Skip to main content

All Creatures Great and Small to make surprise return

(Image credit: Alamy Stock Photo)

James Herriot is making a comeback...

All Creatures Great and Small is to make a surprise return to our screens on Channel 5.

The broadcaster has announced that it’s making a new series and a Christmas special based on the real-life autobiographical novels by Yorkshire vet James Herriot.

Christopher Timothy as James Herriot in All Creatures Great and Small

Christopher Timothy won huge TV audiences as James Herriot in the original series (picture: Alamy Stock Photo)

All Creatures Great and Small was famously adapted previously by the BBC. The original TV series, which ran from 1979-1990, starred Christopher Timothy as James Herriot, Robert Hardy as Siegfried Farnon and Peter Davison as Tristan Farnon.

MORE: 7 things you didn’t know about Only Fools and Horses legend Sir David Jason

Speaking about remaking the books, Sebastian Cardwell, the digital channel controller at Channel 5, told The Guardian: “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 heartwarming stories of community and compassion will resonate with new audiences.”

The new series will have a lot to live up to as the original was enormously popular, not least for its memorable theme tune, which was composed by Johnny Pearson.

MORE: Red Dwarf to return for new series, confirms star

The BBC did attempt an All Creatures Great and Small prequel, Young James Herriot, but that proved short-lived.

It’s not been revealed yet whether either Christopher Timothy or Peter Davison might make cameo appearances in the new All Creatures. Robert Hardy sadly passed away aged 91 in 2017.

The new series, which will be shot on location in Yorkshire, is expected to be shown next year.

Main picture of original All Creatures Great and Small cast: Alamy Stock Photo

David is the What To Watch Editor and has over 20 years of experience in television journalism. He is currently writing about the latest television and film news for What To Watch.


Before working for What To Watch, David spent many years on TV Times magazine, interviewing some of television's most famous stars including Hollywood actor Kiefer Sutherland, singer Lionel Richie and wildlife legend Sir David Attenborough. 


David started out as a writer on TV Times before becoming the title's deputy features editor and then features editor. During his time on TV Times, David also helped run the annual TV Times Awards. David is a huge Death in Paradise fan, although he's still failed to solve a case before the show's detective! He also loves James Bond and controversially thinks that Timothy Dalton was an excellent 007.


Other than watching and writing about telly, David loves playing cricket, going to the cinema, trying to improve his tennis and chasing about after his kids!