New version of All Creatures Great and Small to be made

TV drama All Creatures Great and Small is be remade.

The adventures of Yorkshire vet James Herriot, which originally ran on BBC1 from 1978 to 1990, is being given a fresh interpretation by Channel 5.

The books were written by Thirsk vet James Alfred Wight but much of the programmes were filmed in Richmondshire.

Channel 5 told Richmondshire Today it doesn’t yet known where the new series will be filmed.

The six-part series, a co-production with American broadcaster PBS, is due to start shooting on location in Yorkshire later this year.

The series, which includes a Christmas special, will air next year to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the original publication of Herriot’s much-loved books.

Sebastian Cardwell, the digital channel controller at Channel 5, said: “James Herriot has a special place in the heart of the public and the commission of this iconic drama series, against the stunning backdrop of the Yorkshire Dales, is set to bring joy to a new army of TV viewers.

“The original books affectionately captured a unique slice of British life. In challenging times, we hope the charming and heartwarming stories of community and compassion will resonate with new audiences.”

The production is yet to announce casting for the lead role.

Christopher Timothy played Herriot in the original series, which also starred Robert Hardy, Peter Davison, Lynda Bellingham and Carol Drinkwater. At its peak, All Creatures Great and Small pulled in audiences of more than 13 million.

The new series will be created by Playground, the production company behind hit dramas Howards End and Wolf Hall, with a promise to remain faithful to the books of Alf Wight, James Herriot’s real name.

“It is a responsibility we take very seriously,” said Colin Callender, the chief executive of Playground.

“The series will embrace the fun and nostalgia of revisiting the England of the past, while celebrating Herriot’s values that, despite all our current upheaval, still underpin British life today.”

The series has the back of the author’s children, Jim Wight and Rosie Page.

They said: “The books of James Herriot have enchanted millions of readers worldwide for almost half a century. We are delighted that our father’s work will be brought to life once again for a new generation of viewers Great and Small.”

1 Comment

  1. Fair enough if they’re making another, but it’ll be like the Dads Army film re-make, interesting but not a patch on the original. The BBC series with Robert Hardy and Christopher Timothy will never be surpassed. Who could recreate Siegfried as Robert Hardy did? Whoever tries, i wouldn’t fancy his job. Why the BBC never repeated All Creatures Great and Small is a mystery. Still we have the box set on BBC and can enjoy the proper version whenever we want. Same with Dads Army.

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