Call the Midwife fans criticise 'out of character' storyline for Matthew

The BBC show's fourth episode garnered some complaints from viewers.

Call the Midwife (BBC)
Olly Rix as Matthew Aylward in Call the Midwife, viewers have been surprised by the way in which his character has changed in season 13. (BBC)

Call the Midwife's latest episode drew the ire of some viewers over the character development of Matthew Aylward (Olly Rix) and his treatment of wife Trixie (Helen George).

In episode four of the BBC show, viewers watched as Matthew and Trixie had a tense argument where he questioned her love of midwifery and dedication to her family, at one point remarking of her priorities: "Are you a wife, or a midwife?" His comments left fans in shock as they felt that Matthew was acting out of character, and many criticised the direction that writers were taking Matthew in season 13.

Taking to X, formerly known as Twitter, one viewer said: "This is not the Matthew we know. And the Matthew that doesn't accept Trixie passion for being a midwife. Do better..."

Another person shared that it was "a weird storyline", adding: "Why is he suddenly turned into 1950s husband? This was the man who in a previous episode was happy to wash OAPS private parts. It does not make sense to me."

Call the Midwife (BBC)
Call the Midwife viewers were unhappy that Matthew was questioning Trixie's dedication to her family whilst pursuing her midwifery career. (BBC)

One viewer said that they were "not sure [they could] deal with Trixie and Matthew having marriage problems". Someone else remarked that his "irritable" nature and recent struggle with headaches and poor concentration meant that perhaps by the end of the season, Trixie would become a widow.

Read more: Call the Midwife viewers hail Rosie Jones as a 'force of nature' in series 13 debut

Unhappy with the direction the character is going in, one person wrote: "It was so out of character of Matthew. We've seen him stressed, hurt and grief-stricken (he's been through alot) before but he's never overreacted like tonight. He would never behave like that towards Trixie or Jonty. The first mention of headaches worried me."

Another viewer criticised the show's writing team, saying: "What has happened to the writing on this season of #CallTheMidwife, quality has plummeted through the floor. Since the Christmas episode Matthew Aylward has suddenly gone from charismatic benefactor to some kind of pathetic man-baby who just sulks in every scene for no reason."

In 2023, it was reported that Rix would be leaving the BBC series, with the Radio Times reporting that the character's exit storyline would "leave the door open" for his return in future. This may go some ways in explaining why Matthew has started to change, but even so one viewer said: "I'm gutted he's leaving. I've loved him more than anyone and #CallTheMidwife needs some proper romance.

Read more: Helen George reveals Call The Midwife role boosted her confidence as a woman

"But as devastating as it would be I would rather lose him to a brain tumour than see him turn into a cohesive bully. So out of character (I don't want to lose him either way)."

Call the Midwife airs Sundays on BBC One and BBC iPlayer at 9pm.

Watch the trailer for Call the Midwife season 13: