Ever since finale of Call the Midwife series nine in February 2020, we’ve been thinking about one important question: when will we be able to watch more?
Here’s what we know…
When will Call the Midwife be back?
NEW: In March 2020, filming for Call the Midwife was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Executive Producer Dame Pippa Harris said in a statement on the show’s Facebook page: “Very sadly, we have had to postpone the filming of this year’s Call the Midwife Christmas Special and series 10. Our priority is the safety of our amazing cast and crew, and we don’t believe that shooting at the current time is feasible or responsible.
“However, the moment the situation improves, the nuns and nurses of Nonnatus House will be back on their bikes, bringing babies into the world and joy into your living rooms. We send our warmest love to the worldwide Call the Midwife family, and look forward to being back in Poplar soon.”
The drama will (hopefully) return in December 2020 with a Christmas special, which will be set in Poplar, while series 10 should begin in January 2021. So far it’s unclear whether postponing filming will delay this timeline.
Will there be another series of Call the Midwife?
The drama has already been re-commissioned by the BBC for both series 10 and 11. That means the show will be on air until at least 2022. Each series will consist of eight episodes, along with their Christmas specials.
The deal was actually announced back in March 2019, just after series eight – so writer Heidi Thomas has been able to plan out some long-term storylines across at least three series.
“It is actually lovely to have some certainty, because I feel Call the Midwife is fuelled by character and character development,” the show’s creator told RadioTimes.com. “I mean, I’ve loved the slow burn of Lucille’s romance with Cyril, for example. Hopefully that’s something that we can spool out at a natural pace. When you only have one series commissioned at a time, it’s sometimes a bit tempting to kind of rush through everything, and not savour your stories and not let people grow up slowly. So I think it’s really lovely actually, it’s a great privilege.”
What will happen in the next Call the Midwife?
After Christmas 1965, the next eight episodes of Call the Midwife will be set in 1966. And while we don’t yet know exactly what will happen in the new series, we do know some of the historical events that happen in that time period.
For one thing, we’re almost certainly getting England’s World Cup win. On 30th July of that year, England beat West Germany at Wembley 4-2, watched by a UK television audience of around 32 million. (To put that into context, the total population was 55 million. So that’s a lot.)
Heidi Thomas told us before series nine that the show “mustn’t do any sporting stories” for 1965, because “I know that England will win the World Cup in 1966.” But what we don’t know is whether Call the Midwife will mention the headline-grabbing incident in the run-up to the World Cup, when the trophy was stolen from Westminster Central Hall; it was later recovered by a dog named Pickles who found it wrapped in old newspaper under a hedge.
Pickles the dog watches the World Cup Final (Getty)
The World Cup was not the only big event of 1966, of course.
In March, there was a snap general election, with Labour Prime Minister Harold Wilson gaining the comfortable majority he needed.
But he had a lot on his plate, what with events in “Rhodesia” (the unrecognised state in southern Africa run by the white minority government of Ian Smith) and friction with US President Lyndon B Johnson over Vietnam and more. At home, this was also a time of major social change and reform.
Then there was the Aberfan disaster; one morning in October, a mountain of coal waste collapsed onto Pantglas Junior School in Aberfan, Wales, killing 116 children and 28 adults. The tragedy is sure to touch a few hearts at Nonnatus House.
Heidi Thomas has also indicated that we’ll continue to encounter changing social and legal attitudes in the run-up to some important legislation. She’s previously told us: “What I do know is that when we get to series 11 it will be 1967, so abortion will be legalised and homosexuality will be legalised, and these are big staging posts in modern social history, so I know we’ll be referencing those and we might be referencing the journey towards those things.
“There was a lot of public debate about the changes in society, so I know in a very general way that the change that has fuelled us so far will take us forward.”
Is Nonnatus House being knocked down?
We don’t know!
In the finale, Nonnatus House did secure a victory after Nurse Trixie Franklin (Helen George) made a passionate speech and persuaded the authorities not to demand impossible rent or slash the Order’s budget. But this stay of execution only lasts for a year.
And the building itself is still due for demolition in the next two years, as the surrounding streets are bulldozed to make way for new development.
“It reflects what was going on in the East End at that time, and indeed what happened to the original order of nuns who were based there and whose work inspired our series,” said Heidi Thomas as she discussed the fate of Nonnatus House.
“I think it would not feel very realistic if they weren’t under some sort of threat. Their premises are rented, we know they’ve already had to move once before because of an unexploded bomb that then exploded. And now everything is being torn down around them.”