TV Review – ‘Where the Heart Is’ (All Creatures Great and Small) (2020-21)

Hello everyone! 🙂

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

And we’re back! ‘All Creatures Great and Small’ is back with the new TV series presenting its second season on Channel 5! It’s amazing that it was only a year ago that the new ‘All Creatures’ show was shown on Channel 5 in Series 1. I’ve been looking forward to seeing Series 2 after enjoying Series 1. 🙂

I’m happy the new ‘All Creatures’ cast is back for their second run, including Nicholas Ralph as James Herriot, Samuel West as Siegfried Farnon, Callum Woodhouse as Tristan Farnon, Anna Madeley as Mrs. Hall and Rachel Shenton as Helen Alderson. It’s like these new characters haven’t been away. 😀

The episodes are now being shown on Thursdays at 9pm instead of Tuesdays at 9pm, which is an intriguing move, but I’m okay with that. I’m sure it wasn’t easy for the cast and crew to make Series 2 of the new TV show since they filmed during the Covid-19 pandemic in 2021 – please keep safe. 😐

But like with Series 10 of ‘Call the Midwife’ and Series 6 of ‘Grantchester’, it was hard to notice the cast doing any social distancing since they acted very naturally in the scenes during the episode. There’s a moment where Mrs. Hall hugged James upon his return to Skeldale House, which is brave.

I’m not sure how that was handled in terms of filming in a ‘bubble’, but I’m sure it was sorted in terms of health and safety guidelines. Anyway, the first Series 2 episode called ‘Where the Heart Is’ begins with James temporarily working in Glasgow for a bit before he returns to the Yorkshire Dales.

This was an interesting way to begin Series 2. In the original TV show, we never saw James return home as he was always there in Darrowby from beginning to end. Mind you, it didn’t help when James sounded less Scottish than he was meant to sound when Christopher Timothy portrayed him.

It’s also interesting that this episode didn’t begin with the opening title sequence as featured in the second to sixth episodes of Series 1 of new ‘All Creatures’ as well as the 2020 Christmas Special. Perhaps the opening title sequence will be played in the second to sixth episodes of Series 2 here. 😐

When in Glasgow, James is offered a permanent role at a more sophisticated veterinary practice. He has to choose between his mother’s wishes for him to be closer to home and the place in Yorkshire he has come to love. This is a fascinating character arc for James and it seems to be ongoing in Series 2.

James’ return to the Dales is initially a happy one. Mrs. Hall, Tristan and Siegfried (in his way 😀 ) are glad to have him back at Skeldale House. But trouble ensues when James faces a clash of rural values when the dog of Imogen Clawson as Jenny, Helen Alderson’s sister is frightening a farmer’s sheep. 😮

There’s no evidence of bite marks on the sheep, yet the Aldersons, including Helen and Tony Pitts as her father wish to put the dog down. I like how James tries to resolve the issue without resorting to putting the dog down. He has Jenny training her dog to be around sheep and not to frighten them. 🙂

I also liked it when James persuaded people like Helen and Siegfried to overcome their traditional Yorkshire values and to seek new ways of handling animals without resorting to harsh methods. There’s a moment where James tells Helen not to feel guilty about herself over jilting Hugh Hulton. 🙂

I know the conversation was about the dog, but after James heard from Jenny what happened in the aftermath following the aborted wedding in the 2020 Christmas Special, I could tell he was talking to her about feeling guilty over dumping Hugh. I’m pretty sure she knew what he was talking about too.

I hope the love story between James and Helen continues to have a positive outcome. I don’t know if Series 2 will conclude with James and Helen being together or whether that will continue in the 2021 Christmas Special, but it does seem be to leaning towards that direction if my predictions are correct.

There’s also a subplot where Siegfried struggles to keep concealing from Tristan that he didn’t do well in his recent exams from the end of Series 1, I believe (I would need to double-check on that). Mrs. Hall meanwhile susses it out. It was very amusing how she got him to tell her the truth about it.

It’s interesting how Siegfried doesn’t blow his top about Tristan failing his previous exams as I’m sure the Siegfried in the original TV show would have made a fuss about it. I wonder if Tristan will ever find out the truth Siegfried lied to him in that he failed his veterinary exams as Series 2 progresses. 😐

There’s also an amusing subplot where Tristan accidentally kills his first patient and it turns out to be a budgerigar. This storyline has been used before in the original series TV episode ‘Faint Hearts’, except it was James who handled the budgie. The budgie’s owner also happens to be a blind woman.

Surely that was taken from the original series TV episode ‘Alarms and Excursions’ where Siegfried attended to a blind lady who had a guide dog. I couldn’t help laugh my way through that subplot, especially when Tristan dumped the dead budgie in a drawer before he went to buy another one. 😀

I found ‘Where the Heart Is’ a good start to Series 2 of the new ‘All Creatures Great and Small’ series. I’m looking forward to seeing more of Series 2 and how the main characters’ journeys will progress. Will James stay in Darrowby or will he move back to Glasgow? And will James and Helen be a couple?

By the way, James seems more confident in Series 2 compared to how he began in Series 1.

Stay tuned for my review on the second episode of Series 2 of the new ‘All Creatures Great and Small’ TV series called ‘Semper Progrediens’ for my blog next week.

Thanks for reading!

Bye for now!

Tim. 🙂


2 thoughts on “TV Review – ‘Where the Heart Is’ (All Creatures Great and Small) (2020-21)

  1. Williams Fan 92

    Great review Tim.

    I think the second series of the ‘All Creatures and Small’ reboot has been given a good start. James was great in the story especially when he got the Aldersons dog trained to behave around sheep. I can understand Jennys love for her dog since I own a dog myself. Siegfried, Tristan, Helen and Mrs. Hall were great as well. Tristan was lucky to get out of trouble with that budgie thanks to Siegfried and Mrs. Hall. I did think Siegfried was being rather rough on James when he found the Aldersons dog at Skeldale House.

    When I watched this, I managed to consume a large amount of food and drink. I always do that when I’m watching tv in the evenings.

    There are two things I am wondering about for this series. Whether Siegfried will tell Tristan the truth about his exams and whether Helen and James will get together.

    P.s. I will be sharing my thoughts on ‘Paradise Towers’ tommorow.

    Take care, WF92.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Tim Bradley Post author

      Hi WF92,

      Glad you enjoyed my review on the first episode of Series 2 of the new ‘All Creatures Great and Small’.

      Yeah Siegfried was a bit rough on James concerning the Aldersons’ dog at Skeldale, but at least James was able to stand up to him by the episode’s end. I can’t recall what I ate/drank while watching the episode on Thursday night, though I’m sure I had tea or coffee to go with it. 😀 I’m hoping to enjoy more of the new ‘All Creatures’ as the series goes on.

      Looking forward to your thoughts on ‘Paradise Towers’.

      Many thanks,

      Tim 🙂

      Liked by 1 person


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