Finally series five of Call The Midwife is here! I love this show and it is my emotional outlet at the end of every week.
What has made me want to talk about the show this week though is the nature of the storyline, focusing on what happened during the use of the Thalidomide drug.
During the 1950’s and early 1960s, this drug was prescribed to mothers who where suffering from morning sickness. At the time, no one was aware of what side effects this drug would have on the unborn child. Thalidomide caused the child’s limbs (arms and legs) not to form along with other possible side effects.
This event is a huge part of pregnancy and childbirth history. Creator of the show Heidi Thomas said to The Telegraph that the show was “honour-bound to tell – the use of the drug Thalidomide in the early stages of pregnancy”. I for one am glad they did.
It was done in such a compassionate, sensitive way. They focused very much on the parents of the child, in particularly the mother, who was accepting of her child and wanted what was best for her. For me, the most tear jerking moment was when she saw her daughter for the first time.
I honestly expected her to reject her baby in some way. I was wrong. She cradled her daughter and told her that yes, it was a bit of a mess, but that they will find a way to get on with things and to try and make it better.
The flood gates opened up well and truly for me.
It was such a beautiful piece of television and story telling. It has also, once again, lead to the struggle and fight for compensation of those effected by the drug coming back into the public light.
Thomas has also said that the storyline will run over three episodes saying that if the series every reached 1961 (the year the drug was finally banned) then it would be tackled within the series.
I for one will be watching to see how they do this and praise is definitely given to those involved with sensitively translating it to television.