‘Two of a Kind’ (TV)



Please feel free to comment on my review.

Here we are on the season finale to Series 5 of ‘All Creatures’. It does feel like an underwhelming season finale, especially when there is no Tristan to be found at the end of it. Yeah. It’d be nice that!

But looking ahead, I know Tristan is going to be back in one of the episodes for Series 6 as well as the whole of Series 7. And I suppose the romantic arc between Calum and Deirdre has a nice conclusion.

Mind you, considering that Deirdre hasn’t been in much of Series 5 – she was in 5 out of the 12 episodes of the season – the romantic arc hasn’t had much development. That’s my feeling anyway.

I wonder if ‘Two of a Kind’ was meant to be the season finale at all. Maybe there was something better planned behind-the-scenes. I can’t tell because there is no behind-the-scenes info about this.

Comparing ‘All Creatures’ to recent drama shows like ‘Call the Midwife’, there isn’t much of a build-up in terms of a story arc for the finale. I know things were very different back in those days, but still.

‘Two of a Kind’ of course is the twelfth and final episode of Series 5 of ‘All Creatures’. The episode, based on the ‘James Herriot’ books, is by Johnny Bryne. Rightly so! He helms the script-writing team.

I do admire Johnny Bryne as a writer, but I’m not sure how much creative control he had in terms of script-writing. It would have been shared between him and the producer Bill Sellars for this instance.

I bring this up because I wonder what the show would’ve been like if Johnny Byrne wrote and produced the series himself. It would’ve been pretty more interesting if he conduct both these roles.

Tony Virgo returns one more time to direct ‘Two of a Kind’ as his last contribution to Series 5. Thankfully this isn’t the last time as Tony Virgo returns to direct four more episodes of Series 6 here.

In the episode, Calum visits the farm of Martin Potter as John Elder. Yeah, I wouldn’t trust that guy Calum since he played a Vanir in ‘Doctor Who’. Yeah! Martin Potter was Eirak in the tale ‘Terminus’.

Even upon first viewing him in this episode, I knew it was him without the hair. Actually, to be fair, Martin Potter’s character of John Elder is a pleasant chap as he and Calum get on so well in the tale.

Calum helps John Elder with his sheep – painting a few with red, I believe. John Elder invites Calum for a drink but Calum politely declines. It does seem like John Elder’s appearance here is short-lived.

But actually, there’s more John Elder to look forward to later on in the episode which I’ll get onto later. Anyway, Calum returns home in his jeep. But on the way, he finds this injured fox on the road.

Calum takes the little fox back to Skeldale House and nurses it back to health. Why do I get the feeling that the same story I saw in Disney‘s ‘The Fox and the Hound’ is going to feature in this tale?

Siegfried learns of Calum bringing the fox home to Skeldale but actually smelling the fox’s hairs. How can Siegfried do that? Well, he is a gamekeeper as well as a vet apparently according to James here.

Siegfried is uneasy about Calum keeping a fox to look after and return it to health. But James reassures Siegfried that Calum is nursing it in the shed. Siegfried is still uncertain about the situation.

There’s no scene featured between Siegfried and Calum about the fox being kept in the shed. I was expecting there to be. Surprised Johnny Byrne did not write that. Or maybe it was and it got cut out.

Calum meanwhile does struggle to keep emotionally detached from the fox. He grows a liking for the young animal and is even protective towards it when he and the fox in the jeep pass a lot of hounds.

It was tense when that happened and I did wonder whether one of the hounds was going to lash out and attack the fox in its cage whilst Calum waited to pass. Thankfully it didn’t happen, which is good.

There is a nice scene between Calum and James in the shed over the fox. James is concerned about Calum’s attachment to the fox. Calum though emotional tells James that he knows what he is doing.

I like how that scene was played out in the episode between Calum and James. It is good acting on both John McGlynn and Christopher Timothy’s parts and it does highlight the friendship intriguingly.

Eventually, Calum with Deirdre (I’ll get back to her return later on) takes the fox back to return it to the wild once it’s fully healed. But it turns out that releasing the fox back to the wild is more difficult.

After Calum and Deirdre release the fox back into the wild, they find it back in the jeep. It was so funny to see that. Even my Mum guessed that would happen when we saw this. How did she guess?

Eventually after Calum says goodbye to Deirdre on the bus (I’ll get back to later as well), John Elder returns to meet him outside at the Drovers. He asks him about the fox that he’s been taking care of.

Apparently John Elder had been looking after that fox and it’s been tamed over the years. Both he and Calum go and find that fox again, possibly for John Elder to look after back on his own farmland.

But how do they find the fox again? Luckily Calum has the answer. Apparently Calum played the bagpipes whilst taking the fox out in the forest. Yeah! I wasn’t certain what that was about at first. 😀

Anyway, Calum uses the bagpipes again to summon the fox and when it does turn up it seems to have a mate. Perhaps John Elder won’t need to look after the fox anymore as it is happy where it is. 🙂

Now it’s time to talk about Deirdre’s return to Darrowby. And it seems to be unexpected as Helen saw her return with someone called Anthony. Yeah, I’ve no idea who played Anthony in the episode.

In fact, I’m surprised they didn’t show Anthony more or have him speak. It would’ve been interesting if Calum had a confrontation scene with Anthony with Deirdre about what’s going on between them.

But thankfully it’s not what Calum was thinking when she and Deirdre meet for supper. In the shed! Yeah, that was a surprise. Deirdre had hoped to have a meal somewhere at a very special restaurant.

Calum is actually bitter about Deirdre seeing this person Anthony or having rides with him in his car. But Deirdre tells him he’s a business partner. Calum of course isn’t so willing to believe this from her.

Deirdre tells Calum that he’s been applying for a job in Darrowby that would require her to leave her job in Edinburgh. She got the job and didn’t want to raise Calum’s hopes up. Calum is really pleased.

The stuff between Calum and Deirdre afterwards is very sweet afterwards, especially when they attend to the fox. Soon, Calum sees Deirdre off as she is about to return to Edinburgh one last time.

She catches the bus back to Edinburgh. But before Calum can let her go, she asks Deirdre to marry him. She says yes to this. Hmm. Well, that’s nice. I suppose that’s the story arc for Series 5, wasn’t it?

I mean, earlier in the season, she wasn’t very keen about marrying Calum was she? But I suppose she’s had more time to think about it and it is clear they are very fond of each other despite arguing.

Also in the episode, Siegfried purchases a television in time to see the inaugural TV broadcast in the Dales. Hmm! I wonder what year that sets this episode in? I mean, it has to be the early 1950s, right?

I mean, we’re not given a specific year in this reboot era of ‘All Creatures’. I assume this is before the Queen’s Coronation was televised in 1953. Thankfully the Wire wasn’t about to cause any trouble. 😀

Those TV sets of the 1950s featured in this ‘All Creatures’ episode look very small, don’t they? I was shocked by how small they looked. It goes to show how much time has changed with technology. 😀

Anyway, Siegfried wants to see something on the new TV set he’s bought at Skeldale. But he can’t. He has to go out and sort a case. Thankfully as he sees an old man with his dog, the problem’s solved

Ivan Beavis as Mr. Chandler happens to have a television set that he won in a raffle. But he can’t seem to get it to work properly. Siegfried has the magic touch to get the TV set working. This is good.

It was funny how Siegfried managed to solve Mr. Chandler’s TV problems just so he can watch what he wanted to see on the Skeldale’s TV set earlier. Mr. Chandler eventually depends on Mr. Siegfried.

As Siegfried attends to Mr. Chandler’s sick dog called Don, Chandler asks Siegfried to help with fixing his TV set. Even Siegfried’s magic touch with his fingers helps restoring Chandler’s TV set back to life.

Throughout the episode, Siegfried gets concerned about Chandler’s dog’s condition as it seems to be wearing worse for wear. But when he and James attend to the dog at the climax, the dog is alright. 🙂

Siegfried and James become curious as to why Chandler phoned them beforehand. Chandler tells Siegfried that he wanted to fix his TV set again. Thus the end credits rolled up. That’s how it ends? 😀

But wait! There’s one more subplot to talk about. This concerns James and Helen who treat an elderly man’s cat. But it turns out that the elderly man is in great need of care and is on his way out.

James Ottaway guest stars as Dick Fawcett, the elderly man who seems a gentle soul when James attends to his cat. James gives the cat named Frisk shots of medicine and these seem to do the trick.

But James isn’t convinced that the shots he gave Frisk were what saved his life. This is especially when Frisk becomes ill again and James has to keep giving the cat shots in order to make him better.

After a run-in with Alison Lloyd as Nurse Duggan, it turns out that the cat Frisk has been lapping up the medicine remains given to Dick Fawcett. Thus James works it all out regarding the cat’s mystery.

James tells Dick to keep the leftover medicine away from Frisk to prevent him lapping it up to which Dick agrees. James is relieved with saving Frisk’s life since that cat was everything that Dick lived for.

This subplot ends on a sad note where James and Helen see Dick in hospital before he sadly passes away. It was a sad emotional moment. Even I felt sad from watching it. Dick seemed a nice old man.

‘Two of a Kind’ was a decent way to end Series 5. I enjoyed Calum’s subplot with Rusty the Fox (yes that’s his name) and I’m glad Deirdre said yes to marrying him. Where will this story thread go next?

Series 5 has been pretty enjoyable overall. It’s on par with Series 4 and it’s such a shame Tristan left after the first third of the season. But for what it’s worth, I do look forward to what’s next in Series 6.

‘Two of a Kind’ rating – 8/10

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