Vision TV Channel Canada

Call the Midwife’s Stephen McGann Reflects on the Series’ Era

If you are an avid fan of “Call the Midwife,” surely you have come to appreciate the long line of strong, female actresses (Jenny Agutter, Pam Ferris, Judy Parfitt, Miranda Hart, etc.) leading the charge. On the other side of the scale, however, is Stephen McGann, an engaging and affective actor who beautifully portrays the character of Dr. Patrick Turner.

In Poplar, Dr. Turner endures the challenges of dealing with new, rare and unfathomable medical conditions and situations, as well as the patients who encounter them. Away from medicine, Dr. Turner is a devoted family man who very much values his wife Shelagh (Laura Main) and two children. Sometimes, he stretches himself too thin, yet always manages to come back around and find his footing.

During an interview with Radio Times, McGann reflected on the era in which “Call the Midwife” takes place and reminds us that, in some ways, it’s best that we never relive some of the hardships faced by those who lived during that time in history.

“Midwife – we watch that and know from history that everything is going to get better, right?” explained McGann. “Health, the Pill, the diseases – that’s all going away. Sometimes today it feels like we’re going the other way. Opportunities are closing down.”

He continued: “I love it when people take things from Midwife – we’re a pre-watershed show handling delicate themes like poverty, abortion and women’s rights for a large mainstream audience. We’re talking about the past with very modern stories. But one of the things I hope people take away from it is that this isn’t nostalgia for the good old days. It’s also a warning – we should never go back there again.”

This week on “Call the Midwife” (Wednesday, November 23 at 9pm ET/6pm PT), Sister Evangelina’s vocal opposition to mothers using formula milk causes a young woman who is unable to breastfeed to doubt her abilities as a mother and places her baby in danger. Barbara is caught between an expectant mother and her husband, who is accused of being work-shy. Phyllis develops feelings for a man she met at an evening class, drives him on a country outing, but is shocked to find out something he has concealed from her.

-Adam Grant