All Creatures Great and Small. Photo: CarterMatt
All Creatures Great and Small. Photo: CarterMatt

About "All Creatures Great and Small" Season 1

“All Creatures certainly has a gentle, Hallmark-ish vibe, but that vibe can be a balm for what ails, well, pretty much everyone right now. Gentle stories that heavily involve farm animals and interpersonal relationships might just be the thing we need, especially stories that are as well done as this series is,” Decider’s Joel Keller wrote in his All Creatures Great and Small review, adding, “With fine performances and spectacular cinematography, the new version of All Creatures Great And Small will definitely make fans of Herriot’s books want to go back and revisit them, and it will also bring new fans into the fold.”

While the sweet show became a go-to comfort watch for its audience, it wrapped up Season 1 this month, leaving fans with questions about the future of All Creatures Great and Small.

The challenges in making All Creatures Great and Small

"Moving cows around Yorkshire. We have very strict government rules in terms of protecting animals, especially cows, who are susceptible to TB. So once they move, they have to stay in a place for a week. And they can’t travel alone—you can’t use one cow on its own, it always has to have a companion, because they’re herd animals. So trying to work that in with the filming schedule, when you might these cows in a different location, can be quite a logistical headache. Especially if you have issues with the schedule, if the weather affects you, which can happen a lot in the Yorkshire Dales. Sometimes we have to just halt filming for rain. You can’t film with chickens in the rain because their feathers would just be completely dampened. So there are certain restrictions within that particular region that can impact when you’re filming with animals." Said Jill Clark.

Is All Creatures Great and Small getting a season 2?

Yes, All Creatures Great and Small has been renewed for Season 2. The 2020 reboot of the charming series may have just ended on PBS Masterpiece, but it’ll be back with more episodes in a brand new season.

If you have followed PBS for some time, then you already know their commitment to British drama through Masterpiece — they have established a loyal following with it! They are able to tell a series of remarkable stories there and please their loyal audience. While we’re not sure that they have ever found another show with the same success of a Downton Abbey, we have seen such wonderful entries as Poldark and Grantchester air there over the years. With All Creatures Great and Small coming back, there is a chance to further build an audience here and that’s thoroughly exciting. We’re ready for whatever the future brings!

When will All Creatures Great and Small Season 2 Premiere on PBS?

While we don’t have an official premiere date yet for All Creatures Great and Small Season 2, we do know that the series is set to begin filming the new season early this year. In an interview with Salon published this week, series writer Ben Vanstone said the All Creatures Great and Small team is still hard at work on Season 2.

“The final couple of episodes we’re still working on but the majority of it is written,” he explained. “It’s a very strange time to be doing anything with COVID. There’s lots to negotiate and navigate with that. But in some ways, because of the animal welfare stuff that we have to do anyway, we have to be very careful with how many people are on set, who’s around what animals.

“We had a lot of biosecurity in place to make sure everyone’s boots are clean, and not taking anything onto farms that shouldn’t be taken on,” he continued. “So we’re not too badly set up for it. And the fact that we filmed quite a lot outdoors as well is a good thing.”

A final date hasn’t been set yet, but we’ll keep you posted with an updates on the Season 2 premiere, according to Decider.

Major players expected to return

While a cast list for season two has yet to be announced, it's fairly safe to assume that all the major players are set to return. There is one major exception, though: All Creatures Great and Small was one of Dame Diana Rigg's final film roles. Rigg, who played Mrs. Pumphrey, passed away in September at the age of 82. Callender told Radio Times "final decisions" have yet to be made about how to handle the character in the future.

"For those of you who are already asking the question, ‘What are we going to do as we go forward,’ as we’re thinking about season two we’re looking at what we will do with the character of Mrs Pumphrey and Tricki Woo," Callender said. "So we haven’t made any final decisions on that yet."

What do the casts expect for their characters in Season 2?

SAMUEL WEST: I want to see Siegfried excited by things. I think that he’s a man of great enthusiasms, and although his form in the series—and I don’t mind this at all—is often to be disapproving about things, he’s also somebody who wants to be a good vet, wants to dive back into life and love, with all the energy that having a young and successful partner in the business has given him. I think he really loves the job. He loves the places, and as he says in the Christmas special, “it’s about the people.” If he comes to a greater appreciation of his luck and his life, then I would really like that. I think he’s a great, great fun character to play.

NICHOLAS RALPH: Well he’s just become partner, which is huge for James. I hope he takes the courage and encouragement of becoming partner, of everything’s that happened in the last few episodes, and takes it in his stride, as I’m sure he will. I think that he’s a lot more comfortable and confidant in himself, professionally and personally, and I hope he just keeps building on that. And romantically, I hope he gets to go on a first date with Helen. That would be amazing.

When Will PBS Release All Creatures Great and Small Season 2?
Rachel Shenton as Helen Alderson in All Creatures Great and Small

RACHEL SHENTON: What do I hope for Helen? I hope she gets to explore what she really wants, and I hope she gets to be her, and not have to consider so many other voices in what she’s doing—I think by nature, she will. I guess I hope she has a bit more fun, that she can enjoy herself a bit. I think she’s experienced a lot for a young woman, and she’s born a lot of weight on her shoulders, and I hope she can have a good time and relax, and think about what she wants.

ANNA MADELEY: I hope her world opens up some more. I think it’s interesting how Mrs. Hall’s managed to establish a new life for herself in this community, and it would be lovely to see that real blossom even further and see what challenges it would bring. And also, what’s summertime like? We shot Season 1 from September through to January, and we’re going to—fingers crossed—shoot March to July. So we’ve got the opportunity of the spring and summer season, and all that brings. This is a woman who loves being out and about, and who loves her cricket! So we’ll see what those seasons bring.

CALLUM WOODHOUSE: I think the great thing about Season 1 is that Tristan started as a very lazy character, and just wanted to be boozing all the time and chasing women, whereas James was the complete opposite of that. He was nose-down and really, really work-focused. And I think, by the end of Season 1, they’ve balanced each other out. James has made Tristan more work-focused, and Tristan has made James loosen up a bit and be able to have a good laugh. I’d like to see that continue, really, and see them both continue to have fun, but also crack on when they need to. Episode 6 was personally my favorite of the whole season, where they come together and they solve it themselves, and it’s James and Tristan, and they absolutely smash it and it comes through. I just think was the perfect end for both of those characters. So I’d like to see a continuation of that type of thing.

How many seasons of All Creatures will there be?

Channel 5 boss Ben Frow has already raised the prospect of multiple future series, even beyond the point where the material from the original books runs out (as it has with Call the Midwife).

“We will definitely do a second series,” he said. “And a third! And wouldn’t it be nice if we could do a fourth and a fifth and just – how many series of Downton Abbey were there? Quite a lot. And we just keep going, we can go into the ’40s and then we can go to the ’50s and then we start making it up, a bit like Call the Midwife.”

Season one took place in 1937, and season two will take place in 1938. In season three, we’d hit 1939 and the outbreak of war – and the next five seasons would take place during wartime.

Donald Sinclair (the real Siegfried Farnon) served in the RAF during the war. But, as Vanstone explained, “We will certainly be touching upon that as we move forward, but the nature of the show will still very much be the Yorkshire Dales… it’s an interesting way to explore that huge event in history through that very sort of parochial prism of the Yorkshire Dales.”

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