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Series 8 aired from January - March 2019, a 9th series was commissioned along with Series 10 and Series 11 in 2019.

Plot[]

Series 8 sees the midwives of Nonnatus House continue in their mission delivering babies in Poplar and providing healthcare at Nonnatus House, Sister Julienne and her fellow sisters are called to the orders mother house in the Christmas special in which new Mother Superior, Mother Mildred is elected. Sister Winifred remains at the motherhouse but two new nuns Sisters Hilda and Frances are sent to Nonnatus House to replace Sister Winifred and Sister Mary Cynthia. It is not all new faces however as Nurse Trixie Franklin returns after leaving for Portofino in the previous series. The midwives get to work dealing with patients facing an array of medical conditions like sickle cell disease, cleft lip palate and intersex people, as well as new medical innovations like newly made measles vaccination and the smear test.

Series 8 midwives

Like Series 5, this Series has a major subplot, that being a series of abortions occurring in the district (abortion not being legalised until 1967). Women coming to Nonnatus with nasty streptococcus infections, one having to have a hysterectomy to save her life and another dying on the way to the hospital. The midwives wonder who the woman performing the abortions that are doing more harm than good, in the end it is found to be Valerie Dyer’s grandmother Elsie and Valerie must grapple with her grandmothers arrest and having to stand trial, Elsie is sentenced to six years in prison and warns Valerie that until the men who make the law change their minds then brutal backstreet abortions would be taking place in every back alley in London.

New nuns S8

Personal storylines for the characters include the Turner family growing again with the family fostering little orphan May from Hong Kong Hong Kong. At first the arrangement was to be temporary but the family become attached to May and it is hard for her to go, in the end May’s adoptive father has a TB relapse and they take her back for good. Another story is with new and shy nun Sister Frances proving her worth as a midwife having only just qualified, Nurse Crane has little faith in her medical ability but proves herself finally doing her own deliveries. Lucille Anderson, a very uptight woman agrees to go on a date with mechanic Cyril Robinson and a relationship develops on the other hand Sergeant Woolf hopes to start a relationship with Phyllis Crane but she is unenthusiastic, Violet Buckle also decides to run for local council and wins. The series ends with Shelagh Turner holding the ballroom of hope for all the characters.

Episodes[]

See also: List of Episodes

Series 8 (2019)[]

No.overall Episode Directed by Written by Original air date UK viewers

(millions) 

Special
61 Christmas Special Syd Macartney Heidi Thomas 25 December 2018 8.94
The nuns are summoned back to their Mother House when their Mother Superior is found to be terminally ill. Mother Superior wants Sister Julienne to be the new Superior, but Sister Julienne is hesitant. Ultimately she is not elected and is able to return to Nonnatus House, but Sister Winifred remains at the Mother House to work in the order's orphanage. Shelagh resolves to foster May, a Chinese orphan whose adoption is on hold. Trixie returns to Poplar and is surprised to learn that expectant mothers are increasingly deserting the services of Nonnatus House in favour of hospital births but is called on to help one such mother with an unexpected delivery in the middle of the street.
Series
62 Episode 1 Syd Macartney Heidi Thomas 13 January 2019 9.11
It is now 1964, Following the departures of Sisters Winifred and Mary Cynthia, two new nuns, Sister Hilda (Fenella Woolgar) and Sister Frances (Ella Bruccoleri) join the Nonnatus House staff. Cathy, an aspiring model who has undergone an abortion, then illegal in the UK in most circumstances, needs Valerie's help dealing with the consequences. Cathy's sister wants the police to take action against the practitioner, but there proves to be little that they can do. The disposal of the nurses' old day bags causes emotional problems for Sister Monica Joan.
63 Episode 2 Kate Saxon Louise Ironside 20 January 2019 9.13
Lucille becomes involved in the case of Clarice Millgrove, a proud former suffragette now living in an unsanitary house full of hoarded possessions. Fiercely independent, she refuses to move to a care home, even when ordered by the courts. A Ghanaian mother finds that she is suffering from sickle cell disease. Confident that her children will be safe from the condition, as it can only inherited if both parents have the disease, she is horrified to learn that her husband has been concealing his own symptoms. Violet stands for election to the borough council but is disappointed by Fred's lack of support.
64 Episode 3 Kate Saxon Debbie O'Malley 27 January 2019 8.87
The Turners try to help an overprotective mother whose first child died and who now panics at the slightest sign of ill-health in her second. Valerie helps a mother of six whose latest child is born with a cleft lip and cleft palate. Struggling with his additional needs as well as a demanding family brings her to the verge of thinking that her new baby would be better off being adopted. Violet is elected to the local council. After hearing how local children dream of a trip to the seaside, Phyllis resolves to bring the beach to Poplar.
65 Episode 4 David O'Neill Amy Roberts and Loren McLaughlan 3 February 2019 8.92
There is trouble at the maternity home when a mother and daughter who are both pregnant but are estranged from each other find themselves in adjacent beds. The two births, however, bring reconciliation. Trixie's friend Jeannie is disappointed to find that she is expecting a third child, as she had not wanted any more children. When Dr Turner refuses to refer her for a legal termination, she pays for an illegal abortion. Soon afterwards, she develops a serious infection which results in her death. Phyllis goes on a date with the gruff policeman Sgt Woolf, with whom she had crossed swords on a number of previous occasions.
66 Episode 5 David O'Neill Andrea Gibb 10 February 2019 9.04
Dr Turner and Trixie launch a new cervical screening clinic. A test on Lois Parry, a young bride-to-be, reveals anomalies which lead to the discovery that she has intersex characteristics. Unable to cope with the revelation or to go through with her wedding, she unsuccessfully attempts suicide, but ultimately finds support from her family and her understanding fiancé. Her case inspires Trixie to begin voluntary work at the Women's Advice Centre. Lucille cannot bring herself to act upon her new-found feelings for handsome mechanic Cyril Robinson (Zephryn Taitte), but ultimately agrees to go on a date with him. Meanwhile, Sgt Woolf asks Phyllis to spend more time with him.
67 Episode 6 Christiana Ebohon-Green Carolyn Bonnyman 17 February 2019 9.11
With Phyllis in hospital due to a back injury, Nonnatus House staff await the arrival of another nun to assist, and are surprised to find that it is the Mother Superior herself, Mother Mildred (Miriam Margolyes). After witnessing two generations of a dock-working family affected by serious medical conditions linked to their employment, she becomes involved in the fight for improved working conditions for the dockers. The dock workers are kept away from work after one is discovered to have contracted anthrax by unloading foreign bone meal. An unmarried teenage mother refuses to be forced to give her baby up for adoption, as had happened before, and Lucille helps her to face an uncertain future and get assistance. The Turners are upset as the date of May's adoption draws near. Lucille convinces Cyril to attend her church's gospel meetings for companionship, rather than pubs.
68 Episode 7 Christiana Ebohon-Green Lisa Holdsworth 24 February 2019 9.05
Trixie cares for first-time mother Heather, whose symptoms lead to a diagnosis of gonorrhea, a sexually-transmitted infection acquired from her husband, who has been frequenting prostitutes. Mother Mildred insists that Sister Frances must begin attending births unaccompanied, despite her lack of confidence, and she proves herself at a difficult delivery. Valerie is horrified to discover that her beloved grandmother Elsie is performing illegal abortions. Dr Turner pushes for the opening of a Brook Advisory Centre in Poplar, but Violet is reluctant to commit council money to the project.
69 Episode 8 Kate Cheeseman Heidi Thomas 3 March 2019 9.08
Valerie reports her grandmother to the police, and she is put on trial. Initially she pleads not guilty and is defiant about her actions, but the nuns persuade Cathy, the aspiring model who had an abortion earlier in the year, to testify. After hearing her evidence, Elsie changes her plea and is sentenced to six years in prison. The Turners are saddened by May's departure, but after the adoption process collapses, she is returned to them. Sister Hilda helps a terminally ill young woman fulfil a dream by attending a dance.

Cast[]

Midwives[]

Helen George as Beatrix Franklin
Linda Bassett as Phyllis Crane
Jennifer Kirby as Valerie Dyer
Leonie Elliott as Lucille Anderson

Nuns[]

Jenny Agutter as Sister Julienne
Judy Parfitt as Sister Monica Joan
Fenella Woolgar as Sister Hilda
Ella Bruccoleri as Sister Frances
Victoria Yeates as Sister Winifred (cameo)
Miriam Margolyes as Mother Mildred
Margaret Jackman as The elderly Nun (uncredited; cameo)

Supporting[]

Stephen McGann as Patrick Turner
Laura Main as Shelagh Turner
Max Macmillan as Timothy Turner
Alice Brown as Angela Turner
Ned Shaw as Teddy Turner
April Rae Hoang as May Tang
Cliff Parisi as Frederick Buckle
Annabelle Apsion as Violet Buckle
Daniel Laurie as Reggie Jackson
Ann Mitchell as Elsie Dyer

Guest Stars[]

Reception[]

Coming soon...

References[]

Coming soon...

Trivia[]

  • This series is the second that has a recurring story arc, the other being Series 5 which had the mystery of the deformities in babies which was discovered to be thalidomide. This series focuses on abortion with four of the eight episodes having it part of the central storyline and each of those episodes acting as puzzles pieces until the reveal of the culprit.
  • This series is the first to feature Miss Higgins, Mother Mildred, May Tang, Cyril Robinson, Elsie Dyer, Sister Hilda and Sister Frances. It is the last to feature Sister Winifred and Mother Jesu Emmanuel (though the latter had only been a guest).
  • This Series features new bags for the midwives, the old ones having been used since the start of the show.

Characters introduced[]

  • Millicent Higgins, a no-nonsense secretary.
  • Mother Mildred, the order’s new Mother superior.
  • Sister Hilda, a cheerful and dedicated midwife.
  • Sister Frances, a shy and diligent nun.
  • Cyril Robinson, a Guyanese mechanic and religious pastor.
  • May Tang, a Chinese orphan and Shelagh and Patrick’s foster daughter.
  • Elsie Dyer, Valerie’s grandmother with a dark secret.
  • Maureen Bryant, Valerie’s feisty cousin.
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