Starring: Jessica Raine, Jenny Agutter, Pam Ferris, Judy Parfitt, Miranda Hart, and featuring Vanessa Redgrave
Studio: BBC Warner
ASIN: B0093I5QG8 (Blu-ray)
Release Date: November 6, 2012
Running Time: 360 minutes
Just in the time for the holidays is the release of the new hit series that aired on BBC in the UK and on PBS in the United States. I recall reading an article in the TV Guide a few months about the show, but I had forgotten it was being aired. Luckily, I got an opportunity to receive a free copy of Season One in exchange of an honest review courtesy of BBC Worldwide Americas.
The series was created and written by Heidi Thomas (also created Upstairs Downstairs) and is based on the memoirs of the late Jennifer Worth. Set in the poverty-stricken East London in the 1950s, the series centers around a young Jenny Lee (played by Jessica Raine), who believes she is going to be working at a small hospital called Nonnatus House, but to her surprise, it is actually a convent. She quickly befriends the other nurses, Trixie and Cynthia, the handyman Fred, and the Sisters, Julienne, Evangelina, Bernadette and Monica Joan. Jenny is there mainly as a midwife, but she has other duties to attend to as well. Just like the other midwives, Jenny must ride a bicycle to visit her patients.
The second episode introduces another supporting character, a tall woman named Chummy Browne, who shows up at the Nonnatus House wearing a pink uniform. She is an oddball character that doesn't quite fit in with the other nurses at first. She can't even ride a bicycle when she arrives, but she learns by the end of the episode.
There are only six episodes in the first season, running about sixty minutes each, but each episode is extremely well written and the cast does a remarkable job with their parts. Vanessa Redgrave provides the narration for each episode as an older Jenny.
I'm well aware of what a midwife does, but my first thought was that the series would be boring. To my surprise, Call the Midwife is anything but boring. I became instantly addicted to the show after the end of episode one. I had no idea what life was like back in 1950 as I'm only a 31-year-old, so I more than enjoyed the little details from the costumes to the streets of East London. I knew that times were tough back then, but I didn't know the poverty was that horrible. The main character Jenny is adorable, but Chummy steals every scene she is in. I absolutely fell in love with the show. I recommend Call the Midwife Season One to everyone.
- 2 - Call the Midwife: Season One DVD (2-disc)
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