Wednesday, 24 April 2013

"Call the Midwife" BBC TV series Series 2, Episode 8 final, review, no spoilers

Forget "Downton Abbey", this show is must-see TV.
Every character is beautifully developed. We know them all: the wise and nurturing head nun (Sister Julienne/Jenny Agutter), her no-nonsense off-sider (Sister Evangelina/Pam Ferris), the English Rose who is always one man behind (Jenny/Jessica Raine), the tortured, angelic Sister Bernadette (Laura Main), the good time girl with the heart of gold (Trixie/Helen George), the mouse that occasionally roars (Cynthia/Bryony Hannah), the part senile, part poetic philosopher (Sister Monica Joan/Judy Parfitt), the shy, gradually blooming Jane (Dorothy Atkinson). And of course Chummy/Camilla. It is not surprising that the author, Jennifer Worth, the real life Jenny, suggested Miranda Hart for the part. Ms Worth died in 2011.
The show effortlessly goes from harrowing to heartwarming to hilarious. I am not at all religious but this show does a lot for the cause (as did "The Vicar of Dibley").  It's the best TV series about nuns (Catholic or Anglican) since the Australian mini-series "Brides Of Christ" (1991).
I tear up on a regular basis during Vanessa Redgrave's (older Jenny) closing narration for each episode. And the last episode was no exception. What will happen to Nonnatus House? We shall have to wait until series 3. I'll like to see them move Sister Evangelina! Should be interesting.
Big thumbs up for series creator and writer of many episodes, Heidi Thomas. The production design/art direction capturing 1950's East London/docks is exceptional.
Big thumbs up for the postwar introduction of the N.H.S. in Britain!

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