Spin-Off Goals: Should ‘Call the Midwife’ through Jessica Raine’s Jenny back into the mix?
For the first three seasons of its existence on the BBC, “Call the Midwife” had a pretty clear star in Jessica Raine. An older Jennifer Worth (Vanessa Redgrave) serves as the show’s narrator, and much of the action in Nonnatus House was told through her lens. Since her departure it has become more of an ensemble show, but Worth’s narration still remains with the presumption being that she must have linked up with some people later and heard stories about the days at Nonnatus since she felt.
Is there a way to bring her back into the fold, especially given that the character left in order to pursue an interest in hospice and caring for people in their final hours? That is something we wanted to examine further in our latest Spin-Off Goals feature article.
Why Jenny? – The simplest answer to that is that when thinking of people from the “Call the Midwife” world who could have a spin-off, we cannot imagine removing anyone from the cast now, and trying to lock in the very-funny Miranda Hart into a drama seems like a mistake. For Jenny you can experience a very different world in that time period, and given that she still has some friendships, it’s easy to envision ways for her to return in the context of the story.
The idea – Watching how a group of hospice employees handle one of the most difficult jobs in all of the world, coupled of course with how they are able to tackle the changing times. It’s a chance to bring in another ensemble and to actually get more of Jenny’s story. Given that she is the narrator, don’t you want to see what got her to the point she was at in the first Christmas special after Raine’s exit? (This is where Redgrave actually appeared in the flesh.)
Could it happen? – It’s incredibly unlikely, given that it was Raine’s choice to leave the show in order to pursue other opportunities. Unless she’s really not finding those (which seems doubtful), why would she come back to a show that is more or less the same thing? We’d like to see it, but sometimes wanting something and having it happen are two very different things.
March 3, 2016 @ 12:53 pm
Interesting post, but I don’t think it will ever happen. We sometimes have a similar discussion here about the programme. It’s still immensely popular and the current series has been very good, but I’ll stick my neck out a bit and say that it just isn’t as good as it was when Jenny was central to the story. The first 2 series I would even say were the best TV series in decades, anywhere. Truly groundbreaking, daring and dramatic. Jessica fitted perfectly with the older superb actresses. Now, there is only Cynthia that can hold her own with the nuns and often the “extras” out act the midwives.
I now get the feeling that it’s continuing because of the audience figures and overseas sales – which is fair enough. Each week we are given a new medical scenario. It’s done well and it’s still gripping, but the drama has been diminished and the character development seems a bit “latched on” now. It’s still one of the best things on TV, but I wonder how long they can carry on before we get fed up with it and we love it less?