In a new drama, Call The Midwife, Jessica Raine stars as a newly qualified midwife Jenny Lee.
In the opening episode Jenny heads off to her new hospital job, which she assumes is a small private hospital. When she arrives at Nonnatus House she discovers she’ll actually be working in a convent. Initially daunted by her surroundings, and not least the formidable Sister Evangelina and the eccentric Sister Monica Joan, Jenny gradually begins to find her feet.
The story is based on real-life events as noted by Jennifer Worth. Pippa Harris, Executive Producer, Neal Street Productions, says: “Call The Midwife is a fascinating portrayal of birth, life, death and a community on the brink of huge social change. Jennifer was an incredible woman and was as forthright and as opinionated when we were working together as she was when she wrote about her astonishing life. I think viewers will be gripped by her insight into a world that, whilst being only 50 years ago, is so drastically different from how we now live.”
The story of the week focuses on the first case Jenny is allowed to handle alone, under the guidance of Sister Julienne – the care of Conchita Warren during her 25th pregnancy.
Conchita is married to Len, who fought in the Spanish Civil War and brought Conchita home with him. Conchita speaks no English and spends her days caring for her enormous family. Her case appears to be routine but, when freezing smog descends on London, events take a turn for the worse. Conchita slips and goes into labour at 30 weeks gestation, suffering from severe concussion.
Jenny, alone in the house with Conchita and her husband, must draw on all her reserves of skill and courage if Conchita and her premature child are to survive.
We also meet Pearl, whose indomitable spirit rises above a dose of venereal disease, and Muriel, whose home delivery shows us the best and worst that the system has to offer.
“Based on the best-selling memoirs of the late Jennifer Worth, Call The Midwife is a moving, intimate, funny and, above all, true-to-life look at the colourful stories of midwifery and families in East London in the Fifties. The trilogy of books have become a huge word of mouth phenomenon, selling close to a million copies.” The BBC state.
Call the Midwife begins on Sunday 15th January at 8pm on BBC One