Everything is grand as all creatures big and small continue to triumph


Dramas often boast in their publicity presentation of an “explosive finale,” which is usually a shorthand for a blazing row, an unveiled secret, or sometimes a gunshot. All creatures big and small (Channel 5) meant it more literally, not to say fragrant. A cow’s stuffy stomach erupts dramatically, splashing passers-by with a substance that shouldn’t be overstated.

The beautifully done remake of the vet favorite has settled into its second series with romance in the crisp, clean Yorkshire air. And, surprisingly, it was for the four residents of Skeldale House.

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James Herriot (Nicholas Ralph) tentatively invited Helen Alderson (Rachel Shenton) to the local spring dance. Spot sweet scenes of awkward footwork and awkward flirtation, on a swing group at the party hall. Strictly Come Vetting, if you will. Having received a tantalizing job offer from back home in Glasgow, our hero needed to find something – or someone – that was worth staying in Darrowby for. A loving kiss on Helen’s cheek should be enough.

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The hapless, endearing Tristan Farnon (Callum Woodhouse, essentially reprising his character from The Durrells, but doing it impeccably) wooed a farmer’s daughter by accidentally throwing the hematoma on her father’s prize pig, Buttercup. Which is not a phrase that we type very often. When gentleman Gerald Hammond (Will Thorp) brought his injured dog to the office, he formed a promising relationship with housekeeper and force of nature, Mrs. Hall (Anna Madeley).

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Even irascible old Siegfried Farnon (Samuel West) succumbed to the romantic advances of recently estranged Diana Brompton (a delightful trick from the excellent Dorothy Atkinson, aka Pauline de Mum). As Mrs Hall drily noted: “If this woman was more forward, she would be here yesterday.