Call The Midwife, Series Seven Finale ~ Review

It’s taken me a week and a second viewing of the series finale of Call The Midwife in order for me to be able to compile my thoughts. The series itself has been a minefield of ups and downs, highs and lows and there hasn’t been one episode that hasn’t left me in tears – at some point. The writers on Call The Midwife are so consistent and they certainly know how to tug at the heart strings. The departure of Barbara (Charlotte Ritchie) is still ricocheting about in my mind as I ponder on the brilliance of the episode that I’ll have to cling onto until Christmas! Here are my highlights from yet another dream of an instalment of one of my favourite television programmes.

Funeral

If you haven’t watched the episode yet then tissues will not only be necessary – they will be VITAL! Barbara’s funeral was one of the saddest scenes on television I’ve ever seen and when Phyllis (the mighty Linda Bassett) appeared to give her reading, I was in need of a life jacket, I was literally drowning in tears. Barbara will be so missed and much as I understand that it was time for the glorious Ms Ritchie to move on to pastures new, I can’t believe she’s been written out!

Happy Birthday Angela

I was in tears again when Shelagh (Laura Main) broke down in Dr Turner’s (Stephen McGann) arms as she tried to move on from the funeral and prepare for Angela’s (Alice Brown) birthday party. The fact that she was keeping busy to occupy her mind resonated. It was a pretty fabulous party though, mummy did good.

Phyllis

Let’s just take another moment to appreciate the talent of Linda Bassett who has excelled herself as Phyllis, this series. The character has grown on me and her relationship with Barbara was precious. I hope we see romance blossom in the next series – or maybe at Christmas? A wee kiss under the mistletoe with a certain copper?

Happy Birthday Sister Monica Joan

Sister Monica Joan’s (Judy Parfitt) birthday celebrations were stunning. The video footage used which included Barbara was such a moving, beautiful tribute and it was great to see Trixie (Helen George) looking good! A more fitting close to the episode and series I couldn’t imagine. Re-visiting that carousel ride will stay with me for a long time to come.

…until Christmas!

It’s hard to believe that the next time we check in on our favourite characters will be after some turkey and Christmas pud – until then, let’s binge-watch series seven, and maybe the rest of the series before it too! Thanks for reading my episode reviews, I’ll aim to be back with my next Call The Midwife review as soon after Christmas Day as I possibly can.

Why not re-watch series 7 by purchasing it here:

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Call The Midwife, Series Seven, Episode Seven ~ Review

Call The Midwife, wow what can be said except it was the most tear-jerking episode of the series so far! It’s hard to believe that Barbara (Charlotte Ritchie) has gone and that we were given a few glimmers of hope throughout the episode before the tragic end came! What a traumatic viewing experience, yet absolutely brilliantly done as usual. My tears were rolling once Phyllis (Linda Bassett) finally lost her cool and let out all of her pent up emotion. Here’s the full review… (whilst I hiccup and sob some more):

Barbara seems better…

Barbara appears to be pulling through the Meningitis and Septicaemia, to the point where Phyllis is standing guard over her bed with a schedule for visitors and the staff looking after the poorly midwife are pleased with her progress. Tom (Jack Ashton) starts to talk about a different life away from midwifery where they could raise their own family. Everything appears to be positive…

Sister Monica Joan

Sister Monica Joan (Judy Parfitt) is refusing to wear her spectacles and indeed to eat due to her sorrow for Barbara. It’s a relief to see her wearing her specs when she visits her treasured colleague and friend. Even a brief scene like that. Judy Parfitt can make her own in the most marvellous way – what a terrific actress.

Faith

Lucille’s (Leonie Elliott) faith is very much at the centre of this week’s episode and it’s apt in a way, considering later events. It shows another side to Lucille’s character and gave another fine opportunity for Leonie Elliott to show us what she’s capable of, Lucille is fast becoming a favourite of mine. I’m so glad she found her place of worship in the end.

Shelagh to the rescue

With a midwife down, Sister Julienne (Jenny Agutter) is keen to call in Shelagh (Laura Main) to save the day. I wonder if Shelagh might return to her previous profession now she’s had a taste for it again. I do enjoy watching her in her rightful place as a midwife.

Farewell to a much loved character

The lift that Barbara’s health took was a smoke-screen as she succumbed to her illness in the end. I’m devastated at the loss of such a fantastic character and I will miss Charlotte Ritchie. It was heart breaking to watch Tom saying goodbye, yet somehow even harder to watch Phyllis deal with it. RIP Barbara, you’ll be much missed by more than just I, you’re the talk of Twitter!

 

Call The Midwife, Series Seven, Episode Five ~ Review

Call the Midwife – there’s always something to cry about, I say it every week and this episode was no different. Jam packed full of emotional exchanges and scenes so beautifully filmed that each one made an impact. Here’s my personal highlights of one of my favourite episodes to date:

Picnic Panic

Violet’s (Annabelle Apsion) planning a communal outing for a picnic and in her usual panic about getting everything just right. Thankfully it’s a great success and what a gorgeous setting it was too! I loved Fred (Cliff Parisi) putting the signage on the poster the wrong way up!

Small Pox (or is it?)

When Ade Babaaro (Jordan Peters) goes into hiding having been thrown off the boat he was working aboard, he’s quick to stop anybody from touching him in case he’s infecting them with Small Pox. When Reggie (Daniel Laurie) find him and decides to take pity on him, Fred and Violet are anxious in case he’s caught it. However, when Phyllis (Linda Bassett) draws Ade’s whereabouts out of Reggie, she soon discovers that the suspected Small Pox is Leprosy. Cue a mission to get the right help and a cure for the poor chap!

Tokophobia

Learning that fear of giving birth is called Tokophobia in one of the most harrowing yet exceptional scenes ever was one of the absolute highlights of the episodes for me. Brilliant, I can’t articulate it any clearer than that!

Seeing the light

Sister Monica Joan (Judy Parfitt) has her operation scheduled for her cataract removal, I can’t help but feel that this storyline will make for more tear-jerking moments yet. There’s nobody better than Judy Parfitt to carry this story, either.

Barbara’s Back!

Barbara’s (Charlotte Ritchie) back to stay! That made the episode complete for me, one of my favourite characters and Richie is an amazing actress. Exciting times!

Spotlight On… Star of The Crucible & Call The Midwife, Victoria Yeates

Victoria Yeates is best known for her role in Call The Midwife, she is usually found beneath a wimple as Sister Winifred – however she is currently appearing as Elizabeth Proctor in The Crucible by Arthur Miller. Here’s what Victoria had to say about the production…

Victoria as Sister Winifred in Call The Midwife (Credit: BBC)

Thanks for talking to Break A Leg, how familiar were you with the script?

Not very familiar but I had read the play at school.

What have reactions to the piece been like so far?

Incredibly positive…

What do you think the strengths of the production are?

I think it’s pace. Doug didn’t want the audience to have time to reflect so you feel pulled along in the madness with them.

What is the biggest challenge for you in playing Elizabeth?

It’s hard because, at the beginning of the play, she’s so conflicted; she has five things going on at the same time. She loves her husband John but he has been unfaithful to her so you see her as being aggressive, defensive, guilty, scared that he might leave her and on top of that she also wants to be the best wife to him. It’s what happens when someone is having an affair but here the stakes are so high and she doesn’t know how to express herself. It’s a complicated part but it makes it really interesting.

What do you enjoy about theatre work?

I like getting time to hone. Also with text this well written you are endlessly finding more layers and being surprised every night by something new. This longevity really allows you to open as an actor I think and have a ‘work out’ so-to-speak.

When you’re on tour, what home comforts do you like to have in your dressing room?

A nice scented candle, I like to bring a nice blanket with me from home and probably some flowers.

Just quickly dipping into Call The Midwife (because I’m a huge fan, like the rest of the nation!) why do you think the show is so popular and what do you particularly like about your character Sister Winifred?

I like that we are still getting to know Winnie, she still has a lot hidden. I like how she has struggled with judgement and other more unattractive qualities we all share. I think in this current climate its important to represent someone we like, but then feel contradicted in that liking by some of their views we don’t particularly share. I think it’s so successful because people like watching connection and community. Stories we can all share in and have a link to in some way…..and of course as its nearly all women! 

Huge thanks to Victoria for her time, I can’t wait to come and see this and I’m excited for more Call The Midwife too!

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