In the early 1900s James Herriot, recently graduated from the veterinary college in Glasgow, finds work in the rustic Yorkshire Dales of Northern England. This heartwarming drama chronicles his encounters with the locals and the animals they depend on. Based on the semi-autobiographical novels of James Alfred Wight, OBE.
The waiting room is packed at the Darrowby practice, but Siegfried seems more focused on catching his hard-drinking brother asleep on the job.
The return of lambing season brings a boost to Siegfried's spirits, but James, laid up in the surgery, is reminded of the harsher realities of a vet's life.
Nerves are frayed as Tristan's encounter with an "exploding" bullock leads to a lawsuit, and Siegfried's venture in guinea raising runs foul. Meanwhile, James is sent to assist "on of the biggest boozers in the business."
As the tractor threatens to do away with a way of life in the Dales, James battles to save a dying shire horse.
The Darrowby Show is a much-anticipated event for the whole community, except for the duty vet. This mixed honor falls to James this year.
While James struggles to cope with the procrastinations of the Bellerby family, Tristan succumbs to the charms of a millionaire shipbuilder's daughter with a penchant for lobster.
James gets a taste of the high life when he comes to the aid of a city vet, Granville Bennet, while Siegfried juggles the care of Mr. Wilkinson's awesome "colt" with the fine art of debt collecting.
The atmosphere is tense as James prepares to perform groundbreaking surgery. Meanwhile, Siegfried wrestles with a disinterested prize bull, and Tristan's hormones run riot over Darrowby's merry widow.
James becomes suspicious when the Farnon brothers -- usually keen cricketers -- "volunteer" him in their stead for the annual cricket match between Darrowby and Rainby.
Tristan may have finally found the right girl in Alice McTavish. Meanwhile, James struggles to save a dog whose death could trigger the end of the owners' marriage.
James concludes that the drawbacks of a vet's life -- long hours, fierce dogs and a cunning sow named Prudence -- pale in comparison to the rigors of making a speech to the Darrowby Youth Club.
Siegried turns on the charm to teach Tristan a lesson, while James, busy with calving, finds one farmer's traditional Yorkshire hospitality a bit hard to swallow.
Despite Siegfried's insistence that he relax and "cultivate the inner man," James can't shrug off the irritations that often make his professions a dog's life. Siegfried's inner man is cramming for the annual quiz that pits the men of Darrowby against the fearsome Women's Institute.