Call the Midwife has quickly become a Christmas institution. For the fifth year, the midwives of Nonnatus House will appear in a festive special – and this time it’s going to be snowy.
Series seven will return in the New Year, and we already know that seasons eight and nine are on their way. But in the meantime, it’s time to catch up with our old friends as they celebrate a very chilly Christmas.
Expect a blanket of snow! Executive producer Pippa Harris revealed at the BFI & Radio Times Television Festival earlier this year that the Christmas special would tell the story of the “Big Freeze” of 1962-3. “Of course, there was the Big Freeze which took place during the period we’ll be covering in the next Christmas Special,” Harris teased, “so that’s something to watch out for.”
The Big Freeze came during one of the coldest winters on record in the United Kingdom, with blizzard-like conditions setting in just after Christmas and bringing London to a standstill. That will surely have an impact on all our characters as they struggle to do their jobs and deliver the babies of Poplar into the world.
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Trixie is preparing for a glamorous skiing holiday with her divorced dentist boyfriend Christopher (Jack Hawkins) – but she’s NOT keen on Phyllis’ offer of thermal lined galoshes. Will the Big Freeze disrupt their plans?
Nurse Crane will apparently find her authority questioned from an unexpected quarter, and newlyweds Tom and Barbara are enjoying being a married couple.
Anita Dobson! The EastEnders star makes a guest appearance in a particularly heartbreaking storyline.
We will also see the return of our old favourites: Sister Julienne (Jenny Agutter), Nurse Barbara Gilbert (Charlotte Ritchie), Shelagh Turner (Laura Main), Nurse Phyllis Crane (Linda Bassett), Sister Monica Joan (Judy Parfitt), Nurse Trixie Frankin (Helen George), Dr Patrick Turner (Stephen McGann), Fred Buckle (Cliff Parisi), Sister Winifred (Victoria Yeates), Rev. Tom Hereward (Jack Ashton), and Reggie (Daniel Laurie).
This is a very different Christmas episode compared to last year, when the Nonnatus House midwives travelled to a tiny mission hospital in South Africa to save it from closure. All the snow makes this episode extremely festive, although – of course – the normal business of life, death and childbirth doesn’t stop just because it’s Christmas.