Once a feelgood family drama, BBC’s Call the Midwife has evolved into an emotional, hard hitting show, focusing on nurses and midwives in 1950’s and 60’s Poplar and how their role changed with time. This female-led show is one of the BBC’s most popular programmes, and is set primarily around Nonnatus House, a convent building where the nurses and nuns live. This series, while it has not been as dark as previous series, has covered some hard-hitting topics.
The first new inclusion into the group this series was Nurse Lucille Anderson, who has come to Nonnatus after immigrating from Jamaica to become a nurse. I loved her character. I thought she was sweet yet clever, and she made a fantastic addition to the cast. I also thought her storylines of facing prejudice and learning the differences in how girls are taught were really well done and and important to show within the context of the show. I thought she was great and I hope she stays for at least a couple of series!
Honestly, Sister Monica Joan sometimes annoys me. I feel that, although she is a lovely character, her behaviour can be irritating. I feel like sometimes the character can hit a bit too close to home which is why I struggle with her, although a lot of the time I would rather they give some more storylines to the other nuns. That being said, I thought her cataract storyline this series was very emotional, and she had a lot of sweet moments in series 7; the one that immediately comes to mind is when she laments that her sight is restored and yet Barbara is seriously ill in hospital. I don’t really know how much more they can advance Sister Monica Joan’s story, especially when Jenny mentioned a few series ago that she must already be in her 90’s, so I wouldn’t be surprised if her character dies somewhat soon.
The main reason I will remember this series is because of the Tom and Barbara storyline. I liked Tom and Barbara as a couple. Neither of them were my favourite character, but they were likeable and I thought they were a sweet couple, so I was quite glad when they returned mid-series. I was pretty sure a devastating storyline was coming, but I was sure it would happen in series 8 as they had only just returned, and I thought it was going to be along the lines of a miscarriage or a still birth, so the septicaemia storyline threw me a little. I also did not see her death coming as I was convinced they were going for an amputation storyline. The episodes surrounding Barbara’s death were so beautifully written and emotional and devastating and I wish I had written them.
I’m now wondering what they’re going to do between Tom and Trixie next series. I don’t feel that it’s right for them to necessarily have a relationship as the time for that has passed, but I am hoping to see a supportive friendship between them, both for Tom’s grief and Trixie’s drinking.
Overall, I quite enjoyed this series, however, I’m not sure if I will remember this series so much for the episodes and more for the characters. Whereas each season seems to have one storyline that I remember vividly, realistically I think this series will be marked off in my mind as the one when Barbara dies. Call the Midwife is still an incredibly strong drama and I can’t wait for the next series.
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