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.
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.
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.
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?