Call the Midwife season eight is well underway, but just how much do you know about the hugely popular drama? Find out everything you need to know about season eight of the fan favourite BBC series, from everything that has happened in the story so far, how many episodes to expect, and how the series has impacted the UK so far…
The story so far…
So far in Call the Midwife, episode one kicked off with a woman who would like to become a model, who has an abortion which is illegal – and she has to have a hysterectomy. In episode two, a Ghanaian family suffer from Sickle Cell disease, and the doctor reveals that there is not enough research out there for these issues. The episode had a huge impact in the UK (see below!). In episode three, a child with a cleft lip and cleft palate is born, while in episode three, an estranged mother and daughter give birth in the same ward and become close again. In episode six, a woman is found to have intersex and follows her struggle with being against the norm.
How many episodes will there be?
Like every season from season two (since season one only had six episodes), season eight is thought to be made up of eight episodes on BBC One before it is over again! Fans won't have too long to wait though, as the show already films a Christmas special, and starts up again early in the New Year. Here's to 2020!
Who is in the cast?
Not only are (most) of the old favourites back for the new season, including Leonie Elliott, Jennifer Kirby and Stephen McGann, Helen George has also returned as Nurse Trixie after being absent for much of season seven. Helen revealed that she was delighted with her character's storyline, explaining: "It's a really interesting series and what's so great about Trixie this year is she's focused, she's not drinking, she's really expanding her career. What you see is her vulnerability but she really throws herself into other people’s lives. It’s been really nice concentrating on the medical side." Meanwhile, newcomers include Miriam Margolyes as Sister Mildred, Fenella Woolgar as Sister Hila, and Ella Bruccoleri as Sister Francis.
What has Charlotte Ritchie been up to since leaving?
Charlotte played Nurse Barbara from 2015 before leaving the show in season seven. Since saying goodbye to the beloved nurse on the popular show, Charlotte has gone on to star in Doctor Who as Lin, an archeologist who is controlled by a Dalek, and Iris Shephard in Death in Paradise, a zookeeper.
What effect has the show had in the UK?
A spokesperson for Call the Midwife revealed that after the second episode of season eight aired, which saw Dr Patrick Turner and Nurse Trixie help a family who suffer from the genetic blood disorder, sickle cell disease, an incredible 46% of people registered as new blood donors than the day before. Speaking about the reaction, the show's executive producer Pippa Harris said: "Although our show is set in the 1960s the impact of a sickle cell diagnosis is still a devastating one and there are thousands of people in the UK living with this condition. Giving blood like those who signed up last night can make a real and lasting impact on the future for those with sickle cell disease."
The abortion storylines also had a huge impact on viewers, since it wasn't legalised in the UK until 1967, and therefore looked at the effect it had on women before the law was passed. One person wrote: "#CallTheMidwife is breaking my heart tonight. First Sister Monica Joan and now this horrible back street abortion story. 1964 really wasn't that long ago but it's disgusting to think some women don't have the right to make that decision today!"