All Creatures Great and Small: Second season
January 18, 2022 1:04 PM - Season 2 (Full Season) - Subscribe

A new season has started! The numerous adventures of a friendly staff at a country veterinarian practice in 1930s to 1940s Yorkshire.

I’m posting this after episode 2 aired on Masterpiece, and is freely available on the PBS app. The full season is (probably) available paid on PBS, Channel 5, and Britbox. It's been renewed for seasons 3 and 4.
posted by Pronoiac (20 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
First episode was about lies and deceit, second was about love. And James is showing some spine! Love this show.
posted by davidmsc at 1:59 PM on January 18 [1 favorite]


Spine, except for his mom! I was pleasantly surprised he brought up the offer letter so quickly to a co-worker, rather than having it be this looming emotional timebomb, discovered at the worst possible moment.
posted by Pronoiac at 2:48 PM on January 18 [2 favorites]


I want to see a Tristan-pig rematch.

I'm not clear on the economics of James's situation. I'm guessing he gets free room and board either way (with his parents / where he is now). But would the Glasgow practice assume that he's living on his own (or supporting a family), such that they'd pay him a lot more than Siegfried is? Or would that not enter into the pay situation?
posted by humbug at 6:14 PM on January 18 [1 favorite]


I'm in the U.S. so watching season 2 in progress, and I'm curious if there's an effort to move Siegfried and Mrs. Hall away from one another and into other pairings. Mrs. Hall always seemed much older in the books, but I thought these actors had excellent chemistry.

Jenny's new puppy Scruff is one of the cutest animals I've ever seen on this show, and I would make her a season regular immediately.
posted by gladly at 10:12 AM on January 19 [2 favorites]


Scruff is adorable, but the most unbelievable thing I've seen yet on this show is that an excitable and ill-trained young dog could be trained not to chase sheep in a single session, by some clearly inexperienced dog trainers.
posted by suelac at 1:55 PM on January 19 [4 favorites]


That is totally fair, suelac. Not to mention that they seemed to be using some awfully anachronistic training methods.
posted by gladly at 8:31 AM on January 20 [1 favorite]


Not to mention that they seemed to be using some awfully anachronistic training methods.

Eh, it wasn't terrible. It wasn't negative reinforcement, and there was some emphasis on redirecting his attention from the sheep to his handler, which is good. They rewarded him for doing the thing right.

But what they've done is train the dog to walk quietly through the herd while he's with his handler. It's anyone's guess what he'll do next time he slips through the fence and runs off through the fields, because dogs are very aware of when they are under control and when they're not.

I get it, anyway: good dog training is not very cinematic or dramatic: when well done, it's slow and boring and highly repetitive. Doesn't make for good tv (Cesar Milan notwithstanding).
posted by suelac at 9:48 AM on January 20 [1 favorite]


A quiet "oooh" to myself in episode 1 when I realized James and Tristran having a quick pint outside the Drovers must've been a COVID accommodation to avoid shooting an indoor scene.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 3:50 PM on January 23 [3 favorites]


I don't think I fully understand what Tristan's position is now that he didn't pass all of his exams. He's not a full vet, but can he become one just studying under Siegfried? I did love putting Tristan in charge of the hens, and that he named the lovely brown one, Helen. I hope she's flattered.

I remember the books had plenty of stories like the Dalbys, but I wasn't really prepared for the show not to create a happy resolution for them.
posted by gladly at 6:36 AM on January 25


I don't think I fully understand what Tristan's position is now that he didn't pass all of his exams. He's not a full vet, but can he become one just studying under Siegfried?

I don't either; he's not a qualified vet! and it seems oddly out of character that Siegfried, a stickler for proper correctness, seems perfectly happy to go with "but let's just pretend to everyone that he is." Including, after suitable pressure from Mrs. Hall, the bag monogrammed with Tristran's fake qualification.

The replacement-budgie story had us both yelling "NO YOU'RE ALL TERRIBLE PEOPLE" at the TV; the replacing-the-dead-pet-with-a-ringer plot is a sitcom staple but somehow feels particularly awful for a vet to do to a client.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 9:47 AM on January 25 [2 favorites]


I don't either; he's not a qualified vet! and it seems oddly out of character that Siegfried, a stickler for proper correctness, seems perfectly happy to go with "but let's just pretend to everyone that he is." Including, after suitable pressure from Mrs. Hall, the bag monogrammed with Tristran's fake qualification.

Okay, that's exactly what was happening then. But, thankfully, the writing gives James a line to diffuse it, "There are plenty of vets without qualifications." Still, I'm a little shocked at Siegfried.

Poor Tristan though, what a shit birthday. Right down to knowing that it was Mrs. Hall who ordered his bag not Siegfried. His birthday supper wasn't going well from the start after the estate heiress showed up to shame Helen. On the other hand, this was the first time I enjoyed Mrs. Brompton being there as Siegfried's companion. Good for her managing the horror of that table.
posted by gladly at 6:26 AM on February 1 [1 favorite]


I was shocked to see ebullient Tristan pretty much crying.

The character annoyed me a lot at first because I have history with do-nothing men who think a bit too much of themselves... but he was turning the corner rather, and now this.
posted by humbug at 3:08 PM on February 2


"Dinner and a show", indeed.

This episode was all about secrets being exposed: Tristran's exam results and James's job offer; although do I think it let James off the hook a bit by having him come to Helen with "there's something I need to talk to you about" without realizing -- and without her revealing -- that Mrs. Hall had already accidentally let it slip.

Mrs. Hall's role as household confidante makes her keeper-of-all-the-secrets which is fine until it suddenly isn't.

Tristran's upset not just because Siefried lied to him, but because Siegfried did it in a paternalistic "I know what's best for you" way; there's also a somewhat pointed observation at the dinner that Siegfried is acting like a proud father. Tristran's constantly being diminished by this, and by the "little brother" stuff; what he really wants is for Siegfried to acknowledge and respect him as a peer. In this episode he gets that for a moment but then has it stripped away.

(And a quiet cheer for Tristran pointing out to Siegfried that he too is not above putting on a bit of a show for the clients.)
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 11:32 AM on February 4 [1 favorite]


The older man with longish grey hair who played the cricket umpire… Is he a British cricketer or something?
posted by chrchr at 9:47 PM on February 6


Nope; the umpire is referred to as "Mr Chapman" in the episode and the actor is Dave Hill.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 10:31 AM on February 9 [2 favorites]


I just finished this, having watched both seasons by watching one episode a night over the last two weeks. I love the whole gentle vibe and the characters are mostly so wholesome. I read probably the first five books maybe as a kid, but they are mostly vaguely fuzzy in my memory at this point.

There were a few things that bothered me with this adaptation- the “swap pets” story in particular. And it strains credulity that Scruff wouldn’t have been trained earlier to not chase sheep…. It was as weird to me as the several times people opened gates and then walked away without closing them behind them. A cardinal sin on a working farm!

Still. I adored it and bawled like Mrs Herriot at the end. Can’t wait for more later this year (hopefully).
posted by gemmy at 5:12 PM on February 19


Hey, gemmy, if you watched the episode I think you did, there's one more tomorrow night!
posted by Pronoiac at 5:47 PM on February 19 [1 favorite]


Though you might be watching them differently than I am - PBS only offers two episodes to stream at a time, and ooh, it looks like YouTube TV actually has all of them right now except the season 2 finale!
posted by Pronoiac at 5:51 PM on February 19


Ooooh, thank you. I was watching on Prime, and thought for some reason that the entire season was out. Turns out I get one more episode, yay!
posted by gemmy at 7:20 PM on February 19 [1 favorite]


Based on the episode before the season finale, it sounds like the final episode was Christmas 1938 with WWII less than a year away. I sort of remember that Herriot did serve during the war, but I can't remember those stories.

This was a very sweet Christmas episode where not very much happened pleasantly.
posted by gladly at 9:12 AM on February 21 [2 favorites]


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