Classic Briitsh drama All Creatures Great and Small is getting a makeover for the modern age, courtesy of PBS' Masterpiece and U.K. network Channel 5 - and this new take on the series finally has a cast.
Based on a beloved series of novels by James Alfred Wright, and published under the pen name James Herriot, All Creatures Great and Small follows the heartwarming and humorous story of a rural country veterinarian, and the cast of farmers and townsfolk who lived alongside him in their Yorkshire village.
Newcomer Nicholas Ralph will make his television debut in the lead role, playing beloved vet James Herriot, who became renowned for his inspiring compassion, humor and love of life. He'll be joined by Mr. Selfridge alum Samuel West as Siegfried Farnon, the wonderfully eccentric veterinary surgeon and proprietor of Skeldale House who reluctantly hires the recently qualified Herriot into his rural practice. The Child in Time's Anna Madeley will portray Mrs Hall, the resident housekeeper and matriarch of the same institution. Siegfried’s errant and charismatic younger brother, Tristan, will be played by The Durrells in Corfu's Callum Woodhouse and Rachel Shenton 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.
NEWS: Find out who's going to be in our upcoming adaptation of All Creatures Great and Small... there are some familiar (and new!) faces for MASTERPIECE fans! https://t.co/pCGEpaGX6Z— MASTERPIECE | PBS (@masterpiecepbs) September 24, 2019
According to the official press release announcing the remake, this new adaptation “will preserve the rich spirit, tone and values of Herriot’s iconic characters and stories and will bring to life his sharply observed, entertaining and incredibly funny tales of country life in the North of England for a modern audience, introducing a new generation to his life-affirming stories.”
The timing on this remake makes a certain amount of sense, as the original All Creatures Great and Small will celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2020. And, interestingly enough, there's still a ton about this series we simply don't know yet - will it feature a modern day setting, updating Herriot's tales with cell phones and tablets and cutting-adge animal surgery? Or will it lean into the nostalgia around the 50th anniversary and remain a period piece about a simpler, less complicated time.
“This is exactly the right ensemble cast to deliver the warmth, wit and charm of All Creatures Great and Small,” Masterpiece executive producer Rebecca Eaton said in a statement. “Like the original, this new series will capture the hearts of Masterpiece viewers.”
The series will initially consist of six episodes and a Christmas special, and will be produced by the same folks that brought us Wolf Hall and Howard's End.
What do you think of the prospect of a new version of All Creatures Great and Small? Let's discuss in the comments.