TV Review – ‘The Last Man In’ (All Creatures Great and Small) (2020-21)

SPOILERS ALERT!!!

Hello everyone! 🙂

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

Apologies for this coming in late, but I wanted to share my thoughts on the fifth episode of Series 2 of the new ‘All Creatures Great and Small’ TV series before the sixth and final episode is shown on Channel 5. I greatly enjoyed watching the episode last week on Thursday, especially with cricket in it.

I watched this episode last Thursday night in my hotel room when I was away in Bedford for the ‘Bedford Who Charity Con’ the following weekend. I found this a rather light-hearted episode, and surprisingly so, considering that the episode features the return of an old flame of Rachel Shenton as Helen Alderson’s.

That’s right! Matthew Lewis returns to play Hugh Hulton in the episode. I didn’t think we would see Hugh again following the 2020 Christmas Special where Helen jilted him on their wedding day. There was tension once Helen and her family met up with Hugh again as well as Nicholas Ralph as James meeting him.

Hugh’s been away in France for quite a while. Understandably, James is worried Hugh has returned to vie for Helen’s attention. This episode could have easily ended up badly in arguments where Hugh caused trouble, and James and Helen fell out with each other because of distrust among each other.

But surprisingly, the episode didn’t do that. On the contrary, by the end, Hugh seems happy that Helen’s found happiness with James. Also James does something during the cricket match that impresses Helen and makes her love him more. I found that genuinely heartwarming watching this.

As I indicated, this episode features a cricket match in it. I’m pleased we got to have some cricket in this new series ‘All Creatures’ episode. Thankfully, it’s not like the one in the original series episode ‘The Name of the Game’ where James got tricked into playing a game of cricket by Tristan Farnon. 😀

On the contrary, James volunteers to join the Darrowby Eleven team to compete against Hugh Hulton’s team when they participate in Mrs. Pumphrey’s annual cricket match. Yes, Patricia Hodge as Mrs. Pumphrey is back in the episode. She also has some trouble with her little dog Tricki-Woo. 😐

Apparently, Tricki seems to pine for the dog belonging to Nigel Betts as Dennis Handshaw – Oh yeah! Nigel Betts has been in the new ‘All Creatures’ series (both in Series 1 and 2). He gets everywhere, that Nigel Betts. First ‘Doctor Who’; then a ‘Grantchester’ episode; and here the new ‘All Creatures’!

Mrs. Pumphrey acquires Samuel West as Siegfried’s help when Tricki-Woo seems to be pining for another dog (which is not his breed, I believe). Interesting that Mrs. Pumphrey asked Siegfried, not ‘Uncle Herriot’, to help out! In the original show, James had been asked for all the time by Mrs. Pumphrey.

I also like how James is trained into shape for the cricket match by Siegfried, Callum Woodhouse as Tristan and Anna Madeley as Mrs. Hall. Siegfried seems to be rather hard on James, whilst Tristan is giving him some encouraging words of support. Intriguing how Siegfried and Tristan differ in helping James. 😐

Tristan meanwhile still hasn’t forgiven Siegfried for lying to him about not passing his veterinarian exams following the previous episode. Tristan also can’t join the team since he’s not a qualified vet, according to the rules. This is until one of the Darrowby Eleven is unable to come and Tristan pitches in.

By the way, Helen’s father, Tony Pitt as Richard Alderson is in charge of the cricket team. The Aldersons, including Helen, her father and her sister Imogen Clawson as Jenny, also receive a surprise from Hugh when he offers them a new cow to make amends. They decline the kind offer. 🙂

It was nice to see Will Thorp again as Gerald Hammond, who appeared in the second episode of Series 2 and is a love interest for Mrs. Hall. There’s also Jessica Clark as Margot Sebright Saunders, who was in the previous episode. Tristan has a thing for Margot here before he spots Hugh with her.

Whatever happened to that nice bargirl called Maggie. We haven’t seen her for a while. I’m sure she and Tristan were getting on well with each other by the time the 2020 Christmas Special ended. And whatever happened to Ella Bruccoleri’s Anabel Dinsdale. Mark Noble as her father is in this episode!

I enjoyed the set-up of the cricket match featured in the episode, especially when things seemed to be rather brutal between the Darrowby Eleven and Hugh’s men during the match. As I watched the episode, I couldn’t help feel there were echoes of the ‘Dad’s Army’ episode ‘The Test’ featured here.

In fact, I thought the episode was going to end on a note where the Darrowby Eleven nearly lost and James saved the day with surprising luck. Surprisingly, it didn’t happen that way and it seemed like James deliberately lost to prove a point. Tristan noticed. So did Helen. But it seemed okay in the end.

‘The Last Man In’ is a great episode in Series 2 of the new ‘All Creatures Great and Small’ series! I’m glad I saw this episode last Thursday whilst I was away in Bedford. It was a nice episode to sit through whilst I was in my hotel room. The performances of the cast and the cricketing atmosphere shone throughout. 🙂

Stay tuned for my review on the sixth and final episode of Series 2 of the new ‘All Creatures Great and Small’ TV series called ‘Home Truths’ for my blog this coming weekend.

Thanks for reading!

Bye for now!

Tim. 🙂

2 thoughts on “TV Review – ‘The Last Man In’ (All Creatures Great and Small) (2020-21)

  1. Williams Fan 92

    Great review Tim.

    I am posting this comment having seen seen last nights episode, but this one comes first.

    There was a lot to enjoy in it especially the cricket scenes. I’m surprised the scene didn’t put you in mind of ‘Black Orchid’. The match in this episode certainly didn’t go as smoothly as the one in ‘Black Orchid’ considering that most of the Darrowby 11 fumbled. It was quite shocking when one of the players got bashed in the face by the ball and broke his nose. But it looked like fun and I’m glad Tristan managed to forgive Siegfried.

    It was great to see Hugh again. Nice of him to offer the Aldersons a cow. 🙂 James and Helens relationship is still as healthy as ever.

    Hopefully I’ll be able to share my thoughts on ‘Home Truths’ next week. I plan on listening to ‘Conversion’ today and tomorrow, and over the next couple of weeks, I’ll be listening to ‘Time Apart’, ‘Thin Time’, ‘Madquake’, ‘Psychodrome’ and ‘Iterations of I’ all of which came in the post yesterday. I’m also hoping to share my thoughts on ‘The Web of Fear’ and ‘Colony in Space’.

    Take care, WF92. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. Tim Bradley Post author

      Hi WF92,

      Glad you enjoyed my review. The cricket scenes in this episode are very good. Actually the cricket scenes did put me in mind of ‘Black Orchid’ since I watched it recently. I just forgot to mention it in my review. I’ll try to mention it next time I come to revisiting Series 2 on DVD, hopefully in 2022. I forgot about the cricketer who had a bloody nose from bating in the episode. That was quick a shock. D I like how the Hugh Hulton story ended in this episode and how James and Helen’s relationship developed here.

      I’ve scheduled my review for ‘Home Truths’, the final episode of Series 2 tomorrow. I look forward to your thoughts on the episode as well as the Big Finish audios like ‘Conversion’, ‘Time Apart’, ‘Thin Time’, ‘Madquake’, ‘Psychodrome’ and ‘Iterations of I’ and the ‘Doctor Who’ stories ‘The Web of Fear’ and ‘Colony in Space’.

      Many thanks for your comments.

      Tim. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply

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