TV Review – ‘Many Happy Returns’ (All Creatures Great and Small) (2020-21)

Hello everyone! 🙂

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

I’ve seen the fourth episode of Series 2 of the new ‘All Creatures Great and Small’ series. I feel as if we’re going through this season very quickly, especially as I’m enjoying the episodes very much. I also like how this certain episode is more Tristan-focused as opposed to James-focused in the series.

In the episode, it’s Callum Woodhouse as Tristan’s birthday! I really like how the episode begins with Tristan opening his presents, including the suitcase his brother Samuel West as Siegfried gives him. Nicholas Ralph as James and Anna Madeley as Mrs. Hall are also there to celebrate Trist’s birthday. 🙂

As well as his birthday, Tristan is given new responsibilities as a vet. He’s sent by Siegfried to check some horses, belonging to Steven Hartley as John Monkham. This includes checking on a wild black horse that gives Tristan a kicking in the shin. Ooh! Nasty! I hope Trist didn’t suffer permanent damage. 😀

I found it funny when Tristan tried to impress Jessica Clark as Margot Saunders who’s a pretty-looking woman and keen on horses. I wonder whatever happened to Maggie the barmaid from the Drovers. Has she gone and left Darrowby? I thought that she and Tristan were getting on well together. 😐

Tristan invites Margot to the dinner party they have at Skeldale House to celebrate his birthday. Apparently Margot is an old friend of Helen’s. Though, I found it insensitive of her to bring Helen’s ex-fiancé up Hugh when at the dinner party. To be fair though, Margot apologised to Helen by the end. 🙂

Going back to Tristan, he attends to the delivery of a cow’s calf at the farm of Jon Furlong as Mr. Dobson. It was funny when Tristan groaned in agony whilst attending to the delivery of the cow’s calf. Callum Woodhouse’s Tristan does a similar thing that Peter Davison’s Tristan did in the original series.

Yeah! In the original series episode ‘Breath of Life’, Peter Davison’s Tristan acted like he was in agonising pain in attending to someone’s cow. Here, Callum Woodhouse’s Tristan also acts like he’s in agonising pain in attending to the delivery of a cow’s calf. James sees that Tristan play-acted and calls him a ‘bugger’.  😀

It was funny to see that in the episode. It was also amusing when Siegfried gave Tristan his car to drive in when attending to Dobson’s pregnant cow. It was funny when Tristan went the wrong way as he drove out in Siegfried’s car. Thankfully Tristan didn’t crash the car when on the road in the episode.

At the dinner party at Skeldale, there’s James, Siegfried, Tristan and Mrs. Hall as well as Margot, Rachel Shenton as Helen and Dorothy Atkinson as Diana Brompton, who was in the second episode of Series 2. I also wonder what’s become of Dorothy from Series 1, since surely Siegfried liked her. 😐

In fact, how come Tristan didn’t invite Ella Bruccoleri’s character from the second episode of Series 2. The party is cheerful for the most part, but it ends abruptly when Siegfried inadvertently reveals that Tristan didn’t pass his veterinary exams as he told him he did from the conclusion of Series 1. 😐

Ooh dear. Bad way to reveal that to Tristan on his birthday! Tristan is clearly upset and disappointed that Siegfried didn’t tell him the truth as he believed he was a fully-qualified vet. I’m not sure where this plotline is going to go next and whether Tristan will ever properly forgive Siegfried for lying to him. 😐

I like how the romance between James and Helen is blossoming so far. They seem to be happy together, though Mrs. Hall tells James that he needs to tell Helen about the job offer he’s had in Glasgow, which his mother is keen on him having. James struggles to tell Helen about the job offer.

Mrs. Hall accidentally reveals to Helen about the job offer James has had in Glasgow before he even told her. I liked it when he took her home; James is about to tell Helen about the job offer before she reveals she already knew. It’s well-played between the two characters and the actors playing them.

James shares how much he wants to be in Darrowby and to be with Helen but doesn’t want to upset his mother. Helen hopes they’ll be able to sort something out. I like how the new series doesn’t sexualise James and Helen’s relationship as original Helen actress Carol Drinkwater feared back in 2019. 🙂

There is a subplot in the episode about a dog who whines a lot after receiving an anaesthetic from Siegfried. I don’t think it went anywhere as the dog simply wanted attention when Siegfried and Mrs. Hall are in the house. I wondered whether there was something really wrong with the dog here.

The episode ends with James and Tristan heading off to the Drovers to continue celebrating Tristan’s birthday. I did feel like “Is that it?” once the episode ended? I wanted it to continue! Even when the Channel 5 announcer annoyingly couldn’t wait for the end credits to roll up, I didn’t want it to end. 🙂

‘Many Happy Returns’ is a good Tristan-centric episode in the new ‘All Creatures Great and Small’ series. I’m curious about what will happen next now that Tristan knows the truth he didn’t pass his veterinary exams? Also, will James and Helen continue to have a happy, long-lasting relationship? 😐

There will be a delay to my review on the fifth episode of Series 2 of the new ‘All Creatures Great and Small’ TV series called ‘The Last Man In’, as I’ll be attending the ‘Bedford Who Charity Con’ next week. Hopefully my review on ‘The Last Man In’ will be up on my blog soon! Stay tuned!

Thanks for reading!

Bye for now

Tim. 🙂


2 thoughts on “TV Review – ‘Many Happy Returns’ (All Creatures Great and Small) (2020-21)

  1. Williams Fan 92

    Great review Tim.

    I enjoyed this episode. It was the perfect end to my birthday. I decided to have a cup of tea whilst watching it and I continued to stuff my face with chocolate as I had for most of that day. 😃

    How fitting that it was Tristan’s birthday as well. It’s a shame that it was slightly spoilt towards the end when Siegfried told him he hadn’t passed his exams. It was already tense when Margot kept bringing up Hugh and I thought it was going to boil over in that sense, but it didn’t. The scene with the cow was good as well. I haven’t seen ‘Breath of Life’ but I have watched a clip of it.

    The relationship between James and Helen is as strong as ever. I’m hoping that James will decide to stay in Darrowby. I noticed that the on-screen Channel 5 continuity had a fault in it. I missed seeing Nicholas Ralph on Jeremy Vine yesterday morning.

    Take care, WF92. 😃

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Tim Bradley Post author

      Hi WF92,

      Glad you enjoyed this episode and very fitting that you should see it on your birthday. 😀 I had a bowl of grapes to watch this episode after having had a KFC after doing some shopping in Tesco! 😀

      Yeah, a shame Tristan’s birthday was ruined because of Siegfried inadvertently revealing to him he hadn’t passed his exams. But at least Tristan and James got to go to the Drovers at the episode’s end. Yeah, I thought it was insensitive of Margot to keep bringing up Hugh during the dinner party, but thankfully no emotional upsets occurred on Helen’s part. Yeah, the cow pregnancy stuff and Tristan faking it with his agonising pain was hilarious to watch. I think Peter Davison was more over-the-top doing that scene compared to Callum Woodhouse. 😀

      I’m enjoying James and Helen’s relationship so far in the series. I’m hoping for good things to come out of this relationship. Maybe James and Helen will be married by the time the 2021 Christmas Special comes along. I’m looking forward to the next ‘All Creatures’ episode, especially with the prospect of cricket involved.

      Many thanks for your comments.

      Tim 🙂

      Liked by 1 person


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