Could All Creatures Great and Small become a hit American TV drama?

Simon Ward and Anthony Hopkins atarred in the 1975 film version of All Creatures Great and Small, which preceded the TV series
Simon Ward and Anthony Hopkins atarred in the 1975 film version of All Creatures Great and Small, which preceded the TV series

IT MIGHT seem like an unlikely setting for a new big-budget American television drama.

But there are reports that HBO are planning to produce a remake of the classic British television series All Creatures Great and Small, featuring Yorkshire Dales vet James Herriot.

And the news has caused a stir at a tourist attraction devoted to the story. Ian Ashton, managing director of the World of James Herriot, in Thirsk, has his fingers crossed that the remake becomes a reality. He said: “It would be splendid news if HBO bosses make the decision to go ahead with a remake because there are so many people who have been inspired by the James Herriot books, TV series and films. Visitors from around the world make their way to the World of James Herriot here in Thirsk and a new series would be a huge benefit for his fans and create a new generation of Herriot aficionados.”

The original BBC series told the story of the vet in the ficticious Dales village of Darrowby. It was based on the books of the British veterinary surgeon Alf Wight, who wrote under the pseudonym James Herriot.

Now HBO, the American broadcaster behind Game of Thrones, is said to considering a remake. According to a national newspaper a production insider has suggested the new version would be “sexier and glossier.”

The original series ran from 1978 to 1980 and had 13 million viewers at its peak. Christopher Timothy played James Herriot. The series also starred Robert Hardy and Peter Davison.

Christopher Timothy as James Herriot with Carol Drinkwater as his wife Helen, in the BBC TV version

Christopher Timothy as James Herriot with Carol Drinkwater as his wife Helen, in the BBC TV version

The World of James Herriot, in Thirsk, celebrates the story and attracts visitors from across the world.

It features a 1940’s house, a farrier’s workshop, Herriot memorabilia and the original Austin 7 car from the series.