Cast & Creator Hopes for Season 3
As soon as the final credits of All Creatures Great and Small Season 2 rolled, our collective thoughts immediately turned to Season 3. Will there be a wedding? War? Animals in labor or distress? We asked the head writer/executive producer and the cast members what might be ahead and what they hope for their characters, and their answers did not disappoint! Look ahead to Darrowby 1939 with the actors behind your favorite characters below.
Series Head Writer & EP Ben Vanstone
MASTERPIECE: What can we look forward to in Season 3 of All Creatures Great and Small?
Ben Vanstone: In Season 3, Helen and James have become engaged, so I think it’s fair to say there may be a marriage on the horizon, perhaps. It’s 1939, so it will come as no surprise that war is looming. And that will increasingly cast a shadow over our character’s lives.
MASTERPIECE: Anything special ahead, animal-wise?
Ben Vanstone: There’s a great horse story in Episode 3, which is really moving, and I think it’s going to be fantastic. We don’t have any lambs in spring this year, come to think of it, but someone in Skeldale House might get a new pet.
MASTERPIECE: Which of James Herriot’s books will Season 3 use as its source material?
Ben Vanstone:It’s actually spread around. We’re really starting to spread our wings a little bit and bring stories in from all over, so there’s lots of different books. We’ve still got a couple of stories from book one.
MASTERPIECE: What do you hope for James in Season 3 as a vet?
Nicholas Ralph: He’s really growing into himself in Season 2, in confidence personally and professionally, and I hope for more of the same. I hope he starts to take a leading role within the practice and keeps pushing forward on keeping up with the times and modernization. So I hope he sticks to his guns. I’m sure he’ll get some resistance from Siegfried along the way. Hopefully, Tristan will qualify, so there’ll be the three of them there.
MASTERPIECE: What do you hope for him as an emerging Dalesman? After all, does the Dales love James as much as he loves it?
Nicholas Ralph: I suppose he’s being introduced to more and more people within the community, and winning various people over as he goes, and rubbing other people up the wrong way, and that’s all part of it. But I think he’s really found his little corner in the world. You get the sense from the books that he’s all about community as well as work. He would go to the various dances or the shows that were on and stay and clean up at the end. That’s how he ended up asking Helen out for the first time, doing that. I think it was a dance maybe and then someone had to clean up the cups and saucers from the teas and things like that. They did it a few times and then eventually he mustered the courage to ask her out. So being part of the community is really important to him, and hopefully we see more of that going forward, as well.
MASTERPIECE: What do you hope for him in Season 3 as a future husband?
Nicholas Ralph: Well, at the end of Season 2, he and Helen are engaged. so hopefully they’ll get married and maybe start a family with one another. Really, I think he’s found his soulmate in Helen, and I hope that they just love and support one another, and ultimately start a family and find happiness. It’s kind of cliche but ultimately that’s it. I think as long as the two of them are together, they’re pretty much set for whatever will come.
MASTERPIECE: What do you hope for Helen, individually and in her relationship, in Season 3?
Rachel Shenton: I really hope that she and James keep listening to each other and keep evolving together and care taking of each other’s feelings, because if they do that, they’re not going to go far wrong. There’s always that thing where everybody wants them to get together, and see marriage and kids as the end game, happily ever after. But I think most people know that’s where the real work starts. So I hope we get to see all of that. And I think, like Nick said very rightly, as long as they’re together they’ll probably be all right. And they’d like to think that they’ll navigate their way through, but I hope we see the truth of that, what that looks like when you move away from your family and you are setting up a home together, and times are tough financially, and all that other stuff.
As for her as an individual, I very much hope that she manages to strike that balance and feel content with everything, and not worry too much about being away from Heston Grange. I feel that her sense of duty may at times take over, and I just hope that it doesn’t get too much for her, that she’s able to have fun and enjoy this new life, because it’s exciting.
MASTERPIECE: What’s can we look forward to in Season 3?
Anna Madeley: I don’t know a huge amount about what is going to happen in Season 3. It would be exciting to know a bit more about my son, given that there’s a war coming, and see what that period of time, as they all feel war approaching, is like for Mrs. Hall, because of her experience of what happened to her husband. We haven’t told audiences a huge amount about that—Dorothy described him as a brute and I mentioned to Gerald that he came back from the war changed, not physically hurt but psychologically damaged. I wonder what that brings up for Mrs. Hall in the next season. As well, I think it would be lovely to see how that relationship with Gerald Hammond travels.
MASTERPIECE: What are your hopes for Mrs. Pumphrey in Season 3?
Patricia Hodge: Do you know what? I don’t think it’s down to me to ordain what happens in the stories. I will just take whatever they choose to put in my direction. Obviously, there’s only so much that you can center on Tricki—I mean, Tricki can’t get ill all the time! I would like to think that the relationship with Mrs. Pumphrey doesn’t just exist according to what’s wrong with Tricki Woo, and that somewhere in terms of the community there’s a connection, and indeed there is. The practice, as a household, has tentacles right out into the community for all sorts of reasons, and so it’d be interesting to see if they’re brought together under another banner, for another reason.
Samuel West & Callum Woodhouse
MASTERPIECE: What can you tell us about Season 3?
Callum Woodhouse: We honestly don’t really know. In a way I like that and in a way I don’t. It is quite nice seeing it. I mean, we have a general idea. I imagine there’s going still be some animals that need taking care of.
Samuel West: We’ll probably still be in the Yorkshire Dales.
Callum Woodhouse: Yeah. I don’t think we’ll get abducted or anything. I don’t know. I think we’ve all spoke to Ben about what we’d like to see a little bit of, not necessarily giving storylines for an entire episode. My only thing was I’d love more scenes in the Drovers.
Samuel West: We do miss the pub. Well, our first series was 1937, our second was 1938, and this is going to be at the beginning of 1939. So there is a war coming. But I think as Ben spoke about the other day in our meeting, the war will happen through the prism of Darrowby, through the prism of the Dales and the animals. And although veterinarians are a reserved occupation, so none of us necessarily have to sign up to fight, in real life, Donald Sinclair [the person Siegfried is based on] tried to join the air force by lying about his age. I think he said he was 43 and he was actually 47, and they found out. In the end they said, “Look, just be a vet. It’s much more useful that you’re a vet.” So he went home. He’d given the practice to Alf Wight, to James Herriot, and he had to come back and take it off him. I don’t know whether any of that’s going to happen in the show, but that’s what happened in the real life.
MASTERPIECE: What do you hope for them in Season 3 personally, professionally, but most of all as brothers?
Samuel West: I want to see Siegfried continue to develop and get more modern as a vet. I’m interested, and so is he, in him being a good vet. I don’t think we’ve at all reached the limits of his eccentricity, and I think we can and probably should see Siegfried behaving more strangely and give giving less of a toss. And I hope he continues to have some luck in love, because he deserves it.
Callum Woodhouse: And I hope Tristan and Siegfried can continue to find what it was they had before this terrible thing, Siefried having to act as his father, happened in their lives. I hope they can just continue to connect. I think we’re maybe building up to a hug, but that might not be until Season 13!