That Major ‘Call The Midwife’ Death Will Shake Up Season 8 So Much

Call The Midwife has been wowing audiences since 2012, and it doesn’t show any signs of stopping. The BBC One drama, which also airs on PBS, focuses on midwives in 1950s London, and is chock full of drama. It wraps up its seventh season in the U.S. this Sunday, so will Call The Midwife return for Season 8?

Good news for those who can’t get enough of these amazing women — not only is the show secure for a subsequent season, it’s also safe for another one after that. According to a Deadline report from 2016, Call The Midwife was renewed for its seventh, eighth, and ninth seasons all at once, ensuring that fans have at least two more years to enjoy the show after this one. Creator Heidi Thomas said that these seasons would be able to seamlessly push the story forward as real-life events of the time period lent themselves to the plot, even though the initial premise was based on a series of memoirs by Jennifer Worth.

“Britain was a country fizzing with change and challenge, and there is so much rich material — medical, social, and emotional — to be explored," Thomas said in the same Deadline piece. "We have now delivered well over one hundred babies on screen, and like those babies, the stories keep on coming! Above all else, it is an incredible privilege to work on a show that is made with such care, and received with such love."

According to Good Housekeeping UK, filming for the eighth installment of the series began on April 16, and given fan reactions to the seventh season, people will be desperately awaiting new episodes. Fortunately the show has a pretty static pattern so you can probably expect a December special and a January start date. Season 7 delivered some hard hitting moments, especially in the death of one of the show’s main characters. Spoilers ahead for the April 29 episode.

Nurse Barbara, a longstanding character Call The Midwife, tragically died toward the end of this season, and people were beside themselves. "Don’t mind me, I’ll just be crying for the next three years," wrote one Reddit user, mrstickles. "I could barely see the screen through the tears!! I’m gutted, Barbara was my favourite," wrote Saaammosss in the same discussion post.

The final scenes before her death were even emotional for the actors taking part in it, showing just how poignant the storytelling and cast relationships can be on Call The Midwife. Star Jack Ashton said he wasn’t able to keep it together for multiple takes, not only because of the story, but because he knew he was saying goodbye to actress Charlotte Ritchie, who played Barbara. "It’s emotional thinking about it now," he told the Radio Times. "The director asked if I could stop and cry for the next take, but I didn’t think I could stop crying at all — I definitely couldn’t stop and start again — so I said, ‘You might have to see what you can do with that take.’"

The show has continuously received rave reviews — in one of its recent seasons, the New York Times praised its "generosity of spirit and unwillingness to condemn," and said that its portrayal on women of this time is "disarmingly honest and real."

So, when Season 8 does premiere, the show will likely still be reeling from the loss of Barbara, focusing on how the people who loved her will continue on after her death. BBC obviously knows the people behind Call The Midwife have a longterm plan, given they were so quick and confident to renew the show for a whopping three seasons at once, so fans should buckle up. This probably wasn’t the last of the tears.

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