Directed by: Various (TV)
Countries & Regions: United Kingdom
Studio: 2 Entertain
Length: 360 mins
Region: Region 2
Released: 12 March 2012
Cat No: BBCDVD3577
Hard of Hearing Subtitles: English
Screen ratio 1:1.78
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Call the Midwife
All six episodes from the first series of the BBC drama, adapted from Jennifer Worth’s memoirs, about a group of midwives working in East... Read More
Those who rally against the perceived lack of strong roles for women in TV drama will take solace from the news that Call the Midwife has been hailed as the BBC’s biggest new drama for over a decade, pulling in higher ratings than ITV’s smash, Downton Abbey. Set in the East End of London in the 1950s, it follows a group of midwives as they strive to help mothers-to-be living in poverty.
Why has it been so successful? First and foremost, the characterisation is beautifully delineated, helped by a superb cast including Jenny Agutter, Pam Ferris and Miranda Hart, stealing scenes as the clumsy latest recruit (narration is provided by Vanessa Redgrave, portraying the main character as she looks back on her life). It also gets the balance right between sentimentality and grit, with cosy scenes of camaraderie tempered by references to contemporary problems, such as prostitution and syphilis. Heidi Thomas’ does full justice to the memoirs of Jennifer Worth (who died last year), creating a warm, entertaining drama that has already been commissioned for a second series.