'Call the Midwife' cast additions for series 4 and…a Christmas surprise for those who can wait

PBS viewers in America barely were able to see the fade to black following Sunday’s series 3 Call the Midwife finale before the news filtered out about cast additions for series 4, which is targeted for an early 2015 transmission in the UK and an early Spring 2015 return on PBS in America. Series 4 has the inhabitants of Nonnatus House tentatively entering into a new decade. No word yet as to who will be returning but I’m guessing we’ll see most of the nuns and midwives try to hold on to at least some of their traditional values while experiencing the beginning of the swinging ’60s in London’s East End.

Joining the cast for the forthcoming series 4 will be Charlotte Ritchie (Fresh Meat) as Nurse Barbara Gilbert and Linda Bassett (Grandma’s House, Calendar Girls as Nurse Phyllis Crane. Bassett, you may also remember, played Queenie in the BBC series, Lark Rise to Candleford.

If you haven’t seen Sunday’s finale…DO NOT READ ANY FURTHER.

If you have, then you are well aware that we all said a tearful goodbye to Poplar’s original midwife, Jenny Lee, played brilliantly by Jessica Raine. Where’s the Christmas surprise, you’re asking at this point? Well, while we may have seen the last of a young Jenny Lee, Vanessa Redgrave, who narrates the opening and closing moments of each episode, will be making her first on-screen appearance as the mature Jenny Lee in this year’s Christmas special airing this holiday season on BBC One and PBS.

Pippa Harris, executive producer for Neal Street Productions said: “We’re all delighted to be welcoming Vanessa Redgrave on screen, having hugely enjoyed her narration of the series to date. It’s also terrific that Heidi Thomas has created two wonderful new characters for the series, and that we’re fortunate enough to have Linda Bassett and Charlotte Ritchie joining our regular and much loved team at Nonnatus House“.

Mark your calendars for early 2015 on BBC One and Sunday, March 29, 2015 on PBS…

In: Actors/Actresses,Drama