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James Herriot is a vet in Yorkshire, England, during the 1940's. He is assigned to the practice of Siegfried Farnon, who (together with his mischievous brother Tristan) already have a successful business. James undergoes a variety of adventures during his work, which are just as often caused by the characters of the county (including the Farnon brothers) as the animals in his care. Written by
Murray Chapman <email@example.com>
Cringley House, the building in Askrigg that was used as the filming location for the exterior of Skeldale House, was for many years a home for vulnerable adults. However new owners opened it as a bed-and-breakfast and tea-room on 23 March 2013. Jim Wight, son of Alf Wight (aka James Herriot) was due to perform the opening ceremony but was unable to attend because the roads to Askrigg were blocked by heavy snow. The building was renamed Skeldale House in honour of its connection with the programme. See more »
Such a fine series comes along only once or twice in a viewer's lifetime. The actors are second to none. Robert Hardy plays Siegfried Farnon in a wonderfully realistic manner. Here's a man who ranges from a soft natured rural country vetrinarian who cares passionately for every animal he treats, to a raving tyrant who rules his younger brother Tristan with an iron fist. His performances show acting ability that we seldom see in North American productions.
Christopher Timothy routinely delivers up fine performances as James Harriot, the younger partner in the vetrinary practice. Most of the episodes deal with his experiences and he manages to take somewhat mundane situations and make them exciting for the viewers. Over the life of the series we witness his evolution from an inexperienced young vetrinarian to a competent and practiced professional. Along the way we see him become a partner in the practice and woo and win Helen who eventually becomes his wife and the mother of his children.
Comic relief is always forthcoming from Tristan, played to perfection by Peter Davison. It's often hard to accept that he is Siegfreid's brother as the two men are absolute opposites; Siegfried being a serious, studious gentlemen with all the hallmarks of a finely bred British gentleman while Tristan is a boozing, carousing womanizer. The chemistry amongst these three actors makes the series one of the finest ever televised. The production itself is without equal. Scenes are shot on location with the actors participating directly in the action. It's not unusual to see Siegfried or James shoving their hands inside of a living beast to perform some medical process, or wallowing through a muddy barnyard.
A fine and highly realistic series on mid century vetrinarians; certainly the best I've ever seen.
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