Sky Rounds Up All Creatures

The top-rating remake of All Creatures Great and Small will screen on Sky TV.

It will air 8.30 Mondays on Vibe from November 16.

The original adaptation of Jim Herriot’s Yorkshire vet tales originally ran from 1978-1990 on the BBC.

But the broadcaster passed on the reboot, apparently because of concern it wouldn’t appeal to 16-34 year-olds — only for it to become one of Channel 5’s most popular shows.

It’s also been in-demand internationally. Says distributor Louise Pedersen, of all3media international:

The team at Playground Entertainment have produced a wonderful series that delivers perfect primetime family viewing and truly embraces the spirit of James Herriot’s iconic stories and beloved characters. The books’ over-arching themes of community and compassion are as relatable and important today as they were when first published 50 years ago, and we can’t wait to see this warm, charming and joyful adaptation captivating a whole new generation of viewers worldwide.

The six-part series stars newcomer Nicholas Ralph as Herriot, Samuel West (Mr Selfridge) as Siegfried Farnon, Callum Woodhouse (The Durrells) as Tristan Farnam, Rachel Shenton (White Gold) as Helen Alderson, and, in a major casting departure from the original, Anna Madeley (Deadwater Fell) as a much younger Mrs Hall the housekeeper.

The Times dubbed it “a charming antidote to all the doom and gloom … Much like The Durrells, it works just fine as character-driven (animal-driven?) escapism to a place where life feels simpler and the scenery is lovely.”

The Telegraph said it succeeds in “piling on the charm without ever getting cloying, and tipping just enough winks to the original (the belated arrival of the famous theme is positively Proustian) to satisfy those who treasure the Christopher Timothy iteration …

“The casting is smart and veteran Downton Abbey director Brian Percival knows his way around spectacular scenery. The sense of warmth and community, now more than ever, feels nigh on irresistible.”

But The Yorkshire Post warned: “Anyone expecting links to the iconic TV triumvirate of Robert Hardy, Peter Davison and Christopher Timothy might be disappointed. [Producer Burrell Burrell], having gone back to the original books, hopes for an open mind.”

And The Guardian reports “not everyone is a convert to this new pastoralism” that Channel 5 is promoting with shows like Creatures, The Yorkshire Vet and Our Yorkshire Farm.

“The once-downmarket TV channel has won record ratings and awards – with comfort-viewing tales of the dales. But not everyone is happy …

“Channel 5 has found a middlebrow niche with a utopian vision of community in the dales and moors at a time when city living has never seemed so precarious.”

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