Weeks after we said goodbye to Skeldale House at the end of All Creatures Great and Small season 4, James, Helen and the rest of the residents will soon be back in this year's Christmas special.


The new episode will see James at the RAF training base and missing Helen, hoping to get back in time for Christmas but now having many options.

Speaking with RadioTimes.com and other press ahead of the special, James star Nicholas Ralph explained what fans can expect from his storyline in the special.

He said: "He's probably been away now for about four months, so it's a long time to be away from your significant other. And he misses Helen hugely, and she's pregnant, and like he says before he leaves, things are a lot different now than when he signed up.

"When he signed up Helen wasn't pregnant, things were very, very different. And if she was back then, who knows what decision he would have made.

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"So yeah, missing her hugely and missing the family, but also finding this camaraderie and this kind of brotherly love – and thank God for that. Thank God for these young men that he's surrounded by, that they've got each other as well."

Nicholas Ralph as James Herriot in All Creatures Great and Small
Nicholas Ralph as James Herriot in All Creatures Great and Small. Channel 5

He continued: "But it's always kind of heart and mind for James, and I think this is another one, it's serving for the greater good or wanting to be at home with Helen, and I think that sacrificing your own needs for the greater good is something that is playing within his mind all the time, and we see that play out a little bit in this episode as well."

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Ralph also spoke about filming the scenes on the RAF air base, revealing that they shot at the Yorkshire Air Museum, on the former site of RAF Elvington.

He said: "It was absolutely brilliant because it's a museum, so it is just as was during World War II. You know, the barracks are still there, the mess hall, all these different areas are still there.

"We built one area, but apart from that, very little was needed to be done. But just being there and surrounded by all the planes, and everything like that, it does, it just transforms you into that world."

He also said that filming apart from the rest of the cast helped him to understand the sense of separation James was feeling.

He said: "Because I was away for the best part of a week filming there as well, I did miss the guys when I was away, and I was hearing about all the things that I would normally be involved with filming-wise back in Summerbridge or wherever we would be in Yorkshire. So it worked well in that way as well."

This year's All Creatures Great and Small Christmas special airs on Thursday 21st December at 9pm on Channel 5. Watch all episodes on My5. Check out more of our Drama coverage or visit our TV Guide and Streaming Guide to find out what's on.


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