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CALL THE MIDWIFE

Films, TV shows, and books of the 'modern' era

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mrsl
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CALL THE MIDWIFE

Postby mrsl » May 19th, 2014, 3:41 pm

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This is just too good a show to be lumped in with the other various offerings on PBS much like Downton Abbey is so I'm giving it it's own topic line.

Today, after finally drying my eyes, I'm able to see my computer screen and the keys so I can ask my British friends if there is going to be a fourth season of this excellent program? Who could like Chummy's mater, you may ask, but when she died, the sympathetic feelings for Chummy were impossible to ignore. After that agonizing childbirth, and the death of mater, who would consider this a superb program, you also may ask. Well, I'll tell you. This is one of the most intriguing shows on TV. Set in the late 50'-60's in London's East End which I guess is a lower class neighborhood, it often has extremely serious subject matter, but again, often very funny and heart-warming story lines. Usually about 4 or 5 midwives (nurses) live and work at a catholic nuns convent named Nunnatus (patron saint of pregnant women ), along with about 4 or 5 nuns. The lead nun Sister Julienne, is a very kind and understanding sort who can forgive the slight hiccups the nurses stumble upon and her right hand is a "by the book" sort Sister Evangelina, who has a hard time accepting change and modernization, but can also be forgiving and understanding often enough. One of the nuns fell in love with the neighborhood doctor a couple of seasons ago, and they finally got married last season. Finally, the last nun is a very old woman Sister Monica Joan, who has quite a case of either senility or alzheimer's and speaks mainly only in biblical or poetic phrases and is rarely aware of the day, week or year. Other people appear as nuns, but rarely have spoken lines, they're just fillers for the convent scenes.

The nurses are' Trixie a blonde cutie who tries her best to imitate Marilyn M, Jayne Mansfield, etc. but at heart is just a small town gal looking for a husband. Jenny is the lead who wrote the book the series is based on, then Cynthia, a shy timid, but feisty little lady who handles troublesome husbands with a will of iron, and finally Chummy, another nurse who was married last season, and although decided to retire, couldn't stand it, and her policeman husband is a marvelous supporting sort who urges her to fulfill herself in all ways. Jenny's had boyfriends who have come and gone, unfortunately for her one was killed during WWI and it took most of the third season for her to recover, Trixie is always meeting someone, and quiet little Cynthia has yet to have an amorous adventure. But the little love stories are just minor side lines because the main theme is the care before, during, and after birth and all the things that can and do happen during pregnancy. You will shed tears on a weekly basis, trust me!!! So hopefully a fourth season is upcoming in the Fall and more after that.

This is such a wonderful show, I wish it had been noticed like Downton Abbey was so it could continue with some budgetary help or whatever it needs to return. PBS usually runs the whole previous season before starting the next, so hopefully you can catch it sometime this summer, if so, set your timers for record.
Anne


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stuart.uk
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Re: CALL THE MIDWIFE

Postby stuart.uk » May 20th, 2014, 10:49 am

Anne

The actress who plays Chummy, Miranda Hart is a very popular entertainer. She has her own sit com Miranda with Patrica Hodge as her mother. She's also a dab hand at stand up comedy and recently interviewed one of her heros Sir Bruce Forsyth in a tribute show to the elderly entertainer. Miranda was also influenced by double act Morcambe And Wise. Another link between Miranda and Bruce Forsyth is that it looks like she's going to host the game show The Generation Game, which Bruce hosted on 2 occassionsin the 70s and 90s.

Chummy's Mum in Call The Midwife was played by Cheryl Campbell, who globally is best know for her performance as Jennie Liddle, Eric's sister, in Charriots Of Fire

I've been trying to promote great UK shows on the forum, not yet seen in America

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mrsl
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Re: CALL THE MIDWIFE

Postby mrsl » May 20th, 2014, 10:18 pm

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Hey Stuart:

You never answered my question, Is there a fourth season? Does it just continue on without Jenny? The problem is that with the exception of Downton Abbey, Call the Midwife, and Mr. Selfridge our scheduling of all the other shows from Britain are at the very least one year behind you. By watching Lark Rise to Candleford faithfully, I knew exactly when Brendan Coyle got the part in Downton Abbey, but can't help wondering if he saw the end of L to C on the horizon because his part was equally good in both shows. The problem here is that there are no advertisements for any of the PBS shows, which is where these programs are aired. PBS is primarily a channel for children from early morning until about 5:00 p.m. on weekdays. Weekends are for cooking, remodeling, news etc. And since PBS is privately owned and sponsored, the other channels do not call any attention to it. Nearly all British shows are lumped under the umbrella of Masterpiece Theater, so unless you really scrutinize the channel guide, you don't know what show is being aired in a particular time slot. I'm not claiming that your programming is better than ours ( :lol: ha-ha-ha), but it is definitely a welcome change from much of our violence permeated offerings. I especially love the patter between Lionel and Jean on As Time Goes By. They say basically the same thing that couples here say, but with the English choice of phrases, sometimes I'm laughing at the T.V. like a loon.

So, 4th season or not?
.
Anne


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Vienna
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Re: CALL THE MIDWIFE

Postby Vienna » May 21st, 2014, 1:09 am

4th season starts next year,and there is a Xmas special coming up.
Just read Vanessa Redgrave will make an appearance ( as the older Jenny), presumably in a flashback.
Jessica Raine has left the series.
Glad you like the show.

stuart.uk
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Re: CALL THE MIDWIFE

Postby stuart.uk » May 21st, 2014, 10:00 am

Hi Anne

There will be another season, but as far as I'm aware there will be new stories, as the Jennifer North who's memiors was based on the show died in 2011 and her stories have ran out so. So new original stories have been written.

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mrsl
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Re: CALL THE MIDWIFE

Postby mrsl » May 22nd, 2014, 12:18 am

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Thanks to both of you Stuart and Vienna, I'll keep an eye out for the Christmas and first show of season 4.

Anne


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mrsl
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Re: CALL THE MIDWIFE

Postby mrsl » January 26th, 2015, 4:36 pm

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I meant to write last week but didn't get a chance to. For a Christmas show, which you generally expect to be relatively happy and fun, this one was quite a downer. Babies sick, people dying, and one of my favorites is going into the convent. I know that's supposed to be a happy time, but 50 years after spending 8 hours a day with nuns, at just about the time this series is supposed to be happening . . . sorry . . . but that does not seem a happy event to me. Anyway, acting-wise, and story-wise, it was a fine show, I just wish it had been a little more up-lifing. So says the lady who didn't take down her Christmas tree and other decorations until January 13, 2015.
Anne


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mrsl
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Re: CALL THE MIDWIFE

Postby mrsl » April 1st, 2015, 2:31 pm

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Hip, Hip, Hooray!!!! It's back!!!!This poor new girl is going to turn out with mental tics if Sister Evangelina keeps control of her. Chummy's hubby is such s love, he's almost the perfect idol for young men. So. . . I'm back to enjoying the anticipation of seeing the ladies on Sunday night, and also, I learned that on Saturday night, Death in Paradise is also coming back next week.

A funny thing happened. I'm so used to seeing my idols like Bob Mitchum, Cary Grant, and Gregory Peck as young, strong hunks, that it's odd to see them in their later years when they appear on special events like the oscars. But in this case, a lady named Jenny Agutter acts in Call the Midwife, in fact she is the head nun/nurse in charge and I'm used to seeing her in her wimple, with a few wrinkles in her face which is still lovely BTW. Now, the weird thing is she was the guest star on an old Magnum P.I. show, and if I hadn't seen her name as guest star, I never would have known it was her. She was breath-takingly beautiful. Of course that was filmed about 30 years ago. I'm still not up on my british actors and their past endeavors yet.
.
Anne


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Vienna
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Re: CALL THE MIDWIFE

Postby Vienna » April 2nd, 2015, 2:17 am

I remember Jenny Agutter as Julie Andrews's daughter in STAR.

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tinker
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Re: CALL THE MIDWIFE

Postby tinker » April 6th, 2015, 7:38 pm

Call the midwife is one of my favourite shows. I love its quirkiness and its willingness to take on quite controversial subjects. There is one early episode that I still cannot get out of my head when Nurse Jenny discovers that the wife of an elderly dying man she is nursing is actually his sister. The tears on that one are still on my keyboard.

I love Jenny Agutter as Sister Julian(ne), a strong woman who can cope with incest, abortion and deformed births without ever losing her humanity. Jenny Agutter was one of those Brit actors who had a strong career as lead in small British films and min series for many years. She is the scientist ( with the web toes) in a lovely film called Local Hero about an American who goes to North West Scotland to buy a village for an oil development and gets caught up in village life.

I think one of the Redgrave clan is a producer of Call the Midwife which may explain Vanessa Redgraves's involvement.


dee
But I, being poor, have only my dreams; I have spread my dreams under your feet; Tread softly because you tread on my dreams. (William Butler Yeats )
How did I get to Hollywood? By train. (John Ford)


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