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The long-running medical drama will return on Christmas Day with a festive special, which promises to bring emotional storylines and plenty of “joy”, says the creator and writer of the show. Heidi Thomas has shared her excitement for the upcoming special and season that will follow.

Set in 1968, Heidi explained that the latest season will be “looking at some very strong stories about the way society was changing at that time.”

The show, which began its story in 1957 has chronicled the lives of its characters for over a decade, so the writers felt it was important to show how the social changes during these times impacted people, especially women’s lives.

Heidi continued: “Women’s lives were incredibly different. Abortion had been legalised. Domestic violence was something that was being talked about more openly. The pill had come onto the scene. 

“All of these things were changing women’s experiences and shifting the lens through which women look at the world,” she added to Radio Times.

READ MORE: ‘We never get bored of it’ Call the Midwife writer address future of BBC series

Of fan-favourite Lucile Robinson (played by Leonie Elliot), the creator revealed: “Lucile has to contend with a reasonable amount of sadness.”

While no further information on Lucile’s storyline has been revealed, fans can expect plenty of sadness as the Christmas special is set to lose beloved characters Sister Hilda (played by Fenella Woolgar) and Sister Frances (played by Eleanor Bruccoleri).

However, it won’t all be doom and gloom as the showrunner added: “We also have a talent show, which has been enormous fun, honestly, both to write, rehearse and film.

“So there’s a lot of joy in there at Christmas as well.”

Fans can also “expect plenty of beloved old faces” returning, including Trixie Franklin (played by Helen George), who left halfway through season 11 to have a baby. 

Heidi also teased that viewers can expect some new characters to ruffle a few feathers.

Another emotional storyline to expect in the Christmas special will follow a single mother in search of a community in Poplar as she is discharged from prison. 

Season 12 will also revisit The Mullock Family, following their thalidomide storyline in seasons four and five.

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On the family’s return, the Call the Midwife creator said viewers can expect the storyline to “pick up the pieces” from where it left off.

As a result of being prescribed thalidomide for her morning sickness in season four, patient Rhoda Mulluck (played by Liz White) gave birth to daughter Susan who was born with birth defects in season five. 

There are also bound to be themes that fans are familiar with when the Christmas special airs and beyond.

Heidi confirmed to the publication that Enoch Powell’s anti-immigration speech provided a huge influence on the new episodes.

Heidi referred to the famous speech as a “turning point” within society and will be touched upon in the next season.

Call the Midwife’s researchers, therefore, spoke to a number of those involved during the time to ensure the episodes are as hard-hitting and accurate as possible.

With a 13th season already announced for 2024, fans can expect a run through the motions in the upcoming Christmas special and the following season. 

Call the Midwife Christmas Special airs on BBC One on Christmas Day.

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