‘Call the Midwife’, Series 7, Episode 7 (TV)


Please feel free to comment on my review.

This is the most upsetting ‘Call the Midwife’ episode I’ve ever seen in the series. For you see, this is Charlotte Ritchie’s final appearance as Barbara. I was really saddened by how Barbara left the series.

THE FIFTH DOCTOR (from ‘Warriors of the Deep’ in ‘Doctor Who’): “There should have been another way!”

I truly like Barbara as a character in ‘Call the Midwife’. I hoped for her and Tom to have a happily married life together. They could have left the show on a ‘happily ever after’ note in the countryside.

That’s what Jack Ashton as Tom dreamed of when he was seeing Barbara in hospital. Sadly their marriage comes to a premature end as Barbara tragically dies in the series. That’s very harsh indeed.

Barbara and Tom aren’t given a chance to have a long-lived married life together. I wish the couple were given a longer marriage. If they had to depart, at least give them a chance to return years later.

Characters like Jenny, Cynthia and Chummy have left the series and they haven’t died. Yet Barbara, the sweetest person in the ‘Call the Midwife’ family dies very young in a hospital bed. It’s quite brutal.

Following on from the previous episode, Barbara is kept in isolation with meningitis. Not sure how this meningitis came about, but it’s suspected to come from one of Barbara’s previous patients here.

Everyone is worried about Barbara’s well-being, including the nurses at Nonnatus House and Tom. Tom waits about in the hospital for Barbara to wake up and recover and he wishes to sit by her side.

To be fair, Tom is at least given a chance to sit with Barbara by the nurses when the worst of the meningitis seems to be past. Tom and Barbara have little conversations together whilst she’s in bed.

There is a surge of hope for the nurses of Nonnatus and for Tom when Barbara wakes up. People like Jenny Agutter as Sister Julienne and Judy Parfitt as Sister Monica Joan go to visit Barbara in hospital.

There’s also Jennifer Kirby as Valerie and Leonie Elliot as Lucille. Linda Bassett as Nurse Crane sees Barbara regularly in the hospital since she’s Barbara’s closest friend and she morally supports Tom. 🙂

I honestly thought for a short while that Barbara was going to make it. But like Jenny’s boyfriend in Series 3, Episode 4, Barbara’s condition worsens as the tissue in her hands for midwifery is decaying.

It’s horrible and pretty tearful for everyone. In the end, Tom and Nurse Crane are with Barbara at her bedside before she sadly dies. I wish things had turned out for the better instead of the worse. 😦

I appreciate it mirrors how real life can be unfair. I know of someone’s husband who passed away recently after I thought he was in the clear. But this shouldn’t happen to someone young as Barbara.

It also feels really long drawn-out in the episode. I wish Barbara and Tom were given the chance to have a happier ending compared to the depressing departure Barbara gets when exiting the series. 😦

Elsewhere in the episode, Lucille takes on one of Barbara’s patients and makes new friends with a fellow Jamaican couple. This is the start of Lucille attending the couple’s church inside their house. 🙂

Stephen McGann as Dr. Turner also attends to scabies outbreak at a boy’s remand home. There, he takes pity on Aaron Thomas Ward as bullied Michael Sumpter, who happens to have a young wife. 😐

The wife in question is Lauren Coe as Alison Weatherley and she’s pregnant. Her mother Alexia Traverse-Healy as Sadie Weatherley has been trying to separate Alison and Michael from each other.

Dr. Turner is determined to help young Michael at court whilst battling the authorities. Alison also overcomes her prejudiced mother when she tries to support Michael at the court once put on trial. 🙂

Sadly Michael is given a sentence of three years at a reform school, but at least he has a wife and a new-born baby to look forward to. Lauren Main’s Shelagh helps Alison by delivering her new born. 🙂

Shelagh returns to be a temporary midwife at Nonnatus House whilst Barbara is ill at hospital. Sadly the hopes of Barbara’s return to Nonnatus are dashed once the nurses hear the news of her death. 😦

Series 7, Episode 7 of ‘Call the Midwife’ is a very upsetting episode featuring Barbara’s death. Despite the Michael/Alison subplot distracting us a bit, I found this a tough episode to sit through. 😦

At least Charlotte Ritchie went on to guest star in the ‘Doctor Who’ 2019 New Year’s Day Special called ‘Resolution’. I enjoyed her in that. It wasn’t long after she did Series 7 of ‘Call the Midwife’ in fact. 😀

I found myself in tears by the time the episode came to an end. I know my Mum was in tears for most of the episode. It’s incredible how the series can keep going after such a depressing episode as that.

‘Series 7, Episode 7’ rating – 5/10

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