Following huge success since its September debut, Channel 5 has confirmed that their reboot of All Creatures Great and Small is set to return for a series 2 (with filming locations across Yorkshire, of course) – and to say we’re overjoyed is a complete understatement.
Pulling in both critical and fan acclaim upon the release of the first season, the show follows the life of James Herriot, a newly qualified veterinary assistant from Glasgow who lands a job in Yorkshire. The show, which is a reboot of the beloved BBC classic, quickly became Channel 5’s highest rated show since February 2016 – with the writers getting to work right away on a second season.
Confirming further details just today, April 26th, show bosses have announced that the brand new series will consist of six episodes, with an additional Christmas special in the works.
It has also been confirmed that Patricia Hodge will take over the role of Mrs Pumphrey, who was played by Dame Diana Rigg before her recent passing. Also joining the cast for the new series is Dorothy Atkinson as Diana Brompton, who will be a love interest to Seigfried Farnon, also James Fleet as Colonel Merrick a military man and farmer.
Whilst speaking to Hello, Channel 5 deputy director of programmes, Sebastian Cardwell, said: “In challenging times, this new adaptation gained a special place in the heart of the British public.
“With values of community spirit, solidarity and heart-felt compassion, these stories are important ones for us to tell, now more than ever. I’m delighted that we will be seeing more of James and his Darrowby family when they return to our screens soon.”
Back in October, executive producer of the show, Colin Callender, said ahead of its renewal: “There is a bizarre, slightly odd silver lining for us, because we are using this time to commission Ben Vanstone [the writer] and the writing team to work on season two, with the hope of getting back into production in the New Year on the second season. And so we’re able to use this lockdown period to work on the development and script development.”
Adding: “Ben [Frow, head of Channel 5] has already said he wants a second season; Masterpiece who are playing this in America in the New Year, they want a second season; all3media, who are our financial partners, they want a second season. So we all hope this will become a regular part of the Channel 5 schedule, and we’re using this time to develop the next season.”
Filming began just last month in Grassington, with many locals and tourists taking to social media to share fantastic imagery of the set.
But where was it filmed?
With Yorkshire being key to the story, it’s only right that the production team took to the Dales for the backdrop. Here’s all the filming locations from series one:
Grassington played a huge part in the show, serving as Darrowby village in the show and transforming the quaint market square’s storefronts for the occasion. The Devonshire is where James meets the farmers and they get him sozzled in the first episode.
The gorgeous hall near Skipton was used as Mrs Pumphrey’s home, played by the late Dame Diana Rigg.
A number of locations in Malham were used throughout the series, including the landscape at Malham Lings and Janet’s Foss – which was used in a swimming scene in the second episode.
Keighley and Worth Valley Railway
When James Herriott picks up Mr Farnham’s brother the station where he picks him up is Keighley and Worth Valley Railway in the West Yorkshire district near Haworth.
Series 2 filming has seen the town of Thirsk transformed into the idyllic setting for All Creatures Great and Small with the Ritz cinema given a beautiful transformation.
Speaking of the choice of locations, Gary Barnes, Location Manager for the series told Screen Yorkshire: “As a Yorkshireman the show gave me the perfect opportunity to show off my home county. Filming in stunningly beautiful landscapes and working with such friendly, welcoming people across the Yorkshire Dales was an absolute joy. Screen Yorkshire were there from the start and worked with us every step of the way. Wherever we went, we discovered how much love there is for Herriot’s story, it’s been a pleasure to bring this to the screen – you’re in for a treat!”
All Creatures Great and Small has concluded on Channel 5, however, you can catch up on My5 now.