Call the Midwife, TV review: Tackling issues of maternity care and women’s lives in the period

This week, there was alcoholism and the misery of closeted sexuality

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The Independent Culture

Our old pal Chummy (Miranda Hart) was back at Nonnatus House, just in time to join in a tea party to celebrate handyman Fred’s engagement. Special mention must go to the nuns’ luncheon spread – those slices of wafer ham, Battenberg cake and dainty triangle sandwiches may have single-handedly revived the reputation of British cuisine.

Sadly, the cosiness didn’t last long. Fred’s daughter Malicious Marlene arrived to disrupt the wedding plans and a cycling accident brought Patsy’s brief domestic bliss to an abrupt end.

Call the Midwife has all the comforting warmth we expect on Sunday evening but its greater achievement is continuing to tackle real issues of maternity care and women’s lives in the period. This week, there was alcoholism and the misery of closeted sexuality while Dr Turner unwittingly became involved the greatest medical scandal of the century, when he treated a patient with morning sickness. Nooooo, Mrs Gadsby! Don’t take those pills!

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