‘All Creatures Great and Small’ Cast and Producers Tease What to Expect from Season 2

All Creatures Great and Small charmed viewers when it debuted on PBS in January 2021. The heartwarming 1930s-set series about a Yorkshire vet was the kind of feel-good show many people were looking for during some of the darkest days of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, and fans cheered when the series — which aired in 2020 in the U.K. — got a swift season 2 renewal. Now, we have a better idea of when new episodes might air in the U.S., and what’s in store for the show’s characters in season 2.  

‘All Creatures Great and Small’ Season 2 to air in 2022 on PBS 

Cast of 'All Creatures Great and Small' Season 2 standing outside a house
‘All Creatures Great and Small’ Season 2 | Courtesy of MASTERPIECE

Though we don’t yet have a specific premiere date for All Creatures Great and Small Season 2, we do know it will air in 2022 on PBS. The show’s second season will have seven episodes, executive producer Colin Callender told reporters during a panel discussion at the Television Critics Association summer 2021 press tour.

The second season will pick up several months after the season 1 finale, which took place at Christmastime. James Herriot (Nicolas Ralph) returns to Yorkshire from his parents’ home in Glasgow, where he’s been visiting for Easter. While back in Scotland, he was offered a job at a modern veterinary practice, and now must decide between staying close to his aging parents or returning to his new life in Darrowby. 

Helen and James will get to know each other better in season 2 

Helen and James standing in a field in 'All Creatures Great and Small' Season 2
‘All Creatures Great and Small’ Season 2 | Courtesy of MASTERPIECE

All Creatures Great and Small Season 1 ended with Helen (Rachel Shenton) making a last-minute decision not to go through with her wedding to Hugh (Harry Potter’s Mattew Lewis). In season 2, we’ll see Helen and James taking “baby steps” toward a relationship, writer and executive producer Ben Vanstone said. 

“I think they need to take the time to get to know each other and learn to love each other. And that doesn’t happen quickly,” he said. 

“If you actually look at the amount of time that they spent together in the first [season], it’s actually not that long at all,” he added. “It’s only in [season] 2 where they slowly learn and find out about each other and find out a little bit more about each other and whether that’s a relationship that can ever work.”

James and Helen’s relationship is “slow and it’s tentative and it’s careful,” Shenton said. “And that’s and that’s what they’re like as people and what they may be like as it progresses.

Patricia Hodge replaces Diana Rigg in the ‘All Creatures Great and Small’ cast

Mrs. Pumphrey holding Tricki Woo in a car in 'All Creatures Great and Small' Season 2
‘All Creatures Great and Small’ Season 2 | Courtesy of MASTERPIECE

One big change for All Creatures Great and Small Season 2 is the addition of Patricia Hodge to the cast. She replaces the late Diana Rigg as Mrs. Pumphrey. Rigg died in September 2020.  

Callender said that the possibility of simply removing Mrs. Pumphrey from future storylines was discussed, but in the end, they decided she was too “iconic” of a character to give up. Instead, they sought out an actor who could bring her own unique spin to the doting owner of the Pekingese Tricki Woo. They found that in Hodge.  

We all adored working with [Rigg], but we wanted to find an actor who would make Mrs. Pumphrey her own, not try and replicate what had come before,” he said. 

“Patricia Hodge embodies Mrs. Pumphrey in the most wonderful way,” he added.

Though Lewis’ character was jilted at the end of season 1, Hugh will be back in season 2. Downton Abbey alum Amy Nuttal will also appear as a widow taking over the farm she and her late husband owned in a “really poignant, really lovely” storyline, Ralph teased. 

Fans will also see more of Helen’s younger sister Jenny, played by Imogen Clawson. 

“She finds her voice a little bit,” Shenton said. “It’s lovely to see.” 

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