Call the Midwife season 13: Release date speculation, cast, time period and latest news
We're heading back to Nonnatus House.
It's official: Call the Midwife is returning for season 13.
"It's an incredible privilege to be able to look back on a decade of Call The Midwife, and yet know that our journey is still very far from over," said creator, writer and executive producer Heidi Thomas. "We are thrilled to be going on for a few more years.
"Like Nonnatus House itself, we have a proud past but an even more exciting future – full of old favourites, fresh faces, higher hemlines, new ideas. The stories we tell are like babies – they never stop coming, we love them all, and we vow to do our best by every single one."
Director of BBC drama Piers Wenger added: "We are delighted to have secured the future of Call The Midwife, and look forward to enjoying more adventures for the inhabitants of Nonnatus House for years to come."
Read on for everything you need to know about Call the Midwife season 13.
Call the Midwife season 13 release date speculation: When will it air?
Apart from season 10, every instalment of the show to date has arrived at the beginning of the year, so we'd expect season 13 to arrive in January 2024 following the Christmas special.
Call the Midwife season 13 cast: Who's returning?
There's a big question mark hanging over two Call the Midwife characters.
And Nancy (Megan Cusack) has been offered a job at another hospital, which she's tempted to accept for the benefit of her daughter Colette.
Sister Hilda (Fenella Woolgar) also didn't return for season 12 and Sister Frances (Ella Bruccoleri) left in the Christmas special, but Thomas did say that the door remains open if either want to return.
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But we'd expect the following to all feature:
- Helen George as Nurse Trixie Franklin
- Linda Bassett as Nurse Phyllis Crane
- Laura Main as Shelagh Turner
- Stephen McGann as Dr Patrick Turner
- Jenny Agutter as Sister Julienne
- Judy Parfitt as Sister Monica Joan
- Rebecca Gethings as Sister Veronica
- Georgie Glen as Miss Higgins
- Zephryn Taitte as Cyril Robinson
- Olly Rix as Matthew Aylward
- Cliff Parisi as Fred Buckle
- Annabelle Apsion as Violet Buckle
- Daniel Laurie as Reggie Jackson
- Alice Brown as Angela Turner
- April Rae Hoang as May Tang
- Max Macmillan as Timothy Turner
- Linda Hargreaves as Mrs Wallace
- Archie O'Callaghan as Jonty
- Dame Vanessa Redgrave as the voice of Jennifer Worth
And you can also expect lots of new guest stars and possibly more permanent additions after Sister Julienne made an arrangement with St Cuthbert's to reinstate the midwife training programme, with new students set to join Nonnatus House before the New Year.
As ever, fans of the show will also be hoping to see some familiar faces from the past.
"Definitely Barbara (Charlotte Ritchie) and Patsy (Emerald Fennell)," George told RadioTimes.com. "And Sister Winifred (Victoria Yeates). All of them! And Bryony [Hannah], who played Cynthia. That would be lovely."
Call the Midwife season 13 plot: What will happen?
The future of Nonnatus House looked uncertain for the majority of season 12, but in the finale we learned that their rent woes are no longer after Matthew purchased the building for them outright.
It was also under threat of demolition, but the clearance plan has been delayed.
"There is life in this house yet," said Sister Julienne.
Sister Julienne's arrangement with the hospital will also mean Nonnatus House is set to be busier than ever, with students descending upon the maternity ward to learn their trade – which will likely contribute a fair bit of drama.
Trixie and Matthew are now wife and husband, so it remains to be seen what's next for them. Are the pair planning to start a family?
"I think they should get a dog," George told RadioTimes.com. "I really think we need a dog as a lead character in the show, and we had a lovely one with Judy [Parfitt]. I think some sort of Labrador puppy coming into the show would be a really lovely arrival because we have a lot of babies on the show. I'm not sure we need another one. But that's for Heidi and everybody else to decide."
Rix added: "They're pretty focused on the world outside of their home. And thus far, we've pretty much seen them in that context, we haven't really seen them in their home. So it might be that the story doesn't go there. It might be that they continue to look outwards and towards the community, and they raise Jonty and have a dog and get more involved in Popular."
Do they think the couple will eventually leave the city?
"I think they both really need to be close to Poplar," said George. "They realise that they've got so much work to do. They're both very driven about their work and their commitment to the area, so I can't see them moving away. Perhaps Matthew will buy a weekend house somewhere.
Rix continued: "Helen's right, their focus is on changing things around them. To me, it doesn't seem to be remotely in their characters to hang that all up now and just enjoy the quiet life. I don't think that's who they are."
As spoken about previously, it remains to be seen what's next for Lucille and Cyril's relationship, and if Nancy will decide to move on.
The show will also enter into a new time period, which will throw up its fair share of highs and lows.
Call the Midwife season 13 time period: When's it set?
The show is heading into the 1970s, which will bring new medical advances, changes within the societal makeup of the UK, shifts within politics, developments in fashion and music, and plenty of challenges for the midwives.
Speaking previously to RadioTimes.com, Thomas said: "I do know that the original nuns on whom the original books were based left Poplar in 1976 because the social and the medical climate had changed.
"They relocated to Birmingham and focused more on spiritual work, so I don't know how far into the 1970s we could go."
How many episodes will Call the Midwife season 13 have?
The vast majority of the seasons have had eight episodes (season 1 had six, while season 10 had seven), so we'd expect season 13 to also consist of eight episodes.