TV Review – ‘All Creatures Great and Small’ (2020-21), Christmas Special 2021

Hello everyone! 🙂

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

On Christmas Eve this year, I saw the 2021 Christmas Special of the new ‘All Creatures Great and Small’ series on Channel 5. I greatly enjoyed the Christmas Special! It was nice to see the ‘All Creatures’ cast from the Channel 5 series again, after enjoying what had been going on in Series 2. 🙂

In this Christmas Special, the annual Christmas Party at Skeldale House takes place. Nicholas Ralph as James and Rachel Shenton as Helen face dilemmas, as they’re to have Christmas dinner at either Skeldale House or at Helen’s family farm. I really like how James and Helen interact with each other.

James and Helen have recently become engaged and they discuss what their future is going to be. They talk about things they haven’t considered, such as what Helen should do when she marries him and whether she’ll stay at Skeldale House with him or at the family farm. Intriguing this wasn’t discussed before.

Mind you, James and Helen were happy in the moment when they decided to get married, so I suppose they were enjoying their engagement before considering the serious issues. I’m surprised James didn’t suggest to Helen she should be a secretary at Skeldale House as in the original TV show.

Now this isn’t to say James and Helen in the original TV show didn’t discuss serious issues like the James and Helen in the new show. Mind you, Rachel Shenton’s Helen does seem to take things more seriously compared to Carol Drinkwater’s Helen. This is when she and James are organising their future. 🙂

It’s also interesting that James and Helen don’t get married in the Christmas Special like when Helen almost married Hugh Hulton over Christmas in the previous Christmas Special. I suppose Helen is trying not to repeat a similar mistake. Hopefully James and Helen will marry when Series 3 turns up.

It was amusing to see James dressed up in the green Father Christmas outfit this time around and Helen became his elf. In the previous Christmas Special, Samuel West as Siegfried was Father Christmas whilst Callum Woodhouse as Tristan was his elf. An interesting symmetry there, isn’t it? 🙂

I was expecting James to ask the children who came to see him as Father Christmas what they want for Christmas. Instead, he just gives them oranges in wrapping paper (I think). Come on, James. Surely you could’ve had the kiddies sit on your lap for a bit whilst you were playing Father Christmas.

This episode does happen to be a Tricki-Woo-focused episode, especially when Patricia Hodge as Mrs. Pumphrey makes an appearance. I still feel sad that the late Diana Rigg wasn’t able to appear in the previous Christmas Special. Anyway, our Tricki-Woo appears to have fallen seriously ill in this special.

There are echoes of ‘Merry Gentlemen’ from the original ‘All Creatures’ TV series in this special, especially concerning Tricki-Woo and Mrs. Pumphrey. I like how things get resolved, especially with James and Helen coming up with a solution, inspired from meeting a grumpy farmer in the special. 🙂

The grumpy farmer, James Burrows as Dave Kitson, is one of those farmers who doesn’t want to pay expensive bills to vets, like in the original show. Thankfully, without Kitson knowing, James saves one of his ewes with a special medicine, and Helen encourages him to use the same treatment for Tricki.

I like how the episode concludes with everyone visiting Mrs. Pumphrey at her home when she’s all alone for Christmas, as she sent the staff home. James, Helen, Siegfried and Tristan are there as well as Anna Madeley as Mrs. Hall, Tony Pitts as Richard Alderson and Imogen Clawson as Jenny Alderson.

I also like how things turn out between Mrs. Hall and her love interest Will Thorp as Gerald Hammond. It was amusing to see Mrs. Hall in different outfits for the Christmas Eve party, giving her a new look, which startles Siegfried. Dorothy Atkinson also appears as Diana Brompton in the special. 🙂

It was nice to see Mollie Winnard back as Maggie in the special, though I’m feeling sorry for Tristan, as Maggie happens to be engaged to someone. It was very good that James got to make a phone call to his parents Gabriel Quigley as Hannah Herriot and Drew Cain as James Herriot Snr. on Christmas Day. 🙂

The special does conclude on a bittersweet note. Whilst James, Siegfried, Helen and Tristan are enjoying themselves at Skeldale House, Mrs. Hall is concerned by the war plane looming up in the sky. This is a foreshadowing of what is to come in Series 3 when war is soon about to be declared. 😐

Overall, the 2021 Christmas Special of the new ‘All Creatures Great and Small’ series has been a joy to watch. I’m pleased my parents and I saw it and how lucky that this special was shown on Christmas Eve instead of two days earlier. I’m looking forward to what’s to happen next in the series. 🙂

By the way, I’ve purchased the Series 2 music soundtrack of ‘All Creatures Great and Small’ as a download from 🙂 The Christmas titles sequence for the 2021 Christmas Special is also pretty good. 😀 The new ‘All Creatures Great and Small’ series does have a cosy feel about it nowadays, doesn’t it? 😀

It was also nice to hear Fred Astaire singing the song ‘The Way You Look Tonight’ from the film ‘Swing Time’ in the background during this episode. 🙂

Thanks for reading!

Bye for now!

Tim. 🙂


2 thoughts on “TV Review – ‘All Creatures Great and Small’ (2020-21), Christmas Special 2021

  1. Williams Fan 92

    Great review Tim.

    Sorry for the late comment. I plan on commenting on your Time-Flight review tomorrow and I’m hoping you’ll have time to reply.

    It was lovely to watch the 2021 ‘All Creatures Great and Small’ Christmas special on Christmas Eve. It was sad when Tricki-Woo had to be treated by the vets as Skeldale House. I was very relieved when he turned out ok. I liked that this special shed a little light on Mrs. Pumphrey’s character in that she doesn’t have any children or grandchildren to spoil, hence why she spoils Tricki. It was lovely of the main cast to spend Christmas day with her.

    I liked the scenes between Helen and James especially when they debated whether to go to Skeldale House or the farm for Christmas dinner and when James had to dress as Santa. It was nice to see Mrs. Hall wearing something different for a change. That final scene will probably set the premise for the third series very well.

    I plan to revisit last year’s Christmas special on DVD starting tonight. Do you have that DVD yet Tim?

    Take care, WF92.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Tim Bradley Post author

      Hi WF92,

      No worries. I’m actually going for my booster jab tomorrow, so I’ll probably be late replying to any comments you leave on my reviews. Hopefully I’ll respond asap.

      Very pleased you enjoyed the Christmas Special. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on Tricki-Woo, Mrs. Pumphrey, Mrs. Hall and James and Helen’s relationship. My Dad commented that James looked more like Will Ferrell’s ‘Elf’ in the green Santa Claus outfit. 😀

      I have the Series 2 DVD with the 2020 Christmas Special on it. Don’t know if I’ll review Series 2 again on my blog for 2022. We’ll see what happens. I’ll probably watch the series again from Series 1 before I check out the 2020 Christmas Special and Series 2 on DVD.

      Many thanks for your comments.

      Tim 🙂

      Liked by 1 person


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.