Call the Midwife

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This article is about the TV adaptation. For the book, see Call the Midwife (book).
Call the Midwife
Series titles over a docklands terrace street
Created by Heidi Thomas
Based on Memoirs of Jennifer Worth
Starring
Narrated by Vanessa Redgrave
(voice of mature Jenny)
Composer(s)

Peter Salem

Maurizio Malagnini
Country of origin United Kingdom
Original language(s) English
No. of series 5 (+ 4 Specials)
No. of episodes 36 (list of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s) Pippa Harris
Heidi Thomas
Producer(s) Hugh Warren
Cinematography Chris Seager
Running time 60 minutes
Production company(s) Neal Street Productions
Release
Original network BBC One
BBC One HD
Original release 15 January 2012 (2012-01-15) – present
External links
Website

Call the Midwife is a BBC period drama series about a group of nurse midwives working in the East End of London in the 1950s and 1960s. It stars Jessica Raine, Miranda Hart, Helen George, Bryony Hannah, Laura Main, Jenny Agutter, Pam Ferris, Judy Parfitt, Cliff Parisi, Stephen McGann, Ben Caplan, Emerald Fennell, Victoria Yeates, Linda Bassett and Charlotte Ritchie. The series was created by Heidi Thomas, originally based on the memoirs of Jennifer Worth but since expanded to include new, historically sourced material.[1]

The first series of six episodes premiered in the UK on 15 January 2012. The series is produced by Neal Street Productions, a production company founded and owned by the film director and producer Sam Mendes, Call the Midwife Executive Producer Pippa Harris and Caro Newling. Call the Midwife achieved very high ratings in its first series, making it the most successful new drama series on BBC One since 2001.[2] A second series of eight episodes aired in the UK in early 2013.[3][4] The series achieved a consolidated series average of 10.47 million viewers.[5] A third eight-part series aired in the UK from January 2014,[6] with a consolidated average of 10.53 million.[5]

The autumn 2012 PBS broadcast of the first series of Call the Midwife in the United States received widespread critical acclaim, earning a Metacritic score of 8.0. The Wall Street Journal declared that "this immensely absorbing drama is worth any trouble it takes to catch up with its singular pleasures",[7] while The Washington Post stated that "the cast is marvellous, the gritty, post-war set pieces are meticulously recreated".[8] TV Guide called the series "a delight to watch",[9] while the San Francisco Chronicle described it as "sentimental, poignant and often heartbreaking".[10]

On 28 February 2014, BBC confirmed that Call the Midwife had been commissioned for a 2014 Christmas special[11] and fourth series, to air in 2015.[12] On 3 November 2014, BBC announced that an eight-episode fifth series had been commissioned; it began airing on 17 January 2016; the fifth series takes the story into 1961.[13] In December 2015, BBC director general Tony Hall announced the series had already been commissioned for 2016 Christmas Special and another eight episodes taking it into 1962.[14]

Plot[edit]

The plot follows newly qualified midwife Jenny Lee, and the work of midwives and the nuns of Nonnatus House, a nursing convent, and part of an Anglican religious order, coping with the medical problems in the deprived Poplar district of London's desperately poor East End, in the 1950s. The Sisters and midwives carry out many nursing duties across the community. However, with between 80 and 100 babies being born each month in Poplar alone, the primary work is to help bring safe childbirth to women in the area and to look after their countless newborns.

Cast and characters[edit]

Main[edit]

Sister Julienne[edit]

Sister Julienne
Call The Midwife character
Portrayed by Jenny Agutter
Duration 2012–
First appearance Series 1, Episode 1
Introduced by Jenny Worth
Classification Present; regular
Profile
Occupation Sister-in-charge, Nun, Midwife

By necessity, Sister Julienne conceals a steel fist in a velvet glove, managing both her charges and fellow sisters with a combination of tact, compassion, and no-nonsense advice.

Her steadfast, compassionate guidance makes her an anchor for her colleagues and in a very real way, it is she who holds the inhabitants of Nonnatus House together. She always offers comfort and help to the young midwives and also has a notably close, warm and maternal relationship with Sister Bernadette, serving as her chief mentor and confidante. Beginning with series 4, it becomes clear that the weight of always having to be "the wise one" takes a heavier toll on her than many would guess, and she is increasingly shown leaning on Shelagh (formerly Sister Bernadette) for counsel and support; nevertheless, her faith is not shaken and she remains a serene, guiding presence for all of Nonnatus House. Her pre-Order name was Louise.

Phyllis Crane[edit]

Phyllis Crane
Call The Midwife character
Portrayed by Linda Bassett
Duration 2015–
First appearance Series 4, Episode 2
Introduced by Heidi Thomas
Classification Present; regular
Profile
Occupation Senior Nurse, Midwife, Medical Deputy Sister-in-charge

Phyllis is a veteran nurse who also arrives at Nonnatus House in mid-1960. When she pulls up in her sparkling car everybody knows that she's going to be a tiny bit snobby and she is. She is vegetarian and is not scared to put her ideas forward to improve Nonnatus house. She confides in Vaughan Seller, the father of a terminated baby, that she was born an illegitimate child. In series 5 it is seen that she has formed more of a relationship with Barbra and has taken quite a high role in Nonnatus house.

Sister Evangelina[edit]

Sister Evangelina
Call The Midwife character
Portrayed by Pam Ferris
Duration 2012–
First appearance Series 1, Episode 1
Last appearance Series 5, Episode 2
Introduced by Jenny Worth
Classification Present; regular (on a break)
Profile
Occupation Nun, Midwife

Sister Evangelina is the only one of the sisters who comes from the same tough, uncompromising background as the community they serve. Physically vigorous, she has a robust sense of humour. Her energy and drive make her extraordinarily effective at her job. However, she does not suffer fools gladly and her blunt speech and attitude often offend. She has a particularly contentious relationship with the aristocratic Sister Monica Joan, who often provokes her to breaking point. Growing up in poverty has toughened her up, making her a very comical character in the show.

Sister Evangelina knows a lot about the poverty and hardships in Poplar and often shares her insights with the young midwives. She is very close to Sister Julienne, to whom she often serves as a sounding board. In Series 3, it is revealed she has several siblings including an older brother who was killed on active service in a war and a younger brother, Vincent, who returns to her life after being absent for several years during her golden jubilee. It was seeing the birth of Vincent that inspired a young Sister Evangelina to become a nun during her formative years. In 1960 Sister Evangelina has to have an operation due to illness. Her pre-order name was Enid Atwood. In 1961, Sister Evangelina temporarily left Nonnatus House for an enclosed order.

Sister Monica Joan[edit]

Sister Monica Joan
Call The Midwife character
Portrayed by Judy Parfitt
Duration 2012–
First appearance Series 1, Episode 1
Introduced by Jenny Worth
Classification Present; regular
Profile
Occupation Nun, Retired Midwife

She has a very different nature from Sister Evangelina's and misses no opportunity to bait her. It is never entirely clear how much of Sister Monica Joan's eccentricity is due to the frailty of age, or (as Jenny suspects) sheer willful naughtiness. She has a habit of devouring all the cakes, leading everyone to try to hide them from her. She also knits woollen teddy bears and casts her horoscope in the stars and planets in order to tell her future. In the final episode of Series 1, after recovering from pneumonia, she is arrested for stealing trinkets from the market: some ribbons, a handkerchief, a china robin and several other things.

Later, she is suspected of stealing a ring, a bracelet and a pearl necklace, which were discovered by the women of the house and who called the constable. Mother Jesu Emanuel (Mother Superior of the order) testifies that Sister Monica Joan inherited those items from her mother and no crime was committed. In light of Monica Joan's age and moments of forgetfulness, she is acquitted of the trinket thefts. In Series 2, she reconciles with her nephew and his family, fears that she is useless, spends a lot of money on taxis to see her nephew, much to the chagrin of Sister Julienne, recovers from angina, escapes a holiday with Sister Evangelina to Chichester, judges a baby show, and pays for a child's funeral. Sister Monica Joan is very close to and gets on well with Jenny and Jane. Her birth name is revealed to be Antonia Keville.

Beatrix "Trixie" Franklin[edit]

Beatrix "Trixie" Franklin
Call The Midwife character
Portrayed by Helen George
Duration 2012–
First appearance Series 1, Episode 1
Introduced by Jenny Worth
Classification Present; regular
Profile
Occupation Midwife

She has a much more outgoing disposition than Jenny, but the two share the sense of adventure in their work and become firm friends. Trixie loves nothing more than gossiping with her colleagues and is quite nosey when it comes to other people's business.

She occasionally comes across as a bit rude, but she means no harm by it. When it comes to her friends, she takes great pleasure in teasing them about what is going on in their lives. She is caring but no-nonsense to her patients and is encouraging at hopeless times. She is light and carefree, jokes a lot, tries to set her colleagues up with boys and is generally a little boy-mad. Nevertheless, it is clear that work is first in her life. Until Curate Tom Herewood proposes to her and she accepts. But their engagement breaks down when Trixie discovers that Tom has a placement in a slum in Newcastle, an industrial city in North East England. This makes her turn to alcohol for comfort. But with Cynthia's help, she joins a support group. She shares a room with Nurse Patsy Mount. When she finds out that Barbara is going out with Tom she gets quite a shock and finds it very difficult to accept, but after a talk with Tom and Barbara she finally accepts that she can no longer hold on to Tom and must let him go.

Sister Mary Cynthia[edit]

Sister Mary Cynthia
Call The Midwife character
Portrayed by Bryony Hannah
Duration 2012-
First appearance Series 1, Episode 1
Introduced by Jenny Worth
Classification Present; regular
Profile
Occupation Nurse, Midwife & Nun (series 4-)

Nurse Cynthia Miller, like Trixie, is also a resident at Nonnatus House when Jenny arrives. Cynthia is the most sensitive of the young midwives and takes some of her patients' stories quite personally and gets very emotionally involved.

In Series 2, when a child she delivers dies, the people of Poplar suspect her of making a mistake that cost the baby its life. Cynthia begins to doubt her abilities, which takes a heavy toll on her work and health. Cynthia starts crying and suffers a breakdown, but recovers with the help of Sister Julienne and an autopsy report that confirms that the baby's death was due to lungs that never fully inflated. In the 2014 Christmas Special, Cynthia decides to become a postulant and leaves Nonnatus House for six months of training, promising Trixie and Patsy that she will return. In Series 4, Cynthia returns to Nonnatus House after her training is complete, having chosen the religious name of Sister Mary Cynthia. Though she now spends less time with her friends, she remains close to Trixie and ultimately convinces her to get help for her alcoholism.

Shelagh Turner[edit]

Shelagh Turner
Call The Midwife character
Portrayed by Laura Main
Duration 2012–
First appearance Series 1, Episode 1
Introduced by Jenny Worth
Classification Present; regular
Profile
Occupation Nun (series 1-2), Midwife & Nurse (Series 1-2, 4-) medical secretary (series 3-5)

Sister Bernadette is Scottish and in her early 30s – the closest in age to Jenny and the other lay midwives. She is the most educated of the nuns and tutors the other nurses whilst providing administrative assistance to Sister Julienne, sometimes covering as her deputy. A consummate professional, she has a fresh, uncomplicated approach to her work that means she connects well with Jenny and her other colleagues. In one episode, she is shown to remove her veil, take her hair down and take off her glasses, expressing her hidden desire to be free.

In series 2, it becomes clear that Sister Bernadette is lonely and unhappy, questioning whether the convent is her calling, and wishes to do what the other young midwives of her age are doing: going out to the cinema, dancing, etc. One scene shows Sister Bernadette looking in on the midwives' room while they are drinking and gossiping, but then the door closes; it is a life that cannot be opened to her while she remains a nun. In another, Sister Monica Joan points out that she spends most of her time praying for forgiveness. Sister Bernadette eventually breaks down and turns to Sister Julienne for help, confessing that what she really wants is a family and children of her own. As of the 2012 Christmas Special and from Series 2 onward, it becomes clear that Sister Bernadette has fallen in love with the local physician, Dr Turner.

After recovering from a short bout of tuberculosis, Sister Bernadette leaves the convent and reverts to her birth name of Shelagh. She becomes engaged to Dr Turner, who has also fallen in love with her. They marry in the 2013 Christmas Special and she becomes stepmother to his 11-year-old son Timothy. They later adopt a baby girl called Angela after a struggle with infertility. In series four it becomes clear Shelagh is missing her nursing and midwifery so she returns to full-time work at the surgery and maternity home, first as a medical secretary, and then also as a nurse after Dr Turner is taken ill.

Patience "Patsy" Mount[edit]

Nurse Patience "Patsy" Mount
Call The Midwife character
Portrayed by Emerald Fennell
Duration 2013–
First appearance Series 2, Episode 3
Introduced by Heidi Thomas
Classification Present; regular
Profile
Occupation Midwife

Patsy is first seen in Series 3, Episode 5 as a new midwife. She is tall elegant and favours slightly tailored clothes and becoming the first midwife to wear trousers. She has a very brisk manner but later on reveals that at the age of 9 that she and her mother and sister were sent to a Japanese war camp and she was the only one to survive out of the 3 of them. It is then seen in Series 4 that she has a very close friendship with veteran Nurse Trixie and new Nurse Barbara. She is also quite close to Sister Mary Cynthia and Sister Winifred. She is also seen to have a very close and romantic relationship with female surgical Nurse Delia Busby who she previously worked with at the London. They then plan to move into a flat together at the end of series 4 but their future is shattered when Delia is involved in a cycling accident and left with amnesia and only remembering Patsy as a page friend. She and Delia are reunited in Series 5 when she accepts an offer from Sister Julienne to live at Nonnatus House. She shares a room with Nurse Trixie replacing Jenny Lee.

Barbara Gilbert[edit]

Nurse Barbara Gilbert
Call The Midwife character
Portrayed by Charlotte Ritchie
Duration 2015–
First appearance Series 4, Episode 1
Introduced by Heidi Thomas
Classification Present; regular
Profile
Occupation Midwife

Barbara arrives in Poplar in the early 1960's still finding her feet in district nursing and midwifery. While she is educated and middle class, she is surprisingly in tune with the needs of the community she serves, having grown up the daughter of a Canon serving in an impoverished area of Liverpool. She is hard working, optimistic, and positioned as a bit naïve. In series 5 it is revealed that Barbara and Tom are going out.

Sister Winifred[edit]

Sister Winifred
Call The Midwife character
Portrayed by Victoria Yeates
Duration 2014–
First appearance Series 3, Episode 1
Introduced by Heidi Thomas
Classification Present; regular
Profile
Occupation Nun, Midwife

Sister Winifred arrives at Nonnatus House at the beginning of Series 3. Sister Winifred is the same age as Jenny, Trixie and Cynthia. She finds midwifery hard. She tries twice to make a harvest loaf for the Harvest Festival, stating 'my mother made it look so easy.' She eventually succeeds on the second attempt. She seems to be close to Patsy Mount. She is now close to Sister Mary Cynthia since she joined the order and is very passionate about her work in Poplar. In series 5 episode 3 it is revealed that Sister Winifred is missing teaching and takes a temporary job teaching a class replacing one of her patients who was fired due to pregnancy. In episode 4 she had returned to midwifery,

Current Supporting characters[edit]

Frederick "Fred" Buckle[edit]

Fred is the handyman at Nonnatus House. He is friends with all of the midwives and often gives them help and advice. He's always got a new money-making scheme under his belt, but none of them are ever much good. Fred is the father of two daughters - Dolly, who lives in Australia with her husband and their two children, Anthony and Samantha; and Marlene, who is also married and has recently moved back to England after living in Canada for several years.

Before becoming the handyman at Nonnatus he was in the army, during which time his wife was killed leaving his daughters to be shuffled around between several of his family members which cause him great pain and with thoughts of deserting the army. In series four after twenty years of being a widower, Fred takes an interest in local shop owner Violet Gee and after several months of flirting during their community volunteering duties, Fred asks Violet to a charity dance. By the end of series four Fred proposes to Violet – and, after dealing with his clingy daughter Marlene – he and Violet marry.

Dr. Patrick Turner[edit]

Dr Turner is Poplar's local physician. He works closely with the midwives, helping at clinics, deliveries and at the birthing hospital and is incredibly dedicated to his patients and to his work, including fighting bureaucratic red tape to save lives with a tuberculosis x-ray screening van. He is a widower and father to Timothy and does his best to juggle the demands of being a single parent with his responsibilities as a doctor. In Series 2, it becomes apparent that he has fallen in love with Sister Bernadette, but her vows stand in the way of that love. After her diagnosis with tuberculosis forces her to examine what she truly wants, he makes it quietly clear to her that while the decision is hers, he is in love with her and wishes to share his life with her. She leaves the convent and chooses a different path, accepting his proposal of marriage after she has overcome her tuberculosis.

Police Constable Peter Noakes[edit]

  • played by Ben Caplan
  • Police Constable, later Police Sergeant

Peter is a Police Constable in Poplar. He is first introduced in Series 1, when he is forcibly run over by Chummy on her bicycle and takes an immediate shine to her. Throughout series 1, they go on a string of dates, eventually marrying in the series' final episode. In series 2, he follows Chummy to Sierra Leone while she fulfills her desire to be a missionary. In the final episode of that series, he and Chummy have a baby, whom they name Fred.

Tom Hereward[edit]

  • played by Jack Ashton
  • The Reverend

Tom arrives in series 3 as the new Poplar vicar. He lives just across the road from Nonnatus House and is shown to have a relationship with Trixie which leads to an engagement which is broken off in series 4. Now he is seen doing a lot with the children's group and is getting a bit closer to Nurse Barbara Gilbert.

Delia Busby[edit]

  • played by Kate Lamb
  • Role - Nurse

Delia is a very close friend of Patsy's as they previously worked together at the London Hospital on Male surgical. She later moves closer to Poplar while volunteering evenings for St John Ambulance, as well as working at the London Hospital during the day. She is revealed to be in a romantic relationship with Patsy, but together they conceal their feelings due to society's view of homosexuality at the time. At the end of Series 4, she is involved in a cycling accident which leaves her with amnesia, leaving Patsy heartbroken. By the following Christmas, she has regained her memories of Patsy and their relationship, and at the start of Series 5, despite continued efforts from her mother to take her home to Wales, Delia accepts an invitation to live at Nonnatus House. She now seems to quite close to Trixie and Barbra.

Timothy Turner[edit]

  • played by Max Macmillan

Timothy is the son of Dr Turner and stepson of Shelagh Turner. He is very smart and tall and goes to the local grammar school. In 2013 Christmas special he suffers from polio which effects his legs. He slowly recuperates and is now fully recovered.

Angela Turner[edit]

  • played by Alice Brown

Angela is the adoptive daughter of Dr Turner and Shelagh. She is first seen in the series 3 finale and is briefly seen in series 4 and 5 usually with Shelagh, Patrick or Timothy. She came from a mother of the age of 16 and was put up for adoption straight after birth, when the Turners adopted her.

Violet Buckle (formerly Gee)[edit]

Violet Gee is the second wife of Fred Buckle.

Former Characters[edit]

Nurse Jenny Lee arrives at Nonnatus House in 1957, at the age of 22, completely unaware of the world she is about to enter. Believing she has accepted a job with a small private hospital, she is somewhat surprised to find she's moving into a convent. Furthermore, the deprivation of the East End is a huge culture shock for the young woman who has enjoyed a privileged upbringing in the home counties and spent time in Paris before training as a nurse. However, although initially shocked by the conditions in which her patients live, Jenny comes to accept the material limitations of the world in which she works and to love the people who must live there.

She went to London to escape her forbidden love to a married man, Gerald. Her best friend Jimmy arrives and although he makes her feel more at ease, he also makes things more complicated by revealing that he's in love with her. She turns him down and they remain friends. She becomes good friends with all of her colleagues and patients and always tries to help those around her. Toward the end of Series 2 and halfway through Series 3, she starts dating Alec, a friend of Jimmy's. After Alec's death and her return to Nonnatus House after taking time off to grieve, Jenny decides to begin working at the London Hospital in the Maternity Ward although she leaves soon after, not liking the hospital's policy of requiring impersonal relationships between nurses and their patients.

At the end of Series 3, she meets Phillip Worth (her future husband), the cousin of an expectant mother for whom she is caring and begins a relationship with him. She eventually decides to pursue a career change to care for those with terminal illnesses; she leaves Nonnatus House to work at the Marie Curie Hospital in Hampstead. It is shown in the Series 3 Christmas Special that she eventually married Phillip and started a family, and still kept in contact with the friends she made at Nonnatus House.

  • Miranda Hart as Nurse Camilla "Chummy" Browne (née Camilla Fortescue-Cholmondeley-Browne), later Camilla "Chummy" Noakes (Series 1-4)
  • Midwife & Nurse

By the end of Series 1, after a string of dates she marries Police Constable Peter Noakes. In Series 2, Chummy applies for a place as a CMS missionary in Sierra Leone, Africa. She is accepted and she and Peter move to Africa for six months. Upon their return, Chummy reveals that she is pregnant, much to the delight of her fellow nurses. In the final episode of Series 2 Chummy goes into labour and, despite complications, she gives birth to a son, Fred. Chummy once stated that she had never been happier than when she was at Nonnatus House. In series 4 Chummy, Peter and Freddie move to Aston Lodge mother and baby home, where Chummy is employed as the temporary, replacement nurse.

Former Recurring[edit]

Jimmy is an old friend of Jenny's. In Series 1, Jimmy is madly in love with Jenny, even though she still pines for the married man, the reason she escaped to London. Jenny convinces Jimmy they are "just friends" and he stops pursuing her. In Series 2, the tables are turned when Jimmy returns, having graduated school and now working as a municipal surveyor/architect. Jenny sees Jimmy as a grown man for the first time which instantly turns her head, but unfortunately she discovers that Jimmy is engaged to pregnant Francine, whom Jenny met at the prenatal clinic. Jimmy and Francine marry and have a baby, Caroline.

Jane is the medical orderly at Nonnatus house. She arrives to fill in for Chummy while she's in Africa. Jane is very shy and does not talk unless it is necessary. We later find out the reason for her being shy - her parents sent her to an asylum when she was young, leaving her with no self-esteem. Throughout the series, she grows in confidence and makes friends with her fellow nurses. She also finds love with Reverend Applebee-Thornton (Jason Watkins), a local Anglican priest. She does not return for Series 3, with a deleted scene from the 2013 Christmas special explaining that she has gone to nursing school.

  • Leo Staar as Alec Jesmond (Series 2-3)

A friend of Jimmy's who develops romantic feelings for Jenny. They eventually start dating after a long period in which Jenny continues to mourn her loss of Jimmy, but who encourages her to enjoy life and Alec. Alec and Jenny eventually date, but Jenny's abundant caution about affairs of the heart lead to a misunderstanding and argument. Castigating his co-worker in anger, Alec falls through an old staircase in the building they are renovating. In the hospital, his foot is amputated and he seems to be recovering. He later dies, thought to be because of a blood clot in his wounded leg, and his funeral is attended by a distraught Jenny and the other midwives and the nuns.

Lady Browne is Chummy's upper class, snobby mother. She formerly lived in Madeira before she separated from Chummy's father. When she moved to Poplar she was diagnosed with TB and Cancer. In series 1 she was featured in the series finale before Chummy and Peter's wedding. She moved to Poplar in 1959 and was diagnosed with TB and cancer by Dr. Turner. She died peacefully in Chummy and Peter's bed in the series 3 finale.

Mrs Busby is the mother of Delia Busby.

Episodes[edit]

Reception[edit]

A second series of Call the Midwife was immediately commissioned after the drama's opening episode attracted an audience of nearly 10 million viewers. The second episode increased its audience to 10.47 million, while the third continued the climb to 10.66. Episode 4's rating of 10.89 million overtook 2010 ITV hit Downton Abbey as the largest first series audience for original drama on British television in recent years.[16]

In the United States, the series 1 transmission on PBS drew an average household audience rating of 2.1, translating into 3.0 million viewers – 50 percent above PBS' primetime average for the 2011–12 season.[17]

The second series opened with a record overnight audience of 9.3 million UK viewers,[18] going on to achieve a consolidated series average of 10.47 million viewers.[5] This was almost two million above the slot average, and by some distance the most popular UK drama in every week of transmission.[19] When viewing figures from BBC's iPlayer video streaming service and a narrative repeat were included as part of the BBC Live Plus 7 metric,[20] the total number of viewers per week was found to be almost 12 million.[21]

The critical reception for series two has praised the program's sharp blend of prime-time period charm and hard-hitting social commentary. Caitlin Moran in The Times called this "an iron hand in a velvet glove",[22] while Allison Pearson in The Daily Telegraph lauded its ability to "tickle the middle of the brow while touching the most anguished parts of the human condition".[23] In particular, commentators have noted the attention given to female social issues in the drama's post-war, pre-pill setting. Alison Graham in the Radio Times dubbed Call the Midwife "a magnificently subversive drama" and "the torchbearer of feminism on television,"[24] while Caitlin Moran claimed the series encapsulated "how unbelievably terrifying, dreary and vile it was to be a working-class woman 60 years ago.".[22]

International distribution[edit]

In May 2012, BBC Worldwide and the American Public Broadcasting Service PBS announced that the first season of Call the Midwife would premier in the United States on 30 September 2012.[25] BBC Worldwide has also sold the series to SVT (Sweden); NRK (Norway); RÚV (Iceland); Yle (Finland); AXN White (Spain; Portugal); ERT (Greece);[26][27] ABC in Australia and TVNZ in New Zealand, where its debut recorded a 35% share of the audience – 20% above average. In July 2012 BBC Worldwide announced it has sold the worldwide Video on Demand rights of the series to Netflix. According to BBC Worldwide America executive vice-president of sales and co-productions Matt Forde, BBC expects to sign another 13 to 15 deals for Call the Midwife with other international download-to-own and VoD services by the end of 2012.

The second season of Call the Midwife has been sold to PBS for transmission from 31 March 2013[28] and to SVT (Sweden) for transmission from 19 May 2013.[29]

In February 2013, BBC Worldwide reported that Call the Midwife had been sold in over one hundred global territories,[30] with global sales contributing to the UK's position as the second largest TV exporter behind the United States.[31]

In February 2014, the BBC reported that international sales of Call the Midwife had increased to almost 200 territories.[32]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Awards and nominations for Call the Midwife
Year Award Category Recipient Result
2012 British Academy Television Craft Awards Best Costume Design Amy Roberts Nominated
British Academy Television Awards Best Supporting Actress Miranda Hart Nominated
Prix Europa Best Episode of a TV Fiction Series or Serial Call The Midwife Nominated
TV Fiction Call The Midwife Nominated
TV Choice Awards, UK Best Actress Miranda Hart Won
Best New Drama Call The Midwife Won
2013 National Television Awards Drama Performance: Female Miranda Hart Won
TV and Radio Industries Club Award Drama Programme of the Year Call The Midwife Won
Royal Television Society Best Drama Series Call The Midwife Nominated
Christopher Award TV and Cable Prize Call The Midwife Won
British Academy Television Craft Awards Director - Fiction Philippa Lowthorpe Won
Make up and Hair Design Christine Walmesley-Cotham Won
British Academy Television Awards Audience award Call the Midwife Nominated
TV Choice Awards, UK Best Actress Miranda Hart Won
Best Drama Series Call The Midwife Nominated
2014 National Television Awards Drama Performance: Female Miranda Hart Nominated
Best Drama Call the Midwife Nominated
Satellite Award Best Actress in a Supporting Role in a Series, Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television Judy Parfitt Nominated
TV and Radio Industries Club Award Drama Programme of the Year Call The Midwife Nominated
2015 TV Choice Awards, UK Best Family Drama Call The Midwife Won

Production notes[edit]

The ship in the opening titles is the Shaw, Savill & Albion Line liner QSMV Dominion Monarch in dry dock at the King George V Dock and the road is Saville Road, Silvertown, east London.[33][34]

Many of the exterior scenes are shot at the Chatham Historic Dockyard.[35]

On 11 February 2013, Ben Stephenson, BBC Controller for Drama, announced that he had commissioned a 2013 Christmas special, and a third series of eight episodes to air in 2014.[36]

The fourth season aired in the US in 2015, finishing its eight episode run on 17 May.[37] A Christmas special aired in 2015 as well.

A fifth series was commissioned for 2016, shortly after series four was done filming.[38]

DVD and Blu-ray[edit]

The first season was released in a Region 2, two-disc set on 12 March 2012.[39] Season 2 was scheduled for release on 1 April 2013 in the UK (region 2)[40] with a collector's edition, Call the Midwife Collection, containing Seasons 1, 2 and the 2012 Christmas Special, released on the same date.[41]

In Australia (region 4), ABC released the DVD of Season 1 on 10 October 2012, shortly after it finished airing on ABC1.

In the United States, the first season was released on DVD and Blu-ray on 6 November 2012. Season 2 was scheduled for release on DVD and Blu-ray on 18 June 2013.[42] Season 3 was released on Blu-ray on 20 May 2014.[43] Season 4 was released on Blu-ray on 19 May 2015.[44]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Call the Midwife creator Heidi Thomas: TV series won't suffer when source material runs out". Radio Times. 12 February 2013. Retrieved 24 June 2014. 
  2. ^ "Call the Midwife series ends on ratings high". BBC News. 20 February 2012. Retrieved 17 April 2012. 
  3. ^ "BBC News - Call the Midwife set to return for a second series". BBC Online. 23 January 2012. Retrieved 6 March 2012. 
  4. ^ Sweney, Mark (23 January 2012). "BBC Calls the Midwife for a second series". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 6 March 2012. 
  5. ^ a b c "Top 30 Programmes - BARB". BARB. 21 March 2013. Retrieved 21 March 2013. 
  6. ^ "Digital Spy UK: Call the Midwife series 3 air date announced". BBC Online. 8 January 2014. Retrieved 23 April 2014. 
  7. ^ "The Labor-Intensive Life". The Wall Street Journal. 29 October 2012. Retrieved 29 October 2012. 
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External links[edit]