Channel 5 is bringing back All Creatures Great and Small with a new adaptation of the James Herriot novels.
2020 marks the 50th anniversary of the original publication of the beloved books, which were brought to the small screen back in 1990. Chronicling the heartwarming and humorous adventures of a young country vet, the books introduced readers to his unconventional mentor and the cast of farmers and townsfolk who lived and worked in the Yorkshire Dales in the 1930s. This new adaptation will preserve the rich spirit, tone and values of Herriot’s iconic characters and stories and will bring to life his sharply observed, entertaining and incredibly funny tales of country life in the North of England for a modern audience, introducing a new generation to his life affirming stories.
Channel 5 is already the home of factual series The Yorkshire Vet which is set in James Herriot’s original veterinary practice. But Channel 5 is increasingly stepping into drama territory, with other scripted series recently commissioned including Cold Call and 15 Days.
Produced by BAFTA and Golden Globe-winning production company Playground (Howards End, Wolf Hall), the show will be co-produced by MASTERPIECE on PBS in the US. The production will also receive funding and support from Screen Yorkshire.
The production, commissioned by Digital Channel Controller Seb Cardwell, will be produced by Richard Burrell (New Tricks, Silent Witness); Executive Producers are Colin Callender, and Melissa Gallant for Playground, Hugo Heppell for Screen Yorkshire and Rebecca Eaton for MASTERPIECE.
Ben Vanstone (The Last Kingdom) is lead writer and Executive Producer and Brian Percival (Downton Abbey) is lead director.
Sebastian Cardwell, Channel 5, comments: “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; in challenging times, we hope the charming and heart-warming stories of community and compassion will resonate with new audiences.”
“Revisiting James Herriot’s beloved stories is an immense privilege and we are honoured that Alf Wight’s family have entrusted us with his legacy. It is a responsibility we take very seriously.” says Colin Callender, Executive Producer and CEO of Playground. “At a time when the country feels more divided than ever, Herriot’s glorious books remind us how to connect and belong again.“
The series will shoot on location in Yorkshire, England later this year. Channel 5 has ordered six episodes and a Christmas special.