New set photos from All Creatures Great And Small reboot are revealed as much-loved vet James Herriot returns to screens after 30 years
Thirty years after his last TV appearance, James Herriot is returning to our screens for more veterinary adventures.
Pictures have been released showing the new cast of All Creatures Great And Small on set.
They will replace the stars of the smash hit BBC version, based on the books by Alf Wight.
Action: Actor Callum Woodhouse as Tristan Farnon strides on set in Grassington for the reboot of All Creatures Great And Small
The Channel 5 series stars Nicholas Ralph as James, the role made famous by Christopher Timothy from 1978 to 1990.
Callum Woodhouse from The Durrells plays Tristan Farnon, taking over from Peter Davison, while Samuel West is his irascible older brother Siegfried, originally played by Robert Hardy.
Hollyoaks actress Rachel Shenton will play Herriot’s love interest Helen Alderson, reprising Carol Drinkwater and the late Lynda Bellingham’s role.
Romance: Hollyoaks actress Rachel Shenton will play Helen Alderson – the love interest of Nicholas Ralph as James Herriot (pictured together)
Viewers will be transported back to the fictional village of Darrowby – and The Drovers Arms pub – although filming took place in Grassington, North Yorkshire, replacing the nearby village of Askrigg used for the original series.
Producer Richard Burrell said the show has had support from its former stars. ‘I had a great phone call with Christopher,’ he said.
‘They were very generous in what they said and in the advice they gave.’
Sebastian Cardwell, the digital channel controller at Channel 5, previously said: ‘James Herriot has a special place in the heart of the public and the commission of this iconic drama series, against the stunning backdrop of the Yorkshire Dales, is set to bring joy to a new army of TV viewers.
‘The original books affectionately captured a unique slice of British life.
Watering hole: The Drovers Arms pub (pictured) will be featured heavily in the new adaptation of the much-loved series
‘In challenging times we hope the charming and heart-warming stories of community and compassion will resonate with new audiences.’
Last autumn, Rachel took to Instagram to announce her casting in the series, which she was over the moon about.
Alongside a snap of a TV clapper board, she wrote: ‘So excited that I can finally say I’m working on ALL CREATURES GREAT AND SMALL for @masterpiecepbs…
‘I’m also excited that I can now freely spam your feed with pictures of various farm animals #dreamjob #imallabouttheanimals #1937 #yorkshire’
The reboot comes after Herriot’s real-life son, 76-year-old Jim Wight, locked horns with Sue Paterson, the president of the British Small Animal Veterinary Association (BSAVA), who said his father’s novels portray vets as people who can be called on anytime and paid with slices of cake.
Original cast: The adaptation originally ran on the BBC from 1978 to 1990 (pictured left to right, Peter Davison, Robert Hardy, Carol Drinkwater and Christopher Timothy)
She said: ‘I think James Herriot is to blame because we’re all supposed to love animals and work for nothing, but we all run businesses. All the Herriot stuff about a cat being ill and the owner cuts him a big slab of chocolate cake and he doesn’t charge her – well, it’s a hard business nowadays.’
Jim told The Express: ‘I was very put out because it seemed so ridiculous. I was seething with anger, in fact. It is nonsensical to say he is out of date. You might equally say Winston Churchill is out of date. My father is an iconic and historic figure, and to compare veterinary practice in those days to now is completely unrealistic.
‘He gave free treatment to a tiny portion of his clientele who were in genuine hardship; it was a charitable and Christian act. He started with no money at all.
‘It is a different world, and you cannot compare the two. It is so unfair to blame that man for the woes of our profession today. Of course his scientific training may be dated, but his compassionate, careful and thorough approach is never going to be out of date.’
Jim and his sister Rosie approved the 2020 reboot and said of it: ‘The scripts are very interesting and the public will find them entertaining!’
All Creatures Great and Small is coming this September to Channel 5
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