After nine long and – let’s face it – miserable months, we’ll finally receive the best present of all in just five days’ time: the Call the Midwife Christmas special.
When we last saw the midwives, life in Poplar was a little melancholy. Jenny was waving farewell to Nonnatus house for good and heading off into the distance with her new man, while Chummy was coming to terms with the distressing death of her mother Lady Browne. It wasn’t all sad news. though: Trixie was happily coupled up with Tom the curate, and the Turnadettes finally became parents to little baby Angela.
In the new year we can look forward to many more ups and downs as the midwives return for a fourth series. First, though, there are snowstorms to navigate and – just to hazard a guess – Yuletide babies to be born. But what else is in store? I’ve put on my festive thinking cap (it’s red tartan with a bell on top) and come up with some spurious suggestions…
Jenny has left…but she’s not actually gone that far. She has aged slightly, though: it looks like we’re to be introduced to the drama’s sage narrator, old Jenny (aka Vanessa Redgrave) for the first time. She’s clearly still a stickler for a cardigan.
She’s surrounded by gifts and sat next to a twinkling tree, but Trixie is looking far from festive. Perhaps she’s missing Jenny? Or feeling a little lonely? Having a vicar as a boyfriend must get awfully tiresome during advent. All you want is someone to hold your chilly hand, buy you mulled wine and take you carolling and he’s off literally preaching about the true meaning of Christmas. Borrrring.
This could be a scene from the East End’s version of the nativity story. PC Noakes is lost, locked out or on his way to the 1959 consensus, and looking for a kindly inn-keeper or a cattle shed so he and baby Freddy can rest their weary heads. That, or Chummy’s been working all hours at Nonnatus and forgotten to cook her boys their turkey dinner. That work-life balance is a tricky one to get right…
Meanwhile, Fred’s not been skipping any dinners: all that tempting turkey with trimmings, those mountains of mince pies, have clearly taken their toll on Nonnatus’ handyman. It’s a good job Trixie is on call and can lend a hand (and measuring tape). You can’t keep breathing in forever, Fred! Just let it go.
Forget bicycle bells and Routemaster buses: we are on the threshold of the Swinging Sixties and young ladies about town need motorcars to get about. Chummy might be a little ungainly on a push bike, but she looks confident (and, dare I say it, rather sexy) at the wheel of an automobile. But what are these boxes we spy? Is she packing up and leaving Nonnatus and her career for good? Was that missing Christmas dinner the last straw for patient Peter?
I spoke too soon. She might be the owner of some new wheels but Chummy is clearly still the gal we know and love. Taking a leaf out of Miranda’s book, the clumsy midwife has gone all boot over cardi and lost her spectacles in the snow. I bet there’s a heavily pregnant woman nearby too. Where there’s a snowstorm, there’s bound to be a dramatic birth…
Play it cool, ladies. They’ve clearly just spied Call the Midwife’s prime-time slot on Christmas Day – and above are the faces of women ready to win the festive ratings war. With a fifth series commissioned before the fourth has even aired, we can see why the Nonnatus gals are feeling confident…
Call the Midwife returns on Christmas Day at 7:50pm on BBC1
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