Big and Small Christmas Review of All Creatures: A Christmas Feast

Every creature has a special Big and Little Christmas program the equivalent of a television mug of white wine. I challenge anyone to be senior about it. And yes, the program is a bit predictable – but does it matter when it’s all so nice and nice? And when – in Call the Midwife style – does it break and warm your heart in equal measure?

The program opens on Christmas Eve, which is also the day before Helen Alderson (Rachel Shenton) and Hugh Helton (Matthew Lewis) are to be married. (And don’t worry, we know everything from the official summary – so there will be no further damage here!)

James Herriot in all creatures Great and Small

Understandably, James Herriot (Nicholas Ralph) plans to avoid the tragic event by sliding home to Scotland to watch his parents on Christmas Day. But before that, it’s time for the annual Christmas Eve party at Skeldale House – and James has invited his girlfriend Connie as his favorite, despite her silly feelings. . She’s nice, but she’s not Helen.

At Skeldale House, Mrs. Hall (Anna Madeley) has distributed party food cooked straight out of a supermarket Christmas ad and is eagerly awaiting the arrival of her vulnerable son Edward; Tristan Farnon (Callum Woodhouse) is busy hanging mistletoe to enable so much kissing; and Siegfried Farnon (Samuel West) tries on Father Christmas costumes in preparation for an evening of songwriting for toddlers. And so the platform is set.

James ’love for Helen is certainly at the heart of the section. Here’s what we were told beforehand: “As the house fills up with locals, James receives a call from Bert Chapman asking for help with his struggling dog. . James has to leave the party and is surprised when Helen asks if she can join him to get away from all the hurdles of marriage. Up at the Chapmans’ James confronts a puppy stuck in the birth canal, and Helen sees how much he loves being a vet.

“When it’s time to leave, James is scared to find that the fog has gone down and catches them high up in the Dales until morning. James calls Skeldale and promises to get Helen back to Darrowby in time for the wedding, while asking if he can contain his true feelings. ”

All Creations Big and Small Helen and James

So the program relies on a number of separate – but related – questions on whether Helen is getting cold feet about marrying Hugh Helton (Matthew Lewis)? Will the wedding go ahead? And will James finally admit his feelings to her? Of course I will not tell you the answers to these questions. But me please say that what each character does is entirely in line with what we know about them.

The aforementioned Chapmans are also a delight. Anne Chapman, played by Cleo Sylvestre, is a Black woman married to a white man in Yorkshire in the 1930s and is full of wise words about marriage and how “you can’t help who you fall into love ”no matter what others might expect you to do. (She said bluntly, while watching James and Helen.) She and Bert Chapman (Dave Hill) are a great addition to the show, along with their lovely collie dog Suzy – and can’t let us only hope to be invited back as guest stars into futures.

But this is not about James and Helen and their romantic love. Siegfried’s will also has something going on, as Dorothy (Maimie McCoy) has turned up at the party and is tizzy. Samuel West clearly loves the character he plays – and while he’s in this program he’s about to turn into a photographer, he eventually lives on the sidelines. right of line.

All xmas creatures big and small special Dorothy and Siefried

And there is another will, as it were: will Edward, Mrs. Hall’s beloved son, make it to Darrowby and cure the cure between them? Mrs. Hall’s news story moves deep, and honestly made me shed more than a few tears. It is more powerful because it is so scarce.

Finally, there’s Tristan, who stares at the vulnerable side lying beneath his playful boyish mockery and jokes around him. We’ve seen scenes of him before, of course, but his scenes in the Christmas special are particularly moving.

Watching this program as a preview in November immediately blew me (and prematurely) into the Christmas spirit. It made me want to put up old-fashioned paper chains and mistletoe and a tree with beautiful baubles – or even candles. And bowls of oranges and a huge spread of food… and champagne… and naturalness… and dust of snow would be good, please. He could hardly be a Christmassy either.

But now the real world is catching on, with the program airing on Channel 5 on December 22 (with a repeat on Boxing Day). And with All Creatures Great and Small recently re-commissioned for a second season and a special Christmas program for 2021, we can only hope that this show will become a major staple of the Christmas TV charts for years to come. come.

All creatures Big and Small will be on air for Christmas 2020. Check out what else goes on with our TV Guide, or check out our guide to the best Christmas TV.