British Isles Friday logoWelcome to British Isles Friday! British Isles Friday is a weekly event for sharing all things British and Irish — reviews, photos, opinions, trip reports, guides, links, resources, personal stories, interviews, and research posts. Join us each Friday to link your British and Irish themed content and to see what others have to share. The link list is at the bottom of this post. Pour a cup of tea or lift a pint and join our link party!

Last week, Tina reviewed book #24 in the Inspector Banks mystery series, Sleeping in the Ground. Heather reviewed the book Victoria and Abdul, in advance of seeing the film. Sim shared the trailer for The Darkest Hour, the upcoming film about Winston Churchill during the blitzkrieg and the evacuation of Dunkirk. Becky reviewed Sputnik’s Guide to Life on Earth and shared her first impressions of the Revised English Bible.

Call the Midwife

Exterior scenes of Call the Midwife, like this one, are filmed at Chatham Historic Dockyard.

My planned itinerary for a day trip from London to the Chatham Historic Dockyard included the Brit Movie Tour about Call the Midwife. Call the Midwife is a TV series about nursing and midwifery in the late 1950s and early 1960s. It is based on a memoir, with the same title, by Jennifer Worth.

Many of the exterior scenes for Call the Midwife are filmed at the Chatham Historic Dockyard which stands in for the East End of London at a time when it was still a bustling port, although declining from its glory days of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

After writing the post with my itinerary, I wanted to re-watch Call the Midwife. I timed it right because the episodes for Season 6 were released on Netflix while I was watching the earlier seasons, so I binged right through the new ones, too.

There are many fascinating themes that have echoes in modern times:

  • women’s autonomy
  • abortion issues
  • the delivery of health care
  • pharmaceutical testing
  • immigration
  • racial prejudice
  • the threat of nuclear war
  • the strengths of community
  • treatment of people with disabilities
  • poverty
  • supports and strictures of religion


I rarely re-watch shows (just as I rarely re-read books), but I think I may watch these at least one more time before our next trip to England. It’s remarkably calming for me to watch strong women perform their work with compassion and competence.

Call the Midwife is broadcast on BBC One and re-broadcast in the US on PBS. For binge-watching, I’m using Netflix. The BBC reports that we’ll get at least three more seasons, including Christmas specials, of Call the Midwife. That will take us to the mid-60s. I’m guessing it won’t keep going after that because it would have to turn into a hospital drama. We’ve already seen the transition from all home births to many births in a maternity home or hospital.

Are you a fan of Call the Midwife? Who is your favorite character? I’m hoping for a re-appearance of Chummy in the new seasons.


Call the Midwife #BriFri — 4 Comments

  1. I haven’t watched the show yet but had started the book. I like the character development and will have to watch the show before seeing the series.

    Recently I joined a British mystery book club via Goodreads. It’s called the Kindle mystery book club but you don’t have to use a kindle to particle. It’s opened up new authors to me, you may like it too 🙂

  2. I watched most of the first season and enjoyed it a lot, but at the time I had two little girls around all the time and the inevitable screaming childbirth scene (that *I* liked, but them not so much) made it hard to watch. Now I just don’t watch TV hardly ever, but I COULD!

  3. I might have to start watching the show again. Not sure why I stopped. As you may remember I’m very proudly of that generation of people born at home in London via midwife!

    A Brit show I’m enjoying tremendously is In the Club about pregnant women and the care they get during their pregnancy, at the hospital and after the fact. Still quite different from how it works over here.

    Sorry, no British Isles Friday post from me this week. Overwhelmed again by what’s happening in the world and also, finishing up the 3rd draft of my novel! Not set in France, it’s set in LA and San Francisco in the 1970’s.

    I hope to be back with a #BriFri post next week. Cheers! Sim

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