MASTERPIECE on PBS and BAFTA and Golden Globe®-winning production company Playground (Howards End, Wolf Hall) announced the casting of Patricia Hodge (Miranda, A Very English Scandal) as Mrs. Pumphrey, the delightfully eccentric owner of the pampered Pekingese, Tricki Woo, in All Creatures Great and Small Season 2.
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 in Corfu) as Siegfried’s errant brother Tristan Farnon, and Rachel Shenton (Switched at Birth, White Gold) as independent local farmer’s daughter Helen Alderson. In the new episodes, viewers can expect more heart-warming stories from the Dales with a characterful ensemble of farmers, animals and townsfolk living in 1930s Yorkshire.
Also joining the cast of All Creatures Great and Small, the adaptation of best- selling author James Herriot’s cherished collection of stories, for a second season are Dorothy Atkinson (Mum, Call the Midwife) as Diana Brompton, whose vivacious nature captures Siegfried Farnon’s eye at the local Church Hall Dance, and James Fleet (The Vicar of Dibley, Belgravia) as Colonel Merrick, an impressive military man and local farmer.
Season two will also see the return of Matthew Lewis (the Harry Potter film series, Ripper Street) as Hugh Hulton, who arrives back in Darrowby after some reflective time abroad, following the abrupt ending to his and Helen Alderson’s union. Cleo Sylvestre (Doctors) returns in her role as Mrs. Chapman, who viewers last saw in the Christmas special, when the Chapman’s dog Suzie gave birth to a large litter of pups. Kriss Dosanjh (Doctors, Coronation Street) also returns to the series as George Pandhi, the Skeldale House Veterinary Practice’s rival for the loyalties and business of the townsfolk and their precious animals.
Sir Colin Callender CBE, Executive Producer and CEO of Playground said: “We’ve been overwhelmed by the exceptional response to the first series and are very appreciative of the support from Channel 5, MASTERPIECE, all3media and Screen Yorkshire who have enabled us to return to Darrowby so that audiences can once again enjoy the company of the beloved inhabitants of Skeldale House. 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 was an enormous hit for MASTERPIECE and Dame Diana Rigg‘s priceless portrayal of Mrs. Pumphrey contributed to its success. I can’t wait to see Patricia Hodge bring her own charm to the character,” says Susanne Simpson, Executive Producer of MASTERPIECE. “We look forward to collaborating with Playground on season 2 of this heartwarming series.”
Season two of All Creatures Great and Small will consist of six episodes, plus a Christmas Special. MASTERPIECE on PBS is the co-producer and All3Media International is the international partner. The production will also receive funding and support from Screen Yorkshire.
The second season was commissioned by Deputy Director of Programmes, ViacomCBS Networks UK, Seb Cardwell; returning Executive Producers are Colin Callender and Melissa Gallant for Playground, Louise Pedersen for all3Media International, Caroline Cooper Charles for Screen Yorkshire, and Rebecca Eaton and Susanne Simpson for MASTERPIECE. Ben Vanstone (The Last Kingdom) remains lead writer and Executive Producer, Brian Percival (Downton Abbey) will return as lead director and Executive Producer, and James Dean (Liar) joins the production team as Producer. Sasha Ransome (Two Doors Down) will direct episodes three and four, whilst Andy Hay (The Last Kingdom) also returns as director for episodes five and six, alongside the Christmas Special.
All Creatures Great and Small is a timeless classic that continues to be much loved by generations. Never out of print, the books have sold 60 million copies internationally, becoming a global cultural phenomenon with devoted fans around the world. With a sharp focus on community and its importance in our lives, Herriot’s world and spirit is a very much needed antidote to the challenges of modernity and reminds us all that belonging to a community makes us part of something greater than ourselves.
Season two is currently filming on location in Yorkshire.