We can't wait!
A new series of Call the Midwife is just around the corner – and we couldn’t be more excited. Series six kicks off on January 22nd at 8pm, with even more plot twists and turns than Series 5. And series creator Heidi Thomas has revealed that the show will continue to push boundaries as it moves into the swinging sixties.
“My passion for the world and characters of Call The Midwife grows stronger with each passing year,” she said
“Every season brings new stories, new challenges and new triumphs. As the team settle back into Poplar after their South African adventure, we’ll see them grappling with all the contradictions and opportunities of the early 1960s – the beacon of the Pill, the shadow of the Kray twins, the lure of independence and the call to duty.
“And time and time again, in an age of change and danger, we will be reminded of the simple power of love.”
The eight-part series will also tackle a number of shock storylines, with the midwives of Nonnatus House dealing with dwarfism, Down’s Syndrome, dementia and homosexuality.
Viewers have already empathised with Sister Monica Joan’s plight as dementia slowly makes her world her an unfamiliar one. And now the actress who plays her – Judy Parfitt – has revealed that Sister Monica Joan will face the ultimate challenge. She’ll be called upon to assist at a birth in the forthcoming series.
“To work out the line that she takes on that was interesting.
“For me, she is a challenge. She’s highly educated but has incipient dementia, which gives her moments of great clarity, where she knows what she’s doing.
“And then goes back into her demented mode.”
Call the Midwife has already touched on the private struggle of women dealing with domestic violence, and the lack of support available for women in that period. The first episode sees the midwives called to support heavily pregnant Trudy Watts – whose husband has just been released from prison. Faced with divorce, eviction and the threat of loss of access to her children – her plight seems increasingly desperate.
The show has previously tackled the pregnancy and stillbirth of a young woman with Down’s Syndrome. And in this series Fred and his wife are called upon to help a young relative with the condition. As actor Cliff Parisi explains:
“His mother dies and so Vi and Fred are left with this dilemma – they are not sure how serious this Down’s thing is and it appears that this chap has been incredibly sheltered and protected by his mother and is incredibly vulnerable.
“It falls on them to try and sort it out. They discover how mental health was dealt with in those days, and how these kids were just slung into institutions. A lot were put into asylums, even in the 60s. It’s shocking.”
Nurse Patsy Mount, played by Emerald Fennell, is allocated to work with a couple with dwarfism. With fears that mum-to-be Penny Reed (Rachel Denning) could face a stillbirth, midwife and patient support each other during a difficult time for the couple.
Emerald says: “We have an amazing storyline about the complications that surround pregnancy with dwarfism.
“A bit like Thalidomide last year, it wasn’t something that I knew much about and it’s an incredibly moving, brilliant, clever storyline.”
The changing landscape of 1960s East London, sees the nuns and nurses encounter FGM for the first time, with Somali mum Nadifa revealing that she has been circumcised.
Linda Bassett, 66, who plays Nurse Crane, says: “These are all real things that happened then and are happening now. The world wasn’t a sweeter, nicer place in 1962.”
Stephen McGann – who plays Dr Turner – revealed that the series will examine early complications with the pill – which was only prescribed to married women when introduced in 1961. Explaining further McGann reveals: “It was limited, it was restricted.
“There was still a vestigial fear of immoral women going off with the Pill, and the whole of society might fall.”
While the contingent of midwives were in South Africa Sister Ursula was put in charge of operations at Nonnatus House. Drafting in a series of controversial changes, Sister Julienne’s vow of obedience means she is unable to challenge her.
Consequently things are shaken up at the sister’s normally peaceful residence. Jack Ashton, who plays vicar Tom Hereward, warns: “She puts the cat amongst the pigeons.”
Finally the series looks at Nurse Patsy Mount’s blossoming relationship with fellow nurse Delia Busby. Talking to Woman’s Own actress Emerald Fennel revealed:
“They’ve been to Paris and got some souvenirs, so Patsy and Delia are in a lovely place.”
So much drama!
So what do you think of the new storylines? Join the conversation on our Facebook page. As a result you can let us know what you think.
If the weekly wait is too much to handle between episodes and you want to relive some of your favourite moments, or you are needing to catch up on the previous seasons, you can find seasons 1-4 of Call the Midwife available to watch on Netflix here. Netflix packages start at £5.99 a month, with the first month free: www.netflix.com.
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