Call the Midwife is getting ready to deliver a brand new festive special and ninth series, as filming has begun ahead of its winter return.
Once again, we’ll see the midwives head out on location – but where will their adventures take them this time?
Here’s all we know so far about series 9 of the popular BBC show.
When is Call the Midwife series 9 on TV? Is there a Christmas special?
Good news for the show’s army of fans – Call the Midwife is not only back for series 9, it will also air a Christmas special in 2019.
Although we’re some way off the Christmas schedules being released, every time the drama has had a festive episode so far, it’s always aired on Christmas Day to impressive ratings, so we’re expecting another December 25 instalment.
Following the festive season, Call the Midwife will launch into eight new episodes for series 9 due to air in early 2020, probably towards the middle of January as usual.
Who is returning to the cast?
Many of your favourites will be back at Nonnatus House, including Jenny Agutter as Sister Julienne, Linda Bassett as Nurse Crane, Judy Parfitt as Sister Monica Joan, Fenella Woolgar as Sister Hilda, Ella Bruccoleri as Sister Frances, Helen George as Trixie, and Laura Main as Shelagh Turner.
Other welcome returnees include Jennifer Kirby as Valerie, Leonie Elliott as Lucille, Stephen McGann as Dr Turner, Cliff Parisi as Fred, Annabelle Apsion as Violet, Georgie Glen as Miss Higgins, Max Macmillan as Timothy, Trevor Cooper as Sgt Woolf, and Daniel Laurie as Reggie.
Series 8 star Miriam Margolyes will also be back for a new series as her character Mother Mildred.
What happens in the Christmas special and series 9?
Last year, the midwives spent Christmas at home in Poplar, but as with the 2017 festive special, they’re back out on location this year.
They’ll be heading far north under the direction of Mother Mildred, to Scotland’s Outer Hebrides which is in dire need of nurses and midwives.
Although their surroundings are beautiful, they’re also harsh – the team find themselves woefully short of water and electricity to help their patients, but manage to make it back home to Nonnatus House just in time for a good old East End Christmas.
Series 9 opens on January 1965 as the nation marks the funeral of Winston Churchill.
The times are a’changin in Poplar as more and more tower blocks spring up and the East End rises from the ashes to become more prosperous, but also more complicated.
It’s a challenging time for the nurses as the population shifts and poses new problems, as well as seeing diseases such as diphtheria, drug abuse, cancer, tuberculosis, and fistula alongside the more positive stories of successful births.
As ever, our favourite characters will have to face love, loss and doubt, but their most turbulent time yet comes when Nonnatus House is under threat of demolition to make way for the fast-paced redevelopment around it.
Series creator Heidi Thomas said: “After a magical Christmas experience in the Hebrides featuring wild seas, stormy skies and some very disobedient sheep, we return to the harsher reality of city life in 1965. Society is changing fast and in series nine we will see Nonnatus House shaken to its foundations.”
Will there be more Call the Midwife to come?
If you’re a Call the Midwife addict, you can breathe a sigh of relief as this is far from being the drama’s final series.
The BBC know how strong the show’s fanbase is, because they’ve already commissioned a series 10 and 11 – meaning we’ll be welcoming back Call the Midwife until at least 2022.
Where it goes after that isn’t clear yet, but if the ratings stay strong, the show could well continue after that, too.