Tag Archive: Samuel West


Review by C.J. Bunce

Fans of the 1978-1990 television series All Creatures Great and Small may think it’s… unthinkable… to remake such a solid adaptation of James Herriot’s landmark series of books.  And yet here we are in 2020 with a brilliantly good, cleverly funny adaptation worthy of the source material and every bit as good as the earlier successful series.  The first season is currently airing on PBS Masterpiece, and also available for streaming online.  The autobiographical stories follow the exploits of a young veterinarian, James Herriot, in 1940s Yorkshire as he gets his footing in a rural office in a tiny town where the people are more difficult than his challenges treating the local animal life.  This is one of the greatest examples of uplifting, heart-warming drama and British humor and–possibly a surprise to those outside of England–a study in a wide range of dialects and personalities in a single village.  The small cast is perfect, and it features some actors you’re likely to be familiar with from other genre shows.  Even better, the new All Creatures Great and Small, UK Channel 5’s highest-rated drama ever, has been confirmed for a second season.

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Jonathan Strange and Mr Morrell

The 2004 alternate history fantasy novel Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell by British author Susanna Clarke is on its way to your TV set.  Set during the Napoleonic Wars in an England in a fantasy world where magic once existed, two magicians meet: genre actor Eddie Marsan (The World’s End, V for Vendetta, Sherlock Holmes, Gangs of New York) plays Mr. Norrell, opposite Bertie Carvel (Sherlock, Doctor Who) as Jonathan Strange.  The novel is adapted by Peter Harness (WallanderDoctor Who) and directed by Toby Haynes (SherlockDoctor Who).

The cast also includes Marc Warren (The Good WifeHustle) as The Gentleman, Samuel West (Mr Selfridge, Fleming: The Man Who Would Be Bond) as Sir Walter Pole, Enzo Cilenti (Prisoners Wives, Rome) as Childermass, and Ariyon Bakare (The Dark KnightDancing on the Edge) as Stephen Black.

jonathan strange bbc

Here’s the description of the show from the BBC America press release:

1806.  England is beleaguered by the long war with Napoleon and centuries have passed since practical magicians faded into the nation’s past.  However, scholars of this glorious history discover that one remains – the reclusive and skillful Mr Norrell (Marsan).  His displays of magic soon thrill the nation. In London, he raises the beautiful Lady Pole (Englert) from the dead and summons an army of ghostly ships to terrify the French. 

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