Call The Midwife review: Trixie in a tizz, a shock death and a baby born on a bus… what a finale! writes CHRISTOPHER STEVENS

Call the Midwife


For pity’s sake, Trixie, don’t hang about. Swallow a fistful of those caffeine tablets and get yourself on the first flight to New York — your hubbie thinks he’s in Call The Mad Men.

The longest-serving nurse at Nonnatus House has gone to pieces since smoothie husband Matthew announced he was off to the States to rebuild his fortunes, taking young son Jonty with him.

Trixie (Helen George) was left at home in Call The Midwife (BBC1), necking sleeping tablets to knock herself out and uppers to rouse herself again. That’s a prescription for disaster and, sure enough, she spilt methylated spirits down her apron before accidentally setting herself on fire.

Thankfully, Sister Julienne (Jenny Agutter) was on hand to extinguish her, and brother Geoffrey (Christopher Harper) was available for a pep talk. That girl is high-maintenance.

Trixie played by Helen George (pictured) was left at home in Call The Midwife (BBC1)

As this series ends, it¿s a joy to know the show has been renewed for another two seasons, until at least 2026

As this series ends, it’s a joy to know the show has been renewed for another two seasons, until at least 2026 

But when Trixie called Matthew (Olly Rix) to patch up their marriage, he was already in his shirtsleeves at a typewriter, the Manhattan skyline outside his window. ‘It’s not for ever,’ he promised. But a swivel lamp, modular furniture, abstract wall art . . . we’ve seen these telltale signs before.

With his slicked black hair, Matthew always had a touch of the Don Drapers about him. Any moment now, a copy girl in a sweater will sashay into the room, pour them both a triple Scotch and park herself on his lap.

As Trixie dashed off to the Big Apple, another character burst into the storyline and, just as quickly, burst out again. Nurse Crane and Miss Higgins (Linda Bassett and Georgie Glen) were darning the Cub Scouts’ garters when a knock on the door announced the arrival of Miss H’s backstory.

She’s never mentioned this — well, people didn’t like to in those days — but when she was a young woman in India, part of the ‘fishing fleet’ hoping for a husband, she had an affair with an Indian chap and fell pregnant.

Now here was Victor, the son she hadn’t seen since he was a baby, and his wife and their own teenage son. It’s quite a thing to discover you have a grandson, and that he’s a dental student, while you’re repairing sock elastic.

Sadly, Nurse Crane no sooner met the Higgins offspring than she spotted he had swollen ankles. That means one of two things in Call The Midwife: pregnancy or imminent death. Poor Victor keeled over during his very first outing with his birth mother. They were eating whelks beside the Thames, if that’s any consolation.

As this series ends, it’s a joy to know the show has been renewed for another two seasons, until at least 2026, even if it seems Trixie will be involved only via transatlantic phone call for a while.

No other drama possesses such a blend of sentimentality, soap and historical awareness. If we mock, it’s with genuine affection: the central characters are lovable, and their griefs and trials have the power to make us well up.

All this, and a baby was born on the No 23 bus. What more do you want on a Sunday evening?