All Creatures Great and Small Series Five continues the heart-warming tales of James Herriot (Christopher Timothy), his wife Helen (Lynda Bellingham) and his volatile but warm-hearted partner, Siegfried Farnon (Robert Hard... more »y). The period is now the early Fifties, but the Dales are slow to embrace the world of tomorrow. Tristan (Peter Davison) has left the Ministry of Agriculture to return to the Darrowby practice. Even with Calum (John McGlynn) on the team, the vets see little of the leisure that the modern age promises.« less
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.
BBC Could Have Done Better
K. A. Alphs | USA | 07/04/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)
"My husband and I were disappointed with the fifth season of the " All Creatures Great and Small Series". The first three seasons and specials were well written, directed and acted. However in the latter portion of the fourth season and the entire fifth season is appears the BBC cut corners on this production. The writing, acting and directing are mediocre at best. Christopher Timothy, Robert Hardy and Peter Davison give outstanding performances as James, Sigfried and Tristian. However we did not care for Linda Bellingham as Helen Herriot. Her performance is cold, she is like a robot going through the motions of saying her lines. Carol Drinkwater gave life, humor and class to Helen. Her performance actually made you believe she is Helen and always will be. Overall this dvd is must for your " All Creatures Great and Small " dvd collection if you are a die hard James Herriot fan."
Mark Antony | United Kingdom | 07/18/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This fifth series marked the half way point in All Creatures adventures, after being resurected after WW2. This classic BBC production is no longer based on the books of James Herriot, new writers based stories on the wonderful character performances of Robert Hardy (Senior partner Seigfried) Peter Davison (Brother Tristan) Christopher Timothy. (James Herriot) In addition to which, there is now colourful Scottish vet Callum Buccannon, intoduced during series 4, to assist the partners in practice, and his love affair with Diedre, former girlfriend of Tristan, is chartered in the episodes.
One continuing handicap of the later series was Carol Drinkwater no longer played Helen Herriot, the role was thereafter the war assumed by Lynda Bellingham, who tended to play every part she got exactly the same. Thus she was never really Helen, simply Lynda Bellingham joining the family. Continuity errors dogged the programme, with things like the all too fast aging of the Herriots children, never again seeing Siegfrieds family.
However, if you can overlook those shortfalls, there are still some wonderful moments to enjoy, with cantankerous farmer Biggins making James life difficult, Seigfrieds frustrations of slow paying clients, the escapades of Callum and Tristan, and gregarious local vet Granville Bennet, all helping to create nostalgic moments to treasure.
The weakest series of All Creaures, but the many fans will still need to complete their collection."
Nona | 07/25/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Series 4 seemed to drag, and was missing that special liveliness of the "Creatures" series. Series 5 redeems the series. It has new stories, nostalgia, new characters, old characters, romance, emotion--basically, it was a joy to watch. It was a homecoming. Lynda Bellingham gets more comfortable in her role, and it was easier to accept her as Helen Herriot. The chemistry between her and Christopher Timothy improved tenfold. Robert Hardy is still perfect as Siegfried, Peter Davison still has that spark of mischief, and Chris Timothy is a delight as James. John McGlynn as Calum returns, and his character is given more room to explore. The results are wonderful. Calum and his girlfriend Deirdre add spice to the storyline, and their characters rightfully earn a place in this series. Fine and masterful acting all around. Mr. Biggins is back, as is Tricki Woo--and oh my, Little Nellie Dimmock makes an appearance.... Don't let the slow pace of series 4 deter you from owning this. Creatures fans need this!"
Series 5 of All Creatures
William M. B. Watson | 10/12/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I enjoyed the final series for this program. The only complaint I had was that the writing was tired. They redid some situations that were done in previous episodes - just changed the Actors. I also missed some of the Actors that had moved on including the original Helen - James's wife, and Mrs. Hall the house keeper. "
All Creatures Great & Small - The Complete Series 5 Collecti
Anita G. Sellers | 10/11/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This British Series is one of the greatest ever produced. We have purchased all 5 Complete Collections and the one-time special. The actors playing the veterinarians in these series certainly earned their salaries. In addition, the series contains some really remarkable characters. We recommend these DVD's to everyone. If there is ever released a Series 6, we will buy that too."