TV Review – ‘Call the Midwife’, Christmas Special 2020

Hello everyone! 🙂

Welcome to ‘Bradley’s Basement’ blog and I’m Tim Bradley!

Well, 2020 is a year where I reviewed more ‘Call the Midwife’ episodes than usual. As well as reviewing the Series 9 episodes, I also checked out Series 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 as well as the 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and (very recently) 2016 Christmas Specials. I’m looking forward to seeing Series 6 soon!

On Christmas Day this year, I saw the 2020 ‘Call the Midwife’ Christmas Special! I greatly enjoyed it. Now I must admit, I was dubious about there being a ‘Call the Midwife’ Christmas Special this year. This is because of the global pandemic we’ve been through involving Covid-19 – please keep safe. 😐

I didn’t think it was going to happen. But surprisingly, it happened and we’ll soon be receiving a Series 10 (albeit in a reduced form of seven episodes instead of eight). I wondered how they would make a Christmas Special and a Series 10 possible due to all the Covid-19 restrictions and limitations.

As I watched the Christmas Special itself on Christmas evening, I wondered if things would be awkward in terms of the cast members having to do a lot of social distancing whilst performing. But surprisingly and with a lot of coordinated effort and clever camerawork, it seemed to work out well.

Now I don’t understand how filming a TV programme under tight Covid conditions works, especially when it involves the cast and crew filming in a bubble or something. It’s impressive how they were able to make the Christmas Special under those sorts of conditions as it can’t have been that easy. 🙂

I applaud the cast for having to cope with abiding by government guidance when filming the ‘Call the Midwife’ Christmas Special on set. It’ll be interesting to see how it works in Series 10. By the second half of the Christmas Special, I almost forgot the cast and crew were filming under tight conditions. 🙂

It was great to see most of the ‘Call the Midwife’ cast back including Jenny Agutter as Sister Julienne, Linda Bassett as Nurse Crane, Judy Parfitt as Sister Monica Joan, Helen George as Trixie, Laura Main as Shelagh, Leonie Elliott as Lucille, Stephen McGann as Dr. Turner, Cliff Parisi as Fred and many more.

After hearing the 2020 ‘Call the Midwife’ Christmas Special being green-lit, I didn’t think there was much to interest me. I thought it was going to be mundane. Thankfully, the special has a guest star I was excited about – Peter “There’s always something to look at if you open your eyes!” Davison!!! 😀

From seeing Peter as Tristan in ‘All Creatures Great and Small’ and the Fifth Doctor in ‘Doctor Who’, as well as seeing him at conventions over the years, I couldn’t be happier to see him in ‘Call the Midwife’. My Christmas became happier in seeing my favourite ‘Doctor Who’ in this drama series. 🙂

Peter plays Mr. Percival, the ringmaster of a circus that comes to Poplar. It was lovely to see Peter play a ringmaster and I enjoyed the story he had about being concerned for his daughter who’s about to have her baby. Peter also has some nice scenes with Linda Bassett as Nurse Crane in this.

Mr. Percival gives Nurse Crane her dream to try out being on a trapeze at his circus. I do wonder though if that was Linda Bassett on the trapeze or whether it was a stunt woman. It depends on how they filmed it under Covid restrictions. I’m so thankful Nurse Crane didn’t end up injuring herself. 😀

I was concerned when Mr. Percival was coughing a lot due to his smoking cigarettes. I hope Peter was acting-coughing and not actually coughing due to what’s been going on with the pandemic. 😀 I’m sure he’s alright. 🙂 It’s also surreal to see how Peter is made to look older than usual in real-life.

I must admit, I did feel things were a bit slow in terms of setting up the story arc for Peter Davison as Mr. Percival in the special’s first half. But thankfully, by the time we got to the second half of the special, it became more interesting. I’m very glad Peter had a meatier role to play with his character.

The other subplots in the special are good too involving Sister Monica Joan who sadly gets hospitalised as well as Shelagh reuniting with Katie Lyons as Gloria Venables from Series 6, Episode 4 (which I’ve yet to see). I also enjoyed Trixie’s story in trying to find a suitable match to please her godmother. 😀

I was saddened to hear that Jennifer Kirby as Valerie didn’t return to the series. I’m glad they made a reference to her since she lost her gran at the end of Series 9 and she’s now working at the Hope Clinic in South Africa. Will Valerie come back to ‘Call the Midwife’? I hope it’s not a definite exit here.

So yes, the 2020 Christmas Special of ‘Call the Midwife’ was worth-watching. I’m amazed how the cast and crew made the special under tough conditions and it was great to see Peter Davison make a guest star appearance in it. I look forward to what will occur next in Series 10 when it comes in 2021.

Thanks for reading!

Bye for now!

Tim. 🙂


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