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    All Creatures Great & Small - Series 1 Volume 2

    BBC/Roadshow Entertainment . R4 . COLOR . 343 mins . G . PAL


    The six episodes in the first DVD in this issue of the complete first series of All Creatures Great and Small covered James Herriott's arrival in Yorkshire to join Siegfried Farnon's practice.

    It covered his careful and snivelly cultivation of pet-dog Trickie-Woo and its matronly owner, who then regaled our vet with gifts of Harrod's hampers and fine Cuban cigars.

    It showed us his hapless evenings at the local pub and at the local dances, where he tried to impress his future wife by becoming totally legless and falling all over the dance floor. And, of course, it showed his strange habit of shoving his entire arm up any strange cow he happened to meet.

    This second DVD-set has the final seven episodes of the first series. In this sequence, James Herriott manages to win his future wife's respect by staying sober for a day or two, and by making sure he washes his arm before taking her out on a date.

    And he suffers some unexplained injury which leaves him limping through the rest of the series (there's some comic possibilities they totally neglected), but he generally stays the same humourless oaf we've grown to loathe.

    Robert Hardy as Siegfried and Peter Davison as Tristan really save the show. This is one of Peter Davison's defining roles, not bettered until he essayed the character of one of England's great fictional detectives, Albert Campion.

    Compared to Volume One, this is really just more of the same. If you enjoyed the first, you'll enjoy this set even more - the character development has already happened; now we're part of the family.


    The transfer of this late 1970s television show is as good as we could expect. The colour has that slightly muted quality of television from that period - but that does of course reflect the reality of the colour of the English landscape, with its more subdued and subtle tones than we're used to.

    There seems very little damage done over the years to the original source material; it's as clean as when originally broadcast.


    The sound is as clear as we could want; as with the first set there are no exaggerated effects, just the gentle bucolic sounds of rural England - soft off-screen mooing and neighing from the cast of extras painstakingly assembled to re-create the typical English bumpkin villagers with heads of straw and hearts of gold.


    None, except for individual episode and chapter selection.


    If you enjoyed the first set of three DVDs, then this is the natural progression. The seven episodes here would make a good weekly rental - definitely not an overnight hire proposition.

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      And I quote...
    "Yes, it's our favourite vet James Herriott, right up to his armpit again."
    - Anthony Clarke
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    • DVD Player:
          Panasonic A330
    • TV:
          Loewe Profil Plus 3272 68cm
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