Freedom of speech is one of the core building blocks of the United States as a whole. But it is also equally simple and complicated. In simple terms, freedom of speech says that we do not have to fear either being jailed or killed for just speaking our minds. It gets complicated when it comes to hate speech and incitement. Yelling fire in a crowded movie theater theoretically, could go either way.
The backlash against the riot in Washington D.C. last Wednesday has been swift and furious. Once more, you know who is facing impeachment. He has been banned from most, if not all of the major social media companies. The website Parler, known to attract members of the conservative and alt-right movements, has been shut down entirely.
Is you know who to blame for last Wednesday? Without a doubt. It was his words that encouraged the near destruction of the Capitol Building. That being said, the blame does not entirely fall on him. The blame is on the social media companies. They have been making up their own rules for years, allowing extremists of all sorts to use their platforms to spread their lies and attract new members.
While freedom of speech is immutable, what is not immutable is the actions of the big tech companies. The ball is in their court. They can either proceed as if nothing has happened. Or, they can face up to their part in this mess and help to clean it up. The choice is theirs.
In 1930’s Britain, James Herriot (played by newcomer Nicholas Ralph) is a young man with one dream: to be a veterinarian. All hope seems lost until he gets a letter from Siegfried Farnon (Samuel West). Farnon is a veterinarian living and working in rural Yorkshire. James accept the job as Farnon’s new assistant.
His first meeting with his new boss is an eye opening one. Farnon is well, eccentric, to say the least. James is young, eager, and just a little green. Though he is not without allies. Mrs. Hall (Anna Madeley) is fully aware of her employer’s nature and encourages him to give James a shot. There is also Helen Alderson (Rachel Shenton), a local woman who works on her family’s farm and could possibly be a love interest.
This is not the first time these books have been adapted for television. They were previously adapted in the late 1970’s and late 1980’s. This is my first introduction to these characters as I had not seen the previous series or read the books. To be perfectly honest, I was not sure if I would enjoy the program. I am glad I was wrong. It is charming and a nice way to begin the week anew.
Do I recommend it? Absolutely.
All Creatures Great and Small air on PBS Sunday nights at 9PM.