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A new series of Call the Midwife begins and its 1964 – two new nuns join Nonnatus House, and the midwives deal with a shocking emergency

The caseload for the nuns and midwives shows no sign of abating as Call the Midwife returns and Spring 1964 dawns.

While the team helps pregnant Lesley (Jordon Stevens), her sister, wannabe model Cath (Emily Barber), also grabs their attention.

Meanwhile, there are complications for another local, Margaret Lombardi (Jessica Clarke), who is expecting twins, and Sister Monica Joan vanishes!

Thankfully, there’s fun to be had as Sister Frances and Sister Hilda move into Nonnatus House, and Violet organises a Teddy Bears’ Picnic and a contest to guess the sex of the imminent baby of a very famous mum-to-be – the Queen!

A cracking opener.

Call The Midwife S8 - EP1

Jenny Agutter as Sister Julienne

Jenny Agutter, 66, 
who plays Sister Julienne, Helen George, 34, aka Trixie, and Jennifer Kirby and Leonie Elliott, both 30, who play Valerie and Lucille, tell 
TV Times more about this series of Call the Midwife…

The new series is set in 1964. What can we expect?

Jenny: You have things that really mark the year, so the Queen is pregnant and you see wonderful designs coming in with the clothes.
Helen: This series is focusing on the rights of women, or lack of them. There’s an underlying current about abortion, which was still illegal. Characters have botched abortions and we see the issues 
that causes.
Jennifer: There are further abortion cases down the line and Valerie takes it personally and 
is upset. She’s invested in the community because it’s where she’s from. So the idea that somebody’s doing this in the area and women are going to those lengths and ending up in this state is troubling.

What other big medical cases 
are tackled during the course 
of the new series?

Helen: There’s the start of the smear test and Trixie’s instrumental in pushing for that in Poplar. It is incredible to think it’s not that long ago. We also have a baby with a cleft lip and palate and we use an amazing animatronic baby. There’s also an issue with a young girl who we find out is a hermaphrodite. 
In the 1960s, it was not really discussed so it’s interesting 
for Trixie to learn about.

The series sees Sister Frances and Sister Hilda settling in at Nonnatus House. Is it nice to 
have new faces on board?

Leonie: Yes, it’s great to have fresh blood and I don’t feel as much of 
a new girl as last year now. The place also feels fuller.
Jennifer: It was getting sparse 
at the table! It’s nice to have 
new people and that’s how the characters feel as well about 
having fresh faces and different energy around. Ella and Fenella 
are both really great ladies, too.

TV Times rating: *****