From the Guardian:
Bedpans, surgical gloves and cries of pain may not sound likely ingredients for the BBC's Sunday evening costume drama slot, but Call the Midwife is a series that aims to take the audience into new territory – childbirth 1950s-style.
Leading female talent drawn from several generations of British stars – including Vanessa Redgrave, Pam Ferris, Jenny Agutter and Miranda Hart – will come together in the new year to tell of the joys and hardships of a group of midwives working in London's East End in the 50s. The drama will be the first to put childbirth, and its place in social history, at the heart of a television serial.
On screen and off, it is a very female production. Screenwriter Heidi Thomas, who adapted the hit serial Cranford – a Sunday night triumph that the makers of Call the Midwife hope to emulate – says there are some in the television industry who have asked her whether she thinks men will watch the new drama. Her response is forthright. "They may well watch, but people don't ask whether enough women will watch Top Gear."
Other female members of the team on Call the Midwife include Eve Stewart, who earned an Oscar nomination for production design on The King's Speech and has now recreated East End street scenes for the new serial.