Beatrix "Trixie" Franklin is bright and glamorous nurse with an outgoing disposition.
Trixie loves nothing more than gossiping with her colleagues and is quite nosey when it comes to other people's business.
She occasionally comes across as a bit rude, but she means no harm by it. When it comes to her friends, she takes great pleasure in teasing them about what is going on in their lives. She is caring but no-nonsense to her patients and is encouraging at hopeless times. She is light and carefree, jokes a lot, tries to set her colleagues up with boys and is generally a little boy-mad. Nevertheless, it is clear that work is first in her life.
Helen George who plays Trixie Franklin says about her character: “She’s the fun loving, party going midwife who’s always up for a drink and a fag and to go out with the boys and have a good dance. She relishes trying to set up her fellow midwives with other guys and push them into relationships and get them married off but with a twinkle in her eye. Fundamentally though she’s a midwife and that’s what she’s there to do.”
Trixe was born the daughter of a bank manager, she had at least one brother who dropped her in a rock pool, causing a lifelong aversion to fish. Trixie reveals in the 2013 Christmas episode that her father, a war veteran, suffered from shellshock and had appalling nightmares all his life; Trixie recalled how, as a child, she would wake at night to hear him screaming in his sleep, and how she and her mother would take turns looking after him - Trixie looked after him during the day, and her mother took over at night; this may have helped young Trixie to decide to pursue a career in nursing. Later in Series 4, she recalled how her father had an alcohol problem that he was always in denial about. In around 1956 she joined Nonnatus house having been active in Poplar for about a year prior to the events of the show.
Trixie is a bright, glamorous girl in her late 20's, already living and working at Nonnatus House when Jenny arrives. All fully-fashioned nylons and lush red lipstick. She loves jazz and dancing, and smokes Sobranie cigarettes. She has a much more outgoing disposition than Jenny, but the two share the sense of adventure in their work and become firm friends.
In Series Two, the women of Nonnatus are commissioned to put on a baby show to raise money. After being asked to find someone famous to judge the babies, Trixie hears that a television host named Clifford Raines is filming his show nearby. She goes to the studio to deliver a letter to him, and unknown to her (as she does not know what he looks like), meets him outside. He flirts heavily with her, and she is flattered. Eventually, he promises to deliver her letter personally to Clifford Raines. Later, at Nonnatus, Clifford calls and flirts with her more, promptly asking her out in exchange for his appearance at the baby show. Trixie ecstatically accepts.
However, when Trixie dresses up and goes to his luxurious hotel, she is dismayed to find that they will be dining there, alone. Clifford brushes it off by saying if they were to go out in public, they would be made a spectacle of. After dinner, Clifford makes her a very alcoholic drink and places his hand on the inside of her thigh. When she tensely asks him to move it, he moves it farther up her thigh, and says she must know how much men like it when a woman is being "playful" and teasing by saying "no". He then forces himself on top of her, and fearfully, Trixie shoves him off, running from the hotel in tears.
Later with Cynthia and Jenny, she tells them what happened. She expresses shame and embarrassment, going over what she said and did excessively, still in tears. She says she felt "special" because he paid attention to her. Cynthia brings her a bottle of alcohol to calm her down, and Trixie momentarily tells Jenny she doesn't want to be near another man again. Mr. Raines cancels his appearance at the last minute, leaving them no time to find another famous judge. Thus, Sister Monica Joan judges the baby show.
In Season Three, Trixie meets Tom Hereward in a women's prison, when she provides care there. Tom and Trixie begin seeing each other later in the series.
In the 2014 Christmas episode, Trixie and Cynthia's friendship is strained when Cynthia admits she is seriously considering joining the Order. Trixie feels that Cynthia is only becoming a nun because she's never had a boyfriend. She doesn't consider Cynthia's spiritual life. At the end of the episode, she sadly says goodbye to Cynthia as she knows her. Trixie becomes very lonely as Jenny has left, Cynthia has joined the religious life and she realises that Patsy is more interested in Delia than her. She also appears to be suspicious about Delia and Patsy, hinting she may know about their relationship.
In Season Four, Trixie is promoted to 'Acting Sister' at the Tuesday Ante-natal and Baby clinic, and finds herself dealing with a case involving four children who live in appalling conditions whilst their mother is out trying to make a living as a prostitute. For Trixie, this proves to be a painful reminder of her own childhood. Vicar Tom Hereward is impressed with how well Trixie handles the situation and proposes to her - and she accepts. After Tom is told by his bishop that he will be reassigned to a parish in Newcastle, Trixie breaks off the engagement as she doesn't feel she will be able to accompany him. Already fond of drink, Trixie soon lets her drinking get out of control and it begins to affect her work. Cynthia, now known as Sister Mary Cynthia, returns to Nonnatus House around this time and is quick to notice Trixie is not herself. In the last episode of Season Four, Trixie finally admits she has a drinking problem after she is stopped from calling the Samaritans by Sister Mary Cynthia, and she joins an alcoholics support group.
In Season Five Trixie appears to have got her drinking under control and has taken up keep fit classes, but is upset when ex-fiancé Tom begins dating her colleague, Nurse Barbara, and it seems she cannot let Tom go. Barbara almost ends her relationship with Tom because she can't bear to see that it is hurting Trixie, but Trixie soon learns to let Tom go and gives the union her blessing.
In S05E06, several young women around Poplar become the victims of violent assaults, and Sister Mary Cynthia becomes one of them. Trixie is horrified when Sister Mary Cynthia returns to Nonnatus House with her face cut and bruised, and her cap and habit torn. Trixie runs towards her, but Sister Mary Cynthia flinches and says "Please, don't touch me". When Sister Julienne asks her what happened, Sister Mary Cynthia angrily says she believed her habit would protect her and blames herself for it. Sister Mary Cynthia at first refuses to talk about what happened, but she soon finds the strength to talk to the police, describing the attacker as smelling of alcohol and she describes the tattoos he had on his arms, and the police arrest the attacker.
In the 2016 Christmas Special, Trixie accompanies her colleagues on a mission to South Africa to save a struggling mission hospital from closure. While there, Trixie finds herself having to deliver a baby herself by Caesarian section. When the birth runs into trouble due to the baby getting stuck, Trixie asks Barbara to put her hand into the birth canal and push the baby back up. Thankfully, she successfully delivers the child and receives praise from Barbara. It is also shown that she still has a good relationship with Tom, and she advises him that if and when he proposes to Barbara, not to give her his grandmother's ring - which was the one Tom gave Trixie - but to get her something new. As it happens, Tom and Barbara get engaged at the end of the episode, and heeding Trixie's advice, Tom gives Barbara a blade of grass instead of a ring, intending to replace it later.
When the team from Nonnatus House return to Poplar, Trixie remains behind in South Africa until the only doctor at the clinic recovers from illness. As a result, Trixie is absent S06E01, and S06E02. Trixie returns in S06E03 and is quite surprised to find Nonnatus House is now being run by the strict Sister Ursula, who has implemented a 20-minute appointment system for all post-natal, anti-natal, and district calls. Barbara tells Trixie that because of the new appointment system, she missed potential warning signs and now a newborn baby is in hospital with carbon monoxide poisoning. Trixie says Sister Julienne would never have done a thing like that and they will have to talk to Sister Ursula, but turns out there is no need as Phyllis has already helped Sister Ursula to see the error of her ways.
Shortly afterwards, Sister Ursula leaves Nonnatus House to return to the Mother House, thus handing the reins back to Sister Julienne. Trixie comes into the office and reveals to Sister Julienne she stayed at the Mother House the night she got back from South Africa, and while there she asked about Sister Mary Cynthia, who had supposedly been sent there by Sister Ursula, but no one would tell her anything, and Trixie says she doesn't think she's there. Trixie is later found to be right when Sister Monica Joan and Fred find Sister Mary Cynthia incarcerated in Linchmere Hospital, an austere mental institution where she had been receiving treatment for her anxiety stemming from the violent attack she suffered in the previous series. Trixie also helps support an expectant mother during a visit to the dentist and also helps to deliver her baby. Trixie meets dentist Christopher Dockerill in this episode.
The relationship between Trixie and Christopher Dockerill progresses quickly, but it becomes apparent that they both have secrets that they are withholding from each other. When Christopher takes champagne to their date, Trixie makes an excuse not to drink it. She discloses her alcoholism in the next episode. Christopher later reveals that he has a 6-year-old daughter (Alexandra Dockerill) from a previous marriage. Trixie is reluctant to meet her, concerned that she will not be good for her. In the Series 6 finale, Trixie meets Alexandra, and the pairing have an instantaneously close relationship.
After dealing with a mother with Huntington's Disease, which has left her unable to care for her children, Trixie makes the difficult decision to end her relationship with Christopher out of concern for his young daughter, and this causes her to turn to drink once again. Her problems only worsen when she stops attending her AA meetings, and when colleague Phyllis learns that Trixie accepted a drink after delivering a newborn baby, something that they are forbidden to do, and reprimands her for it. Trixie eventually reveals her problems to Sister Julienne, who persuades her to take a six month leave of absence, and Trixie goes to stay with her godmother in Italy. In the Series 7 finale, Trixie briefly appears in a home movie that has been put together to commemorate Sister Monica Joan's birthday; she is shown at her godmother's villa where she wishes Sister Monica Joan a happy birthday and says she'll see everyone soon.
Trixie returns to Poplar in the 2018 Christmas Special. On returning to Nonnatus House, she finds that her woollens, including her uniform cardigan have been eaten by moths, so Phyllis gives her Barbara's cardigan (Barbara had sadly died from septicaemia while Trixie was away). During the course of Series 8, her friend Jeannie, undergoes an illegal abortion after discovering she is pregnant with her third child and Dr Turner refuses to refer her for a legal termination. Unfortunately, she later develops a serious infection which ultimately kills her. Later on, when colleague Valerie Dyer is called out to the Black Sail by her Auntie Flo, Trixie goes with her, and the two are shocked when they discover that Valerie's grandmother, Elsie Dyer, is the one responsible for performing the illegal abortions around Poplar. Both Trixie and Valerie later speak to the police and Elsie is arrested and later sentenced to six years in prison.
In the Christmas special Trixie and almost all of Nonnatus are sent to the Outer Hebrides to convalesce from a cold outbreak and to test the waters for opening a Nonnatus branch there. When there she and Phyllis Crane get involved with a teenage girl called Effie who was born to an unmarried mother and lives with her aunt. They find her drunk on the road Trixie is reminded of her own alcoholic past. Though Phyllis at first doesn't approve of such thinking she comes around when Effie and her aunt share an embrace. In S09 E02 Trixie is shown to be volunteering at a clinic that provides contraception to unmarried women, at first Sister Julienne is dismayed believing it to be a distraction from her nursing duties, she soon comes around and gets her help in getting the contraceptive pill to a prostitute called Tina Atkins. In S09 E03 Trixie joins in the efforts to get an incubator for the maternity home helping to organise a fashion show to help raise the funds. Halfway through the series Sister Julienne announces that four doctors in training will be staying at Nonnatus House. Trixie like the others is wary of the idea but does manage to form a friendship with Dr Benedict Walters who is uncertain about is journey into medicine.
In S09 E06 Sister Julienne announces that in the next two years Nonnatus house was set to be demolished, while worried Trixie suggests the sister would just move to another building. In the finale the Nonnatus house is forced to accept a halved budget and drastically increased rent from a council that is almost willing the midwives to fail. After gathering a petition the other midwives choose Trixie to speak for them against the council. Meanwhile the grandmother of Valerie Dyer, Elsie Dyer is released from prison after developing cancer of the oesophagus, Valerie wonders if it is all her fault but Trixie assures her that they were right to go to the police. On the big day Trixie speaks to the horde of middle aged men on the council, she makes a passionate speech assuring the men that babies are more than statistics at Nonnatus house and despite their thinking they would be very missed if wiped out. She is able to secure a rent reduction and budget restoration but only for twelve months.
During the Christmas Special 2020 Trixie to her dismay is gifted a payment to join a marriage bureau rather than her usual gift of a dress allowance from her godmother. This, along with Valerie's departure to South Africa, doesn't make for a good start to the season, despite this Trixie goes on several blind dates and dislikes all of the potential candidates. Soon after Trixie begins to think she may never meet the right man but Sister Julienne tells her not to be deterred. Sister Julienne also hints that Nonnatus house may be expanding.
In S10 E01 Sister Julienne reveals that Nonnatus House will be supplying midwives to a private clinic called the Lady Emily Clinic to a mixed response particularly from Patrick Turner. Trixie is sent to scout the place out where she meets the man in charge, Mr Scarisbrik, and is promoted to Sister for her stay. She then meets a young couple, Matthew and Fiona Aylward, who are expecting their first baby. While Trixie is very impressed with the Lady Emily she is sure that there is something that the Nonnatus midwives can bring and persuades Mr Scarisbrik to give her full control of Fiona's labour. Fiona and Trixie form a bond in this time and Fiona gives birth to a son whom they name Jonathan. The pair unexpectedly return in S10 E02 where Fiona shows signs of an illness. During this time Trixie asks Mr Scarisbrik to observe a D&C, it is during this operation she discovers that the Lady Emily is performing illegal abortions, which brings an end to Nonnatus House's hope of going into private practice. During her last week they discover that Fiona has developed Acute Myeloid Leukaemia, a fast spreading cancer of the blood. Fiona dies but asks Trixie to take down a letter for Matthew to read before she goes.
After the failure that was the Lady Emily, Shelagh Turner suggests taking on pupil midwives to cover the increased rent and lack of budget funds for Nonnatus, Trixie is assigned to Nancy Corrigan. During the 1966 world cup Trixie is invited to the christening of baby Jonathan Aylward where Trixie meets the rather dominating nanny. By S10 E05 Matthew sacks the controlling nanny and Trixie helps him look for a new one, she also lends him books and tells him to trust himself. In S10 E06 after an encounter with a woman called Cherry Watson who tried to cause an abortion, and in light of discussions in parliament on loosening abortion restrictions, she writes to the Times reflecting on her past experiences of women bleeding to death, of backstreet kitchen tables, and the pain and stigma caused by it. This attracts the disapproval of the faith-based nuns but Trixie holds to the fact that she was writing for herself, not the Order. After that she is invited to speak on the radio, where after getting a word in amongst two men she tells them that her conscience tells her the abortion bill should pass.
In the finale, after helping in the delivery of a baby as Lisbon Buildings or, as Sister Monica Joan put it, 'A byword for filth'. Trixie, Sister Hilda and Violet Buckle arrange to meet up with the owner who turns out to be Matthew Aylward. This infuriates Trixie, and not just because all her clothes were sent to the council fumigator after her being there. Matthew tries to apologise to her but she tells him it's not her he should be apologising to, it's the people who live in Lisbon Buildings. After meeting up with him, he agrees to put it right, but first Trixie agrees to read him the letter Fiona wrote before she died. After hearing it, Matthew is able to look forward. He personally pledges to pay £1000 annually to Nonnatus House in reparation which, along with the pupil midwife scheme, will secure Nonnatus House's future in Poplar.
In S11E01, we learn that Trixie is getting a new roommate, which is Nancy. We also learn that Trixie is still maintaining regular contact with Matthew and his son Jonathan. She is seen playing with Jonathan on the floor, while Matthew had a meeting with Sister Julienne. Before doing her rounds, she went to return the ball of Jonathan to Matthew. He was able to catch the ball before it hit him, and she playfully laughed. Soon they were interrupted by one of the workers of a building, who told them that the remains of a baby was found. Trixie and Matthew had to see for themselves the skeletons of a baby. Both found it very difficult to cope with. Matthew gave the order that the police had to be called to start an investigation. That same evening, Trixie sat alone in her room. She was clearly distraught and snapped to Nancy, before quickly apologising. Nancy had made a comment about the fact that Trixie seemed very funny about alcohol. It can be assumed that Nancy does not know that Trixie has stopped drinking. Nancy waved the apology away, understanding that Trixie had a difficult day. Trixie meets up with Matthew and both talked about the discovery of the baby’s remains. It’s also shown that Matthew called Trixie about a second baby skeleton found. At the end of the episode, both were seen leaving flowers on the grave of the baby. Matthew asked Trixie when she thought the baby’s grave would be buried. She estimated that it would be before nightfall. Matthew made a comment about the fact that they were buried for too long. Soon, rain started pouring, and both shielded themselves under Matthew’s umbrella, before hurrying away.
Matthew and Trixie become closer and closer friends and he invites her to visit him and Jonathan who has recently taken his first steps. They attend the surgery of Violet Buckle and questions her on how the council plans on ensuring the future of the order in Poplar and Violet assures them the money from the council will remain the same. Later when setting up for the Nonnatus centenary celebration she would allow him to send her flowers. This was a referral to a moment in season 10, where Matthew sent her a plant, and called her to ask if it did not contain any flowers (because that would be unprofessional). Trixie seemed flushed after this question, and only smiled. They shared a kiss having clearly developed feelings for one another. Matthew and Trixie begin dating, though there isn’t a lot of passion in the romance. They went on a summer picnic and brought Jonathan with them where he gets ice cream all over her dress, she admits there are no “fireworks” you would expect to find though she expects it’s because she is Matthews second love. On the advice of Nurse Nancy to treat her as if she’s the only girl in the world and they go out to dinner together alone. By the end of the episode Matthew and Trixie are shown to be having a picnic with Jonathan.
In S11 E05 Trixie is assigned to a paraplegic patient named Gordon Packer, when she goes to the council offices to secure services she meets Matthew. Later she spends the night with him, it is later revealed that Gordon and his children are being abused by his wife and Trixie berates herself for not seeing the signs. She tells Matthew she grew up feeling like the family did and all she wanted to do was make things better, something she never stopped. She and Matthew also tell each other that they love one another for the first time. Worse news for Trixie comes when she is told that her godmother, the one who she went to stay with in Portofino when she was struggling from her alcohol addiction has been diagnosed with cancer. Trixie decides she needs to go to her as she left no other roots on Earth. She bids farewell to Matthew as she has no clue how long she will be gone for but promises that she will return. Phyllis Crane is also temporarily leaving Nonnatus House to go on an extended holiday and their whole Nonnatus family waves them off.
Trixie does not appear for the rest of Series 11. However, at the end of S11E08, Nancy is seen holding a framed photo of her as everyone poses for a photograph.
Trixie’s relationships have been with Reverend Tom Hereward and Christopher Dockerill, both having ended in heartbreak and her reliance on alcohol. In Series 11 she begins dating Matthew Aylward. However, Trixie's departure to care for her seriously ill godmother in Portofino forces them to put their blossoming relationship on hold.
Many cases of Midwifery remind Trixie of her childhood. In series 3, Trixie reveals that her father suffered from shellshock, and that, during the day, she had to take care of him while her mother cared for him in the night.
In series 4, Trixie explains to Sister Julienne about her drinking issues and tearfully says, "I used to hear my father telling the whole world he didn't have a problem with drink" - hinting that her father was also an alcoholic.
Trixie has only ever mentioned her parents in the past tense, her only other relative is Daphne, her rich godmother who lives in Portofino who enables Trixie's impressive wardrobe. Trixie went to stay with her when her alcohol addiction got out of hand and when Daphne was diagnosed with cancer Trixie went to be with her for what remains of her life, as according to Trixie she left no roots and therefore few to care for her.
Jenny Lee (Former Best Friend)
Cynthia/Sister Mary Cynthia (Former Best Friend)
Chummy Noakes (Former Friend)
Patsy Mount (Former Friend)
Delia Busby (Former Friend)
Barbara Hereward (Former Best Friend, deceased)
Sister Winifred (Former Friend)
Phyllis Crane (Friend)
Valerie Dyer (Friend)
Lucille Robinson (Friend)
Nancy Corrigan (Friend)
Tom Hereward (Former Fiancé)
Christopher Dockerill (Former Boyfriend)
Matthew Aylward (Boyfriend)
Roger (Former Boyfriend - Pre-Series)
- Helen George began dating her Call the Midwife co-star Jack Ashton (Tom Hereward) in 2016. The couple have two daughters, Wren Ivy, born in September 2017 and Lark, born in November 2021.
- The reason Trixie was written out part way through Series 7 and Series 11 was because both times, Helen George was pregnant at the time of filming; and her baby bump was becoming more and more difficult to hide as time went on.
"Actually, pleased doesn't really cover it, we are perfectly thrilled to have some reinforcements" (Series 1 Episode One-First Line)
"Jenny! Can you spare a moment we've got a fainter" (Series 1 Episode 6)
"Oh don't say that! All the facts will be filed away in some sort of beastly cabinet" (2012 Christmas Special)
"Dr Turner will be popping 'round soon and if he sees your sister in this contraption he'll drag it out from under her and chop it up as fire wood." - Trixie to Meg Carter (Series 2 Episode 3)
"No one. We operate purely on telepathy." - Trixie to Meg Carter (Series 2 Episode 3)
"One hot water bottle, one cup of tea, one nip of the nuns' cooking brandy and of course a candle. I feel like across between a St Bernard's dog and Wee Willy Winkie." - Trixie to Lucille (Series 7 Episode 1)
"We never know what we can achieve until we try." - Trixie to Jeannie Tennant (Series 8 Episode 4)