Call the Midwife’s Season 8 premiere welcomes 1964, four new babies – and another heritage in Queen Elizabeth’s royal household – to add two brand-new nuns who cause the average period of sisters at Nonnatus home to plummet. The very first episode likewise takes a difficult look in ~ an worry which will be a recurring one this season: abortion, which was illegal in the united kingdom until the Abortion act of 1967.

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Fresh Faces


Frances and also Hilda, sisters of the fabric introduced in the 2018 holiday Special, leaving the mom House much south that London to end up being Poplar inhabitants in Call the Midwife Season 8.

Saucer-eyed sister Frances (Ella Bruccoleri) is young, clumsy and also eager come please. As the novice gets all set for the big religious ceremony when she’ll commit come a life that service, she giggles and blushes in ~ the vision of her symbolic white wedding dress being ironed through Sister Hilda (Fenella Woolgar, Home Fires – Masterpiece).

Mother premium Mildred (Miriam Margolyes, Harry Potter and also Miss Fisher’s murder Mysteries) sits Frances down to break the news the she’s assigned come Nonnatus home in rough-all-over Poplar. Frances is much more frightened than “Glad every Over.”

“It’s scarcely the soil of milk and also honey, and also if it were, we should not be referred to as to work there!” is how Mother Mildred sums up France’s future home.

Don’t worry, Frances! Jump-to-it sister Hilda will be authorized Nonnatus House, too. Hilda is an competent midwife who offered in the Women’s assistant Air pressure in world War II before ending up being a nun.

Also new is the receptionist in ~ Dr. Turner’s surgery: miss out on Higgins (Georgie Glen). She appears prim and proper, but she blasts patience confidentiality complete of holes with almost every remark in the wait room. Shelagh Turner (Laura Main), the former nun that helps she husband Dr. Turner (Stephen McGann) run his practice, go her best to reign in miss out on Higgins’ commentary.

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Shelagh Turner (LAURA MAIN), and also the new receptionist miss out on Higgins (GEORGIE GLEN).


For Queen and Country

We’re reunited with ours midwives in a morning scene in which they chatter around the pregnant Queen Elizabeth before getting their assignments because that the day. Trixie Franklin (Helen George) quips the “nothing therefore vulgar as a date” because that the Queen’s delivery is ever before mentioned – why not make that public? Nurse Crane (Linda Bassett) commandeers the conversation, saying if the Queen “isn’t likely to guideline up at the academy waving a jam jar of urine and wanting to recognize where her milk tokens are, I indicate we move on come the morning’s job at hand.”

The women of Call the Midwife have actually quite a method with words, sometimes upending what we expect of brother propriety.

Elsewhere, shopkeeper Violet Buckle (Annabelle Apsion) is to run a betting swimming pool on even if it is the country will welcome a brand-new prince or princess. Miss Higgins has actually pink and blue ribbons comfortable to adorn the portrait that Queen Elizabeth she has actually hung over her desk.

The one of Life


Sister Monica Joan (Judy Parfitt) learns the the old clinical kit bags will be replaced and discarded.


Sister Monica Joan (Judy Parfitt) is Britain’s very first midwife and the series wellspring that eloquence, nimbly articulating unit volume that can be mistaken for lines native Shakespeare. However the nonagenarian additionally suffers indigenous confusion, and also as a medical professional, she’s noncompliant when it involves looking after ~ her own ailing health.

She goes right into a panic as soon as she learns the midwives’ decades-old leather clinical bags have actually not just been replaced, however will be melted as rubbish by Fred Buckle (Cliff Parisi, EastEnders). One bag to be hers, i beg your pardon she passed under to another midwife. The bag represents she trailblazing life’s work.

Whether or not it’s her exact bag, Monica Joan snatches one from Fred’s pile and goes missing. Eastern End native Valerie Dyer (Jennifer Kirby) and Jamaican immigrant Lucille Anderson (Leonie Elliott) collection off right into the eastern End’s streets in search of her the night, carrying flashlights. As resident of new York City in 2019, it would certainly never happen to me to use a flashlight at night. Was the hard-hit eastern End still recovering native the everyday bombings the the Blitz, which by 1941 had left a third of London’s streets a pile of rubble? ns don’t know what nighttime visibility was choose in London the 1960s, however I did find this hobbyist’s exhaustive site on the history of the U.K.’s street lighting.

Valerie find the bewildered sister in ~ the ruins of the Elfrida Hospital for mother & Babies.

“The baby we all await is ~ above its way. A crown will certainly be the no comfort wherein she labors, yet a midwife might,” Monica Joan pleads together she waits in vain to be let in “to assist” in the birth of the Queen’s baby.

To both acknowledge and dissuade Monica Joan, Val reminds her of the excellent job she did once attending Val’s own birth. However she note Monica Joan’s cold shouldn’t be passed on to the Queen. V that, she convinces Monica Joan to come home.

Sgt. Woolf (Trevor Cooper) drives the midwives back to Nonnatus House and assures Monica Joan that he’ll watch over her bag. Sisters Julienne (Jenny Agutter) asks a wake up Nurse Crane to invite the sergeant come the kitchen. He angle for a piece of the house’s acclaimed cake, however Crane coldly ignores his hint and also offers cookie instead.

The hazards of Illegal Abortion


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Catherine Hindman (EMILY BARBER) share her an enig with her sister Lesley Whyte (JORDON STEVENS).


No sooner has actually Val rescued one woman when an additional appears from out of the night.

Lesley Whyte, whose residence birth Lucille attended previously in this episode, brings her sister Catherine to the Nonnatus residence door, in dire require of medical help.

The aspiring model has been ill for days after seeing “a woman” to get rid of her pregnancy. She was told her body would certainly expel the fetus, however it hasn’t and she’s weak and in an excellent pain. The siblings didn’t go to the hospital, because they fear Catherine will certainly be arrested: abortion is illegal.

Not wanting to attract the visiting sergeant’s attention, Val quiet ushers the sister to a bathroom. Sister Frances trails behind through a asked for enamel bowl and briefly witnesses the scene before being sent out away again.

As throughout childbirths ~ above Call the Midwife, this step does not cut quickly far from pains or blood. After moving the dead fetus, Catherine is gray and nearly unconscious. Val consults v Sister Julienne, Sister-In-Charge of the house, saying she doubt that material left within Catherine ~ the abortion has actually led to infection. They speak to for one ambulance.

“Did we do the best thing bringing her in?” Val asks Julienne.

“The word midwife way ‘with woman.’” sister Julienne answers. “A mrs in that case needs somebody by her side whatever mistakes or choices lugged her to our door.” She leaves to accompany Catherine to hospital.

Sister Frances is clean the blood-stained toilet floor as soon as Val come to assist her and also say, “Sorry, ns should have actually shielded you.”

“Why? … ns came below to execute God’s work,” Frances protests.

Angry at the misery this back-alley abortion caused, Val replies bitingly, “If this is oh my gosh work, i’m surprised you desire anything to perform with him.”

More Complications

Catherine’s womb was lacerated by instruments used in the abortion, i m sorry she go not receive at a clinical facility, however in “a house.” in ~ the hospital, she obtain an procedure to treat she womb and make sure no stays of the fetus room inside.

“Thank girlfriend for not saying i deserved this,” Catherine claims to sister Julienne.

When she awakes v her sister Lesley by her side, she learns the surgical procedure team eliminated her womb. She wasn’t asked. She wanted a infant one day.

Lesley asks if she’s going to report the unnamed woman that performed the abortion. Catherine won’t, yet Lesley goes to the Sergeant in ~ the Darras Street Police station to shot to open up an investigation into the woman. He suggests that Catherine should make a statement, or at least administer a name or location.

What are the Odds that Three?


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Nurse Trixie Franklin (Helen George) helps the pregnant Mrs. Lombardi (Jessica Clark).


Mrs. Lombardi is pregnant with twins, and currently has two sons. She husband isn’t adept as a caretaker for children, but he is concerned about his wife, who is advised to it is in on bedrest in ~ the maternity ward.

As she goes into labor, Shelagh thinks she might feel 3 heads in Mrs. Lombardi’s womb and also asks Trixie to research her. It’s two, Trixie confirms. After transporting the an initial baby, Mrs. Lombardi deals with a larger challege: a breech baby (one that is positioned through its feet towards the birth canal). Despite Dr. Turner is referred to as to be existing at this more daunting birth, that stands ago to let Nurse Crane and also the mommy do your work. Mrs. Lombardi provides birth to a second girl.

Nurse Crane then detects a third heartbeat. That is triplets! The mother breaks right into miserable sobs in ~ the news. The trouble currently is the baby is transverse, lying next to next in the womb.

Shelagh helps manipulate the baby’s position externally and also leaves the room.

But in brief order, Dr. Turner looks in ~ Trixie and also says, “This baby requirements to be delivered. The heart rate is very rapid.” She leaves the room, knowing exactly what the meant. I didn’t, nor did I understand what that meant as soon as Trixie speak Shelagh, “We require the obstetrics flying squad urgently!”

No, it’s not a formation that will certainly fly in via helicopter. This form of emergency team began in the early 1930s and was deployed as soon as a situation was past one midwife’s assistance. Created of one obstetrician, one anaesthetist and also a midwife, the team generally would rush (ie: “fly”) to dwellings where there to be complications in birth.

Mrs. Lombardi’s labors and some forceps help deliver the child, i m sorry is silent and also appears lifeless. Trixie starts massaging and rubbing the newborn while Shelagh puffs right into a hose associated to a water-filled plastic an equipment that additionally has a tube connecting come the infant’s mouth.

The squad does come quickly, but Nurse Crane halts them at the door, together the bear has currently occurred and she doesn’t desire the mom frightened through the crowd. Trixie and also Shelagh proceed their initiatives to revive the baby.

At last the 3rd baby cries, and also so perform we.

(We’d prefer to congratulate Jessica Clark, the actress playing Mrs. Lombardi, top top this long scene of childbirths, one which also demanded lot of the present composer, whose music constructed such suspense.)

Later, Trixie seeks out Mrs. Lombardi’s husband in the neighborhood pub, no small an obstacle as she continues her sobriety. She informs the man, bewildered by his family’s rapid development by three, that the “poorly” baby, who could use his attention, because his mam Margaret is also weak to view her in her separate room.

He pipeline the countless congratulatory complete pints top top the table prior to him and also heads to the maternity ward. Trixie, through her tactful way of expressing things in the way they’re finest heard, has actually helped Mr. Lombardi view that he deserve to have a role in caring for his children, too.

What’s Left Undone


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Sister Hilda (FENELLA WOOLGAR) and also Sister Julienne (Jenny Agutter) talk about abortion.


Sergeant Woolf access time Lesley and also her husband in ~ their house to shot to learn exactly how to uncover the woman who performed her sister’s abortion. The species of making an meeting were secretive to safeguard the location. Lesley is adamant the it is the woman that is breaking the law, no those that visit her.

Lesley visits Catherine in the hospital and also is surprised to learn she is about to leave. Catherine has a hard collection to she face and also says she’ll restart she career plans and “go the end West.” Lesley asks if she’ll speak to the police before she pipeline town. No, Catherine wants it every to it is in in the past. But she’ll lug the shame wherever she goes.

At Nonnatus House, sister Hilda speak Julienne the she’s debated the abortion situation with sisters Frances and also remembers a woman she as soon as once to visit who provided a screwdriver to execute her own abortion. “If nobody speaks out, whereby will the end?” Hilda asks. “It will end where it constantly ends,” states Julienne. “In silence.”

Last Scenes


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In call the Midwife Season 8, episode 1, the bear of the Queen’s baby boy is celebrated.


Before closing through words of thoughtful wisdom indigenous the narrator, scene unfold to the song of buoyant song “I choose It,” through Gerry & the Pacemakers, a number one struggle from 1963. The Lombardi household pose because that photos, Fred returns Sister Monica Joan’s bag to her door, and also the Nonnatus family and also friends celebrate the bear of Queen Elizabeth’s new baby boy, Prince Edward, born march 10, 1964.

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For more background top top the year the midwives and sisters room living through, view our 1964 highlights the songs, films, developments in medicine and also science and also more. Clock the next seven Call the Midwife illustration on Sundays in ~ 8pm. Episodes will stream for two weeks after broadcast.