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A world at war in season 4 of ‘All Creatures Great and Small’

Nicholas Ralph in "All Creatures Great and Small."Helen Williams / Playground Entertainment/and Masterpiece

It’s corny and sentimental and old-fashioned. But I love “All Creatures Great and Small,” the PBS “Masterpiece” series about a trio of veterinarians in the late 1930s and early 1940s in the Yorkshire Dales of Northern England. It’s so respectful of nature, and human nature, and, of course, animals, it’s a perfect salve for today’s world. It’s also as picturesque as a travel series. Here’s what’s up with the upcoming season 4.

Premiere date: It premieres on Jan. 7 on GBH 2. It will include six episodes and a Christmas special, as usual. The season, but not the special, has already aired in the UK.


Where we left off: The country has entered World War II, and Tristan (Callum Woodhouse) enlisted. Siegfried (Samuel West), who has dealt with PTSD from World War I, has had some trouble letting go of the brother he raised. And is he in love with Mrs. Hall (Anna Madeley), the matriarch of their family of choice? James (Nicholas Ralph) and Helen (Rachel Shenton) are happily married.

What’s next: It’s 1940, and, with Tristan gone, Siegfried brings in some extra help, including an efficient bookkeeper played by Neve McIntosh and a studious undergraduate vet student played by James Anthony-Rose. Meanwhile, James and Helen think about starting a family, aware that he could be called up to serve at any moment.

And most important of all: Will we see Mrs. Pumphrey and her dog Tricki Woo in season 4? Yes indeed, played by Patricia Hodge and Derek, respectively.

Matthew Gilbert can be reached at matthew.gilbert@globe.com. Follow him @MatthewGilbert.