Some of my favorite type of television show are those that provide historical information through a fictional drama. Many of them are available from streaming subscriptions and for purchase on DVD too. We all know how Downtown Abbey has become a hit show and although it is the sensational drama that brings many of us to the screen, underlying it all is the history. I am going to attempt to highlight one of these programs each Saturday in place of my “What Happened on” post (Sometimes in addition).
Do you have any favorite programs that fit this category? I’d love to hear your ideas and I would be glad to include the program in an up coming post. I also would welcome a guest blogger.
This week we visit Call the Midwife which is based on the true adventures of midwives in East London in the 1950s.
It was a book first.
Basic storyline from IMDB:
Based on the memoirs of Jennifer Worth; the story follows twenty-two year old Jenny, who in 1957 leaves her comfortable home to become a midwife in London’s East End slums. She expects to find a hospital, and is surprised to find that the clinic is a convent: Nonnatus House. Working alongside her fellow nurses and the medically-trained nuns, Jenny has her eyes opened to the harsh living conditions. But she also discovers the warm hearts and the bravery of the mothers; each one a heroine in Jenny’s eyes. Jenny is the first character shown below.
This show is about the people. The women of Nonnatus House truly care for the people of East London. The young nurses are starting out in their careers in a time of rapid change 10+ years after WWII. They find themselves in some really tough situations with delivering babies during the post war baby boom to a demographic without means and well before the age of contraception. In an early episode, a woman was giving birth to her 24th child. Can you believe that? I was shocked. This brings me to the parental guidance for this program. This is not a show that you sit down and watch with your children. The conditions in East London are intense and the deliveries are very graphic. When I watch this show, I truly believe I am watching people carryout their everyday lives in East London in the 1950s. You can find out more about the show at http://www.pbs.org/call-the-midwife/home/. I will finish out my post in pictures.