“All Creatures Great and Small” (PBS)
It would have been simple for this series to coast on the reputation of the beloved 1970s miniseries as well as the series of James Herriot books that inspired it. But this reworking of Herriot’s semi-autobiographical story brings its own sweet, distinct verve, largely on the back of one of the most endearing ensembles you’ll find anywhere on TV. From newcomer Nicholas Ralph as Herriot to Samuel West as the prideful and sometimes-stoic Siegfried to Anna Madeley as Mrs. Hall, the woman who makes Skeldale House run smoothly, all seem perfectly at home in this version of Darrowby. Through the keen eyes of writer/creator Ben Vanstone, this Skeldale crew and their neighbors each enjoy the care and attention that the skillful veterinarians bring to their chosen craft. There’s romance and heartbreak and resilience, all set against the backdrop of the circle of animal life. All the way through its charming Christmas special, it’s a true and utter delight. —SG
“All Creatures Great and Small” Season 1 is streaming now on your local PBS website. Read our full review here.