Filmed on location in the Yorkshire Dales, All Creatures Great and Small brings the world of veterinarian James Herriot to life with all the warmth and humor of the original stories. Series 1 includes all 13 episodes from ... more »the first season.DVD Features:
Based on the books of the British veterinary surgeon Alf Wight, who wrote under the pseudonym James Herriot. It's an old saying in the film industry that one should never work with children or animals, as they never do what they are supposed to. Well, this show did, and proved it was possible, although the animals still greatly misbehaved. The series had two runs, totaling 90 episodes: the original (1978 to 1980, based directly on Herriot's books) was for three series. The second run (1988 to 1990, filmed with original scripts) for the fourth series. Since then, it has become an internationally beloved world favorite, and indeed, when viewing these now, one gets a feeling that the countryside was a glorious place inhabited by amazing people. Two or three of these episodes at the end of the day provides an escapist, gentle, heartwarming, cozy-cup-of-cocoa type drama. It's warm, simple, nice, and lovely, even educational, and it's not going to frighten the horses. Although, I should add, that all the main actors here suffered at least one anointing of having their hand up a cow.
Beth P. (dvdswapee) Reviewed on 11/16/2011...
I enjoyed these shows 30 years ago and still enjoy them today.
Annie W. from YERINGTON, NV Reviewed on 12/5/2009...
This is a great family show.
0 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.
A meaningful life is a happy one
Mr. P. D. Cooke | Bridgewater, NJ United States | 07/10/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This DVD presents in a simple straightforward package the first TV season (13 episodes of approx 55 mins each)of the classic "All Creatures Great and Small" series based on the books of the Veterinary Surgeon James Herriot.An aditional one hour documentary interview with the real James Herriot is also included.The original series was a weekly "must see" event and I found myself drawn back to watch just one more episode on this DVD despite serious attempts to make it last.The picture quality is what you would expect for a 25 year old British TV show however this in no way detracts from its enjoyment. The happy flowing music that rolls with the beautiful Yorkshire Dales scenery puts you right in the mood to get to know and experience the trials and tribulations of James Herriot and the people and animals he meets.Although the books were written by Herriot the main characters that stand out in this series are his new employer Siegfried Farnon and Siegfrieds brother Tristan. Both characters are played extremely well by two excellent british actors Robert Hardy and Peter Davison. Hardy extracts tha maximum entertainment from Siegfrieds ebullient often frustrating character.In the end you will connect with the Dales farmers and wonder at the 'black magic' of veterinary science in the mid 1930's but like Gerald Durrels books the animals that entertain the most are of the human species.This DVD will guarantee a good satisfying viewing experience and while not intended to be a comedy provides some hilarious situations for the main characters."
A Warm Household of Eccentrics
Daniel Bay Gibbons | Salt Lake City, USA | 02/22/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"In the early 1980's, when I was in law school, my wife and I recorded many of the episodes in this collection on our old Betamax video recorder. At night, after a long and trying day, we would watch them over and over with our then little girls curled up on the couch in their blanket sleepers. This is one of the handful of television series I have EVER watched as an adult. There was an overwhelming comfort in entering into this warm household of eccentrics -- James, Siegfried and Tristan, with Mrs. Hall hovering in the kitchen. Of course, the animal stories and the forays into the landscape and characters of the Yorkshire Dales are fascinating, but isn't it really the inexplicable hominess of Skeldale House that draws us back again and again?For years my wife and I searched unsuccessfully for copies of these episodes. Our Betamax machine is, alas, long gone and our little girls are in college. But what a joy to see the series afresh after nearly twenty years. The music has a certain dated cheeziness about it, but how marvelous to be back in the sitting room or in the surgery again with James, Siegfried and Company. Some other thoughts:1. While I hope to get the later series, this is the best by far from a dramatic point of view, with James struggling to prove himself, Helen still unattainable and the complex relationship of Siegfried and Tristan freshly viewed.2. I do wish this set were available on DVD.3. The acting -- especially from Robert Hardy as Siegfried -- is so superb from this little ensemble. There is the stuff of greatness about the inherent tension, irony and exquisitely restrained comedy of the trio."
All Creatures Great and Small. Series 1
Mike 1900 | CA USA | 08/07/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
""The best of the best" The original set of six boxed videos. There are 12 episodes in all, begining with James' arrival at Skeldale House and the start of his career as a vet under Seigfried. Filled with all kinds of English characters, the series is a delightful peek at England and the English, before WWII. This classic series cannot be beaten for true value. You'll watch them again and again."
An Absolute Gem!
Tiggah | Calgary, Alberta Canada | 11/10/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Of all the superb British productions, none touch the heart quite like All Creatures Great and Small. Certainly, this delightful comedy-drama is one of our entire family's all-time favourites--one which we've watched numerous times and continue to enjoy to this day. Though the names of people and places were changed, the series is based on the true stories of Yorkshire veterinarian, James Herriot (the nom de plume of Alf Wight, who sadly died of prostate cancer in 1995 at age 78). The series opens in the early 1930s with James (played by Christopher Timothy), a serious-minded and very conscientious newly qualified vet, arriving in the tiny Yorkshire farming town of Darrowby for a job interview at Skeldale House, the home/surgery of veterinarian Siegfried Farnon (Robert Hardy). Siegfried, though a very competent vet and an extremely generous man, is one of the most contrary and mercurial individuals. Heaven help the other members of the practice, who walk on eggshells most of the time as it is, should he get a bee in his bonnet about something! The third member of the practice (if one can call him that, for he's still a veterinary student in the early episodes), is Siegfried's younger brother (and polar opposite in temperament), Tristan (Peter Davison). Tristan is a gregarious, skirt-chasing practical joker and one of the laziest individuals around. Certainly, he'd rather have a pint, play a prank, or chat up the girls than study for exams or be on call at the surgery. The stage is set then for some very comical situations, which are rendered all the funnier and all the more welcome as relief from the very real drama of the stories.Apart from the vets, the series is peppered with a wealth of memorable characters. There's the Farnons' good-hearted but no-nonsense, mother-hen housekeeper, Mrs. Hall (sadly, the actress portraying her died after the third series); and who can forget the gruff, tight-fisted, cheap-skate farmer, Mr. Biggins--the bane of the practice; or wealthy (and demonstrably grateful!) Mrs. Pumphrey, whose pampered pekingese Tricki Woo suffers a host of complaints related to his rich diet and idle lifestyle. Of course, one mustn't forget James' devoted wife Helen (Carol Drinkwater, who was replaced by Lynda Bellingham in the fourth series)--their courtship provided the basis for much humour in the early episodes--or the larger-than-life Granville Bennett (James Grout), whose veterinary skill is matched only by his hospitality and his ability to consume copious amounts of alchohol (not to mention food!), much to James' immense discomfort and embarassment.With thirteen 50-minute episodes, this boxed set contains the complete first series. Produced in 1978 and set against the backdrop of the magnificent Yorkshire dales, this is a thoroughly entertaining series which, like the wonderful books that inspired it, takes one through the gamut of emotions--from laughter to tears. It is a series which transports the viewer back to a time and way of life that is, in many ways sadly, gone forever. It is sure to be enjoyed by anyone looking for quality entertainment that the whole family can enjoy, but it will especially be treasured by fellow animal lovers. There are, at the time of writing, four boxed sets (containing the complete first four series) plus a DVD with two special episodes (its video counterpart only contains the first special, unfortunately), and I highly recommend the entire series. If you enjoy the first boxed set, by all means go ahead and purchase the remaining sets (and specials), as the entire series is outstanding. There are still another two or three series that have yet to be brought to video/DVD, and I know I'm not alone in hoping the BBC will release them sometime soon. Indeed, if ever a series deserved to be released in its entirety, it is this one. Extremely highly recommended!"
Utah Blaine | Somewhere on Trexalon in District 268 | 04/19/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"These DVDs contain the entire first season of the BBC's production of the series `All Creatures Great and Small'. Each episode represents, more or less, one chapter from James Herriott's epinonymous novels. This is one of the very few cases in which the film/TV version is as good as the book. These DVDs are absolutely outstanding. The story centers on a vet freshly out of veterinary school in the 1930s who is learning about his profession and about life in Yorkshire. He is surrounded by a motley (eclectic? eccentric?) cast of characters. This series was filmed in the 70s and 80s, so that the production quality is rather low by modern standards. I do not view this as a drawback, though. It really gives the series a more realistic, almost gritty, less glitzy look. The acting is superb, particularly by Christopher Timothy and Robert Hardy. Good acting is almost non-existent on television today. The animals are, of course, the stars of this series as well.
These stories are about life and all its little (and not so little) ups and downs. Each episode contains several story threads, some of which weave their way through the entire series, some only lasting one or a few episodes. We watch James, the main character, develop his trade, learn to understand the Yorkshire locals, make lasting friendships, and fall in love. In short, we follow James living his life with all his successes and defeats, big and small. The full range of human emotions are on display in this series, the stories are hilarious, frustrating, sad, and hopeful in turn. The message promoted throughout this series is to enjoy the simple life and accept what life throws at you for better or worse.
If I had any negative comment at all, it would be that the series slowly declines after the first few years (a not uncommon problem). This is a minor quibble, and the entire series is well worth the money spent. I watch these DVDs over and over, and when I have a bad day, I dream of going down to the Drover's Arms to have a pint with James and Tristan. Since I can't do that, I'll watch an episode and my mood will transform."