The reboot of the 1980s classic All Creatures Great and Small is back for a second season, and it’s as charmingly comfortable as it has always been. It’s time for a jaunt to the countryside – don’t forget your wellies.
Its premise is the same as the original – Scottish vet James Herriot is a fish out of water in the up-to-your-knees mud and marsh of the Yorkshire Dales, trying to prove he’s capable by dealing with the locals and shoving his arm up as many cows as possible. We’re serious, they had to make actual fake cow parts for the production. Who knew that was even a thing? Anyway, cow parts aside, the show really is the perfect cure to the summer’s-over blues. If watching this bumbling vet navigate his way through a world of “by ‘eck!” “aye” and near constant pipe smoking doesn’t cheer you up, then we’re not sure what will.
Obviously, it’s not going to grip you in the same way watching a drug-fuelled car chase might, but that really is the glory of this show. It’s a meandering story of all things pure, and will no doubt do wonders for Yorkshire’s tourism industry.
The gentleness of the show hasn’t gone unnoticed by The Telegraph’s Michael Hogan, who says: “with its wild landscapes, drystone walls, steam trains and vintage cars, it was family-friendly comfort-viewing. A soothing balm in febrile times.” And, not happy with just the one metaphor for a general sense of wellbeing, he goes on to call the series “a breath of fresh air.” Who needs to go outside when you’ve got it on your screen?
This feeling of stepping into the fresh outdoors is also picked up in The Times by James Jackson, who reckons that, “watching James arrive off the bus in the wide-open Dales, standing alone at a crossroads, was like taking a long exhale.”
Happily, its second season does not disappoint either, and according to The Telegraph’s Anita Singh, “nothing has changed for series two, which is exactly how it should be,” going on to point out that “it took all of five minutes before we saw James Herriot…with his arm half-way up a sheep”. Delightful. She goes on to outline that the series “proves that gentleness doesn’t have to be dull”, heralding it as “the most stress-relieving show of the week”.
We could all do with some country air.
Season one was first shown in September 2020, whilst Season two aired in September 2021.