When I wrote a while back that the new reboot of All Creatures Great and Small had all the potential to become the next Downton Abbey, that may have been a little presumptuous on my part but not by much based on viewer reaction, critical acclaim, the official word from Channel 5 and PBS that the series had been commissioned for a second series but, now, with confirmation that production filming has begun, it’s a given, hopefully.
Starring Nicholas Ralph as James Herriot, along with Samuel West, Callum Woodhouse, Anna Madeley and Rachel Shenton, the series finale that aired at the end of 2020 on Channel 5 in the U.K. had audiences ‘absolutely gutted that this is the last episode‘ according to one viewer. Another viewer called it “the best series of the year! Hopefully will run as long as the original serial.”
Aside from the fact the series offered some much-needed escapism and comfort amid the coronavirus pandemic where life in the Yorkshire Dales in the 1930s had started to look pretty good, it was just spot on which is extremely rare for a reboot of a classic series. Even though the first series was the highest rated drama in the history of Channel 5, nothing is certain until you get the ‘official word’ of another series. And then, even following the ‘official word’, there’s still something really exciting about hearing the filming has begun.
Unfortunately, in recent years, there have been way too many ‘one and done’ series coming out of the UK (Crimson Field, Sanditon (so far), Beecham House). When you combine that knowledge with several other series that met a very unexpected end after a big series-ending cliffhanger (Indian Summer, Home Fires), it’s more than understandable how fans of All Creatures felt not knowing the future.
The new ACGS premiered on PBS’ Masterpiece series in January 2021 to the same critical acclaim and viewer response as in the UK. Knowing that the series had already been renewed was a great way to kick off 2021 and Masterpiece‘s 50th anniversary season! What better way to kick off the next 50 than returning to life in the Yorkshire Dales in the 1930s and series 2 of All Creatures Great and Small!
For the second series, Nicholas Ralph will return as young country vet James Herriot along with Herriot’s unconventional mentor, Siegfried Farnon (Samuel West), the matriarch of Skeldale House Mrs Hall (Anna Madeley), Siegfried’s errant brother Tristan (Callum Woodhouse), and independent local farmer’s daughter Helen Alderson (Rachel Shenton).
All Creatures Great and Small S2 will, hopefully, make it’s way to Channel 5 and PBS in late 2021 and early 2022, respectively.