A brand new adaptation of All Creatures Great and Small debuted on Channel 5 this autumn, as 2020 sees the 50th anniversary of the original publication of James Herriot’s cherished and iconic books. The drama is written by Ben Vanstone (The Last Kingdom) and directed by Brian Percival (Downton Abbey). All Creatures Great and Small is produced by BAFTA and Golden Globe-winning production company Playground (Howards End, Wolf Hall) part financed by Screen Yorkshire, the series includes six episodes plus a Christmas special.
Exciting newcomer Nicholas Ralph (above with Rachel Shenton) will make his television debut as the iconic vet who became renowned for his inspiring compassion, humour and love of life. Samuel West (Mr. Selfridge, On Chesil Beach) joins as 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 will be played by Anna Madeley (The Child in Time, Patrick Melrose). Siegfried’s errant and charismatic younger brother, Tristan, will be played by Callum Woodhouse (The Durrells). 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. The late Dame Diana Rigg stars as Mrs Pumphrey
All Creatures Great and Small is set in the glorious Yorkshire Dales. It filmed across a range of locations in Yorkshire, including the beautiful and historic market town of Grassington, which plays a central role in the drama as ‘Darrowby’ Village. We will be sharing more details about additional filming locations very soon!
As a Yorkshireman the show gave me the perfect opportunity to show off my home county. Filming in stunningly beautiful landscapes and working with such friendly, welcoming people across the Yorkshire Dales was an absolute joy. Screen Yorkshire were there from the start and worked with us every step of the way. Wherever we went, we discovered how much love there is for Herriot’s story, it’s been a pleasure to bring this to the screen - you’re in for a treat!
Gary Barnes, Location Manager, All Creatures Great And Small
The majestic beauty of the Dales provides rich pickings for location scouts, with Yorkshire’s literary history evident at every turn. Yorkshire is distinct from other regions because of the diversity it offers. The architecture of its gritty urban textile towns contrast with the grandeur of its stately homes and mansions.
Jackie Smith, production designer 'All Creatures Great and Small'
All Creatures Great and Small is produced by Colin Callender’s Playground. MASTERPIECE on PBS in the US has co-produced and All3Media International is the international partner. The production has funding and film office support from Screen Yorkshire.
The six part drama is produced by Richard Burrell (New Tricks, Silent Witness). Alongside Colin Callender, the Executive Producers are Melissa Gallant for Playground, Ben Vanstone, Hugo Heppell for Screen Yorkshire, Rebecca Eaton for MASTERPIECE, which is presented on PBS by WGBH Boston, and Louise Pedersen for All3Media International.
Channel 5 is also home to popular factual series The Yorkshire Vet which is set in James Herriot’s original veterinary practice and produced by Leeds Factual Indie Daisybeck Studios.