Call The Midwife shares important news about the Christmas special

Megan Sutton
·10-min read
Photo credit: Call The Midwife
Photo credit: Call The Midwife

From Good Housekeeping

Fans of Call The Midwife will be thrilled to know filming has resumed on series 10, after being halted due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Stars including Laura Main, Helen George and Leonie Elliott have shared behind the scenes snaps of themselves in costume, or with their hair and makeup done, giving us a glimpse into the upcoming series.

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Guess who's back?? 🎬 #callthemidwife

A post shared by Leonie Elliott (@msleonieelliott) on Aug 31, 2020 at 10:22am PDT

Excitingly, we know filming has wrapped on the Christmas special. On 30 September, the makers of the show shared the following:

"Today we passed an important milestone that we wanted to share with you all – we have completed filming for the new Christmas Episode! As you may know, it’s a tradition in filming to take a picture of the first and last clapperboards used, along with the actors who are involved in that scene. Today it’s the turn of our lovely Leonie Elliot (Lucille), with her screen partner the brilliant Zephryn Taitte (Cyril)!

"Now normally we would wait to do our final clapperboard shot until the whole of filming for Series 10 was complete. But we thought it was important to mark this moment today, as we think it’s good news in these uncertain times. Although there is still much post-production work to do on the episode – editing, sound, music, etc – these jobs are much easier to do under any distancing restrictions. So we can once again assure you that we really WILL be seeing you at Christmas!

"The Christmas episode is very important to us. It’s our personal gift to you all – a sign that, like the festival itself, all of the most important things in life remain true and constant, regardless of the uncertainties of a changing world. Love. Family. Hope. Care. Compassion. Community. As central to the message of the season as they are to our drama."

Filming now continues on series 10.

Call The Midwife season 10: What's been happening?

In March, the makers of the popular BBC programme took to social media to announce that filming on the Christmas special and subsequent series had been paused.

"Very sadly, we have had to postpone the filming of this year's Call the Midwife Christmas Special and Series 10," the statement said.

"Our priority is the safety of our amazing cast and crew, and we don't believe that shooting at the current time is feasible or responsible.

"However, the moment the situation improves, the nuns and nurses of Nonnatus House will be back on their bikes, bringing babies and joy into your living rooms.

"We send our love to the worldwide Call the Midwife family, and look forward to being back in Poplar soon.

"On behalf of everybody at Call The Midwife, we wish you all good health," it concluded.

Following that initial statement, Call The Midwife revealed some work on the show was still happening, adhering to social distancing regulations.

"Our attitude is that isolation needn’t mean idleness! We’re ploughing ahead with all necessary and appropriate work to ensure that we’re ready to start filming as soon as possible," the show revealed on social media.

Photo credit: BBC
Photo credit: BBC

It shared some information about how team members were getting work done.

"Jade Armstrong is one of our intrepid costume team for the next series – and a key lesson for any member of the Call the Midwife frock squad is to know exactly how to put on the iconic midwife’s uniform in the correct way. So, if one is self-isolating, what better way to learn than to put the uniform on yourself," the post read.

"Meanwhile, down in the workshops, our brilliant Art Director Tamsin Ghandhi works alone to paint an important part of the set for a forthcoming episode story. We can’t tell you what it’s all about yet, but we’re all very excited!"

The programme makers reassured fans they're keeping safe and sent warm wishes.

"All necessary precautions are being taken for the safety of our wonderful team, but we have been deeply touched by the continued good spirit and enthusiasm of everybody involved. Our message to you all is to keep safe, keep your spirits up, and we’ll be back with you just as soon as we can," the post ended.

Photo credit: BBC
Photo credit: BBC

Then, the makers of the show gave this exciting statement on 18 August:

"Call the Midwife is recommencing filming for the Christmas special 2020 and Series 10! Yesterday, our own Dr Turner (Stephen McGann, pictured with our Head of Make-up, Stella O'Farrell) was back on set – suitably Covid protected - to christen our new season’s filming"

The statement went on to say that "bringing all of the [cast and production staff] back together to film in safety during a pandemic has been our top priority in these last months. But being able to deliver a brand new Christmas Special and Series 10 to you is the very best reward that we could wish for."

Call The Midwife season 10: When's it on TV?

A spokesperson for the show confirmed to Good Housekeeping that the Christmas Special will air in 2020 as planned, with the series following on in the New Year. It's unclear how long the gap between the festive special and the main series will be.

Call The Midwife season 10: Who's in it?

Sadly, we know that Nurse Valerie, played by Jennifer Kirby, won't be returning.

"After four joyful years spent with Call the Midwife I have decided to say goodbye to Nonnatus, Val, and the wonderful cast, crew and production team. The programme is truly a national treasure, and it will always be a huge honour for me to have been a part of something so wonderful. I can’t wait to keep watching our beloved Nonnatuns from the other side of the screen. Long live Call the Midwife. So long chicks," Jennifer wrote in a post on Instagram.

Expect to see other series regulars to return. This list includes:

Jenny Agutter (Sister Julienne), Linda Bassett (Nurse Crane), Judy Parfitt (Sister Monica Joan), Fenella Woolgar (Sister Hilda), Ella Bruccoleri (Sister Frances), Helen George (Trixie), Laura Main (Shelagh Turner), Leonie Elliott (Lucille), Stephen McGann (Dr Turner), Cliff Parisi (Fred), Annabelle Apsion (Violet), Georgie Glen (Miss Higgins), Max Macmillan (Timothy), Zephryn Taitte (Cyril) and Daniel Laurie (Reggie).

Of course, it's expected there'll be guest stars joining the cast each episode, too, as people come and go through the doors of Nonnatus House and the surgery.

Photo credit: BBC
Photo credit: BBC

Despite being a popular addition to Nonnatus House, Dr Turner's surgery and fans of Call The Midwife, Dr Kevin McNulty (Lee Armstrong) was deeply troubled and masking a prescription drug addiction. When he overdosed in the season nine finale and Dr Turner finally realised the extent of Dr McNulty's issues, he and Shelagh were on-hand to offer support. They spoke with Kevin about how he'd be going to a clinic to receive help and didn't rule out the prospect of him getting back to work someday. But will he return to Poplar and serve the community with the women of Nonnatus?

Call The Midwife season 10: What's it about?

At this stage, we don't have a lot of details about the main series, however showrunner Heidi Thomas has revealed the location of the Christmas special.

While last year's festive episode was set in the remote Outer Hebrides and previous specials have been located in West Sussex and South Africa, this year will be a little different.

"We are staying in Poplar," Thomas told Radio Times.

"We are not going anywhere cold, we are not going anywhere wet, we’re not going anywhere far away. It’s very much Poplar-based," she explained.

“And there will be snow and there will be tinsel and there will be trees and there will be Christmas dinner at Nonnatus House. And beyond that it’s a secret!”

In a statement, the show revealed some details about the Christmas special:

"It is December 1965. Everyone at Nonnatus House is looking forward to traditional celebrations with all the trimmings, but nothing goes quite to plan. Sister Monica Joan is rushed to hospital and Trixie is incensed to receive a subscription to a Marriage Bureau as a Christmas gift. Meanwhile, a surprise reunion for Shelagh involves her in a deeply moving birth, and the Circus arrives in Poplar, bringing new friendships, new experiences, and an exciting adventure for Nurse Crane…."

Photo credit: BBC
Photo credit: BBC

Throughout the ninth series, Sister Julienne (Jenny Agutter) was dealing with the threat of hard times ahead for the order of Nonnatus House. This came to a head in the finale when she was told her overall spending budget was to be halved while the rent for Nonnatus House was set to sky-rocket. Despondent, she told her fellow Sister and Midwives, who came to the rescue. After Sister Monica Joan (Judy Parfitt) discovered a stash of letters dating back to the 1920s, proving how much the community relies on Nonnatus House, Nurse Trixie (Helen George) gave an impassioned speech that resulted in the full budget being restored. However, they were told this reprieve was time limited to just 12 months. Does this mean that next series we'll see the end of the order? Let's hope not.

Ever since the lovely Cyril came on the scene, it's been clear he and Lucille share a special connection, however due to their busy work schedules, it's not been smooth sailing for their romance. After what felt like forever, the pair finally rekindled their blossoming relationship towards in the middle of series nine and in the finale, Cyril at last confessed his love. When we meet them again will they be going strong and preparing for wedding? Or will their work lives continue to take precedent?

Photo credit: BBC
Photo credit: BBC

After the death of her imprisoned grandmother, Valerie was clearly devastated and will presumably need some time to process her grief. Prior to Elsie's death, Sister Julienne told Val that she could take compassionate leave to care for her grandma, but as of yet we don't know if she'll be taking time away from Nonnatus House now that Elsie's gone. Given Val was raised by her grandma in Poplar, the area holds many bittersweet memories. Will she take some time away? Or will the call of duty to help the families she cares for be too strong?

We'll (hopefully) find out the answers to these questions when Call The Midwife returns to BBC One.

In the meantime, watch this space for more Call The Midwife season 10 news.

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Photo credit: Hearst Owned
Photo credit: Hearst Owned

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