‘…THE HEALING TOUCH’
Please feel free to comment on my review.
My Dad rates this as the best episode of Series 4 of ‘All Creatures’ so far. I would agree with him on this since the episode features lovely comedic and dramatic moments for our characters throughout.
With that said though, I did feel a lot of the story threads featured in this episode had been rehashed from previous episodes of ‘All Creatures’ by Johnny Byrne. It’s like the series was running out of ideas.
I wouldn’t mind this so much as I always like to see a blast from the past in ‘All Creatures’. But it concerns me that the ‘All Creatures’ reboot is starting to suffer despite it lasting right up to Series 7.
‘…The Healing Touch’ is of course the eighth Series 4 episode of ‘All Creatures’. Like I said, the episode is by Johnny Bryne. Johnny wrote ‘Out of Practice’ and ‘Tricks of the Trade’ in ‘All Creatures’.
I want you to keep those episodes in mind because I will be referring back to them during the course of this review. This is especially with identifying what’s being rehashed from previous episodes here.
Once again, this episode is directed by Roderick Graham. It’s his third contribution to the series. I do like how the season is divided between two directors including Peter Moffatt and Roderick Graham.
In the episode, we begin with Siegfried riding on a white horse. Maybe it’s the Moon Stallion. 😀 Anyway he meets up with Michael Lees as Colonel Bosworth, who is the father of Rachael Bosworth.
I’m mentioning this to you since Rachael was introduced in the previous episode as Tristan’s tennis date/girlfriend. This is Colonel Bosworth’s first of two appearances in the ‘All Creatures’ series here.
Incidentally Michael Lees has appeared in ‘All Creatures’ before, but as a different character in the Series 2 season opener ‘Cats and Dogs’. It’s so interesting how he appears as Colonel Bosworth here.
During Siegfried and Colonel Bosworth’s conversation, they’re interrupted by Alan Partington as Phineas Calvert. I’m not sure what’s going on, but there’s this tension between him and the Colonel.
I’m not sure how the tension gets resolved as both Colonel Bosworth and Phineas Calvert appear again in a future episode – the tenth episode of Series 4 I believe. Hopefully I’ll get to find out more.
It’s not helped when Phineas Calvert accidentally runs over a cat belonging to Colonel Bosworth in the episode. We’ll get to that later, but Phineas Calvert does come across as genuinely sorry about it.
Meanwhile, Siegfried takes Calum to task for wasting medical supplies. He suggests Calum economises on what he uses to stitch up an animal to save on supplies. Gee! That all sounds familiar.
Oh wait! It is! Siegfried suggested to James that he should economise in the episode ‘Out of Practice’, didn’t he? And he is doing exactly the same thing to Calum as he did to James so long ago.
Now to be fair, maybe this is the way that Siegfried is training young and inexperienced vets like Calum as it was with James. Maybe Siegfried teaches them to economise before being inconsistent.
Oh yeah! After Calum tries to do as Siegfried suggests in attending to a horse, Siegfried doesn’t like quite up to his rules as he takes a longer string and large amount of cotton wool to fix the animal up.
The problem with this though is that it feels like a note-for-note repetition of the same subplot from ‘Out of Practice’ as it is here. It also doesn’t work with Calum’s character as it does with James’ here.
With James, we could connect to him since he was the main character and was getting to know Siegfried in Series 1. Here with Calum, it’s difficult to connect to him. There’s not much focus on him.
For most of the season, Calum seemed to be confident and at times arrogant. Maybe they’re toning it down here for his character in the series, but with what had gone on before it doesn’t make sense.
Surely Calum could’ve stood up to Siegfried compared to what James did in ‘Out of Practice’. Of course, that’s not what happens. Calum seems mild-mannered and willing to take Siegfried’s advice.
Anyway, Siegfried also attends to flock of sick turkeys owned by Tony Nelson as Mr. Boggs. Boggs is a rather difficult customer since he’s convinced the vets are out to cheat him of ‘his hard-earned brass’.
That sounds a bit like Mr. Biggins from a previous episode in Series 4. 😀 I did wonder if Mrs. Boggs had appeared before and whether he’d appear in a future episode. Sadly this is his only TV episode.
Boggs gets given tablets by Siegfried to use on the sick turkeys to make them better. But when Siegfried visits Boggs again, he finds he hasn’t used them. That’s puzzling and rather unusual indeed.
Why wouldn’t Boggs use the tablets to heal his sick turkeys when Siegfried gave them to him? Boggs thought what he did right not to give the turkeys those tablets. Siegfried calls him ‘a fool’. I concur. 😀
In fact, the more I try to understand why Boggs acted this way in the episode, the more I realise that many people are difficult to comprehend in real-life. ‘All Creatures’ can be a good example at times.
This episode also features the return of James Grout as Granville Bennett and Pamela Salem as Zoe, his wife. Oh dear! I do know where this is all going to end for James with Granville and Zoe Bennett.
Once again, a rehash of the Granville Bennett plots with James in previous episodes like ‘Tricks of the Trade’ gets inserted here but with a difference. That’s something that I’ll talk more about in the review.
Anyway, Zoe takes Helen for lunch at a country club after returning Rosie home from school. Helen is worried that she is not well-dressed for a country club lunch occasion. Zoe reassures her she is fine.
In fact, I’m surprised that Helen and Zoe seem to know each other well and have become friends over the years. That wasn’t the impression I got when I saw the previous Granville Bennett outings.
Actually there is a reason why Zoe invited Helen for lunch. Zoe tells Helen that Granville is looking for a partner in his small animal practice and that he is considering either James or Siegfried for the post.
Helen seems taken with the financial security that this could provide for her, James and the children as she shares it to him in the Skeldale surgery. James begins to consider the possibilities of the post.
So I’m guessing this means if James were working for Granville more then he’ll end up drinking more. Oh joy. 😀 Not sure if this certain plot thread is followed up on in future Granville Bennett episodes.
Actually, now I come to think of it. How is that characters like Mrs. Pumphrey, Granville and Zoe Bennett return with their original actors intact, while Helen had to get recast for this series’ reboot?
Anyway, as I indicated before, James contacts Granville again to help out with a seriously injured cat. This is the cat belonging to Colonel Bosworth that Phineas Calvert ran over earlier on in the episode.
Thankfully Tristan is there when he is having his tennis date with Rachael Bosworth. It was good to see Tristan willingly take Bosworth’s cat away to get it healed after he just had his date with Rachael.
James was about to put Bosworth’s cat to sleep. Tristan pleads with him not to do so as the cat means a lot to Bosworth. James puts the cat under sedation for a while before deciding what to do.
James contacts Granville for help whilst Granville seems relaxed with a glass of something alcoholic and very keen to get on to doing the job. He suggests Helen take his theatre ticket with Zoe instead.
Yeah Granville was meant to go with Zoe to the theatre before he agrees to help out with the cat. It just occurred to me that Granville and Zoe are pretty laid-back in life compared to James and Helen.
James is anxious about the cat when he contacts Granville for help and he’s pleased when agreeing to take the cat to his surgery. Helen tells James ‘not’ to drink anything whilst he’s meeting Granville.
James says he won’t, but we know that he’s going to anyway. I knew that James was going to end up drunk before seeing the episode. See what I mean about this being a bit of rehash of Granville plots?
It was funny when Granville showed his library and behind his shelves of books there are shelves of bottles. I was like “Oh no!” and James was like “Oh no!” I can’t believe I said his line before he said it. 😀
Whilst James is drinking with Granville, he starts to seriously consider the possibility of working with him. This is before he gets happy and drunk like he does when we’ve seen him in previous episodes.
In fact, Tristan was supposed to keep an eye on him when he’s with James attending to the cat. But Tristan failed at that when he was chatting to Granville’s assistant, Sabina Franklyn as Susan Vaughn.
Wait! Sabina Franklyn’s in this? Oh! She was in the ‘Fawlty Towers’ episode ‘Basil the Rat’, wasn’t she? I’ve also seen Sabina in the ‘Miss Marple’ TV serial with Joan Hickson called ‘The Moving Finger’.
In fact, my Dad and I agreed that Sabina Franklyn would make a good Helen instead of Lynda Bellingham. I find Sabina Franklyn convincing as Helen compared to how Lynda Bellingham plays her.
Sadly this is Sabina Franklyn’s only appearance in ‘All Creatures’ as her character happens to have fiancée. So no luck there, Trist! Ah well, at least he has Dominique Barnes as Rachael Bosworth…oh!
Rachael doesn’t come back in the TV series. Yeah! She only made two appearances in ‘All Creatures’ and this is her last. What happened? I know Siegfried played a joke on Trist between her and Susan.
By the way, it was funny when Siegfried did play a prank on Tristan in the episode. But I do wonder how Tristan never saw Rachael again after this episode ended. Maybe this will be resolved next time.
It was amusing to see Peter Davison in his cricket jumper playing a game of tennis as Tristan with his girlfriend. I should do a Fifth Doctor story where Peter’s Doctor is playing tennis instead of cricket. 😀
The Granville plot ends rather disastrously with James all drunk and Tristan performing ‘The Mad Conductor’ in front of everyone. Just like in ‘Out of Practice’. Then Helen and Zoe enter in. Oh dear!
I did like it when Jimmy Herriot helped his dad with Harry Beety as Mr. Dugdale. Jimmy helps the two of them when they free a calf from a cow. Jimmy’s also keen to milk one of Mr. Dugdale’s cows.
This episode also features Andrea Gibb as Deidre McEwan who comes to help babysit Jimmy and Helen with Calum. Deidre discusses with Calum about seeing her parents. This should be interesting.
‘…The Healing Touch’ is arguably the best episode of Series 4 of ‘All Creatures’. But only because it reuses certain plot threads that had been shown in previous episodes of the series in its original run.
‘…The Healing Touch’ rating – 8/10
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