Philosophising about the 'S'-word: Watch… and learn
Call the Midwife is a BBC period drama series about a group of nurse midwives working in the East End of London in the late 1950s and early 1960s. It stars Jessica Raine (Fortitude, Partners in Crime, Inside N°9), Miranda Hart (Miranda, Not Going Out), Helen George, Bryony Hannah (Dead Boss), Laura Main (Murder City), Jenny Agutter (Monday Monday, The Invisibles), Pam Ferris (Where the Heart Is, Rosemary & Thyme, Luther), Judy Parfitt (Crown Court, The Charmings, ER), Cliff Parisi (EastEnders), Stephen McGann (Emmerdale Farm), Ben Caplan (The Passion), Emerald Fennell (Chickens), Victoria Yeates (Lip Service), Linda Bassett (Sense and Sensibility) and Charlotte Ritchie (Fresh Meat). The series is produced by Neal Street Productions, a production company founded and owned by the film director and producer Sam Mendes, Call the Midwifeexecutive producer Pippa Harris, and Caro Newling. The first series, set in 1957, premiered in the UK on 15 January 2012.
The series was created by Heidi Thomas (Upstairs Downstairs), originally based on the memoirs of Jennifer Worth who worked with the Community of St. John the Divine, an Anglican religious order, at their convent in the East End in London.
The plot follows newly qualified midwife Jenny Lee, and the work of midwives and the nuns of Nonnatus House, a nursing convent, and part of an Anglican religious order, coping with the medical problems in the deprived Poplar district of London’s desperately poor East End, in the 1950s. The Sisters and midwives carry out many nursing duties across the community. However, with between 80 and 100 babies being born each month in Poplar alone, the primary work is to help bring safe childbirth to women in the area and to look after their countless newborns.