Channel 5 has found their James Herriot. Newcomer Nicholas Ralph has been set as the lead in their new take on All Creatures Great And Small. Samuel West (Mr. Selfridge), Anna Madeley (Patrick Melrose), Callum Woodhouse (The Durrells) and Rachel Shenton (White Gold) have also been cast in the series.
All Creatures Great And Small chronicles the heartwarming and humorous adventures of a young country vet. 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.
Samuel West has been cast as Siegfried Farnon, the wonderfully eccentric veterinary surgeon and proprietor of Skeldale House who reluctantly hires the recently qualified Herriot into his rural practice; Anna Madeley as Mrs Hall, the resident housekeeper and matriarch of Skeldale House; Callum Woodhouse as Tristan, Siegfried’s errant and charismatic younger brother; and Rachel Shenton as Helen Alderson, an independent local farmer’s daughter who helps her father manage the family farm and care for her younger sister.
The drama series, which is based on James Herriot’s cherished collection of stories, is being produced by Colin Callender’s Playground. It was adapted for the small screen by The Last Kingdon scribe Ben Vanstone. PBS Masterpiece is co-producing for the US market. All3Media International is also on-board and will handle global sales. Richard Burrell is the series producer, while Downton Abbey helmer Brian Percival is attached to direct. The show’s first season will consist of six episodes and a Christmas special. The production will also receive funding and support from Screen Yorkshire. Production gets underway this autumn on location in Yorkshire.
“This is an exceptional cast made up of a wonderful mix of exciting new and established talent”, said Colin Callender, who serves an executive producer alongside Melissa Gallant, Ben Vanstone, Hugo Heppell, Rebecca Eaton and Louise Pedersen. “Re-visiting the world of All Creatures Great and Small is like going home and re-discovering old friends whom we haven’t seen in years. We’re thrilled to be bringing James Herriot’s beloved characters back to life with Sam, Anna, Callum, Rachel and Nicholas.”
“Growing up I, like many others, adored this show”, added Brian Percival. “It was very much a part of Sunday evenings at home. So I was thrilled to be offered the opportunity to revisit such a much loved story. I am so excited to have such a fantastic cast and crew filming in such a beautiful area of the UK. Sam, Anna, Callum, Rachel and Nicholas will have a whole new audience falling in love with James Herriot’s world.”