List of Call the Midwife episodes

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Four nurses on the top half of the cover; nuns on the bottom half
The cover of the DVD box set comprising the first four series and three Christmas specials

Call the Midwife is a British period drama television series based on the best-selling memoirs of former nurse Jennifer Worth, who died shortly before the first episode was broadcast.[1] It is set in the late 1950s and early 1960s and for the first three series centred primarily on Jenny Lee (Jessica Raine), who, in the first episode, begins a new job as a midwife at a nursing convent in the deprived Poplar district of London. The programme's ensemble cast has also included Jenny Agutter, Pam Ferris, Judy Parfitt and Laura Main as nuns living at the convent, and Miranda Hart, Helen George, Bryony Hannah, Charlotte Ritchie and Emerald Fennell as other midwives. Vanessa Redgrave delivers framing voiceovers in the role of "mature Jenny",[2] and continues to do so even after the younger version of the character was written out of the series.

The idea of adapting Worth's books for television was initially dismissed by the BBC,[1] but revived after Danny Cohen took over the post of Controller of BBC One. A full series was commissioned in 2011[3] and writer Heidi Thomas adapted Worth's books for the screen.[4] The first episode was broadcast on 15 January 2012 and the initial series of six episodes drew positive reviews and large viewing figures, said by the BBC to be the highest audiences achieved by a new drama series on BBC One since the corporation's current method of measuring audiences began in 2001.[5] Following the second episode, the BBC announced that a second series, expanded from six to eight episodes, had been commissioned.[6] In September 2012 the programme won the Best New Drama award and Hart was named Best Actress at the TV Choice Awards.[7]

The second series began on 20 January 2013, and during the run BBC Controller for Drama Ben Stephenson announced that he had commissioned a 2013 Christmas special and a third series of eight episodes to be broadcast in 2014,[8] despite the fact that all the original source material had been exhausted by the end of the second series.[1] The series has also achieved success outside the UK. In the United States, the first series' transmission on PBS in the autumn of 2012 drew an average audience of three million viewers. This figure was 50% higher than the network's primetime average for the 2011–12 season.[9]

In December 2015, BBC director general Tony Hall announced that the series had already been commissioned for a 2016 Christmas special and a sixth series, set to consist of eight episodes.[10] The Christmas special was set in a missionary hospital in South Africa, and subsequent episodes will see the characters adapting after their return to Poplar as they move into 1962. In November 2016, the BBC announced it has commissioned three further series and Christmas specials, through to a ninth series, moving the plot into the mid-sixties.[11] As of 12 March 2017, 51 episodes of Call the Midwife have aired, concluding the sixth series.

Series overview

Series Episodes Originally aired Ave. UK viewers
(millions)
First aired Last aired
1 6 15 January 2012 (2012-01-15) 19 February 2012 (2012-02-19) 10.61
2 8 (+1) 25 December 2012 (special)
20 January 2013 (2013-01-20)
10 March 2013 (2013-03-10) 10.47
3 8 (+1) 25 December 2013 (special)
19 January 2014 (2014-01-19)
9 March 2014 (2014-03-09) 10.54
4 8 (+1) 25 December 2014 (special)
18 January 2015 (2015-01-18)
8 March 2015 (2015-03-08) 10.82[a]
5 8 (+1) 25 December 2015 (special)
17 January 2016 (2016-01-17)
6 March 2016 (2016-03-06) 10.54[a]
6 8 (+1) 25 December 2016 (special)
22 January 2017 (2017-01-22)
12 March 2017 (2017-03-12) TBA

Episodes

Series 1 (2012)

Series 1
No.
overall
No. in
series
Title Directed by Written by Original air date UK viewers
(millions) [12]
1 1 "Episode 1" Philippa Lowthorpe Heidi Thomas 15 January 2012 (2012-01-15) 9.83
In 1957, Jenny Lee (Jessica Raine) arrives for her new job at Nonnatus House, a nursing convent in the Poplar district of London. The convent is home to a small order of nuns consisting of Sisters Julienne (Jenny Agutter), Evangelina (Pam Ferris), Bernadette (Laura Main), and Monica Joan (Judy Parfitt). Two other midwives, Trixie Franklin (Helen George) and Cynthia Miller (Bryony Hannah), already work at the convent, as does handyman Fred (Cliff Parisi). Jenny also meets local physician Dr. Patrick Turner (Stephen McGann). After some initial difficulties fitting in, Jenny's first assigned expectant mother is Conchita Warren, a Spanish woman who already has a huge family. Conchita suffers a concussion in a fall, which also triggers premature labour, making Jenny's first delivery a traumatic and difficult one which she must handle alone.
2 2 "Episode 2" Philippa Lowthorpe Heidi Thomas 22 January 2012 (2012-01-22) 10.47
New midwife Camilla Fortescue-Cholmondeley-Browne, nicknamed Chummy (Miranda Hart), arrives at the convent to begin work. She hails from an upper-class background and aspires to become a Christian missionary, but finds getting to grips with her new job difficult and Sister Evangelina a harsh critic. While struggling to learn to ride a bicycle (which the midwives use to make their rounds), she encounters local policeman Peter Noakes (Ben Caplan). Meanwhile, Jenny befriends Mary, a pregnant teenaged girl from Ireland, who was forced into prostitution upon her arrival in London but wants to try to make a better life for herself and her child. Ultimately, reflecting the morals of the era, Mary's baby is removed from her after the birth.
3 3 "Episode 3" Philippa Lowthorpe Jack Williams 29 January 2012 (2012-01-29) 10.66
While undertaking district nursing work, Jenny befriends Joe, an elderly former soldier who now lives alone in a run-down flat, in a tenement block which has been condemned. Jenny attempts to revive his spirits by helping him attend an upcoming reunion of his old regiment. Meanwhile, Trixie and Cynthia deal with the case of a woman in her forties who is upset at having become pregnant comparatively late in life, even though her husband is delighted at the prospect.
4 4 "Episode 4" Jamie Payne Esther Wilson 5 February 2012 (2012-02-05) 10.89
Jenny delivers a baby girl to Shirley Redmond, but soon afterwards the newborn disappears from her pram, leading to a tense and widespread search. Following a hunch, Jenny discovers the child was snatched by Mary, the Irish girl whom she had befriended previously and who was left traumatised by having her own child taken from her. At Jenny's request, the nuns of Nonnatus House petition the police not to prosecute the young runaway. Meanwhile, Cynthia deals with the case of a middle-aged headmaster and his young wife who are expecting their first child, but the couple are devastated when the wife is afflicted by eclampsia.
5 5 "Episode 5" Jamie Payne Harriet Warner 12 February 2012 (2012-02-12) 10.42
The nuns and midwives come to the assistance of their cleaner, Peggy, whose brother has been diagnosed with cancer. While caring for him, Jenny learns about how the siblings grew up together in a harsh workhouse and how they developed an incestuous relationship which has persisted ever since. Meanwhile, Fred has acquired a pig and plans to make money by selling its bacon, but he soon discovers the pig is pregnant and can no longer bring himself to raise it for food. He enlists the help of the midwives, who for once must assist in the birth of animals rather than humans.
6 6 "Episode 6" Jamie Payne Heidi Thomas 19 February 2012 (2012-02-19) 11.41
Sister Monica Joan, whose mental health has long been a concern, contracts pneumonia after roaming the streets at night in a state of emotional distress and is subsequently arrested for theft and put on trial. Meanwhile, Chummy's mother visits her to pass judgement on PC Noakes, whom the midwife is courting, but the aristocratic but now impoverished Lady Browne clearly does not approve of her daughter's relationship with a working-class man. Desperate to please her mother, Chummy decides that the only course of action is to end her relationship with the policeman. The other midwives convince her to change her mind, and the episode concludes with the couple's wedding.

Series 2 (2013)

Christmas special
No.
overall
Title Directed by Written by Original air date UK viewers
(millions) [12]
7 "Christmas special" Philippa Lowthorpe Heidi Thomas 25 December 2012 (2012-12-25) 10.18
As it is Nurse Lee's first Christmas in Poplar, she is put in charge of caring for the destitute Mrs Jenkins alongside one of the sisters. Mrs Jenkins mistakes Jenny for her daughter Rosie, whom she lost when admitted to the workhouse. Chummy is busy preparing for the nativity play, which will be performed for the Mayor of Poplar, and all hands are needed to produce the ever growing number of costumes and props needed for the play. Meanwhile, a young teenage girl who helps her mother with her brothers is also secretly pregnant, and when a baby is left at the convent's front door, the infant's mother must be found.
Series 2
No.
overall
No. in
series
Title Directed by Written by Original air date UK viewers
(millions) [12]
8 1 "Episode 1" Philippa Lowthorpe Heidi Thomas 20 January 2013 (2013-01-20) 10.79
Jenny is assigned a new patient, Molly Brignall, who has an abusive husband, and Jenny must handle the case very carefully. Trixie and Sister Evangelina are called to a foreign cargo ship docked in London and discover that the captain's daughter is about to have a baby after her father has brought her along and allowed various members of the crew to have sex with her as a way of relieving the tensions of the long periods spent at sea.
9 2 "Episode 2" Roger Goldby Harriet Warner 27 January 2013 (2013-01-27) 10.24
A baby delivered by Cynthia dies in mysterious circumstances soon afterwards. The police become involved, and other pregnant women refuse to allow the shy young midwife to attend them, bringing Cynthia to the verge of a breakdown. Chummy's decision to apply to undertake missionary work in Africa leads her to question her priorities. Meanwhile, a chance encounter returns former boyfriend Jimmy to Jenny's life, but she is surprised to find that he has a pregnant girlfriend.
10 3 "Episode 3" Roger Goldby Heidi Thomas & John Martin Johnson 3 February 2013 (2013-02-03) 10.85
Jenny is reluctantly seconded to the London Hospital and finds herself working on the male surgical ward under a stern surgeon with whom she finds herself clashing. In the absence of Jenny and Chummy, a new orderly, the shy and withdrawn Jane Sutton (Dorothy Atkinson), fills in at Nonnatus House. The staff deal with a formidable pair of twins who share a husband; one of them is now pregnant and the other refuses to allow her to be treated by the midwives. Jenny once again crosses paths with Jimmy, who has been hospitalised, and she helps to save his life when the surgeon misdiagnoses him.
11 4 "Episode 4" Roger Goldby Mark Catley 10 February 2013 (2013-02-10) 10.42
Back in Poplar, Jenny assists at the birth of a baby boy who is born with spina bifida. His parents cannot come to terms with their son's condition, which also affects Jenny. Meanwhile, the mousy Jane undergoes a somewhat hesitant romance with the Reverend Thornton Applebee-Thornton, an Anglican priest staying at Nonnatus House.
12 5 "Episode 5" China Moo-Young Heidi Thomas 17 February 2013 (2013-02-17) 10.15
Sister Bernadette suffers a crisis as she struggles to come to terms with her burgeoning romantic feelings for Dr. Turner. Preparations are underway for the annual summer fete and Trixie volunteers to enlist a celebrity judge for the baby show, but when she secures the services of a top television star, he turns out to have a darker side when he tries to force himself on her. Jenny meets an expectant mother who already has eight children and does not believe she will be able to cope with another. After Jenny's attempts to reassure her fail, she undergoes an illegal abortion which leaves her fighting for her life.
13 6 "Episode 6" China Moo-Young Jess Williams 24 February 2013 (2013-02-24) 10.26
Fearing an epidemic of tuberculosis, Dr. Turner arranges for a mass X-ray programme to come to Poplar. When Sister Bernadette undergoes a chest X-ray to encourage a reluctant girl, she is devastated to discover that she has the illness. Jenny encounters a dying pub owner who lost almost his entire family to tuberculosis, and must try to reconcile him with his only surviving child.
14 7 "Episode 7" Minkie Spiro Harriet Warner 3 March 2013 (2013-03-03) 10.68
Chummy and Peter return to Poplar, revealing the surprise that she is pregnant. Sister Evangelina and Fred try out a new scooter. Jenny tends to a Jamaican immigrant who struggles to deal with racial abuse from her neighbours even as she goes into labour, while Cynthia deals with a diabetic pub owner who bullies his wife. Sister Bernadette comes to a decision about her feelings for Dr. Turner.
15 8 "Episode 8" Minkie Spiro Heidi Thomas 10 March 2013 (2013-03-10) 10.38
As Chummy and Peter prepare to become parents, Fred has a visit from his daughter Dolly, who also has a baby on the way. Sister Bernadette's health crisis has passed and she will soon be free to leave the sanatorium, but she must now decide whether to return to Nonnatus House or leave the order. Jimmy reappears, accompanied by his handsome colleague Alec, having been tasked by the council to survey the buildings in the area. Alec seems keen on Jenny, and an evening out to a jazz club sees romance blossom. Chummy goes into labour and gives birth to a son whom she names Fred. Sister Bernadette resigns as a nun, and she and Dr Turner become engaged. But there is bad news for the midwives as Nonnatus House is earmarked for demolition.

Series 3 (2014)

Christmas special
No.
overall
Title Directed by Written by Original air date UK viewers
(millions) [12]
16 "Christmas special" Thea Sharrock Heidi Thomas 25 December 2013 (2013-12-25) 9.16
Shelagh (formerly Sister Bernadette) agonises over her decision to leave the convent and marry Dr Turner, and when his son Timothy is diagnosed with polio the wedding is called off. Trixie tries to help a patient's husband who has been traumatised by his time fighting in the Korean War. An unexploded German bomb is discovered near the convent, forcing local residents to flee their homes. Ultimately Shelagh and Dr Turner's wedding takes place, but damage caused by the controlled detonation of the bomb advances the demolition of Nonnatus House.
Series 3
No.
overall
No. in
series
Title Directed by Written by Original air date UK viewers
(millions) [12]
17 1 "Episode 1" Thea Sharrock Heidi Thomas 19 January 2014 (2014-01-19) 11.35
It is now 1959, and the nuns and midwives move into a new Nonnatus House, joined by new arrival Sister Winifred (Victoria Yeates), while Chummy struggles to adjust to life as a housewife. The weekly clinics are also at a new location and it proves hard to raise awareness until Chummy manages to arrange for Princess Margaret to make an official visit. Jenny and Dr. Turner find it hard to identify why a mother's two children are regularly ill, but an antique book belonging to Sister Monica Joan unexpectedly provides the clue that leads to a diagnosis of the then little-known condition cystic fibrosis. After delivering a baby in an emergency, Chummy is asked to return to Nonnatus House as a part-time midwife.
18 2 "Episode 2" Juliet May Harriet Warner 26 January 2014 (2014-01-26) 10.83
Jenny is promoted to the position of nursing sister over the more experienced Trixie, which causes resentment between the pair. After attending a lecture by a prominent doctor, Cynthia attempts to introduce more modern approaches to relaxation and pain relief during childbirth, but meets resistance from Sister Evangelina. Ultimately, however, her methods are vindicated when they help a young mother cope with a difficult birth. Jenny deals with Doris, a mother with an aggressive husband whose delivery will reveal her infidelity. She plans to abandon the baby but is persuaded by Jenny to follow the proper procedures for having the infant adopted. Despite their best efforts, Doris' husband discovers her secret, forcing a more hasty and distressing parting between mother and child.
19 3 "Episode 3" Juliet May Liz Lake 2 February 2014 (2014-02-02) 10.55
When the regular midwifery team at HM Prison Holloway is stricken with influenza, Sister Julienne and Trixie are drafted in to cover, and both find the conditions hard to deal with. Sister Julienne becomes involved with Stella Crangle, a heavily pregnant inmate who wishes to better herself and is afraid that after she has given birth the prison authorities will remove her child from her. Sister Julienne and Trixie meet Chaplain Tom Hereward while at the prison. Shelagh and Dr. Turner long to start a family and are devastated when it is found that, as a result of her earlier tuberculosis, she is unable to have children. Fred secures theatre tickets as a treat for Chummy's birthday but is left embarrassed when they turn out to be counterfeit.
20 4 "Episode 4" Juliet May Gabbie Asher and Heidi Thomas 9 February 2014 (2014-02-09) 10.23
When Jenny's boyfriend Alec invites her to spend the weekend with him in Brighton, she is suspicious of his motives. Soon afterwards, he is involved in an accident at work and, although he initially seems to be recovering, he takes a turn for the worse and dies, leaving Jenny devastated. Sister Winifred helps an elderly Jewish woman who has not left her flat for twelve years. Shelagh attempts to find a new purpose in life by reviving the Poplar Choral Society. Jenny is persuaded to take compassionate leave and go to stay at the nuns' "mother house" for a time.
21 5 "Episode 5" China Moo-Young Heidi Thomas 16 February 2014 (2014-02-16) 10.15
With Jenny away and Sister Julienne taken ill, Shelagh takes over the administration of Nonnatus House and engages the services of new midwife Patsy Mount (Emerald Fennell). The staff are planning a jubilee party to mark the anniversary of Sister Evangelina having taken her final vows, but she is opposed to the celebration. An attempt to contact her family leads to an unwelcome encounter with her brother, an alcoholic derelict. Meanwhile, Sally, a woman with Down's syndrome, living in a residential home, has become pregnant. Her family are angry and believe that one of the staff must have abused her, but it turns out she has formed a relationship with Jacob, another resident at the home. The staff refuse to accept that the couple's relationship is genuine and, after the baby is stillborn, Jacob is removed to another home in Scotland. Jessica Raine retains top billing for this episode, even though she is only seen briefly in a non-speaking role.
22 6 "Episode 6" China Moo-Young Damian Wayling 23 February 2014 (2014-02-23) 10.49
Trixie is delighted when handsome curate Tom Hereward invites her to a cricket match, but is less impressed to find that they are taking a group of Cub Scouts to Clacton-on-Sea in a run-down old bus which breaks down en route. Patsy recognises a patient's mystery ailment as the legacy of a tropical disease contracted in a prisoner-of-war camp in the Far East, and reveals that she grew up in Singapore and was herself in an internment camp during the Second World War. Shelagh and Dr. Turner resolve to look into adopting a child. Jessica Raine does not appear at all in this episode.
23 7 "Episode 7" Minkie Spiro Harriet Warner 2 March 2014 (2014-03-02) 10.65
Jenny returns to work, but is seconded to the London Hospital, where she finds her approach to patient care hampered by strict regulations. Chummy is surprised to find that her parents have separated, and invites her mother to stay, despite the haughty Lady Browne's disdain for her daughter's lifestyle. Later, Chummy is devastated to learn that her mother is suffering from terminal cancer. Sister Julienne and Cynthia help a young mother who, after giving birth, displays increasingly irrational behaviour, nearly jumping off a bridge with her baby. She is eventually diagnosed with puerperal psychosis and sent to a mental institution for treatment. Shelagh and Dr. Turner's plan to adopt a child is threatened when background checks reveal that he spent time in a military mental institution after serving in the Second World War.
24 8 "Episode 8" Minkie Spiro Heidi Thomas 9 March 2014 (2014-03-09) 10.09
Shelagh and Dr. Turner are approved for adoption and become the parents of a baby girl. Chummy's colleagues rally round as her mother's condition deteriorates and Lady Browne eventually dies peacefully in bed at Chummy's house. The experience has a particular effect on Jenny, who decides that her vocation now lies with caring for the terminally ill, and she resigns from Nonnatus House, leaving midwifery behind to begin a new career as a Marie Curie nurse.

Series 4 (2015)

Christmas special
No.
overall
Title Directed by Written by Original air date UK viewers
(millions) [12]
25 "Christmas special" Thaddeus O'Sullivan Heidi Thomas 25 December 2014 (2014-12-25) 9.69
When harsh conditions at a home for unmarried expectant mothers are exposed, Chummy and Patsy are required to take over the running of the home, and later help a young mother decide that she is not as set on giving her baby up for adoption as she had thought. Cynthia wrestles with a calling to become a nun, but an encounter with a former mental hospital inmate helps her to make up her mind and she leaves midwifery behind to become a postulant. Although the character of Jenny was written out at the end of the previous series, Vanessa Redgrave continues to provide voice-overs as "mature" Jenny and appears on-screen for the first time in a framing sequence set in 2005.
Series 4
No.
overall
No. in
series
Title Directed by Written by Original air date UK viewers
(millions) [12]
26 1 "Episode 1" Thaddeus O'Sullivan Heidi Thomas 18 January 2015 (2015-01-18) 10.55
In 1960, new nurse Barbara Gilbert (Charlotte Ritchie) arrives to take up duties at Nonnatus House, but struggles to make a good first impression, especially when a late-night drinking session with Trixie and Patsy leaves her extremely hungover. Trixie helps a family of four children who are regularly left alone by their mother in conditions of abject squalor, which brings back bad memories of her own childhood. Impressed by the qualities she displays in dealing with the situation, her boyfriend Tom asks her to marry him. Sister Evangelina finally seeks help for pains which have been troubling her for some time. Chummy temporarily leaves Nonnatus House to take over as matron of the mother and baby home.
27 2 "Episode 2" Juliet May Heidi Thomas 25 January 2015 (2015-01-25) 10.98
Another new nurse, Phyllis Crane (Linda Bassett), joins the staff at Nonnatus House and infuriates the staff, especially Sister Evangelina, with her officious manner. Sister Julienne is delighted when rich benefactor Charles Newgarden (Nicholas Farrell) resolves to leave a legacy to the convent, but finds herself tormented when it is revealed that it is a man with whom she shared a romantic relationship 30 years earlier. Barbara and Patsy are both devastated when they deliver a stillborn child to a young Trinidadian mother, but everyone is delighted when her labour continues and a healthy twin is born. Trixie's obsession with organising an extravagant engagement party threatens to drive a wedge between her and Tom.
28 3 "Episode 3" Juliet May Harriet Warner 1 February 2015 (2015-02-01) 11.07
The community is outraged and opinions divided at Nonnatus House when an expectant father is charged with gross indecency after being caught committing homosexual acts (at the time illegal in the United Kingdom). He is ordered to undergo hormone treatment, and the couple are despised and shunned by neighbours. Phyllis investigates when she realises that an impoverished Irish immigrant woman has lied about where she lives. Dr. Turner and Shelagh are able to trace the source of an outbreak of dysentery to a food delivery service.
29 4 "Episode 4" Amy Neil Damian Wayling 8 February 2015 (2015-02-08) 10.92
After an encounter with a young prostitute who is both pregnant and infected with syphilis, Sister Winifred attempts to spread the message of safe sex among the prostitutes of the neighbourhood. Barbara deals with a man who is so desperate to have a son to inherit the family business that he will accept no other outcome for his wife's pregnancy. Sister Monica Joan finds a new sense of purpose when she is unexpectedly forced to assist Shelagh with a birth. After learning that Tom will be assigned to a lower-class, very far-off parish in Newcastle, Trixie breaks off her engagement to him, passing out after consuming a large amount of alcoholic drink to cope, forcing an exhausted Barbara to serve as midwife in her third delivery of the day.
30 5 "Episode 5" Dominic Leclerc Carolyn Bonnyman 15 February 2015 (2015-02-15) 11.27
When a baby suffers two fractures in mysterious circumstances, suspicion falls on his parents, who are Christian Scientists and hesitant against any medical treatment. Dr Turner arranges for the child to be taken into care, but later realises that the baby actually has osteogenesis imperfecta, a rare bone disease. The doctor's guilt over the unnecessary suffering he has put the parents through, combined with overwork, drives him to illness. Shelagh attempts to take over running the surgery, but is not taken seriously until she dons a nurse's uniform. Barbara endeavours to help a Sylheti (Bengali) woman whose pregnancy is complicated by the fact that she cannot speak English and has diphtheria. Cynthia, now Sister Mary Cynthia, returns to Nonnatus House.
31 6 "Episode 6" Dominic Leclerc Heidi Thomas 22 February 2015 (2015-02-22) 10.53
Sister Mary Cynthia befriends a group of Irish Travellers camped on a bombsite, but things become complicated when one of the women goes into labour just as police arrive to evict the travellers from the site. When an unwed, diabetic teenage girl finds she is pregnant, she is advised to have a termination due to the potential complications that her diabetes may cause. Rather than lose her baby, she goes on the run with her boyfriend, but without a supply of insulin she becomes dangerously ill, and her boyfriend must act quickly to save her life.
32 7 "Episode 7" Darcia Martin Harriet Warner 1 March 2015 (2015-03-01) 10.57
Two former school friends give birth at the maternity home on the same day, but in the confusion of a fire evacuation Sister Evangelina accidentally switches the babies. When the mistake is revealed, the two sets of parents have differing views on how the situation should be resolved. An elderly couple who have not been apart since the war must face separation when one is diagnosed with cancer. Fred proposes to shopkeeper Violet, while Patsy must conceal her relationship with nurse Delia.
33 8 "Episode 8" Darcia Martin Heidi Thomas 8 March 2015 (2015-03-08) 10.64
Chummy returns to Nonnatus House. Trixie helps a deaf patient who is concerned that her child may inherit her condition. A patient whose severe sickness is initially dismissed as mere nerves is diagnosed with the serious condition hyperemesis gravidarum but treated with the revolutionary drug thalidomide. Fred's daughter Marlene's interference causes his relationship with Violet to flounder, but with the help of Chummy, the couple are reunited and marry. Patsy is heartbroken when Delia is left with amnesia following a traffic accident and has no recollection of her. Trixie admits that she is an alcoholic and joins an alcoholic support group with the help of Sister Mary Cynthia.

Series 5 (2016)

Christmas special
No.
overall
Title Directed by Written by Original air date UK viewers
(millions) [12]
34 "Christmas special" Juliet May Heidi Thomas 25 December 2015 (2015-12-25) 10.13
The BBC plan to televise a carol service from Poplar, but Shelagh's plans for the event are thrown into chaos when the children's choir she has organised is quarantined due to a measles outbreak. Following an argument, Sister Monica Joan goes missing, and when a body is found in the river the nuns fear the worst. This proves to be a false alarm, however, and the elderly nun is eventually tracked down at the now-abandoned country house which had been her childhood home. A partly-recovered Delia re-enters Patsy's life.
Series 5
No.
overall
No. in
series
Title Directed by Written by Original air date UK viewers
(millions) [12]
35 1 "Episode 1" Syd Macartney Heidi Thomas 17 January 2016 (2016-01-17) 10.40
It is now 1961. When a baby is born with severe deformities, the midwives find it difficult to handle the situation, and the baby's father rejects her completely, to his wife's dismay. Trixie's new sideline as a keep fit instructor brings her into conflict with Sister Julienne, and she also becomes suspicious of the relationship between Barbara and Tom. Rather than return to Wales as her mother wishes, Delia is invited to move into Nonnatus House.
36 2 "Episode 2" Syd Macartney Harriet Warner 24 January 2016 (2016-01-24) 10.44
Sister Evangelina's vocal opposition to mothers using formula milk causes a young woman who is unable to breastfeed to doubt her abilities as a mother and places her baby in danger through dehydration. In the aftermath of the incident Sister Evangelina asks to temporarily leave Nonnatus House to spend time with an enclosed order. Barbara is caught between an expectant mother and her husband, who is accused of being workshy. When it is discovered that he is actually terminally ill, his wife begs to have her baby induced before her husband dies. Phyllis develops feelings for a man she met at an evening class, drives him on a country outing, but is shocked to find that he has concealed from her that he has a wife with dementia.
37 3 "Episode 3" Sheree Folkson Carolyn Bonnyman 31 January 2016 (2016-01-31) 10.16
A new mother is diagnosed with typhoid, stirring up uncomfortable memories for Patsy, whose mother and sister died of the disease in a prisoner of war camp. Eventually, the young woman's grandmother is revealed to be a carrier of the disease, a situation which she struggles to accept. A young teacher, pregnant by a married man, loses her home and her job and is driven by desperation to attempt to abort her own baby, at the time a crime. Barbara agonises over whether to tell Trixie that she has been invited to have dinner with Tom.
38 4 "Episode 4" Sheree Folkson Heidi Thomas 7 February 2016 (2016-02-07) 10.57
A bright young man is delighted to gain a place at university, but his plans are complicated when his girlfriend discovers that she is pregnant, and he must decide what is the right thing to do. Sister Julienne is seconded to a hospital and witnesses another baby born with very severe birth defects. When the baby dies before its mother has even seen it, Sister Julienne must decide whether her faith permits her to conceal the truth about the birth from the mother. Meanwhile, Dr Turner and Shelagh begin to search for a cause for the birth defects. Trixie and Tom finally come to terms with the end of their engagement, and she gives her blessing to his relationship with Barbara.
39 5 "Episode 5" Lisa Clarke Harriet Warner 14 February 2016 (2016-02-14) 10.23
When Phyllis' car breaks down on the way to a delivery, Delia must talk a young mother through her home birth over the telephone. Subsequently the mother begins to display erratic behaviour and finally goes missing. Phyllis learns of the young woman's past as a prostitute and, after tracking her down, tries to convince her that she does indeed deserve her new life. After reading up on new schools of thought linking cigarettes to cancer, Timothy Turner resorts to shock tactics to stop his parents' smoking habit. When Violet is incapacitated, Fred takes over running her shop, with disastrous results.
40 6 "Episode 6" Lisa Clarke Heidi Thomas 21 February 2016 (2016-02-21) 10.23
Thora, a middle-aged woman, is pretending to be pregnant in order to conceal the fact that her unmarried daughter is expecting a baby. The Turners go on holiday, necessitating the appointment of a locum doctor. When the locum gives bad advice over the phone to Thora, she unwittingly places her daughter's life in danger. Trixie has to use all her skill to save the situation, and Thora is left coming to terms with the consequences of concealing secrets. A number of violent assaults take place on women in Poplar, and Sister Mary Cynthia becomes the latest victim. Traumatised at first, she eventually finds the strength to lead the police to the attacker.
41 7 "Episode 7" Darcia Martin Heidi Thomas 28 February 2016 (2016-02-28) 10.80
Patsy assists Daisy and her family of itinerant barge-dwellers, who eschew many of the trappings of modern society. When Daisy rejects the opportunity to give birth at the maternity home after accusing Patsy of meddling, Patsy must deliver the baby on a barge at the height of a violent storm. The advent of the release of the contraceptive pill causes a dilemma for Sister Julienne, who worries about the moral implications. A young man who was compelled to marry his girlfriend when she became pregnant and is distant from her comes into his own as a husband and father when his wife is stricken with a potentially fatal condition. Sister Evangelina returns to the convent but reveals that she has suffered a stroke.
42 8 "Episode 8" Darcia Martin Heidi Thomas 6 March 2016 (2016-03-06) 11.46
The Turners receive the news that the drug thalidomide, which the doctor had regularly prescribed for women suffering from morning sickness, has been withdrawn after being linked with birth deformities of the kind observed in recent months in Poplar. He must deal with his own guilt as he and Shelagh, with the help of Phyllis and Patsy, begin an effort to link the drug to the affected patients. A young man, recently returned to Poplar, makes haste to marry his Australian fiancee before the arrival of their baby, who is born at the couple's reception. After a brief return to work and struggles with her health, Sister Evangelina has a second stroke and dies, leaving the Nonnatus House community devastated and the people of the East End lining up to pay their respects.

Series 6 (2017)

Christmas special
No.
overall
Title Directed by Written by Original air date UK viewers
(millions) [12]
43 "Christmas special" Syd Macartney Heidi Thomas 25 December 2016 (2016-12-25) 10.34
Most of the Nonnatus House staff travel to a tiny mission hospital in South Africa, which is threatened with closure. They find the health of the patients severely threatened by a dwindling and dirty water supply, and must try to convince a local land-owner with a grudge against the establishment to allow a new pipeline to run across his farm. When the hospital's only doctor is herself hospitallised with a life-threatening illness, it falls to Trixie to deliver a baby by Caesarean section. Tom proposes to Barbara and the couple get engaged.
Series 6
No.
overall
No. in
series
Title Directed by Written by Original air date UK viewers
(millions) [12]
44 1 "Episode 1" Sheree Folkson Heidi Thomas 22 January 2017 (2017-01-22) 10.40
Returning from South Africa (with the exception of Trixie, who is to remain at the clinic for two months), the staff are surprised to find that the stern Sister Ursula (Harriet Walter) has been placed in charge of Nonnatus House, with Sister Julienne relegated to lesser duties. Phyllis helps a mother who is desperate to escape her violent husband. Concerns are raised for the mental health of Sister Mary Cynthia, and she is sent away to the mother house. Shelagh learns she is expecting a baby, while Patsy receives a letter from Hong Kong informing her that her father is terminally ill.
45 2 "Episode 2" Sheree Folkson Harriet Warner 29 January 2017 (2017-01-29) 10.57
Sister Ursula's strict rule at Nonnatus House continues, and she comes into conflict with both Patsy and Sister Winifred when she dictates that the staff should not become emotionally involved with patients. Shelagh is caught up in the aftermath of an explosion at a warehouse, along with former army nurse Valerie Dyer (Jennifer Kirby), and subsequently campaigns for better facilities for the workmen, with the help of a young father who was injured in the blast and fears he has been blinded before he even got to see his child. Phyllis begins to realise the extent of Patsy's relationship with Delia. Patsy helps an expectant mother who faces the prospect of a difficult birth due to her achondroplasia, and the case makes her realise that she needs to tend to her dying father, prompting her to leave for Hong Kong.
46 3 "Episode 3" James Larkin Carolyn Bonnyman 5 February 2017 (2017-02-05) 11.03
Proposed government reforms to the way maternity care is provided mean that Dr Turner and Shelagh must prepare for an inspection of the maternity home and face the prospect of its closure. During the inspection, Shelagh is rushed to the hospital due to complications with her own pregnancy. Sister Ursula's latest edict at Nonnatus House is that the midwives must spend no longer than 20 minutes at each appointment. Under pressure due to the time limit, Barbara fails to notice that a baby is suffering from carbon monoxide poisoning due to a faulty water heater, and the baby is rushed to hospital with her life in the balance. Chastened by the incident and the effect of her attempted reforms, Sister Ursula returns to the mother house, restoring Sister Julienne to the helm at Nonnatus House. Trixie returns from South Africa, but, having stayed at the mother house during her journey home, expresses concerns that Sister Mary Cynthia was not there.
47 4 "Episode 4" James Larkin Heidi Thomas 12 February 2017 (2017-02-12) 10.86
An expectant mother struggling with debt since her husband left her decides that the solution to her problems is to give her baby to her childless cousin. However, when the child arrives she finds she cannot part with it. The incident has a particular impact on Tom, who reveals that he himself was adopted. Shelagh and Dr. Turner face an anxious wait for news on their baby's condition, but when they hear the baby's heartbeat they are relieved to learn that it is still alive. Sister Julienne secures funding to recruit a new midwife, but the search proves fruitless until she remembers former army nurse Valerie Dyer, who happily accepts the job.
48 5 "Episode 5" Lisa Clark Andrea Gibb 19 February 2017 (2017-02-19) 11.29
Fred's cousin Ivy dies, leaving behind her son Reggie, a 21-year-old with Down's syndrome. Fred and Violet take him in, but realising that his living with them indefinitely would be impractical, must decide whether the best option would be to commit him to a mental institution. While visiting the austere Linchmere Hospital, Fred and Sister Monica Joan are shocked to find Sister Mary Cynthia a patient there. Inspired by an expectant mother with very poor dental hygiene, Dr. Turner spearheads a programme to improve the teeth of the borough's residents, during which Trixie is introduced to handsome dentist Christopher Dockerill (Jack Hawkins).
49 6 "Episode 6" Lisa Clark Louise Ironside 26 February 2017 (2017-02-26) 10.22
Sister Mary Cynthia is released from the mental institution and returns to Nonnatus House. Her mental health issues persist, however, and she is eventually sent to the gentler Northfield Hospital near Birmingham. Valerie deals with the case of a woman from Somaliland who underwent female circumcision as a child, leading to a complicated birth and a clash of cultures over the practice. Tensions run high during the Cuban missile crisis.
50 7 "Episode 7" Syd Macartney Heidi Thomas 5 March 2017 (2017-03-05) 10.39
Rhoda and Bernie Mullucks, whose daughter Susan was born with severely deformed limbs due to the effects of thalidomide, investigate the possibility of her being fitted with artificial limbs, but the experience causes tensions in their own relationship. Driving back from a successful delivery, Phyllis knocks over one of the family's other children with her car and is left devastated by the possible consequences. Trixie suspects that Christopher is seeing another woman, but learns that he actually has a child from a prior marriage, which he had not previously disclosed. In return for his revelation, she reveals to him her own struggles with alcoholism. Delia learns that Patsy's father has died in Hong Kong.
51 8 "Episode 8" Syd Macartney Heidi Thomas 12 March 2017 (2017-03-12) 10.54
Barbara is distraught that her vicar father has accepted a missionary post overseas and will not be able to officiate her wedding, so she brings the date forward and her friends rally round to help her organise the event in just three weeks. Shelagh gives birth to a baby boy. A mother who has been taking the contraceptive pill without her husband's knowledge develops a pulmonary embolism and dies, sparking concerns about the safety of the medication. Trixie agrees to meet Christopher's daughter. Patsy returns from Hong Kong and pledges her love for Delia.

Notes

  1. ^ a b Based on 28-day data rather than 7-day data

References

  1. ^ a b c Plunkett, John (12 February 2013). "Call the Midwife commissioned for third series and Christmas special". The Guardian. Retrieved 12 March 2013. 
  2. ^ "Call the Midwife". BBC. Retrieved 12 March 2013. 
  3. ^ "Call The Midwife, new drama series for BBC One starring Jenny Agutter, Pam Ferris and Miranda Hart". BBC. 17 June 2011. Retrieved 12 March 2013. 
  4. ^ Seale, Jack (12 February 2013). "Call the Midwife creator Heidi Thomas: TV series won't suffer when source material runs out". Radio Times. Retrieved 12 March 2013. 
  5. ^ Marszal, Andrew (20 February 2012). "Call the Midwife is the most-watched BBC One drama in 10 years". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 12 March 2013. 
  6. ^ Sweney, Mark (23 January 2012). "BBC Calls the Midwife for a second series". The Guardian. Retrieved 12 March 2013. 
  7. ^ Daniels, Colin (10 September 2012). "TVChoice Awards 2012: The winners – In full". Digital Spy. Retrieved 12 March 2013. 
  8. ^ "BBC Controller of Drama, Ben Stephenson, sets out his vision for drama on the BBC and announces new commissions". BBC. 11 February 2013. Retrieved 24 February 2013. 
  9. ^ "BBC and PBS to bring second season of critically acclaimed drama "Call the Midwife" to the U.S.". PBS. Retrieved 12 March 2013. 
  10. ^ Brown, Maggie (10 December 2015). "BBC gives Call the Midwife sixth run". The Guardian. Retrieved 10 December 2015. 
  11. ^ Lazarus, Susanna (23 November 2016). "BBC commissions three more series of Call the Midwife". Radio Times. Retrieved 28 November 2016. 
  12. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "Top 30 Programmes". Broadcasters' Audience Research Board. Retrieved 12 March 2013.  (User must select "BBC1" in the Channel field and then select the appropriate year, month and week to retrieve the figure for each episode)
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