The Life and Times of Call the Midwife: The Official by Heidi Thomas

By Heidi Thomas

The significantly acclaimed British tv sequence "Call the Midwife," written via Heidi Thomas of "Upstairs Downstairs" popularity, used to be the top rated new drama release within the historical past of the BBC. Now it's poised to take American audiences by means of hurricane whilst it premiers on PBS in Fall 2012. Call the Midwife, the e-book, is the reputable spouse of the television phenomenon, that includes behind-the-scenes images, interviews, tales, and extra. "Downton Abbey" enthusiasts, prepare for the subsequent monster hit from around the pond.

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Extra resources for The Life and Times of Call the Midwife: The Official Companion to Season One and Two

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The panels of a diptych, triptych (three-panelled) or polyptych (multi-panelled) are designed to fold out, gradually revealing the narrative progression across all panels. For example, in Grunwald’s Isenheim Altarpiece of 1515, its closed position shows the Crucifixion in the central panel and saints in flanking panels. Opening the panels reveals representations of stages in Christ’s narrative, such as the Annunciation and the Resurrection (Mellinkoff 1988: 4–6). Although the ‘action’ of the narrative is sequential, in that it describes stages in the story of Christ, rather than suggesting simultaneous time as in 24, the process of inferring narrative connection across the guided revelation of events framed in panels is similar.

Instead, the programme thematically foregrounds difficult choices and their consequences, emphasising the fractured nature of these threats with its stylistic and formal conceits. Just as global terrorism requires resistance at a multiplicity of locations, so must 24 seek to contain its multiplicity of narrative threads – the programme literally splits the screen in order to accomplish this. All of this occurs within the compelling yet limiting context of a fictional television serial, one that is constantly inscribed by the tension between the openness granted by the show’s serial nature and the promised closure that completes each season.

Finally, we analyse how the style and structure work against a seemingly conventional narrative to resist simple ideological closure. To varying degrees in each of these three cases, we find that 24 represents a break from traditional academic discussions of quality television. It does not share many of the generic traits which often serve as markers for quality television, and it is often fantastic and excessive in spite of its appeals to realism. 24 does, however, challenge the existing definitions of quality television through its insistent and innovative use of stylistic and structural techniques.

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