January, four new MASTERPIECE programs are streaming on the PBS Masterpiece Prime Video Channel including an all-new adaptation of “All Creatures Great and Small,” starring Dame Diana Rigg in one of her last appearances, the newest MASTERPIECE MYSTERY! installment “Miss Scarlet & the Duke,” “Elizabeth Is Missing” based on the acclaimed novel starring Oscar winning Glenda Jackson, and “The Long Song” based on the award-winning novel by Andrea Levy about the end of slavery in Jamaica.

The subscription rate for the PBS Masterpiece Prime Video Channel is $5.99/month with an Amazon Prime or Prime Video subscription. Every purchase helps support public television for all.

MASTERPIECE: All Creatures Great and Small

Premiere Date: January 10, 2021
Episodes: 7
Genre: Drama
Language: English
Based on the beloved autobiographical books by James Herriot, “All Creatures Great and Small” tells the exciting adventures of a veterinarian in 1930s Yorkshire. The series takes place in 1937, when James Herriot, fresh out of Glasgow Veterinary College, follows his dream to become a vet in the magnificent Yorkshire Dales, one of England’s most beloved and beautiful landscapes.

He soon discovers that treating the animals is as much about treating their owners, and the Dales’ farmers are a tough crowd to please. At Skeldale House, James gets to know his newly formed dysfunctional family: his chaotic and erratic boss Siegfried Farnon, his wayward brother Tristan and the shrewd Mrs. Hall, who is endlessly steering the ship. When local beauty Helen Alderson attracts James’s attention, he finds another, more enduring reason to stay in the Dales.

Exciting newcomer Nicholas Ralph will make his television debut as the iconic vet who became renowned for his inspiring humor, compassion and love of life. Samuel West (Mr. Selfridge, On Chesil Beach) plays Siegfried Farnon, the wonderfully eccentric veterinary surgeon and proprietor of Skeldale House, who reluctantly hires the recently qualified Herriot into his rural practice. Mrs. Hall, the resident housekeeper and matriarch of Skeldale House, is played by Anna Madeley (The Child in Time, Patrick Melrose). Siegfried’s errant and charismatic younger brother, Tristan, is played by Callum Woodhouse (The Durrells in Corfu). Rachel Shenton (Switched at Birth, White Gold) takes the role of Helen Alderson, an independent local farmer’s daughter who helps her father manage the family farm and care for her younger sister. Dame Diana Rigg (Victoria, Game of Thrones) plays Mrs. Pumphrey, the delightfully eccentric owner of the overly indulged Pekingese Tricki Woo, while Matthew Lewis (Harry Potter, Ripper Street) plays Hugh Hulton, a wealthy landowner and rival to James for Helen’s affections.

Proofread and Edited by Brenda

The opinions in these articles are those of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of TVMEG.COM or its other volunteers.

Masterpiece: All Creatures Great And Small cast

Primetime TV Review: “All Creatures Great and Small”

TV Review!

"All Creatures Great and Small" on PBS

“All Creatures Great and Small” on PBS Review by Suzanne 1/10/21

This is your typical “Masterpiece” show, set in the past (the 1930s), with an intriguing story and good actors. It’s based on a series of autobiographical books written by James Herriot (the main character), a real-life vet. There was a “All Creatures Great and Small” film in 1975, and a successful series in 1978. The first book was first published in 1970 (50 years ago last week) , so they showed it in the UK last year for that anniversary. PBS is celebrating Masterpiece’s 50 anniversary this year, so that’s why we’re seeing this now.

James Herriot (Nicholas Ralph) leaves Scotland for Yorkshire, England to interview for a job with a vet, Mr. Farnon (Samuel West). Herriot is young and green, and Farnon is an older man who seems gruff at first. Herriot has to prove himself and then experiences both the life as a vet and as a newcomer to Yorkshire. Diana Rigg plays Mrs. Pumphrey (her last performance). You’ll probably recognize other familiar faces as well.

The countryside scenery is beautiful, the actors do a fabulous job, and the story is intriguing. It’s not an epic series. It’s a nice little throwback to a simpler time. Viewers loved the one in the 70’s, so they’ll probably love this one, too. You should check it out because it’s enjoyable.



Premieres Sundays, January 10 – February 21, 2021, 9:00 – 10:00 p.m. ET

James Herriot’s adventures as a veterinarian in 1930’s Yorkshire get a glorious new adaptation in a seven-part series based on his beloved stories. Exciting newcomer Nicholas Ralph will make his television debut as the iconic vet who became renowned for his inspiring humor, compassion and love of life. The 1970s adaptation, which aired on public broadcasting, was a favorite of millions of viewers.
James Herriot’s first day as a Yorkshire veterinarian is full of surprises.
  • Airdate(s): 1/10/2021, 9:00 – 10:00 PM ET

Winner of 83 Primetime Emmys® and 16 Peabody Awards, MASTERPIECE has been essential Sunday night viewing for millions of fans since 1971 and is known for recent hits such as Sherlock, Downton Abbey and Victoria, and beloved classics such as Upstairs Downstairs, Prime Suspect, The Forsyte Saga and Poldark.

Proofread and Edited by Brenda

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The opinions in these articles are those of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of TVMEG.COM or its other volunteers.

"All Creatures Great and Small" on PBS