With Jenny Agutter, Laura Main, Vanessa Redgrave, Stephen McGann, Judy Parfitt, Helen George, Cliff Parisi, Bryony Hannah, and many others, all doing so well.
This absolutely endearing series on Netflix, starting with fresh new nurse and midwife Jenny Lee, who joins the order of the midwives of Saint Raymond Nonnatus House, is also a huge tearjerker.
Jenny Lee -voice over by the fantastic Vanessa Redgrave- is escaping a life where she couldn’t have what she wanted. She’s there to improve her midwivery skills and is a bit surprised when it turns out she’s joining a convent. Or so it seems. She is surprised by nun sister Monica Joan, who immediately invites her to have some cake.
Who has seen the film Matilda, will recognise one of the nuns as the headmaster of Matilda’s school. Here she has pretty much the same stern sort of character, but far less appalling towards other human beings. She’s strict, yes, but reliable.
The series handles the issues typical for the time and age it plays in, namely the 1950s near London, but also depicts the issues that weren’t an issue then. For instance, you see nearly every single mother smoke like a chimney in the waiting room. So does the doctor. And yet, some medications that are being used, are still in use today.
Given that some of it may be dramatized, the series still holds a very powerful performance as you know it’s based on actual happened events.
For instance, Miranda Hart is in this series. Not as the comedian, but as the very religious Chummy, midwive of a higher class. I’ve read that her part was one of the first to be set in stone, as even the one who wrote the script (or the actual memoirs) thought of Miranda Hart being the perfect person to play the part.
I’d highly recommend it. It’s less for men, even though depicted scenes are of historical value to anyone, the dramatised parts will no doubt make some men leave the room.