14 October 2012 | martijn-56
I loved the old series and this new one, too
A score of 6 is all The Young Herriot gets? This was surely not that bad at all! I own and have seen all the classic 1970's James Herriot episodes, and comparing them to this series like the first reviewer seems to me like comparing two different eras; it is not the point. But each may have their opinion so I will give my view. I love the old episodes of course, and no new series can top them, but all I can say is I love the Young Herriot, too. I found this new series a good idea as a 'prequel' to the series from the 1970's, and I hope there will be more to come. I can't believe it seems that the BBC so far decided to ax the series, just when things started to take off. I wish we could find out more about what is in store for young Herriot, his student friends, his landlady and life in general at the campus. So far it has been nothing but sheer fun; not only the classic trial and error animal curing stuff we are used to from Christopher Timothy in the 70's but this time the rather shy but determined and stubborn young James is surrounded by the lovely couple and his student friends Whirly Tyson and Rob McAloon. Whirley, played by Amy Manson, is a sort of Amelia Earhart archetype of the independent but still feminine woman, fighting for respect in what was and probably still is a male dominated world. This gives not only many an interesting sideplot on historical issues then relevant, but it also causes her a lot of trouble. Not in the least because of her attitude against a professor who is anti-women.Her partner is the character Rob McAloon, played by Ben Lloyd Huges. He is just great and yet another of many wonderful young actors that keep on showing what British charm is all about. I really hope the BBC will see a lot more of these two since honestly I love them more than the role of James Herriot itself. The previous reviewer thought of them as flat and irrelevant, distracting from Herriot. But I think they are needed since the Young Herriot alone would, when true to his character, have been too serious and timid. Both Whirly and Rob are a sort of Tommy and Tuppence partner in crime couple we knew from Agatha Christie. They make this series just both classy and FUN! Acting and costumes etc were fine, of course, that is what BBC does best, and in all, I found it REALLY entertaining. I do not see why the first reviewer (although I found the review funny) complained about stereotypes. After all, the original James Herriot was also light entertainment full of stereotypes. Indeed this series is no different. For instance there is the similarity with the landlady now and the old lady who owned the dog Tricky Woo in the 70s. Or remember how Sigfried and Tristan were just poles (one responsible, the other just forever drinking and playing, just as Rob and Whirly now). I saw once an interview where Robert Hardy as an actor even got tired sometimes of always having to play the person who lost his temper. So character development has never been a strong point nor an issue in the Herriot series. It nevertheless did not stop the fun, that lied in simply the entertainment value and the atmosphere of the country life in the old days. That is done really well once again. It just makes me wish to become a vet in the pre war days in rural England! In the end, it is about Herriot and the Young Herriot is also here a person who wants to be a vet in heart and soul so I am sure if there will be more seasons, we will get to know and like him just as we did with Christopher Timothy. Just as then, it will take time, so only 3 episodes is too early to judge. I think the Young Herriot has a lot going for it, for instance it does a better job in showing us some issues of the times where the original did not. True, it must be said, The Young Herriot is light entertainment but if your aim is not hoping to find gold nuggets like the all-time knock-out series Brideshead Revisited or so, but just to relax on a Sunday it still shows again that the BBC is the best when it comes to drama. So once again, BBC, please continue this series!