“I’m certain Call the Midwife would be much improved by morphine.”

Call the Midwife

“Jennifer Worth’s source material has long been dispensed with and we’re now in the realms of pure fiction. Time after time in this fourth series opener, we witnessed duff lines and rote scenarios.”
Gabrial Tate, The Telegraph

“Will someone give me an epidural now, please? What, epidurals weren’t available in 1960? Morphine then, a double dose. I’m certain Call the Midwife would be much improved by morphine.”
Sam Wollaston, The Guardian

“A hit show gets recommissioned again and again but the actors who made it a hit get restless, the line-up changes and something starts to feel not quite right. I felt the first contractions of doubt as the fourth began last night.”
Matt Baylis, Daily Expres

“There has been such a haemorrhaging of characters you might wonder what show is left. The truth is that CTM will never really be in trouble unless writer Heidi Thomas leaves, for her dialogue is the star.”
Andrew Billen, The Times

“With Miranda gone, the best lines fell to Pam Ferris as the irascible Sister Evangelina. But it was Trixie who took centre-stage, playing social worker after a young urchin turned up at a clinic with a decrepit pram containing his baby sister and half a hundredweight of firewood.”
Christopher Stevens, Daily Mail

“Call the Midwife’s chief appeal is its cosy predictability, but it can also surprise with moments of relevant insight. It was such a comfort to know that the horrible home for knocked-up teens will be whipped into shape by Chummy (Miranda Hart), and that a grubby young urchin like Gary will eventually fall into the care of a nice man like PC Peter (Ben Caplan).”
Ellen E Jones, The Independent

Foyle’s War, ITV

“This weekend we bade reluctant farewell to Foyle’s War, after eight series and countless Second World War spivs banged to rights. At least this means there’s more time to invest in contemporary-set cop shows we may have overlooked.”
Ellen E Jones, The Independent

“It’s a perfect finale. Michael Kitchen is classily cool and understated in the lead, as ever. And then an ending that is genuinely tender and touching and moving – in a thoroughly buttoned-up, British, 1940s kind of way, of course.”
Sam Wollaston, The Guardian

“With a plot packing in an audacious assassination attempt, postwar black-marketeering, Soviet spymasters, a scandal within the Security Service and a conspiracy to falsely incriminate a member of parliament – this felt more like a series at the height of its powers rather than an invitation to bid farewell to dear old Christopher Foyle.”
Gerard O’Donovan, The Telegraph

“It was right that this monumental crime show left us wanting more when the end credits rolled. With the elegance we’ve come to expect of an Anthony Horowitz tale the two cases clicked together like a key in a secret box, providing a gripping exit for the long-running drama.”
Matt Baylis, Daily Express

Spiral, BBC4

“For some reason, this Paris-set series has missed out on the praise lavished on other foreign-language crime imports. It deserves more. Spiral is so on the ball that it covered home-grown terrorism and a workplace attack last series, long before the recent horrible events in France.”
Ellen E Jones, The Independent

“What is heartwarming is boozy Berthaud’s platonic friendship with her dried-out lieutenant Gilou Escoffier. Like real friends, they insult each other all the time and disrespect all boundaries. The two actors, Caroline Proust and Thierry Godard, have worked together for ten years now. Their chemistry is priceless.”
Andrew Billen, The Times