Call the Midwife creator Heidi Thomas reveals all about filming the Christmas special in the Outer Hebrides
Christmas just wouldn’t be Christmas without a Call the Midwife festive special. And this year’s seasonal instalment of the BBC1 period drama finds our favourite nuns and midwives leaving Nonnatus House behind for the chilly climes of the Outer Hebrides.
“It was high time to take the Christmas special out of Poplar and our characters out of their comfort zones,” the show’s creator, Heidi Thomas, tells us. “I wanted to put them somewhere uncomfortable because that’s where drama is born.”
The special sees them make their way to the remote Scottish islands as the residents are desperately short of medical assistance. The indefatigable Mother Mildred (Miriam Margolyes) swiftly gathers the troops including Sister Julienne (Jenny Agutter), Nurse Crane (Linda Bassett), Trixie (Helen George), Valerie (Jennifer Kirby), Lucille (Leonie Elliott), Fred (Cliff Parisi) and Dr Turner (Stephen McGann) and Shelagh (Laura Main).
Once they head to Scotland, however, the medical team soon find themselves facing unexpected challenges. Along with having to work in tough weather conditions, they have difficulties accessing the electricity that they urgently require to give their patients the best possible treatment.
Heidi admitted that she was very proud of the the cast and crew as they gamely dealt with filming in extreme weather at their windswept location in the Outer Hebrides.
“The actors were heroic because the winds were very cold. We had a couple of days of torrential downpour!” she revealed.
But the idyllic location soon won everyone over.
“It was so magical filming in the Outer Hebrides. It was possibly the most beautiful place I’ve ever been in my life,” enthused Heidi. “I wasn’t prepared for how extraordinarily rugged it was, but also how the light changes the landscape. When the sun comes out, you’re looking at one world. Then the snow comes down and you’re looking at something else entirely.”
Call the Midwife returns this Christmas on BBC1