Call the Midwife

Category:Drama

‘Call the Midwife’ Renewed for a Fifth Series

It’s official: As filming wraps up on the fourth series of award-winning emotional tearfest Call the Midwife, the period drama has been renewed for a fifth season by the BBC.

The ladies of Nonnatus House are already slated to return for a Christmas special at the end of this year, with a full fourth season coming in the early part of 2015 (January for the lucky ducks in the UK, late March for those of us in America). But now, before these new episodes even have screened anywhere, the show’s been given a fresh order for an additional eight-part fifth series, set to screen in 2016. Whew.

This announcement is actually not that surprising, given that Call the Midwife is one of the UK’s most-watched dramas since it launched in 2012, averaging over ten million viewers per episode over all three series, and 11.4 million tuning in to the Series 3 premiere last year. Additionally, the show has proved an admirable performer for PBS here in the States, and has developed quite the enthusiastic fanbase. 

Category:Drama

Is 'Endeavour' Just the Beginning? Other British TV Characters That Should Get a Prequel

Endeavour has recently returned to Masterpiece Mystery for a second series and I must say I find it to be the most compelling show on PBS’ very British Sunday night line-up.  So far DC Morse (Shaun Evans) has solved intricate cases dealing with beauty queens, ancient artifacts, a boarding school for girls and a century’s old mass murder. In addition, I’m looking forward to discovering how the Freemasons play into all the mayhem being unleashed in Oxford.

As advertised when it first aired last summer, Endeavour is the origin story of the beloved Inspector Morse, who was played by the late John Thaw in the orignial series of the same name. This prequel is not only an opportunity to allow fans of the original series to see Morse solve a few more murders, but a peek into the past to discover how the promising young Endeavour developed into the brilliant but somewhat sullen detective he became. We get to witness his growing affinity for opera and drink, as well as get a glimpse of some people who will follow him through his police career. Fans love little homages like that and new viewers get to meet a well-written character with a definite destiny ahead of him.

The concept of the prequel got me to thinking about other series that might want to employ this narrative device. While some shows are all about character development and uncovering the layers, so to speak, there are other personalities that are so mysterious, eccentric or enigmatic you can’t help wondering how they got that way. 

Category:Drama

Vanessa Redgrave to Pop Up on ‘Call the Midwife’ Next Season

Iconic actress Vanessa Redgrave has been a part of the Call the Midwife cast since the show began in 2012, as the voice of Jennifer Worth (née Lee), whose memoirs provide the basis of the show and whose frequently heartwarming, occasionally treacle-y voiceover narration bookends each episode.

Her narration has become as much as part of the show as the midwives themselves – as evidenced by this Red Nose Day spoof from a couple years ago – so it’s a relief to know that Redgrave will indeed be continuing on in her role as the voice of reason and perspective, even though Jessica Raine – who plays the younger Jenny – has departed the canvas for the time being.

But that’s not all: Redgrave herself will actually appear herself in the period drama’s fourth season. The seventy-seven year old actress will appear in the 2014 Christmas special, which has just begun filming, playing the mature Worth onscreen for the first time.  My best guess: A later in life Worth explains how she knows all these stories when she left the midwives in 1959. After all, Worth did maintain a lifelong friendship with the residents of Nonnatus House, so it would make sense. 

Category:Drama

'Call the Midwife' Series 3: Episode 8 Recap

Previously, on Call the Midwife: You can catch up everything that happened during last week’s episode this way.

Okay, did everyone have their hankies ready for the finale of Call the Midwife Series 3?  As the saying goes, I have good news, bad news and for lack of a better term, bittersweet news that in fact is a new beginning for one of our major characters. So I’ve decided to begin with the good news…

Category:Drama

'Call the Midwife' Recap: Series 3, Episode 7

Previously on Call the Midwife: Catch up on everything that happened last week with the recap post, here.

By virtue of what midwives do, every installment of Call the Midwife features some element of motherhood.  However seeing as today is Mother’s Day in the US, the timing of this week’s episode is quite apropos considering it is almost exclusively about mothers and the burdens and struggles that they bear.

But before we get into the abundance of maternal storylines, let’s take care of other business. 

Category:Drama

'Call the Midwife' Recap: Series 3, Episode 6

Previously, on Call the Midwife: Catch up on last week's drama with the Episode 5 recap, right this way.  

If this week’s episode has a theme, it may be that when things don’t go the way you expected, there’s often something important to be gained from life’s little detours. Nurses Mount and Lee both experience the disappointment of a well laid plan – one career related the other romantic. And Shelagh Turner finally sees her way clear to pursue a different kind of motherhood.

Let’s begin, shall we?

Category:Drama

'Call the Midwife' Recap: Series 3, Episode 5

Previously, on Call the Midwife: Last week's episode featured a five-Kleenex warning for angst, and ushered in some big changes for all the characters. Catch up on everything that happened in the Episode 4 recap post.

This week we find that Nonnatus House is severely understaffed. Besides Jenny taking her compassionate leave at the mother house, an exhausted Sister Julienne has a fainting spell which results in Dr. Turner sending her away to rest for a fortnight! 

Reinforcements come in the form of Shelagh Turner who fills in for Sister Julienne as midwife administrator. This is actually perfect timing for the former nun who, at a loss for what to do with her time and talents, finds herself overprotectively smothering her polio-stricken step-son. 

Category:Drama

'Call the Midwife' Recap: Series 3 Episode 4

Previously on Call the Midwife: Read last week’s recap here.

This week’s installment was rather eventful. Several residents of Poplar found new meaning in their work. One regained her freedom and another shockingly lost his life far too young. These stories intertwine to form a fabric of triumph and tragedy. I propose we begin our recap on a more inspiring note; the bad news can be put on hold for a little while.

 

Category:Drama

'Call the Midwife' Recap: Series 3, Episode 3

Previously on Call the Midwife: Catch up on all the events of last week's episode in the Series 3, Episode 3 recap, which is right this way

Three very different stories of motherhood are woven into this week’s episode of Call the Midwife. There’s a lot to cover so let’s get right to it, shall we?

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