Have you heard the joyous news that Call the Midwife is coming back for a ninth, tenth, and eleventh season? If you love the BBC series (which airs stateside on PBS), it’s a reason for a good happy-cry … something that this show is already known for making its viewers do on a weekly basis.
It’s wonderful to be able to sit back and think that this series is locked in until 2022 … but the truth here remains that it could last even longer than that. As a matter of fact, this series could end up being a timeless classic, one that lasts for however long the network wants it to. The ratings remain stellar, the stories relevant, and the performances powerful.
At present, it feels clear that Call the Midwife has already cleared its first major hurdle — being able to withstand significant cast departures. We’ve now seen more episodes without Jessica Raine than with her and beyond that, we’ve also lost such notable names as Miranda Hart, Jack Ashton, Emerald Fennell, and Charlotte Ritchie from the series. They’ve departed and yet, the show does still go on. Helen George, Laura Main, and Stephen McGann are among the anchors who continue to give the show a touch of nostalgia, and obviously, we’d love to see this trio around for the bulk of the series. Losing any of them would be incredibly difficult, even though it does seem that there’s a precedent set that it could find a way to move forward throughout them.
So what major hurdles are left that could eventually take this show off the air?
Money – Shows are pricey, especially period dramas in which the cast has to wear appropriate costumes. You can’t just head down to your typical shop in London and pick out many of these outfits! You also have to create and decorate sets, plus of course pay the cast and crew for their hard work. Given that Call the Midwife does have many standard locations (so much so that there are even authorized set tours) we do think that it’s set itself up an affordable model where it doesn’t have to constantly seek out dozens of new locations an episode.
Stories – Is there going to be a point where the stories of midwives in 20th-century Great Britain start to become stale? Maybe once computers and the internet are prevalent as it could be a little less exciting to see information travel at the speed of light. Yet, it could still work given that many of the problems impacting the women of this era (whether it be sexism, abortion, poverty, or misdiagnosis) are issues that are still around in the present. We’re a big believer that within the right style, Call the Midwife can still continue.
Ratings – Will the public keep watching? Obviously, that’s the reason why there will be more in the first place! Given how stable the show’s been as of late, we like to think so — even when viewership declines, remember that more and more people are finding other means of enjoying television these days. Think streaming, or buying DVD collections after the fact.
All in all, the truth here seems to be that we have many more midwife adventures in the future — and we’re excited to see all of it play out.
How long do you think Call the Midwife can last on BBC One? Sound off now in the comments! (Photo: BBC.)