Fan favorite Call The Midwife character Nurse Barbara made an emotional departure from the show in season 7 – here’s her sad death explained.
Here’s Nurse Barbara’s sad death in season 7 of Call The Midwife explained. Call The Midwife is a BBC period medical drama set in London’s East End during the late 1950s and early 1960s. Inspired by the memoirs of real-life nurse Jennifer Worth, Call The Midwife was adapted for the small screen by playwright/screenwriter Heidi Thomas and focuses on a group of midwives working alongside nuns at a nursing convent in the poverty-stricken East End neighborhood of Poplar.
In the fourth season of Call The Midwife, a new nurse named Barbara Gilbert was introduced. Played by Charlotte Ritchie (Fresh Meat), vicar’s daughter Barbara arrived in London from Liverpool and was a big hit with both the nuns and her fellow midwives, and became a fan favorite with Call The Midwife viewers too. Over the course of Barbara’s four seasons on the show, she further impressed her colleagues by delivering three babies in one day but caused friction with her co-worker Trixie (Helen George) when she started dating her ex- fiancé and reverend Tom (Jack Ashton), although the two eventually repaired their friendship.
By season 7 of Call The Midwife, Barbara and Tom had tied the knot and were settling into married life together when she was taken ill in the sixth episode of the season. After suspecting she had a persistent cold, Barbara’s condition worsened as she developed symptoms of septicemia and was rushed to the hospital. In the following episode, Barbara was diagnosed with meningococcal septicemia – a serious form of blood poisoning caused by the same bacteria that causes meningitis.
For a while it looked like Barbara would recover after she came around but learned she might lose a few fingers due to the infection, which would make her unable to practice midwifery anymore. That slither of hope was soon snatched away when Barbara took a turn for the worse and died soon after, leaving her grieving husband Tom a widower and tons of Call The Midwife viewers heartbroken.
Behind the scenes of Call The Midwife, the reasons for Charlotte Ritchie’s departure from the show were far less sad – the actress simply felt her time on the period drama had run its course. Since leaving Call The Midwife, Ritchie has appeared on episodes of fellow BBC shows like Doctor Who and Death In Paradise alongside nabbing main roles on two sitcoms – the E4 series Dead Pixels and another BBC show called Ghosts.