08 January 2022

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LONDON 8TH JANUARY 2022: Channel 5 today announces the commission of All Creatures Great and Small, for a third and fourth series. Based on best-selling author James Herriot’s cherished and iconic collection of stories, the critically acclaimed adaptation from BAFTA and Golden Globe-winning production company Playground (Howards End, Wolf Hall) will return for two series consisting of six episodes (6 x 60”) each plus Christmas Specials respectively. MASTERPIECE on PBS in the US, which will air season 2 starting January 9,  will co-produce and All3Media International is the global partner. 

The series made a triumphant return in the UK earlier this year with an average of 4.1 million loyal viewers tuning in across the series run. Providing viewers with irresistible escapism and unabashedly wholesome viewing that ‘proved a tonic to viewers in troubling times’ (The Times) as vet James Herriot discovers the Dales, we can expect more heartwarming tales from Darrowby throughout series three and four. As series three returns, we will rejoin our beloved Skeldale House family in the Spring of 1939 as the prospect of another World War looms large over the Dales. Change is afoot for all our Darrowby residents, especially James and Helen, who are embarking on the next chapter of their lives as the wider world around them heads toward a period of great uncertainty. 

All Creatures Great and Small will return to shoot on location in Yorkshire in the Spring for series three. Returning for the third series is Nicholas Ralph as young vet James Herriot, and Samuel West as his mercurial mentor Siegfried Farnon. Anna Madeley returns as the matriarch of Skeldale House, Mrs Hall, whilst Callum Woodhouse is Siegfried’s slowly maturing brother Tristan. Rachel Shenton returns as local farmer Helen Alderson. A characterful ensemble of farmers, animals and townsfolk living in the Yorkshire Dales in the 1930s will also return, including Patricia Hodge as the wonderfully sophisticated Mrs Pumphrey, and her adored pampered Pekingese Tricki Woo (portrayed by the loveable Derek). 

Also returning for series three is lead writer and Executive Producer Ben Vanstone (The Last Kingdom). Joining Vanstone for the third installment is returning writer Chloë Mi Lin Ewart, who will write episodes two and four. Karim Khan has joined the writing team for episode five, and Jamie Crichton will write the script for episode six. Brian Percival (Downton Abbey) remains lead director and Executive Producer, and Richard Burrell (Alex Rider, Silent Witness) returns as Producer. 

Series three and four were again commissioned by Deputy Director of Programmes, ViacomCBS Networks UK, Seb Cardwell; returning Executive Producers are Colin Callender and Melissa Gallant for Playground, Louise Pedersen and David Swetman for All3Media International and Rebecca Eaton and Susanne Simpson for MASTERPIECE. MASTERPIECE on PBS is presented by WGBH Boston. 

On the double series order, Sebastian Cardwell, Channel 5 said: “It is clear that our viewers adore James Herriot’s adventures in Darrowby and so do we at Channel 5. I am looking forward to us all being reunited with the Skeldale House family when series three arrives on our screens this year.” 

Everyone at Playground wants to thank Masterpiece on PBS, Channel 5 and All3Media International for their support for the series. But most of all we want to thank the audience who have so fully embraced the new series. It is their vocal and loyal support that has resulted in this ongoing commitment to the series and we couldn’t be more delighted. It is a joy to produce the show but an even bigger joy to know that there is an audience all over the world hungry to revisit the world of Darrowby in the beautiful Yorkshire Dales and to spend more time with the wonderful inhabitants of Skeldale House.”  says Sir Colin Callender CBE, Executive Producer and CEO of Playground. 

This is great news to our MASTERPIECE audience, who embraced this charming series and made it one of our most-watched shows. We look forward to what Ben Vanstone and Playground have planned for this wonderful ensemble of characters in seasons 3 and 4,” adds MASTERPIECE Executive Producer Susanne Simpson.

Executive Producer Louise Pedersen, CEO of All3Media International, commented: “All Creatures Great and Small has proven to be a perfect tonic for audiences around the world seeking a top quality production with a warm and positive  view of the world.  We are pleased to be able to offer  these further series to build the brand globally.” 

James Alfred Wight OBE FRCVS was a veterinary surgeon who graduated from Glasgow Veterinary College at the age of 23. He headed to a veterinary practice in Thirsk, Yorkshire, in 1940 where he fell in love with the Dales and the woman he would marry, Joan Danbury. Wight later wrote stories based on his own adventures as a young country vet, under the pen name James Herriot, quickly becoming one of Britain’s best-loved authors. 

On the announcement of a third and fourth series, Jim Wight and Rosie Page, Wight’s children say “For many years the books of James Herriot have provided a source of comfort to tens of thousands of people worldwide at difficult times in their lives. With this recent adaptation of his books, a new generation has been introduced to the joys of the Herriot stories. We are delighted that there are to be at least two more series of All Creatures Great and Small, and we are especially pleased that the same excellent actors and producers are to be involved.” 

All Creatures Great and Small is a timeless classic that continues to be much loved by generations of readers. Never out of print, the books have become a global cultural phenomenon with devoted fans around the world. With a sharp focus on community and its importance in our lives, Herriot’s world and spirit is a very much needed antidote to the challenges of our modern times, transporting viewers to a gentle past, populated with wonderfully observed characters. The series reminds reminds us all that belonging to a community makes us part of something much greater than ourselves.  


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