‘Call the Midwife’, Series 8, Episode 1 (TV)


Please feel free to comment on my review.

In January 2019, my parents and I were able to see the first episode of Series 8 of ‘Call the Midwife’ on BBC iPlayer. At the time, there was plenty of catching up to do regarding previous seasons for me.

Nowadays, I’m up-to-date with having seen the first seven seasons of ‘Call the Midwife’ on DVD. Back then, I was a very casual viewer. I didn’t know what had gone in ‘Call the Midwife’ beforehand.

I’d like to think I’m knowledgeable about the series these days. I’m pleased my parents and I saw the Series 8 episodes on BBC iPlayer in early 2019 and the episodes themselves are very easy to get into.

I hoped that people would find my thoughts on Series 8 of ‘Call the Midwife’ very interesting when I reviewed the season for the very first time on my blog. Have my thoughts changed much since then?

In the first episode of Series 8, Nonnatus House welcomes two new nuns sent by Miriam Margolyes as newly-appointed Mother Mildred of the Mother House, who was in the 2018 Christmas Special. 🙂

The two new nuns are Fenella Woolgar as Sister Hilda and Ella Bruccoleri as Sister Frances. They were in the 2018 Christmas Special too. Sister Frances is eager but inexperienced as a new member.

An intriguing story goes on in the episode where Judy Parfitt as Sister Monica Joan becomes ill. She first abruptly leaves Nonnatus House with an old leather midwifery case and seems to hold onto the past. 😐

Fortunately, Jennifer Kirby as Valerie finds Sister Monica Joan in a dump somewhere in Poplar before she returns her back to Nonnatus House. There, she gets better by Stephen McGann as Dr. Turner. 🙂

Valerie also has to deal with a shocking case that unexpectedly arrives at Nonnatus House. A woman with a miscarriage turns up. She’s accompanied by her sister who just had her baby in the episode. 😦

The woman with the miscarriage is Emily Barber as Cath Hindman. Her sister is Jordan Stevens as Lesley Whyte who’s married to Harry Haynes as Ned Whyte. The abortion storyline in Series 8 begins here.

I must admit, I didn’t fully understand what was going on with the miscarriage/abortion plotline at the time, especially in this episode. But it did feel rather emotional and disturbing when I watched it.

I did like that moment where Valerie asked Jenny Agutter as Sister Julienne on whether she did the right thing regarding the miscarriage incident. Sister Julienne reminds Valerie of the definition of ‘midwife’.

It’s encouraging that Valerie did her job well despite the difficult circumstances. I also liked it when Valerie checked up on Sister Frances about her experience of the incident since she’s relatively new.

There’s another plotline in the episode which I liked and found compelling. It’s where the midwives help a pregnant woman who has a complicated labour process. She doesn’t have twins as expected.

She has triplets! I found the plotline rather emotional to watch when seeing it in the episode, especially when she had to go through the birthing process three times and she found it a challenge.

Jessica Clark plays Margaret Lombardi, the pregnant woman who ends up having triplets in the episode. There’s also Antonio Magro as the husband Clark Lombardi, who does look out for his wife.

I liked it when Helen George as Trixie checked up on Clark Lombardi who waited to hear news about his wife. Trixie also encourages Clark to see the triplet who was very weak after being delivered.

Trevor Cooper guest stars as Sergeant Woolf in the episode. The first time I saw him was in the 2017 Christmas Special and he has made certain appearances in Series 7, which I have now seen of course.

When watching this episode, I wasn’t sure what was going on between him and Linda Bassett as Nurse Crane. I imagined he had a thing for her, which Nurse Crane is quite unnerved by in the story.

The first episode of Series 8 of ‘Call the Midwife’ is very interesting to watch. I can’t claim to understand the abortion storyline going on so far and it was really disturbing to watch at the time. 😐

I found ‘the pregnant woman who had her triplets’ storyline compelling though. As ever, the performances of the cast are excellent in this TV series, especially throughout Series 8’s first episode.

‘Series 8, Episode 1’ rating – 8/10

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