Call the Midwife Series 4

First Look at 'Call the Midwife' Series 4

It’s official: It’s almost time for a new season of Call the Midwife! Everyone’s favorite tear-jerking period drama is headed back to our screens for a fourth season (it’s already been renewed for a fifth, by the way) and the BBC has finally released the first trailer the show’s return. It is, as you might expect, a rather potent mixture of tears, laughter, drama and a proposal for one of our favorite characters.

This season will mark the first without original Call the Midwife star Jessica Raines, but as we saw in the recent holiday special, while Nurse Jenny Lee is certainly missed, the show is more than capable of carrying on merrily (or sniffle-y or whatever you want to call it) along without her. In her absence, a few new faces will be joining the crew at Nonnatus House – Fresh Meat’s Charlotte Ritchie and Lark Rise to Candleford’s Linda Bassett, who will play nurses Barbara Gilbert and Phyllis Crane, respectively.

First Look at the ‘Call the Midwife’ 2014 Christmas Special

Rejoice, Call the Midwife fans – it’s almost time to return to Nonnatus House for the midwives annual holiday episode, and in celebration the BBC has released the first trailer for this upcoming special.

The clip is all sorts of festive, featuring Christmas crackers, an enormous tree, a nativity play and a handful of platitudes, all backed by a moving over of “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas”. It’s pretty much a textbook holiday spot, and it’s enough to make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside after just 30 seconds. Of course, there’s also a dash of the standard emotional angst, and adorable newborns, but, hey, that’s fairly standard fare for Call the Midwife.

And, while it’s strange to see a clip without star Jessica Raine – who departed at the end of Series 3 – it’s equally as strange to feel okay about that. The show looks pretty much the same – and by that I mean I think we can assume it’s going to be just fine.

‘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.

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.

'Call the Midwife' to Return for a Fourth Season in 2015

If there’s one positive thing to be said for the life of an American British TV fan – besides the fact that we all obviously have impeccable taste in what to watch – it’s that we tend to get a lot of good news about our favorite shows at oddly convenient times. For example, we know that department store period drama Mr. Selfridge will be back for a third season, and Series 2 hasn’t even started in the States yet. (It premieres March 30.) Fans can rest easy already about it's future - which is a luxury we don't get for most shows!

Happily, there’s some similarly excellent news for fans of popular period drama Call the Midwife. The BBC has officially renewed the show for a fourth season, which is slated to go into production later this year, with an eye to an early 2015 transmission.