Wedding bells will chime for James Herriot and Helen Alderson when the highly-anticipated third series of All Creatures Great and Small airs in the autumn, but there will be darker storylines, too, as war with Germany looms on the horizon.
Plot details revealed by PBS Masterpiece, which hosts the series in the US, suggest that lead vet and Skeldale House’s unpredictable proprietor Siegfried Farnon, played by Samuel West, will have to contend with painful memories of his own experiences during the First World War, when he served in combat with the Army Veterinary Corps.
Set and filmed in the Yorkshire Dales and based on the best-selling stories of Thirsk vet Alf Wight, who wrote under the name James Herriot, All Creatures Great and Small series three will begin in spring 1939 as James (Nicholas Ralph) and Helen (Rachel Shenton) prepare to walk down the aisle and their wedding is unlikely to go without a hitch. James will also have a new stake in the business and, while his scheme to participate in the government’s practice to test for tuberculosis in cattle will expand the veterinary practice, it could put him at odds with local farmers.
Helen, too, will face the challenges of letting go of her old life on her family farm with her father (Tony Pitts) and sister Jenny (Imogen Clawson) and finding her new place within the welcoming, yet eccentric, embrace of Skeldale House.
Tristan (Callum Woodhouse) must now face the world as a qualified vet, still seeking to win big brother Siegfried’s approval.
Meanwhile, Mrs Hall (Anna Madeley) may be ready for love. And Mrs Pumphrey (Patricia Hodge) returns with her pampered Pekingese Tricki-Woo.
Channel 5 has not yet revealed precisely when All Creatures Great and Small series three will air in the UK, although PBS has revealed that it will air on Masterpiece in the US from January 8, 2023. A UK launch date announcement is expected soon.