'All Creatures Great & Small' Renewed for Seasons 5 & 6

Nicholas Ralph and Rachel Shenton in "All Creatures Great and Small" Season 4

Nicholas Ralph and Rachel Shenton in "All Creatures Great and Small" Season 4

(Photo: Playground Entertainment/MASTERPIECE)

With the finale of Season 4, or rather the Christmas special, which acts as the finale for the American airing of All Creatures Great & Small, having aired on Sunday, February 18, 2024, fans were distressed they still haven’t heard if there would be a Season 5. (Reminder: Episode 6 was aired in the U.K. as the season finale, and Episode 7, the finale on this side of the pond, was the British Christmas special.) However, the wait for good news turned out not to be long, as Masterpiece and Channel 5 announced the series has been re-upped for not just Season 5 but Season 6, and Christmas specials to boot.

All Creatures has enchanted viewers on both sides of the Atlantic since its first season, becoming a Sunday night regular in the fall for U.K. viewers and the depths of winter for Americans. It’s also a streaming favorite everywhere, and many of us need that visit to the Yorkshire Dales and our extended fictional friends. (And animals! Don’t forget the lambs, the calves, the grumpy dogs and pigs, the cats, the dogs...)

Season 5 will see the return of the entire series ensemble, starting with Nicholas Ralph as vet James Herriot, Rachel Shenton as his wife Helen, Samuel West as mercurial mentor Siegfried Farnon, Anna Madeley as the matriarch of Skeldale House Mrs. Hall, and James Anthony-Rose as Richard Carmody. after sitting out Season 4, Callum Woodhouse reprises his role as Tristan Farnon, Siegfried’s mischievous brother who has been serving in the Royal Army Veterinary Corps when he makes an unexpected return later in the season. Patricia Hodge will return as the wonderfully sophisticated  Mrs Pumphrey and her adored, pampered Pekingese Tricki-Woo. 

Picture shows: Samuel West as Siegfried Farnon in PBS' 'All Creatures Great and Small' Season 3

Samuel West as Siegfried Farnon in PBS' 'All Creatures Great and Small' 

@ Playground Entertainment and MASTERPIECE.

Season 4, Episode 6 was pretty low-key for a season finale, with all the big emotional moments coming in Episode 5 with the reveal of Helen’s pregnancy and James’s departure from military service. It’s tricky for the writers who have clearly, and fortunately, rejected the solution of the original TV series (1978 to 1980, based directly on Herriot’s books), which was to end the series as James went off to war, resuming the storyline and jumping the storyline forward to 1949 when the series was revived in 1998*. 

(*Telly Visions wrote about the history of the original series here.) 

The writer of the original stories that inspired the series, J. Alf Wight (the “real” James Herriot), solved the problem of how to handle the war years by using a flashback format for James’s military experience. Every story begins in the present time of World War II, and an episode in military life conjures up a flashback to the Yorkshire Dales and a veterinary experience. This elegant literary solution probably wouldn’t work for a television series. However, Alf Wight served less than two years in the Royal Air Force (1942–1944) and was dismissed on medical grounds following surgery, after which he was considered unfit to fly. Will this be the solution, and James return to civilian life sooner rather than later?

As for when Tristan returns, one wonders if Florence Pandhi will now consider him sufficiently mature to qualify as husband material. Then there’s Mrs. Hall’s son Edward, also in the Navy, serving on HMS Repulse. The battleship was sunk in December of 1941, the first time a British ship was destroyed from the air. One thousand of its crew were rescued, but five hundred died, and many of the survivors died as Japanese prisoners of war. So far, the series has not covered the issue of friends and family lost at war, and we may see grimmer and more serious coverage of the war years in Darrowby, just as we have seen the lingering effects of World War One on its survivors.

Picture shows: A reluctant and grumpy Tristan Farnon (Callum Woodhouse) examines a dog owned by Florence Pandhi (Sophie Khan Levy), with whom he seems to have an unfriendly history.

Nice dog, annoying woman. A grumpy Tristan Farnon (Callum Woodhouse) examines Florence Pandhi's (Sophie Khan Levy) dog.

Credit: Courtesy of Playground Entertainment and MASTERPIECE.

Season 5 episodes will be penned by Maxine Alderton, who returns to the series, along with new writers Debbie O’Malley (Payback), Matt Evans (A Town Called Malice), and Robin French (The Great). Directors Brian Percival and Andy Hay will return to helm episodes with new director Stewart Svaasand (Outlander). Yvonne Francas (Our Girl) also returns as Producer. This marks the first time series creator Ben Vanstone will not pen any of the series episodes.

The series will continue to bring the stories of James Herriot to life as we return to Darrowby to join our unconventional, much-loved Skeldale Family and the colorful ensemble of farmers, animals, and townsfolk living in the Yorkshire Dales in the 1940s. It’s the balance of emotions and experiences that make All Creatures so popular and which it has maintained from the beginning. We want happy endings for our favorite characters, and we want to return to the glorious Yorkshire scenery and the characters we have come to think of as extensions of our own families and friends. There’s no doubt the series is an audience favorite, and with good reason. Thank heavens there will be two more seasons.

All Creatures Great & Small filming will take place on location in Yorkshire for both Seasons 5 and 6; Season 5 is expected out in 2024 in the U.K. and 2025 on PBS, followed by Season 6 in 2025 in the U.K. and 2026 Stateside. Seasons 1 through 4 are streaming on PBS Passport. 

(This post was originally published on 2.17.2024. Updated 2.23.2024)

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All Creatures Great And Small

James Herriot’s adventures as a veterinarian in 1930’s Yorkshire get a new TV adaptation.
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Janet Mullany

Writer Janet Mullany is from England, drinks a lot of tea, and likes Jane Austen, reading, and gasping in shock at costumes in historical TV dramas. Her household near Washington DC includes two badly-behaved cats about whom she frequently boasts on Facebook.


Ani Bundel has been blogging professionally since 2010. A DC native, Hufflepuff, and Keyboard Khaleesi, she spends all her non-writing time taking pictures of her cats. Regular bylines also found on MSNBC, Paste, Primetimer, and others. 

A Woman's Place Is In Your Face. Cat Approved. Find her on BlueSky and other social media of your choice: @anibundel.bsky.social

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