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Call the Midwife

Nine Reasons Why ‘Call the Midwife’s’ Nurse Trixie Franklin Is My On-Screen BFF

April 19, 2016
Call the Midwife is in full swing again on KCTS 9. This is our fifth season with the nuns and nurses of Nonnatus House in East London. It only took about ten minutes of episode one to remind me why I admire this series so much. It’s the characters — especially nurse Trixie Franklin (Helen George). She’s the one with blonde hair and flippant remarks who has been with the series since the beginning. We have been through many ups and downs with her over the years: dramatic deliveries, exotic cocktails and roller-coaster romances; but of all of the fabulous and unique characters populating the show, Trixie is the one I identify with the most. If we knew each other we would be BFFs (best friends forever). Here’s why …
1.) She has an incredible work ethic:
Skilled, dedicated and compassionate, Trixie is a top-notch midwife. She cycles on her bike in inclement weather and in the dead of night to assist mothers with their deliveries. Confident and empathic, she is not afraid to be a bit bossy if it is for the good of the mother and baby, encouraging through a difficult time and as joyful as the mother after the birth.   
2.) She has a fabulous sense of humor:
Leave it to Trixie to find the humor in any situation. Her one-liners are infamous — cutting tension and cracking smiles on her fellow nurses, the nuns and even her patients when warranted. Whenever she is on-screen, I am all anticipation of her newest bon mot
3.) She’s got pluck:
Trixie is the cheerleader of Nonnatus House, raising everyone’s spirits. Honest and outspoken to a fault, she tells it like it is in a forthright and humorous way. First to volunteer for extra duties, she also encourages others to join in. Fiercely loyal, don’t even try to get in the way of her friends or her patients in Poplar.   
4.) She knows how to kick up her heels:
While Trixie works hard, she also knows how to party and is the first of the group to suggest a social outing to a dance or the movies or anything that catches her eye. Fond of the ritual of evening cocktails, she often introduces the group to the latest recipes in her bedroom bar, away from the disapproving gaze of the nuns.   
5.) She is a total fashionista:
Trixie lives for high fashion, pawing through magazines and shopping for the latest styles. Always chic and cutting-edge, her clothes reflect her interest in what is being worn by royalty, celebrities and actresses in movies. We are not shown her closet, but one wonders out loud how many shoe and band boxes are stacked on her shelves? 
6.) She changes her hairstyle with the season:
Her hair color may remain Marilyn Monroe blonde, but her hairstyle changes as frequently as the seasons. It has been short, long, up-swept, curled, bouffant … you name it and she has tried it. That takes guts! 
7.) She owns her faults and tries to fix them:
While many will see Trixie as a confident, happy person, she hides her inner turmoil very well. The daughter of a violent alcoholic, her childhood was troubled and sad. Her penchant for partying catches up with her when she realizes that she cannot function daily without drinking, and that it is negatively affecting her life and work. In typical Trixie fashion, she quietly joins Alcoholics Anonymous, seeking strength and sobriety.   
8.) She follows her own north star:
In romance, Trixie enjoys the rituals and attention of dating and has had many beaus. Engaged to Rev. Tom Hereward, she tried to conform to the pattern of the prim and un-opinionated wife of a parson, but she knew that his job and the life that she would have to live as his wife were not right for her, so she ended their engagement. While this was a painful decision, she knows her own heart and is brave enough to follow her own north star. 
9.) She is a loyal and trusted friend:
Time and time again, Trixie has come through for her friends at Nonnatus House and the community of Poplar. Trustworthy, caring and a good listener, Trixie has dried tears and celebrated achievements with compassion and style. Most importantly, she is her own best friend — believing in herself, recognizing and valuing her gifts and trusting others. 
Three cheers for Trixie. Long may she reign! 
Call the Midwife continues on KCTS 9 on Sundays through May 22, 2016. 
Images courtesy of Red Productions Ltd 2015 for PBS.


Laurel Ann Nattress

Writer, blogger, and editor of Jane Austen Made Me Do It, Laurel Ann Nattress is a champion of Georgian civility, British culture and Masterpiece PBS. Visit her at and follow her on twitter as @Austenprose

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