Call the Midwife
Sunday, 8.30pm, ABC1 She could have been an air hostess or a model. She lived for a time in Paris and once considered a career as a concert pianist. Instead, Jenny Lee (Jessica Raine), a beautifully mannered gel reared in wealth in the English countryside, trained to be a nurse, then qualified as a midwife. As you do. It is 1957 and London’s East End is teeming with children. There is no explanation as to why such a well-bred lass would choose the dowdiest part of England to operate in, but this is just one of several mysteries in this series written by Heidi Thomas ( Cranford, Upstairs Downstairs) from the memoirs of Jennifer Worth. The period restoration is stunning and, as in the recent Titanic, by Julian Fellowes, the dockyards and outdoor scenes are magnificently rendered. You simply are in 1957. In this evening’s debut, in sizeable heels and smartly attired, Jenny makes her way on foot to Nonnatus House, an establishment she believes is a small private hospital. In fact, it’s a nursing convent. Though bonnets have been replaced by habits and the working class is revealed to comprise fine, upstanding if endlessly procreating people (Jenny’s first patient is expecting her 25th child), the whole thing is too much Cranford and not enough Dickens. Charming in an idealistic sort of way. 5000km journey into the heart of the world of bears. With his filmmaker in tow, he aims to peel back the layers of misunderstanding about bears and to observe them for a full season. As the meadows fill with lush grasses and the low mountains remain snow-capped, it seems possible that Alaska in June is one of the most beautiful places on earth. In tonight’s debut City of Bears, we visit a place Morgan refers to as ‘‘ the Manhattan of bear country’’. They are not widely known as social animals, so it is remarkable to see so many bears together in an untamed wilderness. The bears are fine, the scenery is magnificent, and if you can’t be there the next best thing is to be parked in front of your television for this stunning three-part documentary series. Britain. A sociological car accident in the making, the series is nonetheless fascinating. None of them has even flown in a plane before, far less encountered the boozy youth culture of Blighty. God help them.