The third episode of the Channel 5 reboot of classic Yorkshire period drama All Creatures Great and Small revolved around James Herriot’s euthanisation of a valuable racehorse and continued to earn superlatives from viewers.
Herriot (Nicholas Ralph) was faced with a distressed and very ill racehorse Andante and when he realised there was no way to save the animal, he put it down. The owner, Lord Hulton (Matthew Lewis), and Darrowby racecourse chairman General Ransom (Nigel Havers) were incandescent at the animal’s death and wanted Herriot sacked.
Did he make the right diagnosis*? That was Siegried Farnon’s conundrum.
Many viewers thought this was the best episode yet of the new All Creatures Great and Small, which has earned Channel 5 its biggest audience in five years.
Absolutely tremendous "Lord Hulton's Andante" storyline and adaptation in Season 1, Episode 3 of #AllCreaturesGreatAndSmall.
Beautifully done. pic.twitter.com/RtqJSYSybG
— Pete Carr (@pete1074) September 15, 2020
“Is the new #AllCreaturesGreatAndSmall as good as the BBC original? I’m thinking, all things considered, it possibly could well be.” High praise indeed.
— Ian Dickinson (@iandicko73) September 15, 2020
That sentiment was echoed by many on social media.
Usually when a classic tv series gets a remake it is never as good as the original… But this is not the case for #AllCreaturesGreatAndSmall I’m loving it. Fantastic series. Tonight’s episode was especially sad. Well done to you all. Can’t wait to see more episode..
— Rebecca Street ❤️???????? (@dobbs_rebecca) September 15, 2020
Not everyone was convinced however. Correct tea etiquette should be maintained at all times on any period drama. For shame!
Sorry but this is the second time I've seen a cup of tea poured without a strainer. Shame! #AllCreaturesGreatAndSmall
— thefictionconsultancy (@thefictioncons1) September 15, 2020
The universal reaction on social media is that the new adaptation is “one of the highlights of the telly viewing week”.
I think #AllCreaturesGreatAndSmall is one of the highlights of the telly viewing week. Love it
— Louise (@LouBeardsley) September 15, 2020
Many viewers contrasted the beautiful tale of the Yorkshire veterinarians with the grisly series, Des, about serial killer Dennis Nilsen on ITV at the same time.
Given the choice between a serial killer who boiled victims heads, or cosy vets, I’m unerring. And aside from everything else in #AllCreaturesGreatandSmall I find Nigel Havers is now a shoo-in for any Neville Chamberlain bio pic.
— Roy Kelly (@stanyanfan49) September 15, 2020
All Creatures Great and Small was an indication of the “extraordinary” way Channel 5 had changed in recent years.
— Nick Clack (@Clackers) September 15, 2020
It was a comment echoed by many viewers.
— SteveVK???????????????????????? (@stevievk69) September 15, 2020
The end of the episode featured a brief but poignant tribute to Dame Diana Rigg, who died last week and who plays Mrs Pumphrey in the series. Fortunately, there are three more episodes of the six-part series in which to enjoy her presence.
#AllCreaturesGreatAndSmall Good to see a brief tribute to Dame Diana Rigg at the end
— Paul Burgin (@Paul_Burgin) September 15, 2020
If you’re looking for more to watch, check out our TV guide.