Grossly overshadowed during this past season of telly by the juggernaut that is Downton Abbey was a brilliant series from the BBC that, on the surface, probably didn’t attract the attention it deserved. Not hard to understand when you think that the plot line of Call the Midwife could be summed up simply with the line, ‘a group of nuns deliver babies in a poverty-striken area of east London’.
The series is brilliantly scripted by Heidi Thomas and stars Jessica Raine as Jenny Lee, Jenny Agutter as Sister Julienne, Pam Ferris as Sister Evangelina, Miranda Hart as Chummy, Judy Parfitt as Sister Monica Joan, Helen George as Trixie Franklin, Bryony Hannah as Cynthia Miller, Laura Main as Sister Bernadette, and Vanessa Redgrave as the voice of mature Jennifer. Admittedly, it did not attract the initial numbers that Downton Abbey has but this is an absolute gem of a series that deserves the critical acclaim and audience attention that it has generated since the first series premiere way back in 2012.
Call the Midwife series 2 premiere…and ***SPOILER ALERT***
Premiering this coming Sunday on BBC One at 8:00pm with a U.S. premiere slated on PBS for Sunday, March 31 at 8:00pm ET/7:00pm CT, series 2 of Call the Midwife has now rightfully transformed from the unexpected hit to, hopefully, a staple of Sunday night drama programming on both sides of the Atlantic.
The good news for the nuns of Nonnatus House AND for the audience is that while the one-off Christmas special was a bit grim and somewhat of a downer (even though we were treated to the story line of Chummy and PC Noakes getting married), series 2 returns to Poplar just in time to celebrate Jenny’s birthday with cake and then a trip to the cinema to see South Pacific. All is not movies and birthday cake, however, as Jenny becomes concerned about a young mother who might be involved in an abusive marriage, while Trixie and Sister Evangelina head out to sea on board a Swedish cargo ship to look after the captain’s daughter, who is about to have her first child. In other words, it’s business as usual for the midwives of Nonnatus House.
On the upside, the PBS premiere will be mere weeks following the conclusion of series 3 of Downton Abbey, leading in to the premiere of Mr. Selfridge as part of PBS’ Masterpiece series. As I keep saying, 2013 is going to be a great year for drama…on both sides of the Atlantic.