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.

"Is the new #AllCreaturesGreatAndSmall as good as the BBC original? I'm thinking, all things considered, it possibly could well be." High praise indeed.

That sentiment was echoed by many on social media.

Not everyone was convinced however. Correct tea etiquette should be maintained at all times on any period drama. For shame!

The universal reaction on social media is that the new adaptation is "one of the highlights of the telly viewing week".

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.

All Creatures Great and Small was an indication of the "extraordinary" way Channel 5 had changed in recent years.

It was a comment echoed by many viewers.

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.

All Creatures Great & Small returns to Channel 5 on Tuesday, 22nd September. There are repeats of each episode on the following Sunday.

(*And yes, of course James did the right thing in putting the horse down, as Siegfried concluded at the autopsy.)


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