‘A Cure For All Ills’ (TV)


Please feel free to comment on my review.

I saw the sixth and final episode of Series 1 of the new ‘All Creatures Great and Small’ TV series on the 6th of October 2020 via Channel 5. I’m so pleased that my parents and I saw this remake series.

It’s certainly different from the original 1978-1990 ‘All Creatures’ series, but it’s definitely good as the original show. I’m pleased this show surpassed my expectations in a way that I didn’t anticipate.

The acting, the atmosphere and the tone of the new series has been very good, matching to what’s in the original show. That is something I didn’t think the 2020 remake TV series would do very well. 🙂

I’m really happy with how the show’s first season ended on a good note. I feel like I’ve only just started this new series and that it’s gone by so quickly. I’m currently looking forward to Series 2 next.

‘A Cure For All Ills’ is the title of this sixth and final episode of Series 1 of new ‘All Creatures’. In the episode, it’s a day before James’ birthday. But professional duties do get in the way for our dear vet.

Nicholas Ralph as James attends to a poor cow that’s got an abscess in the windpipe. He does all he can to cure the cow and has Callum Woodhouse as Tristan help him to perform a delicate operation.

What I like about this episode as well as the series overall is how James develops confidence in being a professional vet. At the start, he was inexperienced. Over time, he grew to know the Dales people.

By this point, James proves to Samuel West as Siegfried that he can save a sick cow’s life, even though he’s aware of the risks involved in the delicate operation. I’m glad he succeeded in the end. 🙂

I like how James and Tristan worked together to find the solution in curing the cow, despite the operation being pretty risky. Siegfried is against the idea and he tells James not to go through with it.

But halfway through the episode, James is determined to see the operation achieved and he has all the help he can get in saving the cow. I like how he and Tristan worked in a similar mindset over this.

Even Anna Madeley as Mrs. Hall is there to provide support for James by giving him more light to operate on the cow in a barn. I like how Mrs. Hall is the referee between the three vets in the series.

I must say, Anna Madeley as Mrs. Hall is more active compared to Mary Hignett as Mrs. Hall in the original TV series. Not that this is a bad thing regarding Mary Hignett. It’s an observation on my part.

I also like how Rachel Shenton as Helen Alderson provides James the courage to go against Siegfried’s decision not to operate on the cow and do what he feels is a chance to save the cow’s life.

Throughout the series, Helen has been a moral compass of support for James, despite not dating him. I like how their relationship has developed gradually and James is clearly very fond of her here.

Siegfried has been great to watch in the episode. Despite going against James and Tristan’s plan to operate on the cow, he has some very amusing comedic moments especially when he becomes ill. 😀

This echoes a similar situation for Siegfried in ‘Golden Lads and Girls’ from the original TV series. Yes, I did pick up on that! 😀 I can’t help compare and contrast the original and new TV shows like this. 😀

In the end, Tristan does all the hard work in surgery at Skeldale House whilst Siegfried’s upstairs in bed. It’s amusing how Tristan managed to resolve answering an issue regarding somebody’s chicken.

It was funny when Siegfried, rather than approving of Tristan’s hard work, is disappointed when he sees his brother has drawn illustrations of Greta Garbo on the back of his ‘mock exams’. Whoops! 😀

Siegfried gives Tristan a right telling off. If this was shown as the second episode of the new TV series, I probably wouldn’t have laughed at that. I would have been put-off by Siegfried’s behaviour. 😐

But because I’ve been getting used to Samuel West as Siegfried’s eccentricities, I couldn’t help but laugh at that scene when I was watching the episode on TV. Amazing how the series works for me. 🙂

Because of James’ success with getting rid of the abscess in the cow, Siegfried makes him his new senior veterinary partner at Skeldale House. I’m pleased about this! James deserves that promotion.

There are some ghastly shots of the abscess draining out of the cow. I don’t think we needed to see that. It’s like the original series again! I had to look away when watching the episode on TV and DVD.

Sadly, James hears from Helen that she’s become engaged to Matthew Lewis as Hugh Hulton. Oh dear! Won’t our dear James find true love with Helen Alderson in this new ‘All Creatures’ TV show? 😦

I wondered if the marriage thing for Helen and Hugh was going to be resolved in the upcoming 2020 Christmas Special or in Series 2. Thankfully it does get resolved, but we’ll discuss it for another time.

I’m not sure how much Helen had forgiven Hugh for deceiving her and her family over the cow Clive in the previous episode. Helen also isn’t happy when Hugh blurts out the news that they’re engaged.

In the scene where Helen encourages James to pursue the operation on the sick cow, I like how she reinforces what happened to Clive the cow. She wished he could have saved him in the same way. 🙂

At least James got his birthday present from his mum which was a hat and scarf. I really like how James got the surprise party by everyone at Skeldale House. Mrs. Hall even baked James a cake here.

Tristan also provides dates for him and James whilst at the party. These include two nurses, Helen Slater as Brenda and Charlie May-Clark as Connie. And yes, those dates were in the original TV show.

Brenda and Connie were in the original series episode ‘Out of Practice’, though of course they were played by different actresses. Thankfully, James didn’t get terribly drunk when he dated Connie. 😀

Mollie Winnard as Maggie appears in the episode. Why she’s not listed in the end credits of the episode, I don’t know. Perhaps the editor forgot to add her name to the cast list. A bit unusual here!

Maggie isn’t happy when she sees Tristan dating some other woman as well as James. It’s interesting how the new series tackles a stable romantic plot for Tristan with Maggie unlike the original series. 🙂

Imogen Clawson guest stars as Jenny, Helen’s sister in the episode and there’s Tony Pitts as Mr. Alderson. I believe Jenny prefers James over Hugh, especially when she meets James’ date Connie. 🙂

I must also mention Alexis Platt as Dick Rudd with his wife Roxanne Morgan as Edith and his daughter Edith Smith as Mary. Dick Rudd’s been in the first and fifth episodes of new ‘All Creatures’.

‘A Cure For All Ills’ has been a satisfying conclusion to Series 1 of the new ‘All Creatures Great and Small’. I did like how the episode concluded with the Skeldale foursome heading towards the house.

There’s also a final shot of the full moon in the sky at night. Despite James seemingly about to lose Helen, there’s hope things will be better as he, Siegfried, Tristan and Mrs. Hall run the vet practice. 🙂

The DVD special features for Series 1 of the new ‘All Creatures Great and Small’ series are as follows. There are cast interviews with Nicholas Ralph, Samuel West, Callum Woodhouse, Anna Madeley and Rachel Shenton. There’s also a set walkthrough with production designer Jacqueline Smith. There’s also a picture gallery and a behind-the-scenes picture gallery.

I enjoyed Series 1 of the new ‘All Creatures Great and Small’ series very much on TV. It had a rocky start in the first two episodes, but I grew to like the series and enjoy the characters. It’s not the same as the original series, but it’s just as good and I’m amazed that it surpassed my expectations greatly.

It’s also interesting how the new series develops things gradually between characters e.g. the romance between James and Helen. I was looking forward to seeing the upcoming 2020 Christmas Special and I’m currently looking forward to what happens in Series 2 of this amazing remake series.

‘A Cure For All Ills’ rating – 9/10

‘All Creatures Great and Small’ – Series 1 rating – 9/10

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2 thoughts on “‘A Cure For All Ills’ (TV)

  1. Williams Fan 92

    Great review Tim.

    I agree with you about this being a satisfying conclusion to the new ‘All Creatures’ series. I bet you look back on your expectations of the series see the irony in how great the series turned out. Peter Davison said in an interview with the RadioTimes that he didn’t have high hopes for the series, but he changed his mind when he learnt of the shows positive reception. The series is without a doubt up there with the BBC series, the film and maybe even the original novels which I have been reading.

    I laughed when Mrs. Hall placed the scarf and hat on James. Siegfried’s scenes were pretty entertaining as well, especially when we see him literally getting a taste of his own medicine. Thr final scene when James walked out of the Rovers when he found out Helen was engaged to Hugh was pretty heartbreaking although he cheered up a bit when Mrs. Hall, Siegfried and Tristan joined him.

    I stated on your review of the 1985 special that Universal/Fabulous Films could release the BBC series on Blu-Ray. I wonder if Acorn Media will do the same for the new series.

    Take care, WF92.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Tim Bradley Post author

      Hi WF92,

      I’m glad this new ‘All Creatures’ series cheered me up when the world needed cheering up in 2020. I’m currently looking forward to when Series 2 of the new series comes out along with its Christmas Special. I’m hoping the 2020 Christmas Special will be in the Series 2 DVD. I would like to hear Sarah Sutton’s thoughts on the new ‘All Creatures’ when I see her next time at the Bedford convention, since I know she loved the original show with Peter Davison. I wonder if Peter’s seen the new show after hearing the positive reception it’s had. Him, Christopher Timothy and Carol Drinkwater. I would like to check out the ‘All Creatures’ film when I get a chance.

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts on scenes you liked from this episode including Mrs. Hall donning James’ hat and scarf, Siegfried’s scenes and how the episode ended with James, Siegfried, Tristan and Mrs. Hall returning to Skeldale House. They are good scenes to take away from this episode. It would be nice if the original and new ‘All Creatures’ shows got Blu-ray releases. I’m pleased the original ‘All Creatures’ series can be shown on Britbox.

      Many thanks for your comments, WF92.

      Tim. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person


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