All Creatures Great and Small (2020) s02e03 Episode Script

We Can But Hope

1 DISTANT BELL TOLLS Hello, Mr Herriot.
Hello, Tom.
Good of you to help out the Dalbys like this.
They've always been good friends of my grandparents.
Mrs Dalby's up in t' field.
I'll take you.
Thanks, Tom.
Morning, Mr Herriot.
Thanks for coming out to see us.
And thank you for being there yesterday.
Billy was a good man.
I wanted to pay my respects.
COW LOWS Their breathing don't sound right, Mr Herriot.
They were really fit when they turned out earlier this month.
Then, well Let's have a look, then, shall we? RASPY BREATHING The stirks have got husk, I'm afraid.
For an older cow this may not be our problem but as they are still so young Aye, and what is husk, exactly? Well, it's a parasite.
A tiny worm which infests the bronchial tubes and sets up bronchitis.
The larvae climb up the blades of grass and the cattle eat them as they graze.
Some pastures are badly affected with it.
I'm sorry but they're pretty bad, Mrs Dalby.
A mild attack isn't so bad if you can get them off the grass right away but this has gone a long way beyond that.
What can we do about it, Mr Herriot? For a start, we can get them all inside immediately.
Every mouthful of this grass is adding to the worm burden.
Right you are, Mr Herriot.
Can Itempt you with the last egg, Mrs H? No thanks.
Seems a shame to waste it.
I thought you'd be joining your friends down in London for the cricket.
Yes, I thought so too but unfortunately tickets require money and money requires wages, neither of which I possess.
So instead, my plan is three uninterrupted days with my feet up, the radio on and a lovely, cool glass of DOOR CLOSES Well, it took all of five hours but Gladys produced a whopping 18 piglets.
Darrowby record, I believe.
Smells like one, too.
They need cleaning.
Get them off.
Any chance of some breakfast? I can make you a bacon sandwich.
And those.
Think I've had enough pig for one day.
Got any eggs? You can have the rest of this one if you like.
So I'm out working my trousers off while you're lazing around stuffing your face with my hard-earned eggs? Such is life, big brother.
Such is life.
Go and get changed.
I'll make you some toast.
KITTEN MEOWS You really didn't need to go to all this trouble.
I hope that tea isn't too strong for you.
It's perfect.
Thank you, Mrs Dalby.
I'll be back up tomorrow to check on the stirks.
Meanwhile, it's very important that you keep them inside.
But they'll need feeding.
Well, at this point, I would start by giving them the best possible food - good hay and high-protein cake.
Cake? That's expensive stuff, isn't it? And if we give them the hay now, we'll need to buy more for winter.
I know but a good diet is our best hope at this stage.
And they can't go out to feed on the grass ever? No.
I'm sorry, not on those fields.
If it was a mild attack, you could have turned them out after the dew had left in the mornings but that's not the case here.
Well, thank you, Mr Herriot.
We know where we are anyway.
Billy, love, why don't you take your brother outside for a kickaround? Have we got a young Gordon Hodgson in the making? He's my favourite player.
Good choice.
Go on, Billy, love.
Oi, you.
LAUGHTER Excuse me.
Come on.
So cheeky.
Do you think we can save them? Wellwe can always hope.
That's what my Billy always used to say.
He was ever the optimist.
Even when the doctor said it was cancer, Billy still insisted he'd be fine.
Time is so fleeting, Mr Herriot.
Any other calls come in? Nothing.
I guess we will be taking a day off.
Not so fast.
Equipment needs polishing.
Well, then, the medicines need topping up.
All done.
Play starts in five minutes, Mrs H.
Wait a minute.
Wait a minute.
What about the? What's wrong with Tristan enjoying the cricket? He spent all last night polishing and topping things up.
There's always more to be done.
Lambing season's almost over.
Summer's our quietest time of year.
Surely the lad's earned a day or two off now.
Earned? Well, now he's passed his exams and all.
Oh! James, I'm so sorry.
I didn't see you there.
I've probably had worse flung at me.
I wanted to drop in and see how you were after yesterday.
Oh, I'm all right, thanks.
It's Phyllis we're worried about.
I was just over there now.
Her stirks have got husk.
Oh, on top of everything else.
We offered to help her out with the kids but she's determined she can manage.
Our Jenny was around the same age as Billy when my mam died.
All the things that family never got to do together.
Now they never will.
Must have brought back a lot of painful memories.
Life's cruel sometimes.
Be seeing you again soon? I hope so.
What are you doing tomorrow night? Going out with you by the sounds of it.
I could pick you up at seven? I'd like that.
Thank you.
What on earth? Tristan, just the man.
Help me carry these out to the barn.
What's going on? You'll see.
Now, one cannot be a great vet until one has reared one's own animals.
Funny, never heard that one before.
So here you are, Tristan.
Meet your new brood.
Wait, what? May I suggest you make a start building a nest box for them? A nest box? Nothing like a fresh egg, warm from the nest.
Hang on, how come James never had to rear his own animals? BELL RINGS This better not be a flock of sheep.
Is Uncle Herriot here? No, Uncle Mr Herriot is not here, I'm afraid.
As I'm sure you're aware, Mrs Pumphrey is attending the Test match in London and I am under strict instruction to deposit Tricki Woo into his guardianship for the duration.
I'm sure Mr Farnon can provide temporary guardianship until Uncle Herriot returns.
Most kind.
GROWLING Radio: Now the evening sun sends long shadows over the gasometers, Hutton has reached 150 and, with Leyland by his side, looks like going on to 1,000.
Oh, thought you were Siegfried.
Since when do we have hens? Since my big brother decided I need to rear my own animals.
What for? Exactly.
I thought now that I'm a fully qualified vet he'd finally stop hectoring me.
Perhaps he just doesn't know how to yet.
I don't know.
Doesn't seem to matter what I do, it's never enough.
Then why don't you try standing up to him? Worked for me.
You make it sound easy.
Perhaps it is.
Have you met my brother? What is this supposed to be? A nest box? Give it here.
How was your visit to the Dalbys? It's not looking good.
Oh, dear.
This is Maggie, by the way.
Say hello, Maggie.
And, oh, look, this one here is Brenda.
Let me guess - they're all named after your ex-girlfriends.
No, not at all.
Here she is.
This is Helen, especially for you, James.
Who knows? This one might even let you take her out.
I'll have you know that Helen and I are going out on a date tomorrow night.
James! That's fantastic Sorrynews! And where are you taking the lovely Helen? Probably just the Drovers.
The Drovers? Look, tomorrow is your big chance to finally impress Helen.
You should take her to the Renniston.
Trust me, women like to be wined and dined.
Seems a bit grand.
Can't you see it, Jim? The music oozing out of Benny Thornton's trombone and you full of champagne, and Helen leaning across the table, the look of love in her eyes.
Oh, kiss me, Helen.
Oh, OK.
I mean, after Hugh, she is probably more used to the finer things in life.
COCK CROWS You still at it? Sorry.
I'm still struggling to find anything that might help Mrs Dalby.
Don't worry.
Here, I'll make a fresh pot.
Oh, Mrs Hall, do you have a spare stamp? Leave it here and I'll post it for you.
Thank you.
How is your mother? Still struggling.
I'm just trying to help out where I can but it's I'm sure she's grateful for any help you can manage.
It still doesn't feel like it's enough.
To be honest, I just I still have no idea what I'm supposed to do about the Glasgow job.
Tricki's finally grown on you, then? Like a fungus.
Well, he's definitely taken a shine to you.
I assure you I've given him absolutely no reason to.
Could say the same about Tristan.
He'd follow you to the ends of the earth.
Only to push me off.
How are Phyllis's stirks getting on? Not good.
It's the worst case of husk I think I've seen.
Where are you up to? So we've taken the stirks off the field and I've suggested a diet of hay and cake.
But without an effective treatment to speak of, I'm a bit lost as to what else I can do to try and save them.
Perhaps you can't save them.
Every problem has a solution.
I just need to find it.
I take it you've given them the throat injection.
That's just an old farmer's tale.
Don't say that to their faces.
I don't want to give her any more false hope than I already have done.
And there's not much evidence to suggest it actually helps.
There's not much evidence that it doesn't help either.
So what have you got to lose? Morning, all.
Morning, Tristan.
Fresh eggs coming right up.
We'll make a poulterer of you yet.
KETTLE WHISTLES, DOOR CLOSES Good morning, ladies.
What have you got for me today, then, hey? DOOR OPENS They're just getting used to their new home.
Poppycock, they're chickens.
They don't know their beak from their feet.
It's your job to know what's best for them.
My job - exactly.
And I say they just need a bit of time and they'll figure it out for themselves.
What they need is guidance.
Find yourself something resembling an egg then put it in the nest No.
No, what? No, I'm not listening to you any more.
You put me in charge of these hens so I'm going to do it my way.
You're being ridiculous.
And I can guarantee that by tomorrow morning, these hens will have eggs coming out of their LOUD CLUCK .
Wh DOG GROWLS CLUCKING, SNARLING Oh, God damn it, you stupid bloody animal.
God! Morning, Mrs Dalby.
How are they today? Still fighting.
I've been giving them the cake and hay like you said.
I emptied my penny jar to pay for cake.
You're a good lad, Billy.
Your dad would be proud.
Hey, Billy, give us a hand with this.
I actually dipped into the family savings to pay for the cake.
But Billy was so desperate to help that I let him think we used his pennies.
Probably scatter them on the farm when he's not looking, let him think he's found more.
What about a throat injection? Farmers round here swear by it.
We could try.
It's a mix of chloroform, turpentine and creosote.
There's no guarantee that it will help but We can always hope.
Right, Mr Herriot? Right, aye.
It's nothing serious.
Just a small cut, by the looks of it.
Well, thank God for that.
Mrs Pumphrey would have our guts for garters.
That'll teach him to get involved with the chickens.
Will it? What? You know very well, what.
If you'd left well alone, none of this would have happened.
How is it my fault that he? All he wants to do is make you proud but you set these standards for him that are impossible to meet.
If you just left him to it once in a while, maybe he'd surprise you.
We're not talking about Tricki Woo any more, are we? We're simple folk, really, Mr Farnon.
We all just want the occasional pat on the head.
Isn't that right, Tricki? Hm? Mm? Thanks for helping us with all of this, Mr Herriot.
Yeah, thank you, Mr Herriot.
Not at all.
You did all the hard work.
I had the easy job.
Mr Herriot! Mrs Dalby! Hey, Billy, why don't you give me a hand to fetch them some more hay? I'm so sorry.
I'm not a farmer.
Billy was the farmer.
He knew everything there was to know and he was so proud the life we'd built here and I'm letting him down.
Phyllis, you're not letting anyone down.
I know it can feel like that sometimes but you're doing the best you can.
But what if my best isn't good enough? What you're trying to do here is hard.
Anyone would doubt themselves.
Mum, are we going to be all right? Come here, love.
Of course we are.
Here we go, James.
All fresh and aired.
Thanks, Mrs H.
Oh, very handsome.
It'll be a miracle if they make it through the night.
Having been proved wrong more than once, I've learned never to underestimate the resilience of nature.
Right, well, I best be off.
Good luck.
Oh Wait a sec.
I've posted your letter for you.
I know it's hard but you've done what you can today for Phyllis and your mother.
Now go have a wonderful time with Helen.
It's important.
Mr Ingledew.
Good evening.
I presume this is yours.
I saw them arrive yesterday.
Tristan? Tristan! Thanks, James.
Come on, Annabel, let's get you home.
God! That was close.
Damn it.
Oh, no! Damn it.
Oh, dear.
You'd better come in, James.
Oh, dear, indeed.
The car ran into a bit of a ditch on the way over.
Perhaps you can borrow a pair of my dad's shoes.
Oh, no, that's quite all right.
You can't go out like that.
Dad, lend James some shoes and socks, will you? There's really no need Nonsense.
Dad don't mind.
You can wipe your trousers down with this.
There you go.
My old dancing shoes.
Been a while since they've had an outing.
Oh Honestly, I'll be fine.
Are they not to your liking, James? No, no, these are They're perfect.
Thank you, Mr Alderson.
I'll go see what Helen's up to.
James is here.
Can you make sure dad checks the tarpaulin on the barn roof and make sure? Stop worrying.
Go enjoy yourself.
Me and Dad will be just fine without you.
Sorry, James.
I thought we could go to the Renniston for dinner.
I should go and get changed, then.
No, you look .
Go on, then.
Don't want to be late for the Renniston.
I won't be late.
Enjoy yourself, love.
HE WHISTLES BELL RINGS I'll get it! Tristan! I give you this simple, little job one would have thought even you would be hard put to make a mess of it and look at the situation.
Not one solitary egg have we seen, the bloody hens are flying about the place like pigeons and we are now permanently estranged from our neighbours.
I'm sorry, Siegfried.
I'm sure I put the latch down.
I always double-check.
I don't .
want to hear it.
Justtry not to burn the house down while I'm out.
Who's up for games night? Sorry, Mrs Hall, I'm out with Diana tonight.
In fact .
I'm running late as it is.
I've got to see a man .
about a chicken.
Sorry, Mrs H.
Right Just me then, is it? Thank you.
Miss Alderson, how lovely to see you again.
Would you care for a table, sir? Yes, please.
Table for two.
This way, please.
Excuse me? How's Phyllis getting on? She lost one of her stirks when I was there today.
Oh, James, I'm so sorry.
That must have been difficult for you both.
I just wish I'd seen them sooner.
She might have had a fighting chance a week ago.
Well, you're there now, and if anyone can pull it off, it's Phyllis.
I just worry it's too little, too late.
It's not like you to give up so easily.
You didn't see her today.
She's already having to use her winter supply of hay and spending money that she doesn't have on expensive cake.
I just want to give her any more false hope.
I'm sorry.
I shouldn't be burdening you with all of this.
You're not burdening me.
It's nice that you care.
Farming's a tough life.
So much loss and hardship.
It's bloody hard work.
Do you ever think you could leave? Do something different? Me? I think about it all the time.
I think what it might be like to not have dirt under my fingernails every day, not have to worry about money, or shovel muck.
Thank you.
Thank you.
I've been thinking about Phyllis and farming and what you were saying just now andand And what, James? Well, perhaps it doesn't have to be a struggle .
for Phyllis.
All the other farmers think she should sell the farm and maybe they're right.
Maybe it's not too late.
She could sell up, move away, make a fresh start somewhere new.
All the memories of Billy are tied up in that farm.
All the boy's memories.
That would mean her leaving behind everything she's ever known.
It's what I had to do.
That's different.
You made a choice to come here.
It doesn't mean it was easy.
My life was in Glasgow, my friends, my family.
It's not the same.
Why not? Because I'm not a farmer? Because your life isn't the ground under your feet.
You haven't poured blood, sweat and tears into the soil you plough.
You haven't raised animals from birth knowing they could be taken from your any moment and, with them, your livelihood.
I feel like you're making my argument for me.
Billy Dalby took on that farm from his father, and his father before him.
It's young Billy's birthright.
So long as there's something left to inherit.
So you can see yourself ever leaving, then? Well, I'm not going to live with my dad forever but I could never be too far away.
I can't expect you to understand that.
You're probably right.
RECORD PLAYS DOOR CLOSES Is there a spare one of those going? Coming right up.
It’s not the good stuff I'm afraid, Siegfried would kill me.
As long as it's strong and large, I don't care.
HE SIGHS Want to talk about it? Not really.
What have you been up to? The usual - disappointing Siegfried, annoying the neighbours, creating avian anarchy.
Siegfried still on your case then? I think it's his life's work to be on my case.
His magnum opus will be the utter destruction and destitution of his little brother.
Did you try standing up to him, like I suggested? I did, yes.
Now it's made everything worse.
But I've got a plan.
Won't it feel like a shallow victory? A victory is a victory nonetheless.
Look at that! HE CHUCKLES He's only gone and bloody done it.
The taste of a fresh egg, can't beat it.
Are you heading up to the Dalby's today? Unfortunately, yes.
I have no idea what to say to the poor woman.
I could see the look of hope on her face when I gave the stirks the throat injection.
I don't know.
I just don't feel like I'm being honest.
Honesty is the best policy.
Of course, the throat injection was never going to work.
What? But you were the one that told me to give it to them.
This isn't about the injection.
Look, it's the worst part of the job when you realise everything is in the lap of the gods.
But at least now you can look Phyllis in the eye and tell her you have tried absolutely everything.
And as long as you've tried everything, then you've done your job.
You'll find the right thing to say, I have no doubt.
Thanks, Siegfried.
I know that I can set these high standards at times, and perhaps come across as slightly overbearing Slightly.
It's only because I want the best for you both.
And, Tristan, maybe I should trust you a bit more.
And .
recognise your successes when you have them.
It's a week's wage.
Well done.
You were right about the hens and you've more than proved yourself of late.
Thanks, Siegfried.
You've earned it.
Actually, I've got a confession to make.
I think I'd better get going.
Confession? It's just, I wanted so desperately to make you proud and do something right for a change and .
I lied.
I bought the eggs from the grocers and planted them in the nest box last night.
We all make mistakes.
The thing is to forgive and .
learn from them.
What mistakes? Well, it might have been me that left the barn door open.
In my defence, Tricky had just been attacked and I suppose that makes us even, doesn't it? Does it? I'd take it if I were you.
BELL RINGS I'll get it.
Thanks, Siegfried.
I see you've lost another one.
We have.
But Mrs Dalby's sure she noticed an improvement in the others' appetite.
That must be a good sign.
Let's go have a look at them, shall we? How are they looking, Mr Herriot? I wish I had some better news, but they're still very sick.
Now, I know you've told me not to turn the young beasts out onto the field any more, but isn't there a way around it? Perhaps it could help to get them back outside.
No, I'm sorry.
Until there's a vaccine, there's no way of safeguarding them against husk.
Then we will just have to find another solution.
I Mrs Dalby, this is what I've been meaning to talk to you about.
I've been giving the matter a great deal of thought and, well, you've lost so much already I just couldn't live with myself if I didn't give you my honest opinion.
I see.
I'm so sorry.
I really am, but we've tried everything now, and there's still a very real chance you could end up losing the entire herd.
So there's a chance that we might not then? A slim one, yes.
I've given you so much false hope already.
I really think that now your best course of action is to sell the farm before it's too late.
There's nothing false about hope, Mr Herriot.
Yes, but I appreciate your honesty, I do.
But I've been giving it a great deal of thought too, and I understand the risk involved.
But, when I look around .
I don't just see the things I've lost or might lose, I see everything I have.
I see my boys.
How I have so much worth fighting for still.
And I owe it to them, to my family, not to give up.
Even if it is the slimmest of chances, I'll take it.
I might not have been able to save my husband, Mr Herriot, but I can save our farm.
Our home.
So we're staying put.
Like my Billy always used to say, only them as has them can lose them.
Now, come on, you must have one of these scones, they're fresh from the oven.
He's done it! Brilliant, brilliant.
Tricky, Mummy's here.
Darling, dearest boy, how have you been? Mrs Pumphrey, do come in.
Thank you.
Forgive my early arrival, our separation became far too unbearable.
Quite all right.
I'll fetch some tea.
Do sit down, Mrs Pumphrey.
Allow me.
Thank you.
I so appreciate his Uncle Herriot looking after him so well.
Where is our dear James? Out on a call, I'm afraid.
Oh, what a pity.
How was your trip? Hutton and Leyland made quite the pair.
I almost dropped my binoculars in all the excitement.
We just heard, Hutton beat Bradman's record.
Terrific! Which reminds me, I do hope you are practising your inswinger, ready for my little cricket match this summer.
Of course, wouldn't miss it for the world, Mrs Pumphrey.
Look, Tricky, your favourite.
He does love a home-made biscuit.
They're actually for you, Mrs Pumphrey.
Oh, I only eat a Fortnum myself.
But Tricky is a little less fussy.
And how was my darling boy been? I do hope he has behaved himself.
Well Honesty Yes, um Truth be told, there was a slight incident.
I took temporary charge of Tricky while James While Uncle Herriot was on a call, turned my back for a second and Tricky did receive a tiny peck from one of our hens.
I take full responsibility, I'm terribly sorry.
Tricky always goes completely cracker-dog when there's a chicken in sight.
Tricky woo-lally I call it.
I couldn't tell you what he has against them but that will be the fifth peck he has had this year.
Oh, right.
Perhaps it's because he's an only dog.
I do think that an only develops more prejudices than one from a large family.
Wouldn't you agree? Try not to be upset.
You will see your uncles again very soon.
And the pain of parting is nothing to the joy of meeting again.
Thank you.
Good day, Mrs Pumphrey.
Goodbye, Tricky.
Oh, of course, Tricky, yes, where are my manners? Francois, would you mind? You reminded me To say thank you.
To his Uncle Herriot.
The kippers - exquisite.
Right, home, please, Francois.
Come on! Phyllis lost another stirk.
A few more are on their way out.
But she is determined to keep going, even if it's only with half a herd.
You were right.
I get it now, and I'm sorry about This was my mum's favourite spot up here on this roof.
Used to come up here at lunchtime and eat our sandwiches.
She'd point out different parts of the farm and tell me, "That's where you scraped your knee trying to jump over the bales.
"That's where you helped out with your first lambing.
"And that spot there ".
that's where I told your dad I were pregnant with you.
"And his grin filled his whole face.
Previous EpisodeNext Episode