Channel 5, BAFTA and Golden Globe-winning production company Playground (Howards End, Wolf Hall) and MASTERPIECE on PBS today announce the casting of the much-loved drama All Creatures Great and Small as it gears up for its fourth series produced in association with All3Media International as the global partner.
Based on the cherished collection of stories by best-selling author James Herriot, the critically acclaimed adaptation returns to the beautiful Yorkshire Dales for a fourth season of timeless and heart-warming stories, picking up in 1940 as Churchill takes office and Europe is under threat. The six new episodes (each an hour long), plus a Christmas Special, will air on Channel 5 in the autumn. In the US, MASTERPIECE on PBS will air season four early in 2024 – see it first in Yorkshire! Book now.
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Series 4 Cast
Series four sees Nicholas Ralph (Prey for the Devil, The Most Reluctant Convert) reprise his role as young country vet James Herriot, now happily married to Helen Herriot, played by Rachel Shenton (White Gold, For Her Sins). Samuel West (Slow Horses, Small Axe) returns as James’ capricious and erratic mentor Siegfried Farnon while Anna Madeley (Time, Patrick Melrose) continues as Mrs Hall, matriarch of Skeldale House. Patricia Hodge (Miranda, A Very English Scandal) also reprises her role as the wonderfully eccentric Mrs Pumphrey, alongside her adored pampered Pekingese Tricki.
With Tristan away serving in the Royal Army Veterinary Corps, Siegfried and James bring in some extra hands to help around the practice. Neve McIntosh (Shetland) joins the cast as highly efficient bookkeeper Miss Harbottle, alongside James Anthony-Rose (Slow Horses, Pennyworth) as studious undergraduate vet student Richard Carmody who arrives at Skeldale as part of his placement under the guidance of James.
A colourful ensemble of farmers, animals and townsfolk living in the Yorkshire Dales in the 1940s will also star, including Tony Pitts, Imogen Clawson, Paul Copley, Cleo Sylvestre MBE, James Bolam MBE, Will Thorp and Sam Retford.
Behind the camera
Returning for a fourth series is Executive Producer Ben Vanstone (A Gentleman in Moscow, The Last Kingdom) who will write the Christmas special. Writer Jamie Crichton (Three Pines, Grantchester) also returns, this time as lead writer and Executive Producer. Joining them for series four are writers Maxine Alderton (Emmerdale Farm, Doctor Who) and Helen Raynor (A Discovery of Witches, Call the Midwife).
Andy Hay (The Last Kingdom, Jamestown) is Lead Director and will direct episodes 1 and 2. Stewart Svaasand (Tin Star, Death in Paradise) will direct episodes 3, 4 and 6, while BAFTA winner Jordan Hogg (Ralph and Katie, Screw) will direct episode 5 and the Christmas Special.
Series three aired in 2023, making a triumphant return averaging a huge 3.8 million viewers, and an impressive 18% share, making Channel 5 the most popular terrestrial channel during that slot while All Creatures Great and Small was on air.
“We are thrilled to be back in the glorious Yorkshire Dales for a fourth season of family, community and, of course, animal hijinks. Our wonderful cast and crew are all delighted to be returning to adapt more of James Herriot’s joyful and life-affirming stories.”Sir Colin Callender CBE, Executive Producer and CEO of Playground
“All Creatures Great and Small is one of the highlights of our year and we are eager to return to the glorious Yorkshire Dales this autumn. We can’t wait to welcome some new additions to our stellar cast for series 4.”Paul Testar, Commissioning Editor, Drama, Channel 5 and Paramount+
“I can’t wait for our MASTERPIECE audience to see this new season of All Creatures Great and Small. It continues to be full of the warmth and humor that has made it one of our most successful series ever.”Susanne Simpson, Executive Producer for MASTERPIECE
MASTERPIECE is presented on PBS by GBH Boston.
“Over three seasons All Creatures Great and Small has offered heartwarming, escapist viewing that has connected with audiences and become a firm fan favorite all around the world, and as Playground’s wonderful series enters its fourth season I am delighted to continue to build the brand globally.”Louise Pedersen, CEO of All3Media International
All Creatures Great and Small is a Playground production for Channel 5 and MASTERPIECE in association with All3Media International. Series four was commissioned by Deputy Director of Programmes, Paramount, Seb Cardwell, alongside Paul Testar, Commissioning Editor, Drama, Channel 5 and Paramount+; Executive Producers are: Colin Callender, Melissa Gallant, Jamie Crichton and Ben Vanstone for Playground, Susanne Simpson and Rebecca Eaton for MASTERPIECE, and Louise Pedersen and David Swetman for All3Media International.
A global phenomenon
All Creatures Great and Small is a timeless classic that continues to be much loved by generations. Never out of print, the books have sold 60 million copies internationally becoming a global cultural phenomenon with devoted fans around the world.
Series four is currently filming on location in Yorkshire, with crews spotted in Grassington – a lovely place to visit.
Millions have enjoyed the gentle stories of farming and veterinary services in the Yorkshire Dales: