Neve McIntosh, who Doctor Who fans know best as Madame Vastra, stars in tonight’s episode of All Creatures Great and Small.
McIntosh made her Who debut in 2010’s The Hungry Earth/ Cold Blood as Silurian sisters, Alaya and Restac, before being welcomed back as Vastra in A Good Man Goes to War. Now, she appears as Miss Harbottle in Channel 5’s revival of All Creatures Great and Small.
Rachel Shenton, who plays Helen, says:
“Miss Harbottle’s arrival is one that ruffles feathers really early on.
“Siegfried meets her at a dance and brings her back unannounced, so nobody knows who she is and it’s a real shock to everybody. And then we’re told that she’s coming in to restore order and how they manage things.
“And at first, I think people think that it’s a good idea, and then very quickly we all realise that we kind of like the obscurities of the way that we run it. And if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. But even though she brings friction, she also manages to unite them as well, which is really interesting.”
Considering the Doctor Who links in the original All Creatures — namely that Peter Davison played Tristan, and John Nathan-Turner was its production unit manager (his dog was Skeldale House’s Jess too) — it’s rather surprising that more Who stars haven’t cropped up in the new iteration of James Herriot’s superb books. At least Siegfried actor, Samuel West, has been in numerous Big Finish stories, and Dimensions in Time.
And I have to say, I love All Creatures Great and Small. No, it’s not the original so of course, some won’t like it as much; for me, though, it’s a warm hug of a drama, which is nonetheless a fantastic drama with plenty of emotional hits, likeable characters, top writing and direction… An all-round excellent production.
We don’t know how many episodes Neve will be in, though she may solely be guest starring in tonight’s (12th October) episode; it’s likely she’s in numerous, however. All Creatures Great and Small airs every Thursday at 9pm on Channel 5, with episodes also on My5. It’s due to air in America in early 2024.