A New Adaptation of ‘All Creatures Great and Small’ is Coming to PBS

The classic British drama All Creatures Great and Small is getting a makeover for the modern era.

The series, which originally ran from 1978 to 1980, and again from 1988 to 1990, is being rebooted by PBS’ Masterpiece and U.K. network Channel 5. The new version will be comprised of six episodes and a Christmas special, and will be produced by the same company responsible for award-winning series Wolf Hall and Howards End.

Based on a beloved series of novels by James Alfred Wright, and published under the pen name James Herriot, All Creatures Great and Small follows the heartwarming and humorous story of a rural country veterinarian, and the cast of farmers and townsfolk who lived alongside him in their Yorkshire village.

According to the official press release, 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.”

Now, does that mean this take on the show will feature a modern day setting? Or will it lean into to the nostalgia feel of it all, and make a period story that nevertheless feels more accessible to the viewers of today? Either certainly seems possible, though nothing has been officially confirmed one way or another as yet.

“When it originally aired on public broadcasting, All Creatures Great and Small captured the hearts of millions of television viewers,” said Rebecca Eaton, Executive Producer of Masterpiece. “We promise that the new series will have all the wit, warmth, and quirky charm of the original – and of course, lots of irresistible animals.”

The new All Creatures Great and Small will film on location in Yorkshire later this year, and will likely air at some point in 2020, which also happens to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the release of the novels on which the series is based.

Since their publication in 1970, the books have never been out of print. They have sold 60 million copies internationally.

Thoughts on the return of All Creatures Great and Small? Is this the sort of show you’d like to see an updated version of? Or is it the classic story you prefer? Let’s discuss in the comments.

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