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All Creatures Great & Small, Season 3 extra


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15 replies to this topic

#1 of 16 Marty M

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Posted October 21 2003 - 09:03 AM

This is one of my all-time favorite TV series. I just purchased Season 3 and was pleasantly surprised there are audio commentaries included for 4 or 5 episodes. There were none in the previous 2 seasons' sets.

This will be the last season of this series I will buy. There was at least one other season shown on A & E with a "new" Helen. I just can't imagine anyone else buy Carol Drinkwater as Helen.
Lawn Ranger Motto: You're only young once, but you can be always be immature.

#2 of 16 Craig S

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Posted October 21 2003 - 10:08 AM

I thought I was the only one here on HTF buying this series...

Marty, make sure you pick up the "Specials" disk, which was released the same day as the Series 3 set. It contains the two Christmas specials (actually movie-length episodes) that were first shown in 1983 and 1985. They pick up with James returning from the war. And yes, they both have Carol Drinkwater as Helen.

The 1st three series of ACG&S originally ran from 1978 to 1980. The show went on a long hiatus, with only the two specials noted above being aired. It came back on the air as a series in 1988 - this is when Lynda Bellingham replaced Drinkwater. There were actually 4 more 10-12 episode series that aired from 1988 through 1990, and a final Christmas special in 1990.

So hopefully we have 4 more sets coming, although like you I'm not sure if I will pick them up. No offense to Ms. Bellingham, but it's really hard to watch the show without Carol Drinkwater as Helen. Also, even when reading the books I found the post-war stories not as compelling as the earlier ones.

Three truths about movies, as noted by Roger Ebert:

 

* It's not what a movie is about, it's how it is about it.

* No good movie is too long, and no bad movie is short enough.

* No good movie is depressing, all bad movies are depressing.


#3 of 16 Alistair_M

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Posted October 21 2003 - 11:26 AM

Whats the picture quality like for the region 1 releases?

Here in region2 land we have each season split into two releases. Each release of 5-6 episodes is split into 3 single layer disks. The picture quality is poor - worse than most BBC tv series on dvd. I've bought only series 1 (I liked the awkard romance between James and Helen) so far.

Like you my interest waned with Lynda Bellingham replacing the stunning Carol Drinkwater. Also the added character of Callum was franky boring!

I would recomend the filmed version in 1974, with Anthony Hopkins as Seigfried - nice anamorphic transfer too.

#4 of 16 Johnny Angell

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Posted October 21 2003 - 04:04 PM

Quote:
I thought I was the only one here on HTF buying this series...

Nope, you're not. However, I thought I was the only one who couldn't watch ACG&S without(edited) Carol Drinkwater. NIce to know I'm not alone.
Johnny
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But a family cat is not replaceable like a wornout coat or a set of tires. Each new kitten becomes its own cat, and none is repeated. I am four cats old, measuring out my life in friends that have succeeded but not replaced one another.--Irving Townsend


#5 of 16 Jeff Flugel

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Posted October 21 2003 - 06:35 PM

Here's another fan who loves this series but is not interested in picking up seasons 4-7 with Bellingham instead of Drinkwater. She just wasn't as attractive a presence as Ms. Drinkwater to me, plus she came across as too aggressive and bossy towards James for my liking. (Of course, the fact that Christopher Timothy and Carol Drinkwater were having a rather infamous affair at the time doesn't hurt their chemistry, either).

That said, the later seasons had many good points, chief among them the young Scottish doctor called Calum (unfortunately the name of the actor who portrayed him escapes me at the moment) who prefers working with wild animals. (Guess Alistair and I differ on this score).

Good news about the commentaries!

#6 of 16 Marty M

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Posted October 22 2003 - 02:08 AM

Craig,

Thanks for the tip about the specials. I saw they were available but I didn't know enough about them to purchase them. I will picking these up.

It's hard to explain why I like this series so much. It is one of the few series that I can watch episodes over and over again and enjoy them everytime. One of the reasons for my enjoyment is the character driven stories and the interactions between the characters.
Lawn Ranger Motto: You're only young once, but you can be always be immature.

#7 of 16 Craig S

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Posted October 22 2003 - 02:13 AM

Quote:
Whats the picture quality like for the region 1 releases?
To my eyes it's fine. The indoor scenes (shot on tape, I think) look as good as any other BBC product from that era. The filmed outdoor scenes are more problematic (they're obviously not restored), but still watchable.
Quote:
...the fact that Christopher Timothy and Carol Drinkwater were having a rather infamous affair at the time doesn't hurt their chemistry...
Ah, interesting. Timothy had obvious chemistry with Drinkwater that simply wasn't there with Bellingham. Also, in addition to the seeming personality transplant noted by Jeff, it just seemed that in the 1988 series Helen had aged 10 years more than the rest of the cast.

Anybody know why Drinkwater didn't return for the 1988-1990 shows??

Three truths about movies, as noted by Roger Ebert:

 

* It's not what a movie is about, it's how it is about it.

* No good movie is too long, and no bad movie is short enough.

* No good movie is depressing, all bad movies are depressing.


#8 of 16 Marty M

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Posted October 22 2003 - 02:34 AM

I think the affair between Christopher Timothy and Carol Drinkwater is the reason she did not return.
Lawn Ranger Motto: You're only young once, but you can be always be immature.

#9 of 16 Jeff Flugel

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Posted October 22 2003 - 03:04 PM

Marty's guess is as good as any, Craig. I can't find any more info on why she was replaced by the Suzanne Pleshette-ish Bellingham. However, while she may have seemed older, she and the lovely Ms. Drinkwater are the same age, both born in 1948.

The specials are quite good, IMO, but my favorite is still the first season (or series, for the Brits in the audience). They had a rawness to them, and Timothy really nailed both the naivete and youthful exuberance of Herriot. His misadventures in wooing Helen add an additional spice to the daily veterinary grind. Great stuff.

#10 of 16 Marty M

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Posted October 23 2003 - 01:58 AM

I was watching the episode where Ms. Drinkwater took part in the auido commentary with Robert Hardy. In the commentary she said she deciding not to return because she was not happy with the small role she was playing and wanted parts that gave her a larger role.

She is now living in France with her husband, not Christopher Timothy. She has written several books and that seems to occupy her time more than acting now.
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#11 of 16 Jeff Flugel

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Posted October 23 2003 - 04:01 PM

Ah, thanks, Marty! That explains things. Her role did seem to reduce in importance after the first season. Thanks for the info.

#12 of 16 DeborahK

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Posted October 24 2003 - 08:13 AM

Where have you guys been buying your sets & specials? I looked on DDD and they seem to have only the first season and the movie from the seventies.

Thanks,

Deborah

#13 of 16 Craig S

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Posted October 24 2003 - 08:17 AM

Deborah, I've bought all my ACG&S DVDs from DDD. I just looked and I see they have some listed as "All Creatures Great & Small" and others as "All Creatures Great And Small". That may be screwing up your search. Try searching on just "all creatures" and that should bring up all the available titles.

Three truths about movies, as noted by Roger Ebert:

 

* It's not what a movie is about, it's how it is about it.

* No good movie is too long, and no bad movie is short enough.

* No good movie is depressing, all bad movies are depressing.


#14 of 16 DeborahK

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Posted October 24 2003 - 08:33 AM

Thanks, Craig -- that would definitey explain it!

Deborah

#15 of 16 Johnny Angell

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Posted October 25 2003 - 03:11 AM

Quote:
It's hard to explain why I like this series so much. It is one of the few series that I can watch episodes over and over again and enjoy them everytime. One of the reasons for my enjoyment is the character driven stories and the interactions between the characters.

I know why I like it. These stories are about people who working hard, do not have a luxurious life, but they are doing what they love in a locale that they love. They can't imagine living anywhere else.

Add to that right on casting, one of the best portrayed romances in a tv series, heartwarming and also tragic stories, and how can you not like it.

This and Jeremy Brett's Sherlock Holmes are two of my alltime favorite shows.
Johnny
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But a family cat is not replaceable like a wornout coat or a set of tires. Each new kitten becomes its own cat, and none is repeated. I am four cats old, measuring out my life in friends that have succeeded but not replaced one another.--Irving Townsend


#16 of 16 Marty M

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Posted October 25 2003 - 03:38 AM

Johnny,

You have provided a great explanation of the appeal of this show. I agree with your assessment, totally.
Lawn Ranger Motto: You're only young once, but you can be always be immature.


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