The Daily Telegraph


Channel 5, 9pm

- Gabriel Tate

Athird series of the 1930s period drama picks up the story soon after the last. Some months after the long-awaited proposal and with army officers recruiting soldiers for the coming war, James (Nicholas Ralph) and Helen’s (Rachel Shenton) wedding day has finally almost arrived. Ever the profession­al curmudgeon, Siegfried (Samuel West) is vocally dismayed at their imminent departure on honeymoon during the busiest time of the year for the practice, but soon drowns his sorrows as he, James and Tristan (Callum Woodhouse) convene at The Drovers Arms for a yard or two of ale. What could go wrong? Suspected TB among a herd of cows, a vomiting dog, a vanishing ring and some appalling hangovers conspire against them as they race to the church, while Helen’s nerves are given a bit of buttressin­g by a pep talk from the indefatiga­ble Mrs Hall (Anna Madeley).

Although references to the probable implicatio­ns of James’s “sense of duty” and the gathering storm clouds over Europe suggest this third series could be far darker in its tone, the performanc­es and writing are sufficient­ly deft and charming in this opener; we are quite obviously still in hands that keep us as safe as the animals of the Yorkshire Dales.

 ?? ?? Finally, the wedding bells ring out for Helen (Rachel Shenton) and James (Nicholas Ralph)
Finally, the wedding bells ring out for Helen (Rachel Shenton) and James (Nicholas Ralph)

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