Call the Midwife season 9: When is it back? Which cast members are returning? What will happen?
The ninth series of the hit period drama is due any day now.
Call the Midwife is getting ready to deliver a brand new festive special and ninth series, with the popular show due back on our screens over Christmas and New Year.
Once again, we’ll see the midwives head out on location – but where will their adventures take them this time?
Here’s all we know about series 9 of the popular BBC show.
When is Call the Midwife series 9 on TV? Is there a Christmas special?
Good news for the show’s army of fans – Call the Midwife is not only back for series 9, it will also air a Christmas special in 2019.
Every time the drama has had a festive episode so far, it’s always aired on Christmas Day to impressive ratings, and this year is no exception.
The Christmas special will air on BBC One on Christmas Day at 7.30pm, and is 90 minutes long.
Following the festive season, Call the Midwife will launch back into eight new hour-long episodes which will begin airing on Sunday, January 5 at 8pm on BBC One.
Who is returning to the cast?
Many of your favourites will be back at Nonnatus House, including Jenny Agutter as Sister Julienne, Linda Bassett as Nurse Crane, Judy Parfitt as Sister Monica Joan, Fenella Woolgar as Sister Hilda, Ella Bruccoleri as Sister Frances, Helen George as Trixie, and Laura Main as Shelagh Turner.
Jenny Agutter said: "For Sister Julienne, this is the most difficult year yet in terms of dealing with outside problems. She’s always focused on looking after people - their circumstances don’t matter, people do. However, circumstances are getting to a point where they are beginning to influence what happens at Nonnatus House.
"One of the major problems is working out how relevant the midwives' work is within their community. Of course it is relevant, but it has changed."
Other welcome returnees include Jennifer Kirby as Valerie, Leonie Elliott as Lucille, Stephen McGann as Dr Turner, Cliff Parisi as Fred, Annabelle Apsion as Violet, Georgie Glen as Miss Higgins, Max Macmillan as Timothy, Trevor Cooper as Sgt Woolf, and Daniel Laurie as Reggie.
Stephen McGann said: "As we go through the 60s, the Turners are reflecting not just the families of the time, but also the aspirations of middle-class people. Their house is looking great, and they are living the 1960s family dream.
"But of course, being Call The Midwife, in between the dreams of being the perfect 60s home and family, we slot in these challenges, these things that come into play which can be very hard for the Turners."
Series 8 star Miriam Margolyes will also be back for a new series as her character Mother Mildred.
What happens in the Christmas special and series 9?
Last year, the midwives spent Christmas at home in Poplar, but as with the 2017 festive special, they’re back out on location this year.
They’ll be heading far north under the direction of Mother Mildred, to Scotland’s Outer Hebrides which is in dire need of nurses and midwives.
Although their surroundings are beautiful, they’re also harsh – the team find themselves woefully short of water and electricity to help their patients, but manage to make it back home to Nonnatus House just in time for a good old East End Christmas.
Series 9 opens on January 1965 as the nation marks the funeral of Winston Churchill.
The times are a’changin in Poplar as more and more tower blocks spring up and the East End rises from the ashes to become more prosperous, but also more complicated.
It’s a challenging time for the nurses as the population shifts and poses new problems, as well as seeing diseases such as diphtheria, drug abuse, cancer, tuberculosis, and fistula alongside the more positive stories of successful births.
Helen George, who plays Trixie, said: "This is a really interesting series because we're focusing on the wider picture. We are looking at London at large. We are exploring the changes that are happening with The Pill, but also with the fashion for having babies in a maternity home rather than at home.
"We are also looking at where the Nonnatus midwives fit into the new modern community and if there is still a place for them - and hopefully there is!"
As ever, our favourite characters will have to face love, loss and doubt, but their most turbulent time yet comes when Nonnatus House is under threat of demolition to make way for the fast-paced redevelopment around it.
Series creator Heidi Thomas said: “After a magical Christmas experience in the Hebrides featuring wild seas, stormy skies and some very disobedient sheep, we return to the harsher reality of city life in 1965. Society is changing fast and in series nine we will see Nonnatus House shaken to its foundations.”
Will there be more Call the Midwife to come?
If you’re a Call the Midwife addict, you can breathe a sigh of relief as this is far from being the drama’s final series.
The BBC know how strong the show’s fanbase is, because they’ve already commissioned a series 10 and 11 – meaning we’ll be welcoming back Call the Midwife until at least 2022.
Where it goes after that isn’t clear yet, but if the ratings stay strong, the show could well continue after that, too.
Call the Midwife returns with a festive special on Christmas Day at 7.30pm on BBC One, and series 9 will begin on January 5 at 8pm.