As we near Christmas and Call The Midwife’s 2021 special, I find myself thinking about the past six Christmas specials. While I love all of them, there are ones that stand out the most to me. So I am going to revisit my top three episodes and share them with you so we can all have a Call the Midwife Christmas.
Warning! Spoilers ahead so read at your own risk!
Christmas Special 2013
I chose this one because it marks major events at Nonnatus and in the lives of its midwives and nuns. First, we have Shelagh, who prepares to marry Dr. Turner and worries she made a rash decision to leave the order. Secondly, we have Timothy getting sick with polio, calling off the wedding as he fights for his life. Thirdly, Nonnatus House is demolished after irreversible damage from a leftover German bomb that was detonated in a controlled explosion for the safety of Poplar.
The demolition of the Nonnatus house leaves everyone without a home and in need of finding a new place to call home. Timothy’s bout with polio leaves him unable to use his legs, which leaves him in a position to have to fight for the ability to walk again. Shelagh and Dr. Turner marry, and this sets off many events in their lives as a result.
I love this episode because it marks the beginning of many changes for the nuns and midwives of Nonnatus. Things change for the better for many of the characters, and these major life events are the start of great and challenging things for each of them.
Christmas Special 2014
This one has a couple of moments that have stood out to me. First of all, Vanessa Redgrave‘s appearance on-screen as an elderly Jenny. This was a special moment to me because Jenny is where it all began and the reason why we have this series. And, of course, Vanessa Redgrave is a legendary actress and the voice of the series.
This episode also features a mother and baby home in need of some serious overhaul. The conditions are harsh and the woman running it is cruel. An expectant mother, Avril Fox, catches her drinking on the job and turns her into Sister Julienne and Nonnatus House. Chummy and Patsy come to take over the running of the home until a replacement can be found. Avril, who plans to give up her baby at the beginning of the episode, decides to keep the baby at the end, allowing herself to be happy.
A happy ending for mother and baby, characters realizing their worth, and the return of Jenny are what makes this episode stand out to me.
Christmas Special 2016
The nuns and nurses of Nonnatus travel to a small village in South Africa to help the director, Dr. Myra Fitzsimmonds, of Hope Clinic. They bring supplies and themselves to help. The director ends up having liver disease, and in the end, Trixie stays to run the clinic while she recovers. Trixie also performs an emergency C-Section with the knowledge she learned from watching Myra.
Meanwhile, Tom, Fred, and the locals work to get clean water to the village’s supply tank. Sister Julienne has to reason with a local man who refuses to let pipes go through his land, which would give access to water at a much quicker pace. We also see Tom and Barbara get engaged after Tom struggles the whole episode to work up the nerve. He can’t wait until they arrive back in Poplar to get a ring, so he proposes via a tied-up piece of grass.
This episode is special to me for many reasons. Firstly, we have a new setting and new people to meet. The people of Poplar are not the only ones in need and everyone brings their expertise and their heart to the people of Hope Clinic. Sister Julienne’s ability to reach even the hardest of hearts is unmatched. Her presence on this show is such a delight. Jenny Agutter really does a spectacular job bringing her to life.
I also really love this episode because Trixie‘s knowledge and skills were really able to shine. Her character has been through so much throughout the years and I really loved seeing her shine and be recognized for her abilities. The fact she got chosen to stay in South Africa shows that she has proven her worth. Her character has been there since the very start and is one of my favorites, so I really enjoyed seeing her in more of a spotlight.
Those are my top three! Like I said before, I love all the Christmas specials, and all episodes of this series. These top three choices are just because they contained something just a little bit extra for me. Have you watched them all? What are your top three?
Don’t forget to watch this years special, airing Christmas day in the UK and the US!
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!