The current run of All Creatures Great and Small comes to an end this week!
Channel 5’s rebooted version of All Creatures Great and Small launched in the autumn of 2020, becoming an instant hit as viewers looked for escapism from the Covid pandemic and lockdowns.
Based on author James Herriot’s much-loved collection of stories, over four seasons we’ve followed the heartwarming and humorous adventures of a young country vet in the Yorkshire Dales in the 1930s.
All Creatures Great and Small was confidently renewed with a double-commission for its third and fourth seasons early last year.
Unfortunately, while we’ve still got another Christmas special to come, beyond that there’s been no confirmation of more episodes since the last renewal announcement in January 2022.
Should we be worried?
Probably not just yet, as the fourth season won’t be airing in the US until the new year, and PBS Masterpiece pays a considerable chunk of the show’s budget as a co-production partner.
They’ll therefore likely be waiting to see how Season 4 does for them before making a decision on their commitment to Season 5 and beyond.
All Creatures Great and Small remains hugely popular on both sides of the pond though, with the fourth season once again performing well for Channel 5 this autumn on Thursday nights.
How many seasons were originally planned?
If we cast our minds back to October 2021 when the show returned for its sophomore outing, showrunner Ben Vanstone did reveal that the plan had always been to run for four years.
“I think that when we started the show, we had in mind arcs for these characters that took them across a number of series and initially, it was kind of four series,” the writer and creator said while promoting Season 2.
He did hint at the time though that he was already feeling tempted to tease these story arcs out a bit longer, commenting that “everything in this show plays out slower than you think it would.”
Unless next month’s festive instalment turns out to have been written as a last ever episode, we fully expect All Creatures Great and Small to be renewed for a fifth season in 2024.
When could Season 5 start filming?
Production has settled in to a slick annual routine in recent years.
Each season’s shoot in Yorkshire has run through the spring and early summer ahead of an autumn premiere in the UK followed by a January launch in the US.
If All Creatures Great and Small is to get another renewal, we’d expect an official announcement in January 2024, ahead of filming in March 2024.
Season 5 would probably premiere on TV in September/October 2024 on Channel 5 and at the start of 2025 on PBS Masterpiece.
The only issue will be if the cast’s original contracts only tied them in for four years and, as happened with Dan Stevens and Jessica Brown Findlay in Downton Abbey, some of the All Creatures stars decide to quit and explore other roles.
Already we’ve seen Helen actress Rachel Shenton branching out with Channel 5’s thriller series For Her Sins, while James actor Nicholas Ralph has had movie roles in American horror flick Prey for the Devil and as C.S. Lewis in The Most Reluctant Convert.
Callum Woodhouse has also been busy with an upcoming horror film while Tristan was off-screen in the the latest season.
We’ll let you know as soon as there are more concrete details!
All Creatures Great and Small is available to watch on PBS Masterpiece via Amazon Prime with a free 7-day trial.