All Creatures Great and Small star Samuel West on filming regret Would rather do again

All Creatures Great and Small: Season 2's happy ending

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ALL CREATURES GREAT AND SMALL returned to Channel 5 with its second outing and it once again whisked fans off to the picturesque Dales. As James Herriot (played by Nicholas Ralph) returned from his eye-opening trip to Glasgow, he warned Siegfried he would need to modernise Skeldale House. Actor Samuel West has opened up about how he was juggling another project when he took on the role of James’ boss.

All Creatures Great and Small has been met with positive reviews and it quickly became one of Channel 5’s most popular shows in history.

The series was inspired by the novels by Alf Wight – the renowned Yorkshire vet who used the pen name, James Herriot.

He fictionalised many of the people he worked with in his writing, including his boss Donald Sinclair.

Siegfried was inspired by Sinclair, who was known for his eccentric and unpredictable nature.

Samuel West has received constant praise for his portrayal of the character.

In the new book titled The World of All Creatures Great and Small, he addressed how the job started.

He said he had concerns over the timing of the project, adding: “When I started as Siegfried I was just reaching the end of another job, directing The Watsons.

“A play written by my darling partner, Laura Wade, and adapted from Jane Austen’s unfinished novel.

“The play was about to preview in London when we were due to begin All Creatures.

“The producers of All Creatures were very generous and kind to delay the start of filming so that I could finish rehearsals in London and be there for the preview, and then travel up to Yorkshire to play Siegfried.

“Which I did, being driven through the night on a Friday in the middle of September to film for day one of the shoot.”

The star said in hindsight he may have acted out some of the early scenes again as he was just starting to figure out Siegfried’s character.

He added: “There were scenes they simply couldn’t do any other way. Perhaps looking at those scenes again, I would rather do them again.

“Not because they aren’t beautifully shot by Erik Molberg or beautifully directed by Brian [Percival].

“But because on that Saturday, I was slightly feeling my way towards the characterization.”

One of the most vivid characters in Wight’s novels was Siegfried Farnon, the practice leader at Skeldale House.

The real Donald Sinclair was very clear with his young assistants on what the most important rules were.

He has been portrayed in a number of TV adaptations and Wight’s son, Jim, opened up about the character.

He said: “The character of Donald Sinclair has been so very well portrayed on TV, by Robert Hardy in the BBC series and by Samuel West in the current show.

“Both men have effectively captured the qualities of that great character – his impatience, unpredictability, volatility but above all his down to earth decency.”

Fans saw a different side to Siegfried in the latest season as he was much more empathetic.

Despite lying to his brother Tristan (Callum Woodhouse) about his exam results, the pair seemed to build a stronger bond.

He also became more open to the idea of adapting the practice to include more modern techniques.

Overall, fans had plenty of praise for the star as he showed Siegfried in this softer light.

All Creatures Great and Small is available to watch on My5. The box sets will be released on November 29, with the series streaming on Acorn TV from November 22.

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