There was no plan to it; it's just good fortune, being in the right place at the right time. Bellingham fell pregnant with her first son, Robert, during series 5, so she was confined to bed scenes for several episodes, with a hole cut out of the mattress to hide her bump.
A housekeeper by the name of Mary preceded Mrs Hall, who is a widow after the death of her husband, Arthur. With the amount of screen time to fill, the series quickly became much more of an ensemble show, developing all the characters considerably. In particular, the role of Tristan was significantly increased.
This was partly because Christopher Timothy was injured in a car accident on Boxing Day during a fortnight break between the recording of "Out of Practice" and "Nothing Like Experience" in the first series. As a result, the actor was largely restricted to studio scenes, which meant that all the scenes involving location filming be rewritten and include Davison. We shan't be going on. Send his wife some flowers and re-cast. It's an awful waste. We'll find another way around it. I could barely walk, I was terrified, I'd lost a lot of weight and everybody worked round me.
And then, at some point in the scene, I would have to move my eyes slowly across the room while two people would come in and literally carry him across to the next position. Margaretta Scott appears as the aristocratic dog-owner Mrs Pumphrey. He longs for it to "have its chips" and succumb to illness, which is why he grumbles whenever the vets pay a visit. He and Tristan know each other from veterinary school in Edinburgh. The Herriot children, Jimmy and Rosie, are played by several different actors in their various stints. Jimmy is portrayed by Harry Brayne in the special.
Oliver Wilson takes over the role from the special until the end of series 5. Paul Lyon plays him in the final series.
Rosie, meanwhile, is played by Rebecca Smith from the special until the end of series 5. Alison Lewis takes over for the final series. James' early rival for Helen's affections, the well-off Richard Edmundson, was played by Norman Mann. Several farmers make recurring appearances throughout the series. Mr Biggins John Sharp is a notorious payment-dodger who regularly attempts to procure free service out of the practice, as well as decrying the cost of the vets' visits. In one episode he calls Herriot out to question a bill charge from 18 months earlier. On another occasion, in exchange for Herriot's assistance with a puncture on his car, Biggins agrees to settle his account.
Little does Herriot know that Biggins post-dated the cheque. John Sharp was a lovely, lovely man. Bill Hartley Peter Martin , who also plays Arthur Handshaw in series 1 and 2 , meanwhile, is a relatively good-natured client, compared to the perpetually disgruntled Ted Grimsdale Bryan Pringle. He was just very funny. He played two parts for us over the years. Knackerman Jeff Mallock Frank Birch from series 1 to 3 and Fred Feast from series 4 to 7 is regularly waiting in the wings to take ailing livestock to his knacker's yard.
Whatever the vets' diagnoses, Mallock always thinks the real reason is "stagnation o' t'lung". Fellow vet Granville Bennett James Grout , a cat and dog specialist, is often on hand to help out with the more severe small animal cases. His enjoyment of alcohol is always of a concern for James, however, who regularly ends up inebriated and making a fool of himself in front of Bennett's wife, Zoe Pamela Salem , whom he always thought considered him a dipsomaniac.
He very much enjoyed writing for Mrs Pumphrey and Hodgekin too. As evidenced by Peter Martin above, several actors played more than one character throughout the course of the series; none more so than Bill Lund, who played four different people: Geoffrey Bayldon played three characters: Anna Turner also played three characters: Jack Watson played two cantankerous characters: He reprised the role of Cranford in the Christmas Special. They lent a real authenticity to their stuff, farmers complaining about their bills and all that.
Ted Moult , who played Harold Carter, was a real farmer in the s but became a radio and television personality in the mids. He committed suicide in , aged 60, after a period of depression after several weeks of wet weather that worried arable farmers. In addition to the aforementioned roles of Helen Herriot, her children and Jeff Mallock, a few characters were played by more than one actor:. Aside from the human characters, Siegfried's four dogs make regular appearances at Skeldale House. One of them — a whippet named Christie — was Robert Hardy's own. After a meet-and-greet for the cast in June , filming began the following month.
Initially we stayed in a little place called West Witton in Wensleydale , in between Leyburn and Askrigg. Norman Mann, who played Richard Edmundson, recalled: But he used to send a car over to pick us all up and we'd have dinner with him.
How in the world do they still look eerily like they did when you watched the show in Start reading Deidre Hall's How Does She Do It?: A Beauty Book on your. Deidre Hall, best known for her continuing year stint as Dr. Marlena Evans on NBC's Days of Our Lives, is frequently pointed out in the press as one of the.
He was the established name and he always made everybody feel so welcome. It was always immensely exciting.
We made very good friends with Alf and Joan. We saw them several times over the years. Alf was still practicing then, so his car would be packed with dogs. Joan was a very easy, down-to-earth person, I liked her very much. We also got to know their children, Jim and Rosie, very well.
I drank too much and stayed up too late," continued Davison. There were no rehearsals for location filming. Every living-room scene involved glass after glass of whisky being poured and knocked back, and I was barely ever without a cigarette. Of course, the whisky was really only water with drops of burnt sugar, and I never inhaled the Woodbines. The beer, for some reason, was real, which in the drunken pub scenes caused problems. Then we would have to be in Birmingham on the Sunday night and Pebble Mill on Monday morning to do the interior studio scenes there.
If there was filming, we would do a six-week block where we would all go north. That's how it started, until eventually Robert Hardy said he wanted it all to be on film, so for the specials we shot the interiors in Yorkshire on a sound stage on film and made it pretty much identical to the studios that we had at Pebble Mill. Peter Davison's memories of the recording process: In those days they weren't done in the rehearse-record system.
We did it in the old-style way that they used to do when they were doing live television. So we would rehearse all day, and then from 7. It never used to work out like that, but that was the idea behind it! But there was no recording in the day, which meant there was always this blind panic at night. We'd need to check that the set building had been completed and if the sets were dressed ready for camera rehearsals to start the next day. The good thing about using the Birmingham studio was that they were excellent in design and set building.
I liked working there, and they had terrific pride in All Creatures. The first day — in this case the Sunday — the cameras, sound, lighting, designers, scenery changes and action properties, costume and makeup rehearsed all the scenes technically. On the second day, camera rehearsal continued in the morning. After lunch, all five cameras were synchronised and the recording commenced on scenes that had already been rehearsed. We also allowed for discontinuous recording with breaks between scenes. Earlier in the s, programmes were recorded continuously with very few breaks, but by this time two-machine editing had been established using two-inch-wide tapes.
All the 16mm film inserts had also been transferred to videotape. The sequences could be seen on monitors in the studio during breaks in recording, which allowed the cast, designers and production team to check for continuity from scenes filmed months before so that they could match the studio scenes. I would take Polaroids and stick them in my script, next to the scenes, so that when you came to do the studio, you just look at that photograph.
It was the only way to do it, otherwise you were never, ever going to get it right. The smallest details, whether a top button was done up, if they wore rings on a different hand, if they had a watch on The series 5 episode "Two of a Kind" was the last episode to be filmed at Television Centre. This was double-sided, because whilst it meant you could immediately check what you'd been shooting, the downside was everyone then wanted to stand around the monitor and check every take. Peter Davison concurred about the feel of Pebble Mill.
Everyone was on first-name terms, and even though I had a dressing room, I would still spend most of my time loitering in the make-up department. No overruns were allowed as the cost of overtime with such a large cast, technicians, designers and production staff would have been tremendous, so it was very disciplined. At the end of the studio [recording], the recording and film inserts were then laid onto a master videotape. Soundman Alex Christison reminisced about getting the sound right on the show: We were also recording in mono audio, so I didn't even have another track to play with like the dramas do these days with split track.
Basically I relied on my boom swinger to get my sound. We'd done away with the old sync lead by then, thank God, which meant I wasn't joined up to the camera; the boom mic would be connected to my Nagra mixer and would be recorded separately to picture. The clapperboard really did concentrate the minds in those days because it was quite a costly process if you got it wrong. Because the cast were so good, they would see the boom in the corner of their eye and know when it was going to be over their head — then they would start speaking.
In early , news came from London: Chris's leg was improving all the time, but we had lost six or seven weeks, and so had a three-week break in transmission in March to allow post-production to catch up. The programme initially ran for three series, with each episode adapting one or two of the Herriot stories—usually a story thread centred on James, and a second centred on Siegfried or Tristan.
The continuity of the show followed the general arc of the books: James' arrival at Darrowby in , his growing experience as a vet, his humorous attempts at romance with Helen, and their eventual marriage. The programme ended in at the stage where the characters were drawn into the Second World War , the final exterior shots broadcast filmed during the winter of This completed the adaptation of all the novels which Alf Wight had written up to that point. At the end of the filming of the special, Christopher Timothy and Carol Drinkwater were asked if they thought that was the end of the series.
Which, I think, is fair. Not that we raised too many eyebrows; I felt I had done enough other work to prove to myself that Tristan hadn't hindered my prospects. Quite the reverse, as Doctor Who had proved: Tristan was a stepping stone to other parts. Three years later, the programme was indeed revived, after Sellars was able to persuade Wight to allow new scripts to be written around the existing characters, but not directly based on the Herriot books, with some story lines repeated from the first run.
Robert Hardy, though, had one stipulation about his returning to his role: The revival, set beginning in , ran for four more series, taking the characters into the early s. Peter Davison was busy with other projects and was seen far less frequently in these newer series, with the character of Tristan leaving for Ireland at one point before returning after several episodes. He left again after that he is only seen in one episode of the sixth series , before returning for the majority of the final series.
Carol Drinkwater opted not to return to the series. I think he thought I had been ungrateful. I'd given everything I could and I couldn't think where else I could take the role, because there was no more material. I wasn't leaving in any kind of spiteful thing; it had nothing to do with Chris and I, which is, of course, what everyone thought.
Our split was all very amicable. Chris and I, and his wife Annie, are still good friends — there is no problem there. The BBC was so angry with me, they put a ban on using me. So they re-cast and another actress got the role. I was terribly upset because it was a wonderful role and would have been very good for me. I must say now, looking back on my career, it's one of the few things in my life I would do differently, and I wouldn't have left. The revived series gradually became more based around the development of the central characters — particularly after the introduction of Calum and Deirdre, with their romance and subsequent marriage — and it mainly focused on the activities inside Skeldale House, rather than being a series about a veterinary practice.
For the final series, all of the new characters were dropped including Calum and Deirdre , and the series returned to its s roots, focusing once more on the animals. The final broadcast was another Christmas Special, in But I did love playing the character. There was some wonderful writing in the early stories, but later there was some which I always tried to change and, in the end, I made up a lot of my own stuff.
I had been longing to leave because the filming conditions were so bad, but each time I eventually made up my mind to carry on. I don't know whether I was right or wrong. The script editor for 42 of the 90 episodes was Ted Rhodes. Rhodes was killed during a confrontation with a cyclist in Wimbledon in He was marvellous," said Bill Sellars.
He spent his lifetime as a script editor and he had so many ideas. He knew how to put a script together. He knew what the beginning was, he knew the middle and he knew the end, and he could really weave those together to create one whole. They were never disjointed. In , an unfilmed script by the show's script editor Johnny Byrne was recovered and presented to the BBC as a possible Christmas reunion episode, but the BBC did not commission it.
Peter Davison joked, "Maybe they just thought we were too decrepit, I don't know! Co-stars included Amy Manson and Tony Curran.
All exterior scenes were filmed in North Yorkshire, mostly in the village of Askrigg, which doubled for the fictional Darrowby , and Bainbridge. Filming also took place at some of the Dales' countless farmsteads — the same ones that Alf Wight visited in the s and s,  although the names of villages, farms and people were changed.
Exterior shots were originally to be filmed in Derbyshire's Peak District , but Robert Hardy took offence to the plan and threatened to walk out of the producer's office. This is demonstrated in the first series, when Christopher Timothy is seen walking normally during the scenes filmed in Yorkshire during the latter part of , but by the time the studio shots take place, after his accident, his immobility is quite obvious.
It would be a blank sheet of paper when you started. The only thing that was pre-scheduled was the studio recording dates, which were organised by the BBC's Planning department, in conjunction with all the other series using the studios. We would then have to work out everything for each individual episode. We would always do the location filming first, so we assembled in Yorkshire to record the film inserts for 'Pig in the Middle' in the same block as 'Every Dog His Day For the first three series, up until the two Christmas specials of and , most interior scenes were recorded on video at Pebble Mill and edited together with exterior shots.
This provided hardships in December , when filming briefly returned to the Dales, after a block of studio recording, to capture the look of winter. We had to stop. I mean, they made good sets, but it was better later when we stopped using the studio and did all the filming in real locations in Yorkshire. That was when it really started coming alive, because the cameras were in real situations. It might be the same room, but it might be a different time of day, so you had to keep looking at the script," explained gaffer Brian Jones.
That was done back in Pebble Mill by Barry Chatfield, who was a gentleman. Barry would sometimes come out to locations, so he could match the lighting for continuity, where the exterior and interiors are supposed to represent the same building, so the pictures would match and the audience would believe the characters would walk from the studio onto location and they'd hopefully believe it was the same building.
Part of my kit when we were on location was large amounts of camouflage netting, because some stuff we just could not remove, we could only disguise, so this netting was quite popular. We would often be out in bitter weather in the pouring rain or covered in mud from the farmyards.
The actors would arrive and we would dress everybody. Then we would load up the unit cars — which in Yorkshire were a couple of Ford Sierra estates — so we could pile up the costumes for all the changes. Then we would drive out to location, which was quite often Bainbridge , so quite a long journey. Maggie Thomas was one of the three make-up personnel in the original run. What we didn't know was that every animal injury in the storyline would require a lot of attention from the make-up department. It soon became very clear that we were going to have our work cut out to achieve some believable-looking animal injuries.
Mostly we always knew in advance what would be needed from reading the script; otherwise, we wouldn't be ready when it came to that part of the day's shoot. We always had a gallon of artificial blood with us, but there were occasions when we couldn't foresee an event that would require our 'expertise'.
You are commenting using your Twitter account. You are commenting using your Facebook account. Notify me of new comments via email. Leave a Reply Cancel reply Enter your comment here Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Email required Address never made public.
The Power of Your Voice: Be Your Own Superhero!: Follow Blog via Email Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. Join , other followers. View Bridget Petrella's check-ins on GetGlue. Wordpress RSS - Posts. Viadeo Blog Join Viadeo, the professional social network chosen by Bridget Petrella and more than 45 million professionals.