As springtime approaches, some things feel inevitable. The cherry blossoms are gearing up to bloom here in the D.C. area, your allergies are most likely gearing up to ruin your life wherever you happen to be living, and it's almost time for another season of the heartwarming period drama Call the Midwife.
As the series prepares to enter its twelfth season -- and has already been renewed through Season 15! -- its pretty much a springtime institution here on PBS, with plenty of warm, joyous, and occasionally tragic stories to help ease out of the doldrums of winter. And with the days slowly getting longer, that inevitably means it's almost time to head back to see our friends at Nonnatus House again.
Season 12 premieres in mid-March, and sounds as though it will be as delightful as ever. As with any new season of Call the Midwife, changes are in store. It’s now 1968, and time marches on, even as the residents of Poplar work to get back to normal following the devastating train crash that closed Season 11. After the events of the most recent holiday special, Trixie and Matthew are (finally!) engaged, and we have said goodbye (at least for now) to both Sister Hilda (Fenella Woolgar) and Sister Francis (Ella Bruccoleri), who have returned to the Mother House. But we’ll also be saying hello to a new face in the new season: Rebecca Gethings as Sister Veronica, who will apparently clash with some members of Nonnatus House, thanks to her frequently abrupt tone and no-nonsense attitude.
Strangely, the PBS trailer doesn't show us any of these new narrative developments -- in fact, I'm almost certain it doesn't include any new footage at all! Instead, Instead, the clip leans into the heartwarming vibes that have made the series so popular for so long: Empathy, care, kindness, and a dedication to serving those that need help. (Which, is a decision that kind of makes sense? I mean, after this long on the air, don't we all kind of know what we're getting here?)
The Season 12 description is predictably vague but does manage to ground the story in a very specific moment in time.
It’s 1968, and the nuns and nurses from Nonnatus House return for more midwifery and family life. The midwives welcome a new nun, Sister Veronica, and tension in Poplar arises following the effects of Enoch Powell’s “Rivers of Blood” speech.
The majority of the series' cast will apparently be returning for Season 12, including longtime stars Helen George as Nurse Trixie Franklin, Linda Bassett as Nurse Phyllis Crane, and Jenny Agutter and Judy Parfitt as Sisters Julienne and Monica Joan. They'll be joined by the rest of the current regular cast lineup from Season 11, which includes longtime stars Laura Main as Shelagh Turner, Stephen McGann as Dr. Patrick Turner, and Cliff Parisi as Fred Buckle. Daniel Laurie will be back as Reggie Jackson, Leonie Elliott as Nurse Lucille Robinson, Zephryn Taitte as Cyril Robinson, Georgie Glen as Miss Millicent Higgins, and Megan Cusack as Nurse Nancy Corrigan.
Call the Midwife Season 12 will premiere on Sunday, March 19, at 8 p.m. ET. and PBS Passport members can get early access to episodes streaming weekly.