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Christmas came a little late for the characters in All Creatures Great and Small. Tonight, the show’s 2020 Christmas Special finally aired in the US and brought Masterpiece PBS a little belated cheer. Despite the festive setting, the show’s season finale is about more than mistletoe and eggnog. The episode follows Helen on the eve of her wedding to Hugh when doubts arise.
« That was the way you would get married back then. But I don’t think she ever had the chance to think about it. I don’t think she really questioned it. And then James comes up takes the stage and lights up a different path she may not have thought of, « says Rachel Shenton, who plays Helen on the show, speaking to her character’s state of mind. « The night before her wedding, she’s just overwhelmed and a little confused. » Although she gets married in the morning, she goes out with him when James is asked to have some puppies.
« She really wants to spend a little more time with James, but also to be away from all the pressure. I think he really allows her to be a different version of herself because he doesn’t know all the nonsense that came before. He doesn’t know all the grief and struggle, « says Shenton.
But despite the opportunity for James to tell Helen how he feels before she ties the knot, he doesn’t use their night together to bare his soul. In fact, he helps make sure she gets to church on time.
« I think James is in this constant heart-to-head battle. He’s got this moral dilemma he’s blurting out. He’s a good guy. And then Helen has a fiancé and she’s going to get married the next day. And he’s also friends with Hugh to some extent. So what kind of person would he be if he did that and ignored everyone else’s feelings? « Actor Nicholas Ralph who plays James Herriot says.
« During this episode we see him struggle with this decision. There is definitely a moment when he thinks about it and ultimately doesn’t. »
Fortunately for fans of the couple, this is not the end from James and Helen’s story. All creatures big and small have already been renewed for a second season.
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