TV Review – ‘Andante’ (All Creatures Great and Small) (2020)

Hello everyone! 🙂

Welcome to ‘Bradley’s Basement’ blog and I’m Tim Bradley!

I have to admit this; the new ‘All Creatures Great and Small’ series is growing on me. I can’t say it’s superior to the original 1978-1990 series, but I’m getting into the new show’s tone and atmosphere. I also like the new actors who are playing the characters from watching the show’s third TV episode.

I’m also hearing that the new show’s viewers are claiming that the Channel 5 remake is as good as the BBC original. That’s a positive sign. And for most part, I agree since the show so far doesn’t have anything derogatory going on about it and it does keep to the spirit and tone of what is in the original.

In the third episode called ‘Andante’, Samuel West as Siegfried hopes to become the new attending vet at the local Darrowby racecourse. Sadly, Nicholas Ralph as James has to put down a racing horse that is going through a lot of pain. The horse happens to belong to Matthew Lewis as Hugh Hulton. 😦

Now in the original series, the issue of James putting down his first horse after going through such pain had been addressed briefly at the end of the first episode and at the beginning of the second. Here, the issue is given central focus and I feel it works really well in providing the emotional impact.

Nicholas Ralph’s performance as James is very good as he reflects on the decision he made about whether he was right to shoot that poor animal or not. He gets a lot of slack from people calling him ‘horse killer’, which is pretty harsh considering James defended his actions to spare the animal pain.

I also like how Samuel West’s Siegfried supports James in this story. In the previous two episodes, I struggled to connect to Samuel West’s Siegfried. But here, he is growing on me. Not as a convincing Robert Hardy, but he’s certainly an intriguing interpretation of the Siegfried character in the series. 🙂

Siegfried defends James on what he did, believing him to be a competent vet. He also stands by James in declining the offer to be the racecourse’s attending vet by Nigel Havers as General Ransom, the local racecourse’s manager, after receiving harsh bigoted opinions about James for what he did.

I also like how Siegfried’s ‘inconsistency’ comes into play for the comedic effect. At the end of the episode, Siegfried tells Callum Woodhouse as Tristan to not put his feet up on the table. Moments later, he puts his feet up on the table once Tristan’s gone. That got me laughing which is a good thing!

Another moment that made me laugh was when early on in the episode James had trouble driving over a bridge with Hugh Hulton getting in the way. There’s a misunderstanding on who should back up first and they bump into each other again. That was just so funny as I watched the episode on TV.

Callum Woodhouse’s Tristan is also growing on me, although I’m not sure if he’s as naughty as Peter Davison’s Tristan was in the original. For one thing, he manages to redeem himself in getting money off clients. Whilst he did spend it all for people in the Drovers, he got his ‘winnings’ from a horse bet.

I hope more can be developed in James’s relationship with Rachel Shenton as Helen since she’s being attended to by Hugh Hulton in the series. I like the friendship she has with Anna Madeley as Mrs. Hall. The two connect when concerning about Helen’s sister whom she dots on like a mother. 🙂

Overall, ‘Andante’ has been a worthwhile episode to watch in the new ‘All Creatures Great and Small’ series. I’d like to think things will get better in the next three episodes as well as the upcoming Christmas Special. I’m getting to appreciate the characters and the tone of this new show has been good so far.

At the end of the third episode, I like the tribute given to Diana Rigg who played Mrs. Pumphrey. It was a shock when she died two days after the second episode of this series was shown on TV. She’ll be greatly missed. 😦 Don’t know if Mrs. Pumphrey will return for a second series with a new actress. 😐

Stay tuned for my review on the fourth episode of the ‘All Creatures Great and Small’ 2020 remake called ‘A Tricki Case’ for my blog next week.

Thanks for reading!

Bye for now!

Tim. 🙂


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