Hello everyone! 🙂
Welcome to ‘Bradley’s Basement’ blog and I’m Tim Bradley!
It’s rather fortunate that I’ve seen every episode of the original ‘All Creatures Great and Small’ series on DVD and reviewed them on ‘Bradley’s Basement’. I know how the series is supposed to work. I have a deeper appreciation for the characters featured in that original 1978-1990 TV series. 🙂
When the news came out in 2019 that a remake of ‘All Creatures’ would be made for Channel 5, I didn’t know what to make of it. I was dubious. I was still watching the original ‘All Creatures’ series at the time. There was no need for a remake to be made and I don’t know why they decided to do it.
After seeing all of the original series in early 2020, I was able to venture forth and find out what the remake would be like. I watched the first episode of the 2020 remake of ‘All Creatures’ on Channel 5 last night. I knew it wouldn’t be as good as the original series, but I hoped it would be entertaining. 🙂
I hoped it would evoke something of the original series as well as bring something new. I hoped nothing derogatory would be found in the very first episode. 🙂 After seeing the first episode, I found the 2020 remake of ‘All Creatures’ to be very fascinating. I really enjoyed watching the first episode.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s not a great remake and I have issues with the storytelling and the casting so far. But I have found this to be an intriguing new interpretation of ‘All Creatures’ based on the original books by ‘James Herriot’. I think the 2020 remake tries to follow closely to the original books.
In case you don’t know, the series follows the early career of James Herriot. He goes to Darrowby in the Yorkshire Dales where he’s appointed as Siegfried Farnon’s new veterinary partner. However, along the way, James encounters mishaps and he tries to impress Siegfried that he can do his job. 😐
It’s intriguing how the series begins with James starting off in Glasgow before he goes to catch the train to Darrowby. James is more Scottish-sounding compared to how Christopher Timothy played the character in the original series, though that is more faithful in the books as James is Glaswegian.
Nicholas Ralph stars as James Herriot, who I believe is a relative newcomer to the world of TV and drama. I like Nicholas Ralph’s performance as James and it was fascinating to see this young man starting off inexperienced in the Yorkshire Dales and often getting in trouble once he’s doing his job.
There’s also Samuel West as Siegfried Farnon, who I found to be an interesting choice to play the character. He’s very good, but I couldn’t help feel that he was too serious and perhaps a bit too hard on James. I prefer Robert Hardy’s interpretation of Siegfried since he was a lot friendlier to James. 🙂
Anna Madeley stars as Mrs. Hall, the housekeeper of Skeldale House. I find Anna Madeley to be rather young playing Mrs. Hall in this series compared to Mary Hignett who played the character in the original series. Mrs. Hall also seems more supportive of James than Siegfried is in the remake. 😐
This episode also features Rachel Shenton as Helen Alderson, who becomes James’ love interest in the series. I did feel that the first episode crammed too much story for us to get introduced to the characters. The original series was more leisurely in how it introduced characters in earlier episodes.
So, was it worth seeing the first episode of the 2020 remake of ‘All Creatures Great and Small’? In my mind, yes! I’m glad I’ve seen this new version of the series. I don’t think it’s as good as the original, but then again that’s bound to happen as I feel more loyalty to the original than its remake.
I wouldn’t want to judge this new series too harshly just yet as it is early days and I’ve only just seen the first episode. I’m looking forward to seeing more of this new series and find out how the characters progress. Is it a worthwhile remake? Only time will tell. But it was so fascinating to watch.
I’m looking forward to next week’s episode where we’ll be introduced to Callum Woodhouse as Tristan Farnon, Siegfried’s younger brother and Diana Rigg as Mrs. Pumphrey, the lady who owns Tricki-Woo. I do wonder how Tristan and Mrs. Pumphrey’s introductions will compare to the original.
By the way, I’m pretty sure I heard the original Johnny Pearson ‘All Creatures Great and Small’ theme music during the first episode’s end credits. 😀
Stay tuned for my review on the second episode of the ‘All Creatures Great and Small’ 2020 remake for my blog next week.
Thanks for reading!
Bye for now!