All Creatures Great & Small Series 2 is currently filming on location in Yorkshire, England. So the big question that needs answering is what is going to happen with Mrs Pumphrey?

All Creatures Great and Small – Mrs Pumphrey (Dame Diana Rigg) & Tricki-Woo (Derek) ©2020 Playground Television (UK) Ltd, photo by Ed Miller

Dame Diana Rigg played her in the first series but the famed actress died during the UK airing. As many will know the delightfully eccentric Mrs Pumphrey and her pampered Pekingese, Tricki Woo, are an essential part of the books and original classic series.

This week it’s been announced that Patricia Hodge will take over the essential role. Many will know her as the mother in UK comedy Miranda. She also played Jeremy Thorpe’s mother in the mini-series A Very English Scandal.

All Creatures Great & Small regulars are back

All Creatures 107 – Mrs Hall (Anna Madeley) and Siegfried Farnon (Samuel West), James Herriot (Nicholas Ralph) and Tristan Farnon (Callum Woodhouse) ©2020 Playground Television
  • Nicholas Ralph reprises his role as young country vet James Herriot
  • Samuel West (Mr Selfridge, On Chesil Beach) as James’ unconventional mentor Siegfried Farnon
  • Anna Madeley (Deadwater Fell, Patrick Melrose) as matriarch of Skeldale House Mrs Hall
  • Callum Woodhouse (The Durrells) as Siegfried’s errant brother Tristan Farnon
  • and Rachel Shenton (Switched at Birth, White Gold) as independent local farmer’s daughter Helen Alderson

We are told that in the new episodes, viewers can expect more heart-warming stories from the Dales. Plus a characterful ensemble of farmers, animals and townsfolk living in 1930s Yorkshire. This is what we all hope for, of course!

Additional characters cast

The new-adaptation of best-selling author James Herriot’s stories second season will have some new cast. Joining the main cast is Dorothy Atkinson (Mum, Call the Midwife) as Diana Brompton. This character’s vivacious nature captures Siegfried Farnon’s eye at the local Church Hall Dance! Plus we have James Fleet (The Vicar of Dibley, Belgravia, Four Weddings and A Funeral) as Colonel Merrick. He is an impressive military man and local farmer.

Four Weddings and a Funeral – Andie MacDowell, James Fleet, Kristin Scott Thomas, Simon Callow, Charlotte Coleman, John Hannah and Hugh Grant ©1994 Working Titles

Returning characters

Series 2 will also see the return of Matthew Lewis (the Harry Potter film series, Ripper Street) as Hugh Hulton. This character arrives back in Darrowby after some reflective time abroad. This followings the abrupt ending to his and Helen Alderson’s union.

Cleo Sylvestre (Doctors) returns in her role as Mrs Chapman. We last saw her last saw in the Christmas special. This was when the Chapman’s dog Suzie gave birth to a large litter of pups.

We also have Kriss Dosanjh (Doctors, Coronation Street) returning to the series. He plays George Pandhi, the Skeldale House Veterinary Practice’s rival. He competes for the loyalties and business of the townsfolk and their precious animals.

Executive Producer comments

In the press release we have a statement from Executive Producer and CEO of Playground Sir Colin Callender CBE. He said, “We’ve been overwhelmed by the exceptional response to the first series”. He goes on the say that they are, very appreciative of the support from Channel 5, Masterpiece, All3Media and Screen Yorkshire”. Adding that they have, enabled us to return to Darrowby so that audiences can once again enjoy the company of the beloved inhabitants of Skeldale House”.

He also addresses the death of Diana Rigg, “We were deeply saddened by the passing of Dame Diana Rigg who will always be a treasured member of the All Creatures family. Mrs Pumphrey and her overly indulged Pekingese, Tricki Woo, are such iconic and cherished characters in Herriot’s world and we are delighted to welcome the wonderful Patricia Hodge who will join the company as Mrs Pumphrey for Series 2”.

All Creatures Great and Small – Mrs Pumphrey (Dame Diana Rigg) & Tricki-Woo (Derek) ©2020 Playground Television (UK) Ltd, photo by Ed Miller

Series 2 episodes

All Creatures Great and Small Series 2 will consist of a further six episodes, plus a Christmas Special. It is expected to air on UK Channel 5 later this year. Stations elsewhere have yet to confirm their plans. PBS in the US aired the Series 1 episodes in the first part of this year.

Masterpiece on PBS in the US will co-produce and All3Media International is the international partner. The production will also receive funding and support from Screen Yorkshire.