Call the Midwife delivers its 10th series

Sunday: Call the Midwife; (BBC1, 8pm)

Saturday, 17th April 2021, 5:00 pm
Nurse Phyllis Crane and Nurse Trixi

The hit drama Call the Midwife is back for its 10th series, which is a big achievement for any show.

It’s arguably even more impressive to reach that milestone in 2021 as, for the latest run, the cast and crew had to contend with Covid-19 restrictions.

However, according to the show’s creator and writer Heidi Thomas, that may have been less of an adjustment than you might think.

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She explains: “In some ways we had a head start, as when you have as many newborn babies on set as we do, you are never more than six inches from a bottle of sanitiser! The new rules have become second nature.”

Still, it took a lot of work for the team to pull off the 2020 Christmas special under such challenging conditions, let alone a new seven-part series. Actress Helen George, who has played Trixie since the series launched, certainly thinks that’s a case for celebration.

She says: “The 10th anniversary is a really big deal for Call the Midwife. We started out thinking it would just be a small show for six episodes, and here we are 10 years later! Being with a character that long, you see them grow and change. When I look back to Trixie very early on, the journey she has gone on has been huge.”

While Call the Midwife has become a much-loved Sunday-night staple, Helen certainly doesn’t take its continued success for granted: “It means a lot that people are still watching the show after 10 years. Especially during lockdown, people have been going back to the first series and watching it all from the start. That’s a lot of episodes! But it’s great that people are still wanting the show and wanting us there.

“Not many people get to do a show for 10 years with the viewing figures we’re still getting. I feel very proud to be in a show that is watched throughout the world, and by so many different age groups as well. I feel really honoured to be part of it.

Her character is back in the thick of it in this opening episode, as Sister Julienne (Jenny Agutter) has a big decision to make regarding a private clinic venture that will generate some much-needed income for Nonnatus House.

Trixie is thrilled at the idea of a new professional challenge, but Dr Turner (Stephen McGann) is strongly against private health care, which leads to his first falling out with Sister Julienne in 20 years – and leaves Shelagh (Laura Main) feeling caught in the middle.

That’s not the only problem facing Dr Turner as he fears he’s dealing with another Thalidomide case after Lucille (Leonie Elliott) and Sister Frances (Ella Bruccoleri) report that a baby boy has been born without legs below the knee. Cyril (Zephryn Taite) moves into a new flat, while Sister Monica Joan continues to struggle with her crisis of faith.

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