Call the Midwife might deal with the nitty gritty of giving birth, but those midwifes are still awfully prim and proper. It’s all clean towels, hot water and little pushes. Anatomy rarely comes into it.
That, though, is all about to change in series five. Speaking at the Radio Times Festival this weekend, writer Heidi Thomas told crowds that the word vagina will make its inaugural appearance when the show returns.
“One of our themes across the body of this series has been what we call the ‘our bodies, ourselves’ theme, which is women and their relationships with their own bodies,” said Thomas. “We say vagina.”
The storyline Thomas mentions starts off in a “very light and lively” place, with Nurse Trixie Franklin (aka new Strictly Come Dancing star Helen George) starting a keep fit class at Nonnatus house.
The keep fit story, which Thomas says was “absolutely hilarious to film”, “becomes about something other and about women of an older generation who don’t even have names for their body parts.”
Fans of Trixie will be glad to hear she’s got an upbeat plotline to look forward to. The last time we saw her she was struggling after admitting to being an alcoholic.
With exercise “she’s found something that makes her feel really, really good,” says Thomas. “We wanted to see her going to a positive place but also doing something proactive. Also something fun because Trixie is, at the end of the day, a very loveable, very fun character and there are only so many episodes you can pulverise a person for before you want to see them come back and flourish.”
“Plus historically, it makes sense,” chipped in star Jenny Agutter. “People were beginning to realise that they could do something about their bodies and keeping fit, what they ate, all of those things start to be part of that world.”
No word yet on whether Agutter’s Sister Julienne will be joining Trixie to don lycra and sweat bands…
Call the Midwife is back on BBC1 for a Christmas special later this year and series five in early 2016