The decision not to order a second series of the vet-based drama comes just days after the corporation axed fellow BBC One drama series Upstairs Downstairs after two seasons. The axing of Upstairs Downstairs has prompted an outcry from fans and the launch of a Twitter campaign to save the period drama.
Young James Herriot was a prequel to the fondly remembered BBC drama All Creatures Great and Small, based on the books by James Herriot, which starred Peter Davison, Christopher Timothy and Robert Hardy. The three-part prequel was stripped across three nights on BBC One in December and revolved around James Herriot’s early days as a vet in Glasgow. It starred Iain de Caestecker and Amy Manson but while it launched to an impressive 6 million viewers the following two episodes saw big drops in ratings.
A spokesperson for the BBC is quoted by Media Guardian as saying ‘Young James Herriot will not be coming back. It was a three-part event piece stripped across the week before Christmas.’ The prequel was developed by television writer Johnny Byrne who died in 2008 while the project was still in its infancy. Byrne’s credits include All Creatures Great and Small as well as Doctor Who, Space 1999, Heartbeat and Tales of the Unexpected.