ShortBookandScribes #BookReview – Call the Midwife – A Labour of Love by Stephen McGann

I’m a huge fan of Call the Midwife so it was such a treat to look through this book and see all the memories of the ten series. My thanks to Alainna Hadjigeorgiou from Weidenfeld & Nicolson for the copy of the book for review purposes.

An intimate and engrossing celebration of the first ten years of the beloved TV series Call the Midwife.

Learn the up-close and personal story of Call the Midwife as told by the cast and crew. Call the Midwife: A Labour of Love is a moving journey through the iconic series and features personal reflections, photos of fan-favourite moments, and anecdotes and insights from co-stars, producers, technical crew, and guests.

Each chapter, spanning each of the ten years of Call the Midwife – set from 1957-1966 – takes a deep dive into the themes, locations, fun times and technical challenges from each season. Author Stephen McGann, who plays the indefatigable Dr Turner, intersperses personal interviews with key cast and crew about their feelings, thoughts, and memories of filming key moments of the drama.

MUST-HAVE FOR ALL FANS: From Trixie’s mod outfits to the Buckle’s courtship to Sister Monica Julienne’s wise words, fans of Call the Midwife will revel in favourite moments, images, stories and quotes.

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEWS: Includes original interviews and reflections from the cast and crew.

LAVISHLY ILLUSTRATED: With stunning photos from both behind and in front of the camera, Call the Midwife: A Labour of Love reveals rare behind-the-scenes moments and captures favourite scenes.

FROM THE DESK OF DR TURNER: Author and actor Stephen McCann has played beloved Dr Patrick Turner on all ten seasons of Call the Midwife and offers an insiders’ perspective and unprecedented access to the cast and creators.

This beautiful, glossy hardback is an anniversary book celebrating ten years of this incredibly popular BBC TV series. I’ve watched it from the very first episode, as I’m sure many of you have too, and each and every one has been a complete joy (even when sometimes I’m left sobbing at the emotional scenes).

We are treated to a précis of each episode series by series, punctuated by reminiscences from the cast and crew, past and present, taking us from that first episode when Jenny Lee joins the nuns and nurses at Nonnatus House in the East End of London, right up to the end of series 10 (so just before the gorgeous Christmas episode last weekend). Whilst it clearly can’t go on for ever, I was encouraged to read that another two series have been commissioned, taking us up to 1969.

I was reminded of some of the scenes and storylines that stick out most in my mind: Trixie’s battle with alcoholism, Barbara and Tom’s romance and Barbara’s unexpected and shocking death, Shelagh and Dr Turner’s relationship and her leaving the order, and perhaps most memorable of all, the first time the new ‘wonder-drug’ Thalidomide was mentioned which sent a shockwave through me as I knew what was to come.

From those early days through to the challenges of filming through Covid-19, this is a comprehensive look at the series through the eyes of one of the best-loved actors and his colleagues. It’s almost as much of a joy as the series itself!

Stephen McGann has portrayed Dr Turner in Call the Midwife since the first series of the show. He is married to Heidi Thomas, the writer and creator of the series. He is the author of Dr Turner’s Casebook and Flesh and Blood: A History of My Family in Seven Sicknesses.

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