Christmas Eve in the Yorkshire Dales was the perfect televisual bridge between a traumatic, pandemic-stricken year and Christmas Day as the All Creatures Great and Small festive special hit all the right notes with viewers.


The will they-won't they storyline of the lovestruck vet James Herriot (Nicholas Ralph) and the seemingly oblivious object of his affections, Helen Alderson (Rachel Shenton), finally reached its conclusion on the eve of her wedding to Hugh Hulton (Matthew Lewis).

Helen rejected the lord of the manor at the altar, setting up her eventual marriage to James.

Predictable it may have been, disappointing to fans of the Channel 5 period drama it wasn't!

For many, the special had a winning balance: "What a perfect #AllCreaturesGreatandSmall Christmas special. It strikes just the right balance of heart-warming but never descends into being twee. Looking forward to series 2."

It even soothed the cold hearts of Grinches, as one viewer posted: "Perfect Christmas telly. Even this old Grinch is in the mood now".

Another viewer wrote: "I’m a sentimental old fool at the best of times but as Xmas tele goes this #AllCreaturesGreatandSmall is heartbreaking and warming in equal measure. Lovely".

It was an "antidote to anxious times" for many in the audience.

A viewer contrasted the drama with our current climate of social distancing: "Oh my word the comforting power of the human touch is being well and truly emphasised in #AllCreaturesGreatandSmall tonight. Beautifully done."

Another posted: "I love this new version of #AllCreaturesGreatandSmall on Channel 5 and I'm old enough to remember watching the old BBC series."

Earlier, All Creatures Great and Small star Samuel West, who plays Siegfried, stoked anticipation, with the help of Radio Times.

Some viewers were already looking forward to the next series even while the Christmas special was in motion.

"Absolutely loving #AllCreaturesGreatandSmall @NicholasRalph_ Just the tonic we needed. Can’t wait for the next series!"

We will have to wait quite some time for it to happen, but at least there is the certainty it will return for season two.


While you’re waiting visit our TV Guide to see what’s on tonight, or check out our guide to new TV shows 2020 to find out what's airing this autumn and beyond.