Despite a rotating door of cast members and seven series of babies and births, Call the Midwife remains at the top of its game as Britain’s number one Sunday night drama.
Managing to pack in more emotional moments in a single episode than most shows manage in their entire run, it’s obvious why the BBC series has become the biggest and best-loved drama of the decade.
However, don’t be fooled by those tears that run down your face every week and the gentle, soothing exterior of the show. Call the Midwife packs a serious punch.
The series 7 premiere tackled everything from immigration, alcoholism, the struggles of NHS staffing to the rise of the sex industry.
Here are the five most emotional moments from last night’s episode:
1. The Apple Strudel
Linda Bassett has become Call the Midwife’s strongest asset in recent series, filling in the hole left by Pam Ferris’s Sister Evangelina for a no-nonsense midwife with a heart of gold.
This week, Nurse Crane was looking after an elderly Jewish couple, Arnold (Allan Corduner) and Ruth (Julie Legrand), who had moved to the East End to escape persecution during the war.
The couple were being kicked out of their home as Ruth struggled with illness in her final days and it took Nurse Crane’s terse force of nature to keep the council from cutting their phone lines and demolishing their house.
Her reward? A beautiful apple strudel from Arnold, which was almost enough to bring a tear from dear old Phyllis. She even split the pudding with Sergeant Woolf (Trevor Cooper), who after a strong telling off had also helped the couple remain in their home.
Could the pair be about to share a touching romance?
2. Arnold's speech
Arnold’s final worlds to his dying wife were like a bag of chopped onions to the eyes.
“If I never said that I was grateful to you, I say it now,” he told her. “If I never said that I was proud of the home that you kept, I say it now.
"If I didn’t tell you that you were beautiful when your face was all lined, when you didn’t have a new blouse from one summer to the next, I say it now.
“And if I didn’t tell you that I loved you, I say it now.” Sorry, I think we’ve got something in our eye.
3. Nurse Trixie's demons
The journey of Helen George’s Nurse Trixie has been fascinating to watch across the show’s seven series. On the surface, Trixie always looked bright, breezy and confident. She was always the member of Nonnatus House trying new trends and diving headfirst into the glamour of the 60s.
However, fans of the show have now seen the dark side to Trixie’s life slowly revealed and her battle with alcoholism returned this week as we saw her attend an AA meeting. She also exposed her physical and sexual insecurities as she confessed to Nurse Valerie that she is still a virgin.
Helen George’s performance was beautiful as it captured the tenderness and fragility of Trixie, who masks all her problems with smiles and the latest Dior perfume.
4. Nadine lets her baby in.
The ‘birth of the week’ story came with Nadine (Tamla Kari), a stripper who lost her job due to pregnancy. She began the episode planning to give the baby up for adoption, but after a problematic, breech birth and fears of the baby’s jaundice, Nadine couldn’t help but let her daughter into her heart.
She defiantly stood up to her old boss at her strip club, claiming back her dignity and teamed up with Nurse Valerie to take over a dance school.
5. Nurse Lucille’s hot water bottle and fudge.
She was a cool head at Nadine’s birth, despite suffering from a bladder infection, she bonded with Sister Monica Joan over a shared love of books and she provided a hot water bottle and West Country fudge for a grieving Nurse Crane. We’ve already taken Nurse Lucille to our hearts and can’t wait to meet her properly across the rest of series 7.