The BEST Episodes of All Creatures Great and Small
Every episode ever - ranked by fan votes!
Last Updated: Mar 27, 2021
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.
#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.
#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.
#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.
#4 - 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.
#5 - 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
#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.
#7 - 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.
#8 - 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.
#9 - 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.
#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".
#11 - 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."
#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.
#13 - 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.
#14 - 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.
#15 - 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.
#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.
#17 - 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.
#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.
#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.
#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.
#21 - 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.
#22 - 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.
#23 - 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.
#24 - Old Dogs, New Tricks
Season 7 - Episode 10 - Aired Nov 3, 1990
Siegfried takes a close friend to task for wasting his own talents as a veterinary surgeon. Ewan Ross -- "the best horse man north of the Humber" has let his career slide gently into the whiskey bottle after the death of his wife. But Siegfried is determined to make use of his considerable skills. A valuable racehorse with a strangulated hernia could provide Siegfried with not only a way of striking back at "vets in Bentleys", but also putting Ewan on the straight and narrow. James, meanwhile, is strangely reluctant to take on responsibility for Mrs. Pumphrey's beloved Tricky-Woo when she announces that she is off to France. But Siegfried caves in under the persuasive skills of Mrs. Pumphrey and Tricky-Woo moves into Skeldale.
#25 - Attendant Problems
Season 2 - Episode 2 - Aired Sep 30, 1978
The return of lambing season brings a boost to Siegfried's spirits, but James, laid up in the surgery, is reminded of the harsher realities of a vet's life.