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Last week, I reviewed the 2022 film version of Lady Chatterley’s Lover. Tina was dealing with a bounty of library books that all came available at once and enjoying the TV series Unforgotten while looking forward to The Indian Doctor, both featuring Sanjeev Bhasker.
I wrote about the first two seasons last year, reflecting on my experiences of reading the books by James Herriott in the Reader’s Digest Condensed versions.
Every time I mention that I’m watching the new series, someone comments about a previous series that I didn’t remember at all. So, I looked it up. The previous series was a BBC production that aired 90 episodes from 1978 to 1990. Those were precisely the years that I didn’t watch television. I was too busy graduating from high school, attending college, and getting started in adult life — an effort that involved cheap apartments and no extras like a car or television.
Since the novel that I’m working on is set in World War II, I was fascinated by the part of the plot that involved the characters learning about the war. I knew, roughly, what happened in the first few days of September — the last-ditch efforts to avoid war. All Creatures Great and Small showed what it was like to hear the regular BBC pips that began the hourly news or the signal that indicated a special report. Someone turns up the volume knob. Everyone grows quiet. You hear a serious BBC voice introducing the segment.
Any romanticization of war disappeared in the flashbacks where we see Siegfried during his final experiences in World War I. Horrors of war and horrors of bureaucracy in a time of war.
Of course, we still get to see lots of animals, Yorkshire countryside, and tweeds. I enjoyed this interview with the costume designer about what the characters wear.
I watched the series with my PBS Passport, a benefit of belonging to my local PBS station.
Have you seen All Creatures Great and Small? What did you think?