The BEST Episodes of All Creatures Great and Small

Every episode ever - ranked by fan votes!

Last Updated: Nov 30, 2020

Network: BBC One

In the mid-1930s James Herriot, who recently graduated from the veterinary college in Glasgow, finds work in the rustic Yorkshire Dales of Northern England. This heartwarming drama chronicles his encounters with the locals and the animals they depend on. Based on the semi-autobiographical novels of James Alfred Wight, OBE, who wrote under the pseudonym James Herriot.

Big Steps and Little 'Uns

#1 - Big Steps and Little 'Uns

Season 3 - Episode 14 - Aired Apr 5, 1980

England is at war and the time has come for James and Siegfried to join their military units. Their last day at the practice is a busy one and James is repeatedly called out when he had hopes to spend a last, quiet evening at home with Helen. Siegfried surprises James with a small gift. Mrs. Hall also has a surprise announcement for everyone and Tristan receives shocking news from the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons.

star 9.29
41 votes
Directors: Terence Dudley
Writers: James Herriot, Terence Dudley (adaptation)
Merry Gentlemen

#2 - Merry Gentlemen

Season 2 - Episode 14 - Aired Dec 24, 1978

Christmas at Skeldale House can be a formidable undertaking, what with sick foals, overfed dogs and a skeleton guarding Siegfried's secret hoard of goodies.

star 9.13
45 votes
Writers: Anthony Steven
Alarms and Excursions

#3 - Alarms and Excursions

Season 3 - Episode 11 - Aired Mar 8, 1980

The Darrowby Bell Ringing Society is suspending its operations for the duration of the war and they have one, final "meeting" at the local pub. James and Tristan go to the bell tower with not unexpected results. The vets have to deal with a series of dog poisonings. They soon identify the farmer responsible, but not before several more animals die. Siegfried treats Joan Clifford's dog Saxon, but the case has very specific implications for her. James treats Mr. Hanson's pigs but it's Mr. Hanson who is most entertaining in that he always speaks at the top of his lungs.

star 9.12
41 votes
Directors: Richard Bramall
Writers: Brian Finch, James Herriot
A Dying Breed

#4 - A Dying Breed

Season 3 - Episode 8 - Aired Feb 16, 1980

The vets visit a modern dairy farm and are left to wonder who benefits from the cold efficiency. Miss Westerman returns with her dog Hamish and Tristan tries to avoid her, given that he misplaced her dog the last time she him in the vets' care. She is concerned at the rumors that all dogs will need to be destroyed if war is declared but Tristan sets her mind to rest. The vets agree to spay a cat for a minimum fee, but find they may have gotten more that they bargained for. Siegfried treat Herbie Hinchcliffe's aging horse Dolly and becomes emotionally involved in the case when he has to put

star 8.98
45 votes
Directors: Richard Bramall
Writers: James Herriot, William Humble (adaptation)
Brink of Disaster

#5 - Brink of Disaster

Season 3 - Episode 9 - Aired Feb 23, 1980

Siegfried has become a bit horse shy given his recent experience with Dolly. James has to deal with the very unpleasant Ralph Beamish, an arrogant horse owner who continually ignores his advice. Siegfried visits a local pig farmer and fears his animals may be infected with foot and mouth disease. Mrs. Beck continues to complain about her with the vets bill and is now worried about how her cat might survive a gas attack should war be declared. Germany has invaded Poland and the British government has given Germany an ultimatum to leave or they will be at war.

star 8.95
43 votes
Directors: Michael Hayes
Writers: James Herriot, William Humble (adaptation)
Puppy Love

#6 - Puppy Love

Season 2 - Episode 10 - Aired Nov 25, 1978

Tristan may have finally found the right girl in Alice McTavish. Meanwhile, James struggles to save a dog whose death could trigger the end of the owners' marriage.

star 8.45
47 votes
Directors: Kenneth Ives
Writers: Brian Finch
Ways and Means

#7 - Ways and Means

Season 2 - Episode 11 - Aired Dec 2, 1978

James concludes that the drawbacks of a vet's life -- long hours, fierce dogs and a cunning sow named Prudence -- pale in comparison to the rigors of making a speech to the Darrowby Youth Club.

star 8.40
43 votes
Writers: Brian Finch
Bulldog Breed

#8 - Bulldog Breed

Season 1 - Episode 11 - Aired Mar 19, 1978

As James struggles to save the dairy herd in which a friend has sunk all his savings, he discovers a colleague's guilty secret.

star 8.39
51 votes
Directors: Peter Moffatt
Writers: Brian Finch
Cats and Dogs

#9 - Cats and Dogs

Season 2 - Episode 1 - Aired Sep 23, 1978

The waiting room is packed at the Darrowby practice, but Siegfried seems more focused on catching his hard-drinking brother asleep on the job.

star 8.37
78 votes
Directors: Peter Moffatt
Writers: Brian Finch
Golden Lads and Girls

#10 - Golden Lads and Girls

Season 1 - Episode 7 - Aired Feb 19, 1978

James' temper is fraying fast -- what with two car accidents in the space of a week, an inauspicious meeting with Helen's family and his rival still lurking around Helen like a "big glossy spider".

star 8.36
78 votes
Directors: Terence Dudley
Writers: Brian Finch
Sleeping Partners

#11 - Sleeping Partners

Season 1 - Episode 10 - Aired Mar 12, 1978

James and Helen's wedding day has finally arrived, though their honeymoon destination couldn't have been further from the Mediterranean. Finally, Siegfried bestows the best wedding present of all.

star 8.33
51 votes
Directors: Terence Dudley
Writers: Anthony Steven
Advice and Consent

#12 - Advice and Consent

Season 1 - Episode 8 - Aired Feb 26, 1978

The fortunes of the hard-working Dalby family look set to dwindle even further until almost by accident James discovers the cause of their herd's illness. However, James still needs a push start on other fronts, and Siegfried and Tristan decide to remedy matters with their own expert advice.

star 8.33
79 votes
Directors: Peter Moffatt
Writers: Brian Finch
Fair Means and Fowl

#13 - Fair Means and Fowl

Season 2 - Episode 3 - Aired Oct 7, 1978

Nerves are frayed as Tristan's encounter with an "exploding" bullock leads to a lawsuit, and Siegfried's venture in guinea raising runs foul. Meanwhile, James is sent to assist "on of the biggest boozers in the business."

star 8.32
75 votes
Directors: Robert Tronson
Writers: Anthony Steven
Pups, Pigs and Pickles

#14 - Pups, Pigs and Pickles

Season 2 - Episode 12 - Aired Dec 9, 1978

Siegried turns on the charm to teach Tristan a lesson, while James, busy with calving, finds one farmer's traditional Yorkshire hospitality a bit hard to swallow.

star 8.30
46 votes
Directors: Robert Tronson
Writers: Terence Dudley
The Beauty of the Beast

#15 - The Beauty of the Beast

Season 2 - Episode 4 - Aired Oct 14, 1978

As the tractor threatens to do away with a way of life in the Dales, James battles to save a dying shire horse.

star 8.29
78 votes
Directors: Peter Moffatt
Writers: Johnny Byrne
The Last Furlong

#16 - The Last Furlong

Season 1 - Episode 9 - Aired Mar 5, 1978

The sport of kings beckons James and Siegfried to the Broughton Races -- James in search of a dead cert to raise forty pounds for a Mediterranean honeymoon, and Siegfried in pursuit of a dream job at the track.

star 8.29
82 votes
Writers: Anthony Steven
Tricks of the Trade

#17 - Tricks of the Trade

Season 2 - Episode 7 - Aired Nov 4, 1978

James gets a taste of the high life when he comes to the aid of a city vet, Granville Bennet, while Siegfried juggles the care of Mr. Wilkinson's awesome "colt" with the fine art of debt collecting.

star 8.28
78 votes
Directors: Kenneth Ives
Writers: Johnny Byrne
Faint Hearts

#18 - Faint Hearts

Season 2 - Episode 6 - Aired Oct 28, 1978

While James struggles to cope with the procrastinations of the Bellerby family, Tristan succumbs to the charms of a millionaire shipbuilder's daughter with a penchant for lobster.

star 8.25
76 votes
Directors: Robert Tronson
Writers: Anthony Steven
Nothing Like Experience

#19 - Nothing Like Experience

Season 1 - Episode 6 - Aired Feb 12, 1978

James musters the courage to visit Helen after she's seen him at his worst. Siegfried resorts to sorcery to aid a gypsy's ailing pony, and a wild ghost chase solves the mystery of the shrouded figure haunting Raine Abbey.

star 8.21
78 votes
Writers: Johnny Byrne
Calf Love

#20 - Calf Love

Season 1 - Episode 4 - Aired Jan 29, 1978

Siegfried has a major victory, and his brother Tristan has to deal with pigs in more ways than one. James discovers he has a rival for Helen's affections.

star 8.16
55 votes
Directors: Terence Dudley
Writers: Anthony Steven
The Healing Touch

#21 - The Healing Touch

Season 4 - Episode 8 - Aired Mar 6, 1988

Trying to save the life of a badly injured, much-loved cat, James and Tristan seek the help of Granville Bennett, who runs a small animal hospital. The fruits of Bennett's practice are clearly much richer than the hard graft of the Dales, and James is intrigued to find that Bennett is looking for a partner.

star 8.08
13 votes
Directors: Roderick Graham
Writers: James Herriot, Johnny Byrne (adaptation)
Plenty to Grouse About

#22 - Plenty to Grouse About

Season 3 - Episode 1 - Aired Dec 29, 1979

James is busy with tuberculin testing but is summoned to the Ministry of Agriculture when the test results don't quite add up. Siegfried has to deal with a dog owner who only believes in strict discipline in dealing with his dog. He also has to deal with dying sheep, but the owners may not have the means to save them. Helen gets a job as a secretary, but James isn't quite sure he approves. Siegfried, on the other hand, thinks it's a wonderful idea. Tristan is less than enthused however when he realizes he will have to take over Helen's duties in the partnership. Mrs.Hall tells Siegfried that she has to leave to help her brother, who is now alone to work his farm.

star 8.07
42 votes
Writers: James Herriot, Terence Dudley (adaptation)
Every Dog Has His Day

#23 - Every Dog Has His Day

Season 3 - Episode 3 - Aired Jan 12, 1980

Mr. Biggins tells James about his cowhand, Ned Finch, who goes drinking every night and is drawn to the bright lights of the big city. All James ever sees is an amiable fellow having a quiet drink in his local pub. Mrs. Hall is all aflutter with the visit of Mr. Barge, the loquacious pharmaceutical representative. Mrs.Pumphrey is worried when her new boxer, Cedric, proves to be overly flatulent. James finds a perfect solution. Mr. Beresford's dog is still misbehaving in the car. Siegfried suggest a new sedative, but it unfortunately doesn't have the desired impact.

star 8.07
45 votes
Directors: Michael Hayes
Writers: Brian Finch (adaptation), James Herriot
The Prodigal Returns

#24 - The Prodigal Returns

Season 7 - Episode 1 - Aired Sep 1, 1990

Life at the Yorkshire veterinary practice continues to challenge the partners, whether by neglected animals or tight-fisted farmers. There are domestic challenges for Tristan, however, when James and Helen play a practical joke with a "Welcome Home" card from an old female admirer. Life is never simple when true love or the demon drink rule Tristan's life, and he is soon in trouble with Siegfried. A new housekeeper, Mrs. Alton, has been recruited by Siegfried to keep a watchful eye on Tristan, who, dispatched to tie up the details of her employment, is delighted to discover that Mrs. Alton is a rather attractive young widow. But this is not the Mrs. Alton that Siegfried had in mind.

star 8.02
64 votes
Spring Fever

#25 - Spring Fever

Season 7 - Episode 5 - Aired Sep 29, 1990

The mysterious Mrs. Donovan poses problems for all three partners. Siegfried rashly dismisses her as "a warm-hearted woman who loves animals" -- until she starts interfering with his patients. From sheep to piglets, a howling dog to a hibernating tortoise, there seems to be no limit to her homespun remedies. Tristan has big trouble on his hands when cadging college pal St. John turns up looking for a bed -- and a small loan. Can Tristan keep St. John's presence a secret from Siegfried and the fearsome Mrs. Alton? Lovely Rosemary Brocklehurst attracts the romantic attention of Tristan when she brings in Esmerelda, a tortoise, which won't come out of its shell. Perhaps Mrs. Donovan has the answer...

star 8.00
7 votes
Directors: Steve Goldie