TV Review – ‘We Can But Hope’ (All Creatures Great and Small) (2020-21)

Hello everyone! 🙂

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

I’ve seen the third episode of Series 2 of the new ‘All Creatures Great and Small’ series. I greatly enjoyed watching the episode and it was nice to see how it ended on a happy note. It was also fascinating comparing and contrasting plotlines in this episode that happened in the original show. 🙂

The episode begins with a funeral, as a farmer’s wife has recently lost her husband and has to look after her children and run the farm with her fellow farmhands. James, Siegfried, Tristan, Mrs. Hall and the Aldersons are in attendance at the funeral. It was interesting to see how this episode began.

Amy Nuttall guest stars as Phyllis Dalby, the struggling young widow at her husband’s farm. I was amazed to see Amy Nuttall. She played Ethel in Series 2 and 3 of ‘Downton Abbey’. First, it was Ella Bruccoleri from ‘Call the Midwife’ in the previous episode, now it’s Amy Nuttall from ‘Downton Abbey’!

What’s interesting is that Mrs. Dalby as a character appeared in the original TV series and she was played by Janet Davies of ‘Dad’s Army’ fame. It was intriguing to see how the new ‘All Creatures’ TV series handled the Mrs. Dalby character compared to how the original TV series handled her in 1978.

Both are good in the original and new series, but in the original show, we were introduced to Mrs. Dalby’s husband Billy in the episode ‘Nothing Like Experience’ before he was dead in ‘Golden Lads and Girls’ and ‘Advice and Consent’. Here, Mrs. Dalby’s husband is already dead, which is very sad. 😦

At least we see how Mrs. Dalby tries to cope with the struggles of running a farm, especially when Nicholas Ralph as James assists her with the problem of her herd of cows on the farm. It was intriguing to see how James sympathised with Mrs. Dalby’s situation, but struggled to give her hope.

There is a moment when James suggests to Mrs. Dalby that she should give up her farm and sell it before things become worse. But Mrs. Dalby is determined not to give up and hopes to continue running the farm in memory of her husband. Could this plotline continue in the following episode? 😐

Patricia Hodge makes her debut appearance as Mrs. Pumphrey (taking over from Diana Rigg who sadly passed away in 2020). I enjoyed Patricia Hodge’s performance as Mrs. Pumphrey. It’s not as good as Diana Rigg’s and she only appears at the episode’s end, but I found her decent enough here.

The Skeldale household are asked (or rather ‘Uncle Herriot’ is asked) to look after Tricki-Woo whilst she’s away in London. It’s a shame that James never got to meet up with the new Mrs. Pumphrey in this episode. Maybe that will occur in a future episode, hopefully as we progress through Series 2. 😐

Instead of ‘Uncle Herriot’, Samuel West as Siegfried, Callum Woodhouse as Tristan and Anna Madeley as Mrs. Hall look after Tricki-Woo in the episode. It has its setbacks though, especially when Tricki keeps following Siegfried around Skeldale House and there’s an accident involving chickens. 😐

Yeah, Siegfried purchases a flock of chickens for Tristan to look after in order to acquire some eggs. This is similar to when Siegfried purchased a littler of pigs in the original series episodes ‘Calf Love’ and ‘Out of Practice’ and when he purchased guinea fowl in the Series 2 episode ‘Fair Means and Fowl’.

I actually thought they were going to have pigs in this episode. At least I’d like to think the new series production team took my suggestion on them having chickens from my ‘Fair Means and Fowl’ review. 😀 It was amusing how Tristan failed to get the eggs Siegfried hoped that they would obtain.

It was also funny when the chickens ran riot and people kept bringing them back to Skeldale. Tristan purchases some eggs from a nearby grocer’s. I found it funny when Tristan admitted to Siegfried he purchased the eggs, and at least Siegfried admitted he left the gate open for the chickens to run riot.

I like how the James/Helen romance has progressed by this point in the series. James takes Helen out on a date to the Reniston. At least it’s not as disastrous as it was in the original series episode ‘Out of Practice’. It’s also funny when James ruined his shoes. This also occurred in ‘Out of Practice’.

There is tension between James and Helen when they talk about the fate of Mrs. Dalby as a struggling young widow. I could see that James’ opinion clashing with Helen’s opinion was reflecting on his decision in whether to stay in Darrowby or not as he’s torn in two regarding the Glasgow job.

The episode ends with James admitting to Helen that she was right and they both reconcile with each other. They also share a kiss whilst sitting on a rooftop! Yes! This is the first time James and Helen romantically kiss each other. Wow! That happened much sooner than I expected in the series.

And we’re about halfway in Series 2. I found it funny when the Channel 5 announcer said “Aw! At last!” during the episode’s end credits. ‘We Can But Hope’ is a great instalment in Series 2 of the new ‘All Creatures Great and Small’. I look forward to how James and Helen’s romance will progress.

It was also nice to see the Skeldale family get a hamper from Mrs. Pumphrey. 😀

Stay tuned for my review on the fourth episode of Series 2 of the new ‘All Creatures Great and Small’ TV series called ‘Many Happy Returns’ for my blog next week.

Thanks for reading!

Bye for now!

Tim. 🙂


4 thoughts on “TV Review – ‘We Can But Hope’ (All Creatures Great and Small) (2020-21)

  1. Williams Fan 92

    Great review Tim.

    It was great to see extra development in the romance between James and Helen. The two main plots of the episode were well put together as well. Mrs. Dalby certainly had a tough job taking over her husbands farm and it’s sad that two cows died. It turned out ok in the end however. It was also a pleasure to see Mrs. Pumphrey who was well played by Patricia Hodge. The scenes with Tricki-Woo were funny.

    I drank some beer when I watched the episode. For the remaining three episodes, I’ll probably have tea instead. I also got to snuggle up in my dressing gown when watching the episode. That’s my favourite way of keeping warm especially now that we are getting closer to those cold winter evenings. 😃

    P.s. I had a black and white object on the top right part of my tv screen during the broadcast. Did you have one Tim?

    Take care, WF92. 😃

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Tim Bradley Post author

      Hi WF92,

      Glad you enjoyed my review. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on the episode. I hope for good things to come out of James and Helen’s new relationship. Glad you enjoyed Mrs. Pumphrey and Tricki-Woo.

      I still can’t remember what I had to eat and drink last Thursday. I’m sure I had a cup of tea and a biscuit.

      Yes there was a black and white object on the top right part of our TV screen. I wasn’t sure if that was just on standard TV channels or if it’s also affected with Virgin Media or something. There wasn’t a black and white object when watching ‘Grantchester’ last night. Hopefully we won’t see it for the next ‘All Creatures’ episode.

      Many thanks WF92.

      Tim 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Williams Fan 92

        I’m looking at Channel 5 who are showing ‘Friends’ right now and the back and white object is still there. It’s obviously something that Channel 5 have just implemented.

        Also, I liked he Cricket scenes even though we didn’t actually see any Cricket being played. I bet Peter Davison would have enjoyed them.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Tim Bradley Post author

        Ah! That makes sense. I wonder if we’ll ever get to see some cricket in new ‘All Creatures’ rather than just hear it on the wireless. 😀 I also wonder whether Christopher Timothy and Peter Davison will make special appearances in the series.

        Thanks WF92.

        Tim 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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