How long can Call the Midwife last? "We will run for as long as the people want to see it," says star
"I can easily see Call the Midwife in space," jokes Stephen McGann, husband of creator Heidi Thomas and Poplar's Doctor Turner
Call the Midwife appears to be going from strength to strength. The popular BBC1 period drama pulls in millions of viewers every Sunday night and has been praised this series for tackling serious and weighty issues with skill and sensitivity.
Despite tonight's departure of a beloved character, it shows no signs of slowing down.
"I can easily see Call the Midwife in space," jokes star Stephen McGann. "I will be Doctor Turner, 145 years old, still dashingly handsome with amazing pills to preserve me!"
Space shuttles aside, "We have always said, we will run for as long as the people want to see it," says McGann. "Heidi [Thomas, the show's creator] says, 'Bringing women's stories to the screen is a privilege. I'll go on for as long as they want me. I'm up for it.'
"And we're all up for it," he continues. "If people want to see it, that's it. We'll still be there."
Series five might have only just come to a close, with an upsetting episode sure to leave its mark on Call the Midwife fans, but six is already in the works.
The series' showrunner Heidi Thomas tweeted last week that she'll be "lashed" to her desk for the foreseeable future, penning the scripts for this year's Christmas episode and next year's series.
Now writing Series 6 of #callthemidwife. Lashed to my old friend the desk for the foreseeable, no days off, no reprieve. Ah, muscle memory!
— Heidi Thomas McGann (@HeidiThomasMcG) February 26, 2016
When it comes to what treats (and traumas) Thomas has in store, we'll have to wait and see. Even McGann, who is married to the writer, is still in the dark. "She doesn't tell me anything!" he laughs.
Call the Midwife returns for a Christmas special later this year and a sixth series in 2017