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Call the Midwife star Jenny Agutter has opened up about her decision to return for the Railway Children sequel.
The Railway Children Return follows a new generation of railway children some 40 years after the events of the first film, as children are evacuated to a Yorkshire village during World War II and encounter a soldier who is very far from home.
Agutter rose to fame playing young Bobbie in the original 1970 classic, and now she is set to make an appearance in its sequel too, becoming the only member of the original cast to reprise her role.
According to the actress, the main selling point for her return was that The Railway Children Return would be telling a "different story".
"I like the idea of being Bobbie much later on," she exclusively told publication Digital Spy. "That Bobbie somehow survived through that first and second world war.
"I think [book author] E Nesbit would have liked the idea of it as well, because they all believed in time travel and in some funny way being able to time travel and bring something from the past to another period of time, which doesn't belong to us, but affects us.
"I was really pleased when it came up," she added. "I thought, 'Yes, this would work.'"
However nostalgic it may be, Agutter's role in the film is a smaller one – but that is the way the actress prefers it, with Agutter sharing that the new film "really is about the new adventure".
"It's a very small role that I have in it because it really is about the new adventure," she explained.
"So it's about Annie [Sheridan Smith] being a mother, it's about this other world. But Bobbie's there, and to make that link work one has to realise that she's led a life in between that gets her to that point in 1945.
"It wasn't in the script at all and I thought it was important to somehow get it in there, or at least to understand what might have happened."
The actress continued to add that she worked with director Morgan Matthews and producer Jemma Rodgers to expand on Bobbie's back story too.
"We thought she absolutely would have been a suffragette because 1905 was when the movement was all happening and she would have become a young woman during all of that and would have been fighting for women's rights.
"And then she would have been fighting for family values and for social changes, and that's what brings her back up to Yorkshire and living there. I felt there was a real journey there and that was important. And we do manage to get in a thing about the suffragettes which I think is good."
The Railway Children Return is released in UK cinemas on July 15. Call the Midwife airs on BBC One.
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