‘HOME AND AWAY’
Please feel free to comment on my review.
My parents and I re-watched this episode before we watched the first episode of ‘Great British Car Journeys’ with Christopher Timothy and Peter Davison on Channel 4 in February 2019. Very surreal! 🙂
‘Home and Away’ is a great ‘All Creatures’ episode. It features a light-hearted subplot with Siegfried and Tristan together at Skeldale House while James and Helen are someplace else away from Skeldale.
This is after the announcement of war being declared in the previous episode, ‘Brink of Disaster’. I had the feeling things would go downhill from there. But thankfully the light-heartedness still keeps going.
This episode was adapted by Brian Finch from the ‘James Herriot’ books and was directed by Terence Dudley. I feel these two haven’t contributed to the series in a long while. It was nice to have them back.
In the episode, Mrs. Hall has to go away and visit a cousin whom she can’t stand apparently. This means that Siegfried, James, Helen and Tristan must cope without Mrs. Hall for a certain fortnight in the tale.
But very soon, Stewie Brannon, a vet who lives in Hensfield, asks Siegfried for someone to fill in for him whilst he’s away on holidays. If you don’t recall, Stewie Brannon has been in ‘All Creatures’ before.
He was the friend that got Siegfried drunk during the horse race track segment of the Series 1 episode, ‘The Last Furlong’. I had to do my research to make sure Stewie Brannon was someone we met before.
In the end, James agrees to fill in for Stewie Brannon whilst he’s away and Helen agrees to accompany him. Thus the two go off together to Brannon’s veterinary practice in Hensfield to look after things. 🙂
I really like that James and Helen go off together and spend what could be a life between them at their own veterinary practice. They do not have Siegfried and Tristan to get in the way of their married life.
This could be what James and Helen are like as a married couple, living together in their home and running their own veterinary practice. If only the war and other things didn’t hamper in their way here.
But as James and Helen discover, the veterinary practice owned by Stewie Brannon isn’t up to Skeldale standards. It’s pretty drab and run-down. Even that table for putting animals on sometimes collapses.
There’s also this housekeeper, Peggy Sinclair as Mrs. Holroyd, who’s a little on the common and dim side. It doesn’t help when she has a cigarette in her mouth a lot of time, especially when she’s cleaning.
But James and Helen do the best they can and cope with what they’ve got at Brannon’s practice. At times, they do seem content with what they’ve got and have intimate moments which get interrupted.
The interruptions of course come from Mrs. Holroyd when she walks in unannounced. I’m not sure if Mrs. Holroyd believes that James and Helen are too romantic together and finds it utterly disgraceful.
The meals given to James and Helen by Mrs. Holroyd aren’t anything special. They have eggs and chips for dinner that don’t look appetising for James and Helen. I’m sure I’d feel the same as James and Helen do.
Mrs. Holroyd also has trouble getting the address of a certain client for James to visit. I think she said his name is…’Pinarov’ or something. I’m not sure. Anyway, the name’s believed to sound Russian here.
But as it turns out, when John Moore as this certain client visits James to demand to know why he hasn’t come, his name is really Mr. Pymm…not Pinarov. And the rest happens to be his home address.
James finds this very amusing whereas Mr. Pymm finds it very annoying. James assures Mr. Pymm that he will come and visit him to see his animal before sharing his amusement with Helen afterwards.
Also in the episode, James treats a severely injured dog belonging to a young loving married couple that visit the practice. These are Jonathan Owen as Peter Gillard and Sandra Payne as Marjorie Gillard.
The Gillards are obviously anxious about their dog who’s severely bleeding and has had its leg injured. James does all he can and provides a treatment that could be potentially risky should he apply it here.
Eventually, the Gillards allow James to apply it and James gives the treatment to the job. Helen even winks James to encourage him and perhaps everything will be okay with the Gillards’ dog on the mend.
Days later, the Gillards visit the practice again to ask James for help. Unfortunately James is out and Helen entertains the Gillards before he gets back (more on that in a bit). Thankfully James does return.
When he sees their dog, it seems that everything is alright and the Gillards have nothing to worry about. The Gillards are relieved indeed and both they, James and Helen have a cup of tea to celebrate.
It was intriguing for Helen to discover from Marjorie Gillard that her husband Peter is soon to be called up to fight in the war and that the dog was a going-away present. This was very sad and poignant here.
It also foreshadows what may happen to James when he gets called up to fight in the war and leave Helen behind. Helen is clearly sad regards this happening but puts on a brave face when with Marjorie.
Anyway, to talk about what James was doing that got him back late to see the Gillards’ dog in the evening, he was asked to be the dog track’s vet in Hensfield. Dave Calderhead as Mr. Coker asked him.
But on the day of the dog races in Hensfield, James does his job a little too well. Mr. Coker isn’t satisfied with James’ efforts. James upsets the greyhound owners, saying the dogs aren’t qualified for the race.
This is either due to the dogs having eaten before the race or one of them having…tar, I think James said. Not sure what that means. Anyway, James becomes too conscientious in the job he’s performing.
James gets called into Mr. Corker’s office to explain himself on why he’s denying dogs entry into the race and upsetting some owners. Clearly Mr. Corker doesn’t want James to be dog track vet next time.
Incidentally, Jack Haig guest stars in this episode as Horace who works for Mr. Corker. He’s appeared in ‘Dad’s Army’ episodes as well as ‘Allo, ‘Allo’. It was so nice to see him in this ‘All Creatures’ episode.
Meanwhile with Siegfried and Tristan, they make the best of it whilst James, Helen and Mrs. Hall are away. But Tristan’s cookery hasn’t improved over the years as amusingly demonstrated in the episode.
It starts off well mind. Tristan can cook some excellent bangers and mash. Siegfried approves when they have them during lunch time. Now I wouldn’t mind having bangers and mash for lunch at times.
But it starts to go downhill when Tristan keeps on making bangers and mash for every meal, every day. Not just for lunch, but also for breakfast as well. This is clearly getting repetitive for Siegfried here.
Now I like having sausages for either breakfast, lunch or dinner. Even my cuddly toy dog Cuddles would like to have sausages. 😀 But I wouldn’t want to have them for every meal time like Tristan seems to here.
I mean I like cooking spaghetti bolognese. It’s my speciality. But I’d like to make something different like a lasagne or an omelette. I don’t want spaghetti bolognese all the time. It’d just be very ridiculous.
Siegfried tries to avoid another meal of bangers and mash by Tristan by purchasing some steak fillets from the local butcher. He gives them to Tristan in order to cook for their next evening meal together.
Now in all fairness, Tristan doesn’t back out of this one. He agrees to cook the fillets to make a change instead of making bangers and mash. It would be nice to see Tristan cooking something different here.
But it goes downhill when Tristan, who is about to cook the fillets in the kitchen, gets distracted when he answers the telephone. When out of that kitchen, the dogs eat up the fillets from the kitchen table.
It was so funny when Tristan returned to find the fillets aren’t there when he’s about to cook them. He soon realises it’s the dogs who have eaten them and he becomes infuriated when addressing them.
Siegfried enters to see if everything is alright and Tristan covers it up to make sure his brother doesn’t know what’s happened. Why couldn’t he have just told him the truth? Siegfried could’ve understood.
Ah well, Tristan can at least go out to the butchers to get two more steak fillets in place of the ones eaten by the dogs. Or he could make bangers and mash instead in place of the fillets, to which he does.
It was so funny when Siegfried hears from Tristan at the dinner table what happened, being told that the steak fillets got eaten up by the dogs. Siegfried becomes so exasperated and infuriated about this.
Siegfried lets out how sick he is to see bangers and mash for every meal every day by his brother. He makes that decision to ‘eat out’ inside of having sausages and mash with his brother. I don’t blame him.
All the more for Tristan to have the bangers and mash without Siegfried. It was funny to see how Tristan enjoys having the bangers and mash by himself without Siegfried. He clearly likes having them.
Towards the episode’s conclusion, Mrs. Hall returns. Siegfried is clearly delighted to have Mrs. Hall back and he lets her know that, while sitting in the living room watching her with a big smile on his face.
Siegfried clearly wants to have different food given to him and the Skeldale family by Mrs. Hall instead of Tristan giving sausages and mash every day. How amusing how this episode’s conclusion turns out.
The episode ends with Siegfried, James, Helen and Tristan all back together as a family and Mrs. Hall about to provide them with their evening meal. What a joyous moment of comedy gold is coming up!
Mrs. Hall reveals the meal to them and it turns out to be…sausages and mash. The look on Siegfried’s face to so hilarious. My parents and I knew this was coming. We couldn’t help laugh as we watched it.
Siegfried is astonished Mrs. Hall cooked them sausages and mash. Mrs. Hall tells him she was told that it was his favourite meal. Cue Tristan, as he makes himself excused, revealing that he was responsible.
Ooh, naughty Tristan! Siegfried realises and becomes berserk that he runs after him, telling James, Helen and Mrs. Hall that he’s going to kill him! Once gone, James remarks how nice it is to be back. 😀
‘Home and Away’ has to be my favourite episode from Series 3 of ‘All Creatures’. It has a nice subplot for James and Helen together as well as a comedy one for Siegfried and Tristan with bangers and mash.
‘Home and Away’ rating – 9/10
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