Call The Midwife: A BBC1 Triumph For Real People
The second hour of the BBC1 Call The Midwife drama series has now (on Sunday evening, 22 Jan 2012) been broadcast; and already we learn that there will be another series before long. Rarely do I get enthused about television, but the original books offered the potential for something special; and so it turns out to be. My piece elsewhere (and below) about aspects of public service which the TV drama illustrates has resulted in some really human engagement with this excellent viewing. Please keep the Comments coming….
Call the Midwife is a drama devised almost entirely around the everyday (for some!) activities of ‘ordinary women’; and perhaps against mainstream expectations, it’s received a storm of accolade. One almost senses that people who are agin it are also those who are a bit afraid of real human life. The rest of us are delighted to see drama focused on the fundamentals of normal people’s experience.
Comments so far received on my other website (you can see by whom here ) have included:
> Lovin this Bbc keep it up!…. Makes Sunday eve fab!!!!.. )))
> Thought Miranda Hart’s performance last night was excellent – had pathos, humour, empathy – everything. Bet you it gets an award!
> Thanks BBC for a brilliant Sunday night programme – at last! I love it!!!
> Brilliant Sunday night viewing..
> Hi just to inform you that I trained and worked as a Midwife in the seventies with the Nuns in Poplar,Bow and Isle of Dogs. I also cycled for 3 yrs on the job. I worked with them as a Community Midwife from 1972-1979.
> As a teenager growing up in London and Kent in the 50/60s, I can relate to the atmosphere created in this absolutely wonderful drama. The acting is second to none; I look forward with enthusiasm to the coming weeks’ broadcasts. Well done to the writer for her foresight in seeing that the book would make such a superb production.
> This is such a lovely programme and one of the type that the BBC really excel at. One that can be watched by the whole family (even the birth scenes!). It makes such a change to some of the rubbish that is on at the moment. Keep up the good work – and the quality.
> I have very enjoyed the first two episodes and look forward to the next Sunday evenings. I have even bought the book! The acting is superb and the stories are excellent! Well done BBC!
> I just wanted to say how much I am enjoying Call the Midwives. I was mortified when Larkrise to Candleford came to an end and wondered what could replace such a great series and what could I watch to fill the gap in my Sunday evenings. Well, Call the Midwife certainly does and I just wanted to add how brilliant Miranda Hart was last week. Really looking forward to the rest of the series and am so glad to hear that another series has been commissioned. Well done BBC.
… and then there are also the questions about the family origins of the character Father Joe Smith, and about the name and performers of the music.
Here then is engagement indeed, well deserved and contrary perhaps to the expectation by some that all television ‘drama’ has to be improbable, romanticised or brutalised.
Jennifer Worth, who wrote the original books and who, sadly, died just before this first series of televised dramas came into being, shared accounts of human need and human response which require little other than simple re-telling.
Sometimes – and perhaps never more so than when at its start and ending – human life is drama enough as it is.
Posted on January 28, 2012, in Arts, Culture And Heritage, Education, Health And Welfare, People And Places, Travel and tagged BBC, Call the Midwife, Drama, East End, Human, Jennifer Worth, Midwifery, Miranda Hart, Television, Travel, Women. Bookmark the permalink. 30 Comments.