Samuel West, who plays irascible Yorkshire vet Siegfried Farnon in the latest adaptation of All Creatures Great and Small, has told how a cricketing accident on location at Studley Royal in North Yorkshire led to him going to hospital in Ripon and missing the show’s final wrap party.
The actor joined fellow stars Nicholas Ralph, Anna Madeley, Callum Woodhouse, Rachel Shenton and Patricia Hodge (who arrived with Tricki Woo) for the London screening of season two of the acclaimed Channel 5 production, with his lower leg still encased in in plaster, thanks to a tumble during a scene that will appear later on in the series, featuring a village cricket match, filmed on location at Studley Royal Cricket Club.
“I broke my Achilles tendon on the last day of filming, doing a cricket scene – a game I am meant to be able to play,” he said.
“I pulled a muscle in my right leg and went for a run – a cricket run - and my tendon broke.”
Samuel said he was treated in Ripon where he met a nurse who recognised him and gave the drama series a glowing review. “She said, ‘I really like the show. It’s happy and sad.’ It was worth breaking my tendon for that,” said the actor, adding: “I got it plastered and I had to come back and shoot the last scene from the waist up, and they drove me home in my own car, so I missed the wrap party.”
Season two of All Creatures Great and Small launches on Channel 5 on Thursday, and when the cricketing episode airs later in the season, fans might spot that Studley Royal Cricket Club’s second pitch was used for the exterior of the Pumphrey cricket pitch and rear lawn. Fountains Abbey Deer Park was used for the exterior and interior marquee scenes seen during the match.
Lead writer Ben Vanstone told journalists at the preview screening that he believed All Creatures Great and Small fans can expect a third season.
“Yes, I think we are looking forward to a third series. I don’t think that’s a surprise,” he said.
“We were writing this series before the first series had gone out, so we weren’t really aware of how it would go down and what the reaction would be.”
He also hinted that there could well be more series in store. “When we started the show, we had in mind parts for these characters that took them across a number of series and initially it was kind of four series,” he said, adding that this adaptation plays out its storylines at a gentle pace, with an emphasis on giving the plots time to develop. “There’s plenty more to come,” he said. “We’ll see what the stakeholders say.”
She also admired the acting talents of her co-star Derek the Pekingese, while Callum Woodhouse, who plays Siegfried’s younger brother Tristan, pointed out the pooch’s uncanny stage ability, saying: “There was a moment when Sam lost his blocking and Tricky remembered.”
In the first episode, viewers can expect to see more talented creatures in the form of Scruff, the wayward, sheep-worrying dog belonging to the Aldersons, and also a budgerigar belonging to en elderly blind lady in the village and treated by Tristan for an overgrown beak. Let us simply say that the treatment does not go according to plan. Meanwhile, sparks fly between Helen and James as they rekindle their friendship.
*All Creatures Great and Small returns to Channel 5 on Thursday at 9pm.