What did you think of new "All Creatures Great and Small" on Masterpiece?

Having enjoying Herriot’s books back in the day and the show that aired in the late '70s, I was looking forward to the new Masterpiece series. The scenery was breathtaking! However I was nonplused by the plot itself. Maybe my memories have grown more saccharine over the years, but the new show wasn’t quite the feel-good show I expected. Especially at the start with the somewhat disapproving parents and cold Siegfried.

I guess I’ll have to dig up one of the old books and see how they were depicted, it’s been decades since I’ve read any of them (indeed, if I still have them). I’m curious what others thought of the show?

I enjoyed it. I liked seeing the backstory showing how desperate James was for a job and the poor circumstances he came from in Glasgow. The scenery and settings are better than the old show; better digital film for a clearer picture, I suppose.

I am disappointed that they didn’t use the old show’s theme music which was iconic and which played over and over in my head as I drove around Yorkshire two years ago.

As for the actors, I loved the new James Herriot. I like the new Helen better than the old one. Mrs. Hall is a softer and much younger character than the previous one. No one could touch Robert Hardy’s portrayal of Siegfried and I’m not surprised the current actor didn’t try to match him, so a new take on Siegfried is not unexpected. I did love the Robert Hardy character much better though.

How on earth did I miss this show?! Loved the books.


I was pleasantly surprised. One problem I have with adaptations of programs I view as classic is the modernization of them so I was really pleased to find this version of All Creatures not that far off from the original. I expected slightly different portrayals because we have a new group of actors but as long as they stayed within certain parameters I was going to be ok with it. I loved the books when I was young and enjoyed the original television program. I will definitely continue watching.

After I watched the program I went down a hole on Youtube looking for snippets to do with the original program and found a documentary that interviewed some of the original actors. That was fun.

I too was disappointed that they didn’t use the old theme music!

DD’17 and I enjoyed it. I did watch the original, way back when but I was probably in upper elementary so I don’t remember details to compare how this was different. DD was asking me tonight if it could be watched another time (looks like last night’s episode now available online), so I wonder if her vet tech roommate wants to see it.

I’ve read through the books and DD did too, in middle school. Her teachers were always surprised to see her reading them.

I enjoyed it, but felt that it was bit gushy and over orchestrated. I prefer the old series,

I’m glad this thread reminded me to watch (I recorded it). I read all of the books, but never saw the shows, so I won’t miss the old theme music!

Found it on the web and watched the first episode. Enjoyed it (never saw the “original” show so can’t compare). Thank you OP for the heads up.

“If having a soul means being able to feel love and loyalty and gratitude, then animals are better off than a lot of humans.” ~ James Herriot