Returning: Call the Midwife

S10 gets fast-tracked to BBC First later this month.

BBC First is celebrating 10 years of Call the Midwife by fast-tracking the 10th season, to screen same day as the UK.

It gets an express morning broadcast but comes with an evening replay on Monday April 19.

Starring Emmy award winning actress Jenny Agutter, Linda Bassett, Helen George and Leonie Elliot, this series it set in 1966, and it’s a testing time for the midwives. But there’s excitement, too, as the women’s rights movement intensifies. With Trixie’s help, Sister Julienne is determined to steer Nonnatus House out of its financial quandary. Dr Turner deals with an array of difficult cases including a former soldier involved in nuclear test explosions. Meanwhile, Sister Monica Joan experiences a crisis of faith, and Sister Frances realises she needs to be a little less spiritual if she’s to really connect with the local women. There are some interesting challenges ahead, as well as great celebrations when England wins the World Cup.

The series begins with change on the horizon in Poplar. Sister Julienne (Jenny Agutter) must determine whether a private clinic venture that will generate much needed income for Nonnatus House is a suitable workplace for the Sisters, and enlists the help of Trixie (Helen George).

The plan causes great tension between Sister Julienne and Dr Turner (Stephen McGann) who is strongly against private health care. Their first falling out in over 20 years is felt by all, in particular Shelagh (Laura Main) who feels caught in the middle. Trixie, however, is thrilled to be challenged professionally and agrees to spend six weeks at the Lady Emily Clinic.

Lucille (Leonie Elliott) and Sister Frances (Ella Bruccoleri) are startled when a baby boy is born without legs below the knee. Sister Frances alerts Dr Turner, who frets this could be another Thalidomide case. Perturbed by the event, he determines to uncover the cause.

Meanwhile, with the Church’s financial support, Cyril (Zephryn Taite) moves into the flat above the Buckle’s paper shop, while Sister Monica Joan’s (Judy Parfitt) crisis of faith continues to weigh heavily on her mind.

Since the show began, Call the Midwife has been unafraid to tackle challenging issues throughout the storylines. The series has stimulated an interest, and brought to the forefront, an incredible number of public health and social issues. It is a period drama effecting change in the 21st century. Some of the issues tackled over the years include racism/migration to the UK from Commonwealth/Windrush era, interracial relationships, motherhood and disability, down’s syndrome, mental health, domestic abuse, adoption, drug addiction, alcoholism plus many more.

10am Monday April 19 on BBC First (replay 7.30pm).

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