The reboot of the Yorkshire vet drama is a gentle back-rub of a show, and proved the perfect answer to lockdown woes. As it returns, its winning formula looks even more charming

When Channel 5 decided to revive James Herriot’s All Creatures Great and Small – first broadcast between 1978 and 1990 – it could not possibly have known what sort of a world the new version would crash into. It debuted last September to a viewing audience that had grown cowed and fearful due to the pandemic. The evenings were drawing in, and the glorious summer weather – the only thing that kept many of us buoyant – was starting to give way to the murk of autumn. Think back to this time a year ago: your brain was so busy trying to fend off the anxiety of the unknown that the last thing you wanted was to be challenged by prestige TV. You fell back on old favourites, or sitcoms, or cartoons, or anything to distract you from the shape of the world.

Related: Yorkshire, Yorkshire, everywhere! How Channel 5 scored lockdown viewing gold

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