All Creatures Great and Small theory: Helen and James torn apart as war separates couple

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

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All Creatures Great and Small season three is set to return to Channel 5 later in 2022 and see the residents of Skeldale House moving into the year 1939. At the end of season two, James Herriot (played by Nicholas Ralph) finally plucked up the courage to propose to Helen Alderson (Rachel Shenton) and viewers are set to see the pair wed. However, the looming war may scupper their plans if James is called to join the army.

Speaking at the BFI and Radio Times film festival, the cast of the series touched on what viewers can expect to see in the latest season.

Executive producer Melissa Gallant explained to “It’s 1939, it’s the series near the war which puts all of the characters in interesting situation.

“Mrs Hall and Siegfried have already been through a war where the other characters are too young to remember.”

She went on to add: “So just a really good opportunity to put them under pressure and explore the characters further, in light of the wedding – I can’t say who is getting married!”

Melissa later added in a Q&A: “We are currently filming, we are fresh from the north, and we are following year on year, so it is set in 1939, which is obviously the year the war breaks out.

“It puts all of the characters in an interesting situation…It is a really interesting opportunity to look at our characters with war looming and explore and push them to see what they do.

“Siegfried served in the royal army, so they have their stories, and then you have the other characters who don’t know what that means yet and trying to find their place in that world of living under threat.”

Could it be Helen and James’ plan to get married is ruined as the vet is called to join the British Army? Or, could the pair be married only to spend their first few months wed apart?

Touching on what the war means for the engaged couple, actor Nicholas revealed: “Certainly at the end of season two, James and Helen are engaged to be wed, so that’s, could be happening.

“Who knows, there are things like that, but with the war as well, there are difficulties with that, a young couple wanting to start a life together.

“There is this massive thing looming over them, and they are having to make big decisions.”

As the war approaches and the residents try and navigate their way through life with the life-changing event, could this break apart the couple?

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Before her engagement to James, Helen was set to wed Hugh Hulton (Matthew Lewis) but backed out at the last minute.

This left Hugh heartbroken, but James finally saw a chance with the woman he loved.

Touching on Helen’s romantic journey, Rachel explained: “To back out of a wedding when it is so close to happening is such a brave thing to do.

“Certainly, in 1937, he was a really eligible bachelor it would have made complete sense for her to marry Hugh, and it would have made things easier for her family.

“But she has good principle and sort of doing what’s right and not easy, and I think the way that she moved forward and became tentative towards James.

“They didn’t rush things is really indicative towards these people and their care they have for each other.”

As many fans know, the stories of James and Helen are real-life adventures and incidents that vet Alf Wright wrote under a pen name.

Alf married a woman named Joan Catherine Anderson Danbury, who went on to become Helen Alderson in the books.

They married in November 1941, just four months after Alf had moved to his practice in Thirsk and went on to have two children together, Jim and Rosie.

All Creatures Great and Small returns to Channel 5 later in 2022.

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