‘Call the Midwife’, Series 4, Episode 1 (TV)


Please feel free to comment on my review.

It’s 1960! Welcome to Series 4 of ‘Call the Midwife’! It’s amazing how fast I’m going through each season of this period drama series. I’m currently enjoying this series as I like the characters and the situations.

In the first episode, we get introduced to a new regular in the series. This happens to be Charlotte Ritche as Barbara Gilbert. She’s a replacement for Cynthia Miller who’s now gone off to become nun.

I’ve seen Charlotte Ritchie before as she was in the ‘Doctor Who’ episode ‘Resolution’ with Jodie Whittaker. I like her ‘Call the Midwife’ debut as it’s an intriguing contrast compared to ‘Doctor Who’.

Barbara is a sweet character who gets easily stressed out upon her arrival in Poplar. She struggles with the kids playing around outside Nonnatus House and she has her ‘luggage’ be stolen by a dog. 😀

It’s not helped when Judy Parfitt as Sister Monica Joan refuses to let Barbara in upon her arrival. Thankfully she helps out when by throwing a bucket of water on the dog stealing Barbara’s ‘luggage’.

Though, Sister Monica did nick Barbara’s biscuit from her cup of tea when attending a lecture later on in the episode. It gets worse when Sister Monica ate the cake given to Trixie by Tom Hereward. 😀

Barbara also tends to be clumsy upon her early days working as a midwife, much to the annoyance of Pam Ferris as Sister Evangelina. This is due to Barbara being ‘inexperienced’ working as a midwife.

It’s interesting how it’s revealed Barbara is the daughter of a clergyman. Barbara also gets sick on the first night-in with Helen George as Trixie and Emerald Fennell as Patsy, due to eating a sandwich.

This is from the train ride she had in getting to Poplar. But at least people like Trixie, Patsy and Jenny Agutter as Sister Julienne welcome Barbara warmly with open arms despite her being inexperienced.

I like how Barbara becomes tireless in her work when helping a new mother who’s afraid her baby won’t survive being born. Sister Evangelina comes to admire that in Barbara as she gets to know her.

Sister Evangelina meanwhile has been having health problems. Sister Julienne notices this and advises her to seek medical attention. Sister Evangelina doesn’t want this to interfere with her work.

Eventually, Sister Evangelina comes round and decides to seek help from a female medical doctor. I wonder where this storyline will go and how it will affect Sister Evangelina’s future in the TV show. 😐

This episode also has Trixie having a chance encounter with an impoverished boy looking after his two young sisters and his baby sister living in squalor. 😦 The boy is young Alfie Davis as Gary Teeman.

It forces Trixie to see an unfamiliar darker side of life and she’s reminded of being in that position once before when at Gary’s age. It was fascinating to hear that backstory be revealed about Trixie. 😐

It’s also horrifying when the young children’s mother appears to have abandoned them. Gary is doing all the raising at 10 years old whilst the mother is out working away in Nottingham, I believe. 😦

This leads to Gary being arrested for shop-lifting which leads to the nurses and the police swinging into action. I liked how the nurses and the police help the children to come out of their squalor here.

It does lead of course to the mother getting arrested by the police upon her return to the derelict home. The mother defends her actions whilst Ben Caplan as Sergeant Noakes is disapproving of her.

Alexandra Guelff plays Bernice Teeman, the mother who abandoned her children in the episode. There’s also Olivia Llewellyn as Colette Wimbish, the woman whom Barbara supports in this episode.

The episode also has Jack Ashton as Tom Hereward proposing marriage to Trixie at the end of the episode. To which she accepts. That’s sudden! I didn’t think Trixie and Tom knew each other well. 😐

By the way, Miranda Hart as Chummy goes off somewhere in this episode and it seems like she won’t be back until the eighth episode. Hmm! I wonder what Peter Noakes will do without her here.

Overall, this episode is a good beginning to Series 4. I like how Charlotte Ritchie’s character gets introduced and I’m intrigued about how things will progress for some of the characters from now on.

‘Series 4, Episode 1’ rating – 8/10

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