In a TV landscape bloated with hyper-violent survival dramas and thrillers about people who aren’t really who they say they are, it’s comforting to know that British drama “All Creatures Great and Small” will never try to be something that it’s not.

Fans of the hit series from U.K. broadcaster Channel 5 and PBS Masterpiece will know that, two seasons in, the 1930s-set show based on the beloved novels by veterinarian James Herriot (the pen name of Alf Wight) is edging closer and closer to the brink of World War 2. Towards the end of Season 2, which wrapped on “Masterpiece” on Sunday night, housekeeper Mrs. Hall anxiously peers out the window at a vast military aircraft flying overhead.

But if you think this soothing-yet-salty drama about an endearingly dysfunctional veterinary practice in the verdant Yorkshire Dales is about to become “Band of Brothers,” rest assured that’s not part of the plan.

“It’s inevitable that the looming shadow of war will influence the lives of our characters and Darrowby,” writer Ben Vanstone tells Variety. “That will play a major part through series three and four.”

Yet it’s unlikely that the program’s gentle tone will shift, says Vanstone. “Ultimately, our show is about Darrowby and the world of the Yorkshire Dales and the farmers within it, so I don’t think we’re ever going to suddenly be doing a war drama. The way we envisage the war playing out will be through the community and the world that we’ve already created.”

Since debuting in the U.K. in September 2020, the show and its stellar cast (principals include Nicholas Ralph, Rachel Shenton and the formidable Samuel West) have garnered a dedicated fanbase — it’s the highest rated program on Channel 5 since 2016 — but prestige has been hard won.

Scripted programming is a relatively new undertaking for the Paramount-backed broadcaster, which was historically known for lower-budget factual programs (think “Sinkholes: Buried Alive”) and began dabbling in drama only in 2018, with mixed results early on. For some, the high production values and crisp storytelling of “All Creatures” feels, on occasion, incongruous with the channel’s DNA.

“Some of the press may be slightly snootier about a Channel 5 show than they are about a BBC show,” says Vanstone. “And whether that’s fair or not is up for debate.

“But I think it also lowered expectations a bit as well,” he continues. “It would be a louder show if it was coming out on the BBC, but as it was, we were able to go out and then people came to it. If it was on the BBC, maybe there [would have been] more pressure, more expectation.”

In fact, producer Playground Entertainment — the makers of “Wolf Hall” and the recent “Little Women” series — had originally developed the show with the BBC, the home of the original long-running “All Creatures” drama of the 1970s and ‘80s. But the prospect of the reboot falling short of its predecessor spooked the public broadcaster, which eventually backed out.

“They were concerned — and understandably so — that the original series was so beloved, would we be able to create a show that generated an audience and didn’t live in the shadow of the original?” says Playground CEO Colin Callender.

Around that time, the BBC was also under fire for losing younger viewers to a growing streaming threat in the U.K. “There was real concern within the BBC that they weren’t speaking to the next generation of TV viewers,” says Callender.

When the producer pitched the show to Channel 5, thinking it may be a good fit alongside factual hit “The Yorkshire Vet,” executives jumped at the idea, and “All Creatures” has helped to transform the channel’s reputation as a player in Britain’s highly competitive scripted arena.

In January, Channel 5 commissioned Seasons 3 and 4 of “All Creatures” with PBS, and it recently freed up even more room for drama on its schedule. (Unfortunately for “Neighbours” fans, that meant pulling the plug on the long-running Australian soap.)

As the show’s profile grows, Vanstone, whose writing credits include “The Last Kingdom,” has to balance notes from Channel 5, PBS Masterpiece and distributor All3Media International, which has sold the series far and wide internationally.

“We have discussions at the forefront about the sorts of stories we’re going to tell — the tone, how gory [they’ll be]. We discuss these things up front and then we’re trusted to get on with it,” he says. “Everyone feeds in towards the end of the script process with their thoughts, which are usually well considered.”

The gore factor, however, is a very real concern — especially for American audiences who can’t tolerate some of the show’s more graphic veterinary scenes. (No animals are actually harmed in the show: Expensive — and incredibly convincing — prosthetics are employed in all the grisly operations.)

“The American appetite seems a little more squeamish,” Vanstone says delicately. “We maybe don’t get quite as graphic with the procedures for the American audience.”

The U.S. episodes are also around five minutes longer, which challenges the writers to conceive of storylines that won’t be affected by a shorter U.K. run time. “We have to always have the other version in mind when we write, which is quite tricky for the show,” says Vanstone.

PBS Masterpiece, of course, isn’t complaining about getting a little more “All Creatures” for its co-production bucks. With cameras about to roll in Yorkshire on Season 3, the show has become a runaway sensation in the U.S., where it’s the biggest show airing on Masterpiece, the long-standing home of British drama Stateside. (The first three episodes of Season 2 drew an average audience of 3.7 million. Last year, Season 1 averaged 9.5 million viewers.)

Could “All Creatures” eventually draw the global fanbase of “Downton Abbey”? Maybe. It doesn’t have the scope and sprawling cast of Julian Fellowes’ upstairs-downstairs series — which ran for six seasons and is now on its second feature film — but it’s a “kinder, gentler show,” says Masterpiece executive producer Susanne Simpson, the go-to executive for U.K. broadcasters in need of a savvy U.S. co-producer on a period drama.

“There was a time in 2020 where we needed kinder and gentler,” Simpson says. “People were really craving that, and they found it in this show.”

Simpson, whose credits include everything from “Wolf Hall” to “Victoria,” vows to do “whatever it takes” to support the show. The budget may not necessarily be going up, but as Callender points out, it doesn’t really need to: “All Creatures” can be great while staying small.

“We don’t need the mega, mega budgets that the streamers have to compete in the international and American marketplace,” says Callender. “We’ve been blinded in the U.K. by the amount of money the streamers have been spending per hour, and it’s led many people to think that’s the only way to make drama and compete globally, but it’s clearly not the case and ‘All Creatures’ is a testament to that.”