Sunday, March 5, 2017
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We were impressed with Call the Midwife from the start, and began reviewing it four years ago when BBC Home Entertainment told us about it; it has the best storyline in television today.
Previously, Whom You Know Highly Recommended Season One:
CALL THE MIDWIFE: SEASON ONE The Original UK Episodes Only
The Complete Original UK Season Two Earned Our Highest Recommendation:
The Complete Original UK Season Three Earned Our Highest Recommendation:
All of the special effects and bright lights that Hollywood emanates do not compare with the quiet authenticity that Call the Midwife celebrates with its refreshing pace of excellence in entertainment as evidenced by one of the strongest enduring scripts executed by the best talent in the business.
It's time to break out another box of Kleenex because the UK is about to see the best episode in the series tonight and America has the whole season to look forward to soon. You've never thought you'd enjoy crying so much.
According to tvline.com, Call the Midwife has been renewed for three more seasons, Seasons 7 to 9 inclusive. And though they say "it's on its way to becoming the next Downton Abbey," we'd like to remind you that though we really loved the early seasons of Downton, it did not have the staying power this show possesses and it stopped after six seasons. (You should read J.F.'s Belgravia, which we adored last summer.) We'd imagine the number of shows that reach nine seasons is quite low.
What makes this show so successful to start with is its strong script and tight, thoughtful writing. You can't build a show without such a strong foundation, and clearly the writers are highly evolved in both emotional intelligence and medicine. We have seen all eight episodes of Season Six, and Call the Midwife is one show that consistently shows undeniable authenticity throughout the challenges of each episode. It finds its success in what was reality of this era, and perhaps reality is the best fantasy of all.
With all their imperfections, each character shows how each is respectively ideal for this series. Call the Midwife is a show that inspires its audience to be better; its story pays it forward. Though this series is unarguably British, its theme is human and universal. Each character is unique and adds color to the show. Trixie still has the best fashion sense, and we would love to bring Sister Monica Joan to a dinner review, particularly at dessert.
Call the Midwife is unafraid to tackle monumental issues that many could consider taboo from abusive situations, sexual assault, genital mutilation and of course all of the challenges of childbirth. The casting is wonderful from top to bottom and we love the lasting camaraderie we see between the nuns and the nurses.
The cast evolution remains just as strong as it was at the start and despite not including Jessica Raine or Miranda Hart anymore, Call the Midwife continues to add highly laudable talent and keep the stars it has found recently.
"Reuniting with such a uniquely talented team to revisit Susan's story was more flattering and creatively satisfying second time around," Chris Reilly tells Whom You Know. "The Call the Midwife team are the best. Working with them is a dream."
They confront the conflict between managing versus fighting Susan's condition proactively thanks to Rhoda's character, and of course if Rhoda and other expectant mothers knew at the time the problems taking the wrong pills would cause, they wouldn't have taken them. Giving Susan all of the chances possible for her becomes central to their family's success and happiness.
Bonding over coffee and participating in a parent group that collectively takes on the human consequences of Thalidomide, this family rises to the occasion again this season with even greater vigor and family stick-togetherness. Finally, we were glad to see President Kennedy and the Cuban Missile Crisis included for its historical value.
Do not miss this highly inspirational show!
The critically acclaimed British drama CALL THE MIDWIFE returns to PBS for a sixth season April 2-May 21, 2017, 8:00-9:00 p.m. ET. The Sunday night lineup also includes the final season of “Home Fires” on MASTERPIECE premiering at 9:00-10:00 p.m. ET.
Season 6 begins in 1962 and it is evident how times are changing, from increased liberation for women to the shadow of infamous gangsters to the introduction of new government policies. In Poplar, when the rather austere Sister Ursula is appointed the new head of Nonnatus House, Sister Julienne finds herself demoted and working alongside the midwives as an ordinary member of the staff. She is not the only one to face challenges closer to home. As they strive to help mothers and families cope with the demands of childbearing, disability, disease and social prejudice, the beloved medics must make choices — and fight battles — of their own.
In Season 6, the midwives laugh together, cry together and support each other as never before, while continuing to address complex medical and personal dilemmas on their midwifery and district nursing rounds.
Season 5 of CALL THE MIDWIFE, which aired on PBS in Spring 2016, averaged a 2.21 household rating with an average audience of 3.1 million viewers (P2+), and the series has seen an overall growth of 6 percent since its Season 1 debut. There were 2.1 million streams of Season 5 across station-branded PBS platforms (April 4-June 7, 2016). Additionally, last season won the National Television Award for Best Period Drama in the United Kingdom.
“CALL THE MIDWIFE continues to entertain viewers in both the UK and the US with exciting storylines and engrossing characters,” said Beth Hoppe, Chief Programming Executive and General Manager, General Audience Programming, PBS. “We look forward to continuing our relationship with our BBC and Neal Street partners as we embark on a sixth season together.”
“We are delighted to be bringing series 6 of Call the Midwife to our many loyal fans in America,” said Dame Pippa Harris, executive producer for Neal Street Productions. “Once again, Heidi Thomas’s scripts shine with passion and compassion and see our medics tirelessly supporting their patients in the turbulent, exciting years of the early 1960s.”
CALL THE MIDWIFE stars Jenny Agutter (“The Railway Children,” “Spooks”) as Sister Julienne, Linda Bassett (“East Is East,” “Lark Rise to Candleford”) as Nurse Phyllis Crane, Judy Parfitt (“Little Dorrit,” Girl With a Pearl Earring), who was nominated for a 2013 Satellite Award for her work as Sister Monica Joan, Helen George (“Hollyoaks,” “Doctors”) as Trixie Franklin, Bryony Hannah (Cemetery Junction) as Sister Mary Cynthia, Laura Main (“Monarch of the Glen”) as Shelagh Turner, Emerald Fennell (The Danish Girl, Pan) as Patsy Mount, Charlotte Ritchie (“Life of Riley,” “Fresh Meat”) as Nurse Barbara Gilbert, Victoria Yeates (“Holby City”) as Sister Winifred, Ben Caplan (“The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies,” “Band of Brothers”) as Sergeant Peter Noakes, Stephen McGann (“Emmerdale”) as Dr. Patrick Turner, Cliff Parisi (“EastEnders”) as Fred, Jack Ashton (“Endeavour,” “Of Mary”) as Tom Hereward, Annabelle Apsion (“Shameless”) as Violet Buckle, Kate Lamb as Nurse Delia Busby and Jennifer Kirby (“Holby City”) as Nurse Valerie Dyer.
CALL THE MIDWIFE is created and written by Heidi Thomas; executive producers are Pippa Harris and Heidi Thomas. Producer is Ann Tricklebank (“Upstairs Downstairs,” “Larkrise to Candleford”). The series is a Neal Street Production for BBC/PBS and is distributed by BBC Worldwide North America.
Full episodes of CALL THE MIDWIFE (Season 6) will be available to stream the morning after broadcast on all station-branded PBS platforms, including PBS.org and PBS apps for iOS, Android, Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV and Chromecast.
CALL THE MIDWIFE contains mature content that may not be suitable for all audiences. Viewer discretion is advised. Rated TV-14.
CALL THE MIDWIFE (Season 6) will be available on DVD and Blu-ray in 2017.. Seasons 1-4 are now available on DVD and Blu-ray on shopPBS.org. Additional items, including Jennifer Worth’s memoirs, published by Penguin Books, and The Life and Times of Call the Midwife, published by Harper Collins, are also available.
PBS, with nearly 350 member stations, offers all Americans the opportunity to explore new ideas and new worlds through television and digital content. Each month, PBS reaches nearly 100 million people through television and nearly 28 million people online, inviting them to experience the worlds of science, history, nature and public affairs; to hear diverse viewpoints; and to take front row seats to world-class drama and performances. PBS’ broad array of programs has been consistently honored by the industry’s most coveted award competitions. Teachers of children from pre-K through 12th grade turn to PBS for digital content and services that help bring classroom lessons to life. Decades of research confirms that PBS’ premier children’s media service, PBS KIDS, helps children build critical literacy, math and social-emotional skills, enabling them to find success in school and life. Delivered through member stations, PBS KIDS offers high-quality educational content on TV – including a new 24/7 channel, online at pbskids.org, via an array of mobile apps and in communities across America. More information about PBS is available at www.pbs.org, one of the leading dot-org websites on the internet, or by following PBS on Twitter, Facebook or through our apps for mobile and connected devices.
About Neal Street Productions
Neal Street Productions was formed in 2003 by Sam Mendes, Pippa Harris and Caro Newling, and Nicolas Brown joined in 2013 to work across the film and TV portfolio. The company has been successful in film, theatre and television with hit movies including Revolutionary Road, Jarhead and Starter for 10. Their diverse television slate includes the award-winning Stuart A Life Backwards, with Tom Hardy and Benedict Cumberbatch, and the hugely successful Call the Midwife. All five series to date have gained over 10m viewers, and it is the UK’s most-watched TV drama series. A third and final series of Penny Dreadful written by John Logan, starring Josh Hartnett, Eva Green, Timothy Dalton and Rory Kinnear, aired on Showtime in the US and Sky Atlantic in the UK in Spring 2016. Neal Street also produced the critically acclaimed and award-winning The Hollow Crown — a series of Shakespeare films for the BBC/PBS — starring Ben Whishaw, Tom Hiddleston and Jeremy Irons, and a second series, The Hollow Crown: The Wars of the Roses starring Benedict Cumberbatch, Judi Dench, Hugh Bonneville, Keeley Hawes and Sophie Okonedo, received rave reviews. Their latest show, Britannia, a major new original drama series written by Jez Butterworth and starring Kelly Reilly, Zoe Wannamaker and David Morrissey, will air on Sky and Amazon in 2017. On the theatre side, upcoming productions include the revival of James Graham’s This House in the West End, and The Ferryman, written by Jez Butterworth, at the Royal Court. They have also produced The Bridge Project, Shrek the Musical and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, directed by Sam Mendes. Neal Street Productions is an All3Media company. All3Media is owned jointly between Discovery Communications and Liberty Global.
About BBC Worldwide North America Sales and Co-Productions
BBC Worldwide North America Sales & Distribution is one of five core businesses operating in the U.S. under BBC Worldwide, the commercial arm and wholly-owned subsidiary of the UK public service broadcaster, BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation). BBC Worldwide exists to maximize the value of the BBC’s assets for the benefit of the UK license payer and invests in programming in return for rights. The Sales & Distribution business negotiates, sells and distributes television programs to networks and secures co-production partners in the region.