All Creatures Great and Small

Watch All Creatures Great and Small

  • TV-PG
  • 1978
  • 7 Seasons
  • 8.4  (3,308)

All Creatures Great and Small is a British period drama based on the books by author and veterinary surgeon Alf Wright, known under the pen name James Herriot. The program aired in the United Kingdom on BBC One and in the United States on the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) and the cable network A&E. The initial run of the series matched closely to the timeline of Herriot's first novels. The show starts in the mid 1930's when Herriot (Christopher Timothy) begins his veterinary career working with Siegfried Farnon (Robert Hardy) and his brother Tristan (Peter Davidson). As the series progressed the focus moved away from Herriot's solo adventures in veterinary surgery and became an ensemble drama with equal parts for Timothy, Hardy, and Davidson. All Creatures Great and Small also introduced James' future wife Helen (Carol Drinkwater and Lynda Bellingham) and his attempts to woo her into eventual marriage. The first run of the series ended in 1980, just as all the characters were about to become embroiled in the Second World War. This also marked the point where Wright's original novels ended. After two Christmas specials aired that were set after the war's end, a new version of the series premiered in 1988. Based on the characters from Wright's series but not his stories, the second running of All Creatures Great and Small moved ahead to the 1950s. In addition to the original characters, the revived series introduced a new member to the practice, Calum Buchanan (John McGlynn), and made the Herriot children recurring characters. All Creatures Great and Small ran for four more series of programs and ended in 1990 with a final Christmas episode.

All Creatures Great and Small
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Seasons
Christmas Special 1990: Brotherly Love
13. Christmas Special 1990: Brotherly Love
December 25, 1990
It is Christmas 1953, and an outbreak of Foot and Mouth disease has hits the Dales.
Promises to Keep
12. Promises to Keep
November 17, 1990
Tristan has to face the terrors of an enormous sow, Our Gracie, and her litter of piglets, who are due to be castrated. Mrs. Clarke, a very determined old lady, is struggling to keep her farm running until she can hand it over to her young granddaughter, Mary. But she is reaching the stage when she can no longer handle the pressures, even with her elder granddaughter.
Hampered
11. Hampered
November 10, 1990
Siegfried is laid up at Skeldale with his foot in plaster. His dreams of mouthwatering meals prepared by Mrs. Alton are soon shattered by her regime of a strict diet "for an invalid". Tristan falls for the dark, sad-eyed beauty, Angela Mortime. Fortunately, the demanding dog Tricky-Woo provides an ideal excuse for Tristan to make a number of house calls.
Old Dogs,New Tricks
10. Old Dogs,New Tricks
November 3, 1990
Siegfried takes a close friend to task for wasting his own talents as a veterinary surgeon. Ewan Ross -- "the best horse man north of the Humber" has let his career slide gently into the whisky bottle after the death of his wife. But Siegfried is determined to make use of his considerable skills. James, meanwhile, is strangely reluctant to take on responsibility for Mrs. Pumphrey's beloved Tricky-Woo when she announces that she is off to France.
A Grand Memory For Forgetting
9. A Grand Memory For Forgetting
October 27, 1990
Siegfried is determined to discover who shot Korean War veteran Jacob Pearson's dog. The suspect is Captain Crawford's willful and surly 20-year-old son, Hugh. Both James and Siegfried have extraordinarily little success in extracting payment from wily farmer Dennis Pratt -- until they discover he may be sneaking his cows onto a neighboring farm to enjoy better grazing.
A Cat In Hull's Chance
8. A Cat In Hull's Chance
October 20, 1990
There's unusual friction in the Herriot household when 12- year-old daughter Rosie announces that she wants to become a vet. James goes out of his way to show her the arduous, dirty and dangerous side of his work, while Helen thinks he ought to encourage her. Siegfried, meanwhile, manages to lose Mrs. Pettinger's kitten Prudence, which escapes from the surgery and hitches a ride to Hull.
Food For Thought
7. Food For Thought
October 13, 1990
Buffoon, Stewie Brannen, an old friend of Siegfried's, has invited the distinguished Professor Norton to a black tie dinner, and prevails upon Siegfried to host it at Skeldale -- and lend him a dinner suit. But disaster looms when Siegfried and Stewie are called out for a calving, in full evening dress, and James has to hold the fort with an irritable Mrs. Alton.
Out With the New
6. Out With the New
October 6, 1990
Queen Elizabeth II's Coronation is cause for Darrowby celebrations on a grand scale. James and Helen's 12-year-old daughter, Rosie, is due to be crowned too, as Darrowby's pageant princess. Siegfried resorts to traditional cures when he tackles a sheep with liver fluke, and is all too eager to pass on to James a rather smelly problem afflicting a dog called Wolfie.
Spring Fever
5. Spring Fever
September 29, 1990
The mysterious Mrs. Donovan poses problems for all three partners. Siegfried rashly dismisses her as "a warm-hearted woman who loves animals" -- until she starts interfering with his patients and there seems to be no limit to her homespun remedies. Lovely Rosemary Brocklehurst attracts the romantic attention of Tristan when she brings in Esmerelda, a tortoise, which won't come out of its shell.
A Friend For Life
4. A Friend For Life
September 22, 1990
Tragedy strikes Bill Shadwell when his herd of dairy shorthorns contracts Johne's disease. As Shadwell nears retirement, his son wants to move into more profitable Friesian dairy cattle. Mr. Grimsdale's bull has a serious problem and Siegfried is convinced it has swallowed a dangerous metal object. But tightfisted Grimsdale doesn't think an operation is needed.
If Music Be The Food of Love
3. If Music Be The Food of Love
September 15, 1990
Tristan is smitten over the lovely Jane Mercer. When he discovers that she sings in the choral society, Tristan develops a fresh interest in anything musical. Farmer Biggins. a legendary non-payer of vets' bills, finally meets his match when Granville Bennett - "the finest small animal practitioner in the north" attends his tom cat and forces Biggins to settle his outstanding account in full.
Knowin' How To Do It
2. Knowin' How To Do It
September 8, 1990
Planting a syringe full of anti-abortion vaccine into a farmer's backside creates a mini-crisis for Tristan. Farmer Nat Briggs is convinced that his chances of starting a family have been ruined by Tristan's clumsiness and waits for a chance to confront him. But it is Siegfried who gets a letter threatening court action.
The Prodigal Returns
1. The Prodigal Returns
September 1, 1990
Tristan is must manage domestic challenges when James and Helen play a practical joke with a "Welcome Home" card from an old female admirer. A new housekeeper, Mrs. Alton, has been recruited by Siegfried to keep a watchful eye on Tristan, who is delighted to discover that Mrs. Alton is a rather attractive young widow. But this is not the Mrs. Alton that Siegfried had in mind.
Description

All Creatures Great and Small is a British period drama based on the books by author and veterinary surgeon Alf Wright, known under the pen name James Herriot. The program aired in the United Kingdom on BBC One and in the United States on the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) and the cable network A&E.

The initial run of the series matched closely to the timeline of Herriot's first novels. The show starts in the mid 1930's when Herriot (Christopher Timothy) begins his veterinary career working with Siegfried Farnon (Robert Hardy) and his brother Tristan (Peter Davidson). As the series progressed the focus moved away from Herriot's solo adventures in veterinary surgery and became an ensemble drama with equal parts for Timothy, Hardy, and Davidson. All Creatures Great and Small also introduced James' future wife Helen (Carol Drinkwater and Lynda Bellingham) and his attempts to woo her into eventual marriage.

The first run of the series ended in 1980, just as all the characters were about to become embroiled in the Second World War. This also marked the point where Wright's original novels ended. After two Christmas specials aired that were set after the war's end, a new version of the series premiered in 1988. Based on the characters from Wright's series but not his stories, the second running of All Creatures Great and Small moved ahead to the 1950s. In addition to the original characters, the revived series introduced a new member to the practice, Calum Buchanan (John McGlynn), and made the Herriot children recurring characters.

All Creatures Great and Small ran for four more series of programs and ended in 1990 with a final Christmas episode.

All Creatures Great and Small is a series that is currently running and has 7 seasons (90 episodes). The series first aired on January 8, 1978.

Where to Watch All Creatures Great and Small

All Creatures Great and Small is available for streaming on the BBC America website, both individual episodes and full seasons. You can also watch All Creatures Great and Small on demand at Apple TV+, Amazon Prime, Amazon and Vudu.

  • Premiere Date
    January 8, 1978
  • IMDB Rating
    8.4  (3,308)