Pam Webb

a writer's journey as a reader

All Creatures Redeux


As a fan of All Creatures Great and Small, both the books and the original television series, I have mixed feelings about the recently released update to Herriot’s classic.

New faces for an old favorite

On one hand, I’m thrilled to see an updated version since the old version’s filming style was not very creative, just basic camera angles and editing.

Then again, an update might focus too much on making the series “pretty” through extra scenery shots which takes away from how the books focused on the dynamics of the people, as well as the wonderful animals.

On one hand, I look forward to seeing new faces in old roles.

Then again, how can anyone expect to replace the absolutely marvelous cast led by Robert Hardy?

So—last night I tuned in my PBS Passport (best ever Christmas present to myself) and watched the first two episodes of the first season.

Verdict:

It is a pretty update, with its sweeping shots of Yorkshire, and there is plenty attention on building dynamics within the cast. We’ll make that a positive.

As for the cast itself. Samuel West brings credit to the inexplicably frustrating, insufferable, yet charming Siegfried Farnon. The other cast members are unknowns, and hold their own. I am puzzled by Mrs. Hall, the housekeeper. I remember her being much older in the books, and in this update she appears to be Siegfried’s age, and their inevitable clashes come off more as married couple bantering than the respected nemesis that the original Mrs. Hall appeared to be. This is a marring point, because Mrs. Hall apparently has a wayward son by the name of Edward, but she doesn’t appear old enough to have a son able to be out and about living independently. Sadly, this is a sticking point for me. Mrs. Hall wasn’t that prominent of a character, yet here she is quite entrenched in the household.

Overall verdict:

To be fair, I will have to put aside my strong allegiance to the old series and view this new series on its own merits.

What are your thoughts on the updated All Creatures Great and Small?

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18 thoughts on “All Creatures Redeux

  1. All Creatures Redeux

  2. I still need to try it and am looking forward to that.

  3. Let us know………..I don’t know as I’ve seen the original. But I LOVE the books!!

  4. I loved the books, in fact they are on my shelf awaiting a reread, I never watched the series though, on account of not wanting the books spoiled. If I do I will certainly watch the old series.

    • They are the same but quite different. The old series is more true to the books. The new series expands the characters more. The new series does a delightful Tricki Woo episode. The episodes provided some much needed laughs. Hope all is well for you and yours—scary times.

      • Tricki Woo, that’s a dog no one can ever forget! We are doing well, not ranging far from the house, just myself for work and Crissy to the local shops. We have itchy feet for travelling now. It’s been almost two years now.

      • Ah yes, traveling. I got my passport the year before but I’m not moving towards anything more radical than a Costco run these days.

      • Looking at those still travelling, they seem to have the best of it, quiet places to roam, lots of great photos too. I am somewhat jealous.

      • Ooh, but the risk of infection. I can wait.

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