Image copyright © by Marcus Trahan

Call the Midwife

(UK, 2012)

Jessica Raine plays Jenny Lee, the new name for Jennifer Worth, upon whose memoirs this series is based. In the mid-‘50s she begins work at an Anglican nunnery (though she is not a nun herself) in London’s poverty-stricken East End as a midwife. She herself was gently-raised, though not of the upper classes, and soon finds herself immersed in a culture she knows little or nothing about.

And it is appalling. One of her first clients is a Spanish woman married to a Cockney man. They have been married a long time, and yet she speaks no English and he speaks no Spanish! And wait a minute, it gets better. They have twenty-four children and she is pregnant with the twenty-fifth! Jenny asks when her last period was, and learns that she hasn’t had a period since she was fourteen, which is when she started whelping her offspring. One just followed another, without time for menstruation, a truly astounding case of fertility on both their parts.

So we follow Jenny and the nuns and a few lay midwives through the trials and travails of their careers. We have seen two episodes so far, and enjoyed them. We’ll keep it up for at least a while.