Call The Midwife has given viewers a glimpse of the joy, love and hardships of Nonnatus House for nearly a decade – much longer than creator and executive producer Heidi Thomas said she ever expected.
“Certainly, from my point of view I was focused on doing one series and there was never an expectation of doing a second,” Thomas said during a PBS TCA panel on Thursday “I think every year it takes us as surprise.”
Thomas joined Call The Midwife stars Jenny Agutter, Megan Cusack, Ella Bruccoleri and Stephen McGann to reflect on a decade of the PBS drama, which is commissioned in partnership with the BBC. The series, which centers on the sisters, nurses and midwives of Poplar’s Nonnatus House, moves forward with new perspective each year.
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Season 10, which PBS shared will debut Sunday, October 3 at 8 p.m. ET, is set in 1966, a trying time for the midwives. The women’s rights movement intensifies beyond the confines of Nonnatus, and within the walls, the midwives seek to dig their headquarters out of financial troubles
“Every year presents different social problems, medical problems,” Agutter added about each new season of Call the Midwife.
While the latest season will shine a light on social movements and medical themes that may find relevance today, Call The Midwife will surely bring back the heartwarming sincerity viewers have come to enjoy. McGann said that the modesty and tenderness that inhabits the screen is just a reflection of the creative team’s sentiments behind the scenes.
“When we started, this modesty about our expectations, none of us expected [renewals] to happen so when it did it was a rather nice thing,” he said. “The modesty of that comes through to the gentleness and the compassion of the program.”
McGann also teased the the upcoming “Special Delivery” celebratory compilation episode, which will air after the Season 10 finale. He quipped “a lot of our U.K. fans who’ve seen that episode cried like babies looking over the trajectory of our ten years.”
Call The Midwife is written by Thomas. Executive producers are Harris, Thomas and Ann Tricklebank. Mona Qureshi is the executive producer for the BBC, while Ann Tricklebank is the producer. The Christmas special and episode one will be directed by Syd Macartney. BBC Studios distribute the series internationally.