All Creatures Great and Small boss talks filming ‘difficult’ Channel 5 show ‘Strict laws’

All Creatures Great and Small: Cast on lack of 'villains'

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Show writer Ben Vanstone explained the hit story, inspired by the real-life vet James Herriot, is tricky to make. All Creatures Great and Small fans enjoy the relaxed nature of the show, with an array of farmyard animals and an evolving love story between its characters all taking place in the backdrop of the Yorkshire Dales. It seems the behind-the-scenes story of the Channel 5 series is a bit different, though.

Ben reflected on what really goes into shooting the scenes.

He stated: “The practicalities of how we film these things is mind-blowing.

“To do the calf birth in season one, episode one, we needed to have three cows that were pregnant, that were all matched.

“We then had to have a cow that wasn’t pregnant, that we trained to stay laying down.

“We had a prosthetic cow as well, to do the actual bits where James is going in to pull it out.”

In an interview with Masterpiece, he continued: “So it was surprising to me, how difficult this show is to make, and the work that goes on by our production team to make it happen.

“I don’t think it’s necessarily something that will make people go, ‘Wow, that’s a big number!’

“But it really is. To do something small, it becomes very, very big.”

The TV writer also detailed why certain laws make the process more difficult.

“Pigs are really difficult because we’ve got really strict laws in this country about the movement of animals, following a foot and mouth outbreak,” he explained.

“And ever since then, there’s very strict rules about going on and off farms, and the movement of pigs.”

Fans of the series and pleased it will be returning for season three later this year.

The second series saw James (played by Nicholas Ralph) and Helen Alderson (Rachel Shenton) finally starting a romance.

The couple became engaged, and fans of the show are eager to see the two tying the knot.

The latest episodes saw James turn down a prestigious role in Glasgow so he could stay with Helen in Darrowby.

By the end, he had finally plucked up the courage to propose and the two were overjoyed at their engagement.

James had admitted his feelings for Helen after she left Hugh Hulton (Matthew Lewis) at the altar in the first Christmas special.

In the final episode of season two, James’ boss Siegfried Farnon (Samuel West) suggested he propose to Helen before it was too late.

Eventually, he plucked up the courage to ask, and Helen immediately said yes.

All Creatures Great and Small is due to continue with season three in September, while older episodes are available to watch on My 5.

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