Such fun! Mrs. Pumphrey to live on as Patricia Hodge is cast in ‘All Creatures Great and Small’ S2

Miranda cast. Photo: BBC

When All Creatures Great and Small returns to Channel 5 in the UK and PBS in America for a second series, there will be a few new faces among the regulars that will inhabit 1930s Yorkshire. Nicholas Ralph will reprise his role as young country vet James Herriot with Samuel West (Mr. Selfridge, On Chesil Beach) returning as James’ unconventional mentor Siegfried Farnon, Anna Madeley (Deadwater FellPatrick Melrose) as the matriarch of Skeldale House, Callum Woodhouse (The Durrells in Corfu) as Siegfried’s errant brother Tristan Farnon, and Rachel Shenton (Switched at BirthWhite Gold) as independent local farmer’s daughter Helen Alderson.

Also returning will be Mrs. Pumphrey, one of many locals that James Herriot encounters as a vet, who is instantly recognizable by her pet dog Tricki Woo and larger-than-life personality. Interestingly, with the sad passing of Dame Diana Rigg, who played Mrs. Pumphrey to perfection in series 1, producers had a difficult decision to make as to whether or not they would try to replacing the former star of The Avengers and Rebecca or write her character out of the picture altogether.

Dame Diana Rigg as Mrs. Pumphrey with Tricki Woo. Photo: Channel 5/Masterpiece PBS

Thankfully, given that Mrs. Pumphrey and Tricki Woo were both such iconic and cherished characters in Herriot’s world, the decision was an easy one except for the fact they were now faced with finding someone that would be equal to the task of replacing the Dame. Enter Patricia Hodge, fresh off her brilliant long-time gig as Miranda Hart’s ‘what we call’ mother in Miranda and, more recently, roles in Roadkill with Hugh Laurie, A Very English Scandal with Hugh Grant and period drama Downton Abbey. An awesome choice, IMHO.

Joining Hodge for the forthcoming 2nd series of All Creatures Great and Small are Dorothy Atkinson (MumCall the Midwife) as Diana Brompton, whose vivacious nature captures Siegfried Farnon’s eye at the local Church Hall Dance, and James Fleet (The Vicar of DibleyBelgravia) as Colonel Merrick, an impressive military man and local farmer.

Filming for series 2 is underway in Yorkshire which will, again, be comprised of 6 episodes and a Christmas special and will air in late 2021, early 2022.

In: Drama