Call The Midwife creator Heidi Thomas is developing a TV drama series based on the Frontier Nursing Service that started in Leslie County in the 1920s.
While the details are still unclear, series producers said they plan to film on location in Kentucky. Thomas told Broadcast, an English industry publication, that "in Prohibition Kentucky, the biggest killers were tuberculosis and gunfire."
Doctors and nurses were in short supply and the health challenges abundant, according to the Broadcast story. Mudslides and wildcats were just a few of the job hazards faced by the Frontier nurses.
"The FNS changed everything, and the work begun by a handful of brave young women continues to this day. I find their story extraordinarily inspiring — and it cries out to be dramatized," Thomas told the publication.
Thomas is working with London-based Neal Street Productions on the project, which chronicles the work of Frontier Nursing Service founder Mary Breckinridge. Thomas worked with Neal Street to create Call the Midwife, a BBC period drama series about a group of nurse midwives working in the East End of London in the 1950s, which is shown in Kentucky on KET.
The original announcement about the Kentucky-based series appeared in Broadcast on Oct. 30. It was picked up by The Hazard Herald.
The original release said the drama will "shoot on location and plans to pull together an international cast and crew." But Brittney Edwards, FNS marketing coordinator, said she could provide no details beyond what was in the original story.
Call The Midwife has been a major success for Thomas and Neal Street. BBC Worldwide has sold the series to more than 200 international territories, including PBS in the United States.