All Creatures Great and Small season 3: US release date, cast, plot, trailer and more

Nicholas Ralph as James Herriot and Rachel Shenton as Helen Alderson in All Creatures Great and Small
All Creatures Great and Small season 3 is a big one for Helen and James. (Image credit: Channel 5/ Playground Television (UK) LTD)

All Creatures Great and Small season 3 is heading to the US after already airing in the UK. Yes, the long wait for American viewers to see the third series is almost over as it heads to MASTERPIECE on PBS in January.

Set in the Yorkshire Dales during the 1930s, it is based on a series of books by real-life vet Alf Wight, who wrote under the pen name James Herriot.

And this series sees what we've all been waiting for — the wedding between James (Nicholas Ralph) and Helen (Rachel Shenton). Plus there's a new romance for Tristan...

Here's everything we know including episode summaries...

All Creatures Great and Small season 3 release date

All Creatures Great and Small season 3 will open on MASTERPIECE on PBS at 9 pm (ET) on Sunday, January 8. 

The series has now aired on Channel 5 in the UK. However, you can watch the whole season now on My5. You can also catch up on seasons 1 and 2!

Who's in the cast?

All the main cast are back. James (Nicholas Ralph) and Helen (Rachel Shenton) are finally an item of course. There will be more disputes between Tristan Farnon (Callum Woodhouse) and his older brother Siegfried Farnon (Samuel West) — although we know how much they love each other really. 

Plus the wonderful Mrs Hall (Anna Madeley) is back. While Miranda star Patricia Hodge continues as eccentric dog owner Mrs Pumphrey — the role played in the first series by the late Diana Rigg.

What’s the plot? Contains spoilers!

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The opening two series of All Creatures have been about whether James and Helen would get together or not. It was touch and go, especially when Helen almost married another man.

However, we know for sure that James and Helen get married in All Creatures Great and Small season 3.

Nicholas tells us: "I can't say much but it’s everything you would hope it would be - romantic, touching, but also funny because there are little mishaps and teething issues on the day… I’m really excited for people to see it." 

Rachel adds: "Yes, they do get married, but like any TV wedding, there are bumps along the way… the wedding dress is beautiful! Our costume designer is brilliant and we wanted something that felt and looked right."

We have episode round-ups below...

What happened in episode one?

It's the eve on James and Helen's wedding day. The boys head to the pub, with Mrs Hall giving everyone strict instructions to keep an eye on James and also the wedding ring, which Tristan is meant to be guarding. Needless to say, James winds up drinking a yard of ale and ends up spending the night in the barn. Tristan also mislays the ring which eventually ends up inside a dog. 

On the morning of the wedding, Helen is clearly nervous, while James is off tending some cattle. In fact, both of them seem to be leaving everything to the last minute.

Eventually, James reaches the church but in wellies. He's found a pair of shoes, but will Tristan ever locate the ring? Helen finally arrives and the pair get married and head off on their honeymoon.

Looming in the background is the threat of war, with Tristan keen to make sure James doesn't sign up.

What happens in episode two?

Tristan with Florence in All Creatures Great and Small

Tristan with Florence. (Image credit: Channel 5)

There's a hint of a possible future romance for Tristan when he has to perform an emergency procedure on a dog, catching the eye of its owner, Florence. Tristan continues to display that he's finally getting the hang of being a vet.

Meanwhile, James and Siegfried are clashing, with Helen and Mrs Hall in the middle. James signs the practice up to do TB testing, which is controversial with the local farmers as it can lead to their herds being slaughtered. 

But a mysterious case at a farm starts to bring the pair together again…

What happens in episode three?

Siegfried is being seriously grumpy and snapping at everyone, including poor Helen. He has been disturbed by the death of someone who served with him during World War One. It brings back painful memories for him of his time as a vet in battle. He's especially traumatized by having to put horses down at the end of the war on the orders of his superiors. 

He becomes obsessed with the case of a local racehorse, who was spooked during its journey over from Ireland. Siegfried sees it as a personal mission to restore the animal’s mental health and perhaps restore his own. 

What happens in episode four?

Tristan turns up with a terrible old banger of a car he's bought. Siegfried is skeptical but Mrs Hall is proud of Tristan for saving up his money and buying it. Meanwhile, James is in hot water with the government for mucking up some forms for the TB testing. He’s also feeling guilty over not joining up for the war. Helen is desperate to stop him from signing up and tells Siegfried she's fearful he will choose to fight.

Meanwhile, Tristan asks Florence out on a date, which takes an unexpected turn when they end up in a car chase with a cow! Tristan and Florence kiss… but Mrs Hall has bad news for Gerald.

What happens in episode five?

We delve into Mrs Hall's past as she's reunited with her son, who is a sailor on the verge of potentially going to war. The pair clearly have a very strained relationship, which is because Mrs Hall reported her son to the police for previous crimes. He struggles to forgive her, while Mrs Hall makes it clear to him that she's always loved him despite his past.

Meanwhile, Siegfried is charged with looking after a young lad, Andrew, who's on work experience. To Tristan's amazement, Siegfried turns out to be a great teacher, leaving Tristan to wonder why Siegfried can't show him the same patience. 

What happens in episode six?

England is now on the brink of war with Germany. James is feeling guilty about working in a protected profession while others go off to fight. Helen tries to make it clear to James that he has a vital job in England, but James is still struggling with his emotions.

James has more immediate problems when he discovers one of Helen's father's herd has TB. Helen's father tries to evade the authorities over the infected animal, while Mrs Hall's actions, unfortunately, result in James potentially being struck off when a form claiming the animals are fine is sent by mistake to the ministry.

Tristan makes a rash marriage proposal, which rapidly ends his relationship with Florence. Poor Tristan!

Siegfried is left with a difficult decision when Mrs Hall falls for a stray dog. 

The episode ends with Britain at war and James and Tristan poised to sign up...

Is there a trailer?

Yes, a trailer has landed. And yes there is a glimpse of the wedding! It’s clear Helen and James are very much in love. But with war looming their lives could be totally upended. James is struggling with his conscience about whether he should be a soldier. But Tristan wisely points out that he could do more good staying put rather than having a gun in his hand.

David Hollingsworth

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 working for 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 for 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!