‘The New World’ (TV)



Please feel free to comment on my review.

No, the episode’s not a reference to the English discovering America as might be depicted in ‘Pocahontas’. Nor is it a reference to an episode from ‘Torchwood: Miracle Day’. Had to put that in. 😀

Actually I don’t know what the episode title ‘The New World’ is referring to. It doesn’t make the episode that inspiring to watch. It’s still enjoyable, don’t get me wrong. But it wasn’t very exciting either.

I saw this episode from Series 6 of ‘All Creatures’ after having seen Series 2, Episode 1 of ‘Great British Car Journeys’ on Channel 4. I do feel the absence of Peter Davison as Tristan at this point in the series.

‘The New World’, based on the ‘James Herriot’ books, is by Roger Davenport. He previously wrote ‘The Nelson Touch’ for Series 6 of ‘All Creatures’, which was the first ‘All Creatures’ episode without Callum.

The episode was also the third to be directed by Michael Brayshaw in Series 6’s second production block. I still don’t like the opening titles and the end credits provided for Series 6 by Michael Brayshaw.

In this episode, James has to deal with Rod Arthur as Mr. Vernon Harker. Apparently, Vernon Harker is a lazy farmer who neglects his stock since he doesn’t follow medical advice given to him by the vets.

James becomes frustrated with Vernon Harker’s laziness when telling him things he must do to look after his animals. But Vernon Harker doesn’t seem that bothered when James comes round to visit him.

It also turns out that Vernon’s got some other priorities to attend to. Apparently, he’s going to get married. This surprises James when he hears the news about it and still congratulates him on marrying.

Later in the episode, not sure how low time passes, Vernon meets up with James and shows him the wedding photos. James sees the wedding photos, but these are all photos of Vernon in a wedding suit.

The wife isn’t in the photos with him. Okay. That’s peculiar. James doesn’t even raise the point of asking where Vernon’s wife is in the photos or whether Vernon’s wife had a happy day. I’m so surprised.

Vernon also seems strangely proud of himself in those photos of just him without the wife being with him. Some ‘All Creatures’ characters are weird. I know we’re in reboot era, but the original applies to that too.

We eventually do get to meet Vernon’s wife and it happens to be Anne Jameson as Mrs. Harker. And she seems to be this ‘sour puss’ when she insists James and her husband come in for a ‘cuppa’ at once.

I don’t know what Vernon sees in his new wife as she’s not very attractive either. She also has a son who’s pretty tough carrying heavy work on the farm. The son’s name and his actor don’t have a credit.

But Vernon seems to be happy with his new found wife as well as a new stepson. The Vernon Harker plot doesn’t get developed much in the episode and it’s not like this character ever returns again here.

Elsewhere, back in Skeldale surgery, Siegfried receives a surprise visitor. It’s Joanna McCallum as Lady Hulton who comes in with her white cat named Bess. Joanna McCallum was in ‘Testament of Youth’.

It seems that Lady Hulton is not one of Skeldale’s regular customers. She usually visits Granville Bennett, but he’s apparently away on holiday. Thank goodness James doesn’t get drunk in this TV tale.

Siegfried is surprised to see Lady Hulton pay a visit to Skeldale before attending to her cat Bess. Somehow that white cat put me in mind of Snowbell from the ‘Stuart Little’ films. Don’t know why. 😀

Lady Hulton is also surprised by Siegfried and his interest in small animals. Siegfried agrees to attend to Lady Hulton’s cat when she brings him in regularly until Granville Bennett gets back from his holiday.

Siegfried also plans to turn the Skeldale surgery around in order to focus more on small animal care. This especially includes him changing things around in the Skeldale surgery’s waiting room in the story.

He consults with Helen on the issue, to which Helen mockingly chides Siegfried over his attempts in this manner. They then dance together…for some odd reason…before Lady Hulton enters to notice. 🙂

Yeah that sort of becomes a running joke in the episode where every time Siegfried does something unorthodox in surgery. This also include him and James unleashing the power used in the first episode.

I recall that well from ‘Horse Sense’ when Siegfried demonstrated it to James for the first time. The way they do it this time though is to have James and Siegfried provide accompanying music for it. What?!

That was so strange to see and especially strange Siegfried and James allow themselves to be silly in that instance. There is probably people waiting outside hearing this. In fact, I’m pretty sure there are. 🙂

This is of course when Lady Hulton enters to see them acting this way once she comes to collect her handbag. That must’ve been very embarrassing for Siegfried and James when Lady Hulton came in that moment.

There’s also someone that Siegfried attends regarding certain small animal care. That person is young Judy Brooke as Susie Thornton. When she meets Siegfried, she brings in a little frog. That’s so peculiar.

It eventually transpires that Siegfried doesn’t know much about frogs as it’s not in his field. I’m surprised by that. Surely Siegfried, as a vet, would know of any animal there is to know, including frogs.

Later, Siegfried tries to get out of a case with Susie Thornton when she brings in one of her animals to surgery. He persuades James to attend surgery before Susie Thornton turns up as he takes his rounds.

James attends to Susie Thornton and the animal she brings in happens to be a monkey. I wasn’t expecting a monkey. 😀 The monkey has diarrhoea and begins to run about in surgery, causing a mess.

And that’s not just smashing up pieces of medicine and equipment in surgery. It also does its…dropsies too. James has to clean the place up and is very angry with Siegfried once he comes back from rounds.

Lady Hulton eventually enters and is put off by the smell of the place. She soon tells Siegfried that Granville Bennett has returned and will not need Skeldale anymore, thanking the vets for all their help.

She also thanks them for all the entertainment they’ve provided in their antics. Siegfried is clearly dismayed by the look on his face. Perhaps he and James didn’t give a good impression on Lady Hulton.

The episode also features June Ellis as Mrs. Mason, who has a ferocious dog when Siegfried tries to attend to it as Lady Hulton is about to leave on her first visit. Mrs. Mason seems a formidable woman.

Apparently, June Ellis was in ‘All Creatures’ before since she was in the Series 1 episode ‘Faint Hearts’ as Mrs. Bellerby. She’s also been in two episodes of the 1985 BBC production of ‘The Pickwick Papers’.

There’s another subplot in the episode where James calls on Irene Sutcliffe as Sister Rose, who cares for stray dogs. Wait! I’ve seen Sister Rose before. She previously starred in the 1985 Christmas Special.

I’ve also seen Irene Sutcliffe in the 1987 BBC production of ‘At Bertram’s Hotel’ with Joan Hickson as Miss Marple. It was nice to see a past character back in the series, even if it was such a long while ago.

For this episode, James and Sister Rose tend to a lame pup…who almost bears a similar resembles to my cuddly toy dog Cuddles. No! They can’t be the same dog in the episode, can they?

(thinks) Can they?! 😀

Anyway, John Turtle as Rupe Nellist, who’s going in to be mayor of Darrowby, takes an interest in purchasing the little lame dog. The dog also seemed to be attached to Rupe Nellist, which is very good.

James and Sister Rose grant their blessing as Rupe Nellist takes the lame dog who he names Tich with him. In fact, I think that is the dog’s name in real life. Well, these episodes are not adapted from books.

Rupe Nellist is also lame when he walks about with a walking stick too. So he and Tich share something in common. But Rupe does not want Tich to be lame and wonders if there is a way to make him better.

Thankfully, James comes up with a solution which he confers with Siegfried on. They soon persuade Rupe to let them do a little operation on little Tich to make him better. Rupe permits the vets to do it.

Thankfully the operation works and Tich is soon walking properly in the episode. This makes Rupe happy and it even makes his photos with Tich worthwhile he’s in the newspaper, being the new mayor.

I’m glad there was a nice little subplot for the dog Tich and the new mayor Rupe getting on with each other. It was also nice to see Rupe caring for his new dog and not mistreating like other owners would.

As well as Sister Rose, the episode also has Ashley Barker as Len Birtwhistle. Len has been in ‘All Creatures’ before as he was in the Series 5 episode ‘A Present From Dublin’. Len is a farmer’s son here.

Ashley Barker has also been in two ‘All Creatures’ episodes not playing Len including ‘Dog Days’ and ‘Practice Makes Perfect’. In ‘A Present From Dublin’, Calum had to cope with Len’s sport trivia. It distracted him.

Here in this episode, James has to cope with Len’s sport trivia. This is especially when he attends to the cows and sheep of Len’s father. Len kept going on and on talking and talking as James works away.

I’d be pretty annoyed as James if Len kept talking away and not listening. This is especially when James tells Len vital information about his father’s animals and all Len’s interested in is talking over sport points.

One certain point is when James tries to tell Len a serious condition that one of the sheep is in. Len doesn’t hear what James says as he keeps going on about the sports. What is wrong this this Len person here?!!!

It was amusing when James interrupted Len’s talking by saying ‘Y’. Len thought James was asking a question, but James was asking Len to take some letters down when they’re attending to one of the cows.

Thankfully Len doesn’t come back for another episode after doing this one. But it’s so astonishing that Len doesn’t pay attention or listen to what James says once something happens to his father’s animals.

The episode concludes with a special ceremony of Rupe Nellist being the mayor of Darrowby and James, Siegfried and Sister Rose observe Tich weeing somewhere. Appropriate way to end the tale. 😀

‘The New World’ isn’t that inspiring as an ‘All Creatures’ episode for me. It was fairly enjoyable and I liked seeing the dog Tich, but it was not special. I wonder if the series went downhill by this point here.

‘The New World’ rating – 7/10

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