Drama about a group of midwives. Dr Turner helps the Mullucks cope with the stresses of caring for a disabled child as the terrible legacy of thalidomide becomes apparent.
Browse content similar to Episode 7. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!
'We face each day with expectations.
'If we're lucky, they're met,
'if they're not, we must deal with events as they unfold,
'making good the disappointments, looking to bind what wounds we can.'
-Would you like a hand, ma'am?
'Good humour matters,
'but we cannot write
'the rules of life and sometimes
-'courage and resilience...'
'..will matter most of all.'
Afternoon, ladies, come on in.
Take a seat, I'll be with you in a minute. Hello.
A textbook heartbeat from a textbook baby.
It doesn't feel like a textbook baby
when it's practising its forward rolls at three in the morning.
Although it certainly feels like a lively one.
And your fundal height measures up perfectly with your dates.
I've never stopped praying for a healthy baby.
I'm just starting to believe my prayers are being answered.
it really is important that you relax
and enjoy these last few weeks of pregnancy.
I know. I'm just not a very relaxed sort of person.
Has anyone ever given you this leaflet...
.."Breathe Your Way To Serenity"?
Yes, but I didn't read it.
If I were writing a school report I'd put, "Could do better".
Ah, hello, Mrs Mullucks.
Aw, and look at little Susan.
My mum said she was coming on a treat.
Give her my regards. I need to see Dr Turner now, please.
I wasn't asking the nursery to take Susan now - she's only 18 months.
I was just trying to put her name down for when she's three,
like I put Belinda's name down, and Perry's.
And Mrs Bathgate refused point blank?
She said she couldn't take "sick" children.
But did you explain to her that Susan isn't ill?
I told Mrs Bathgate to speak to you.
She's going to need an education.
The thalidomide didn't do anything to her brain.
I heard you'd popped in. Is Susan all right?
She's as well as she's ever been.
But I just wish I could get the rest of the world
to see her through our eyes.
Are you keeping well, Mrs Turner?
Yes, I am.
What you hoping for, boy or a girl?
I don't mind. We have one of each already.
I remember saying that when I was having Susan.
It's just not convenient today, Nurse Crane.
I need to have it on a weekday,
between nine in the morning and four o'clock
while the kids are at school and Marcus is down the depot.
It's not too late to consider a hospital delivery, Mrs Antoine,
or the maternity home.
You'd have some privacy and a bit of peace and quiet.
I can't be doing with all the whispering and the stares
or the having to explain.
Is that it?
I've been having them on and off all afternoon.
I think you're safe for now, Mrs Antoine.
These are just Braxton Hicks contractions.
More generally known as a false alarm.
Mum! Mum! Jerome found a bird's nest!
Hello, Akela! Have you come to born our baby?
Not today, Wesley.
But if Jerome brings that nest to Cubs for our Treasures From Home
session next week, he might earn some points for his Six.
I was at school with Carrie Antoine's sister, June.
She came into assembly with her eyes bright red from crying one day,
and wouldn't say why.
It was my mum who told me Carrie was going to marry a black man.
No-one can really choose who they fall in love with.
I certainly don't like some of the things I've heard said to those
little Antoine lads at Cubs.
They're only repeating what they've heard at home,
but I've clamped down nonetheless.
Meanwhile, as we try to discuss lighter matters during recreation,
perhaps I may ask Nurse Franklin the purpose of her manicure?
I surmise the puller of teeth is intended to admire it.
Christopher and I are going out for dinner tomorrow,
and as I've had the day off beforehand I thought I'd get ahead.
You must ask him to join us for tea.
Perhaps on Guy Fawkes Night.
Is anything special happening on Guy Fawkes Night?
Sister Winifred has baked some gingerbread!
It's not in the shape of a man or anything.
Yes, it's Mullucks. Thank you. Goodbye.
-What have you got there?
When did you start learning the bassoon?
There's going to be a joint orchestra with the girl's grammar.
The only vacancies were in the woodwind section.
-There aren't many good tunes for bassoon, Tim.
-No, but I get to
sit next to Caroline Gillespie while I'm playing them.
Will you test me on my French, Mum?
Once Susan's in bed. You'll be too good for me to test soon,
those words get harder and harder.
Mum, Perry's feeding Susan again!
Perry, you know she's got to do it herself!
It takes her longer, but she has to learn.
Her dinner's going cold, Mum.
We would have been referring Susan
for artificial limb fitting in January anyway,
but I spoke to them today and they were happy to see her sooner.
They can give her artificial legs, already?
Roehampton's working with a number of thalidomide children.
None of them that much older than Susan.
I just want her to have what my other kids have got, Dr Turner.
What every child should have.
Just tell them, "Yes."
I'll explain it all to Bernie when he gets home.
If the artificial silk is too clingy over pantyhose,
and the Crimplene shift makes me look like a librarian -
thank you, Valerie - then I really only have the ice blue Lurex
and that's still at the dry cleaners.
You can't wear ice blue Lurex to a week night supper date.
You'll look like you're trying too hard.
Or like you're trying to match his sports car.
Christopher's sports car isn't ice blue!
It's a sort of pale Wedgwood with cream accents.
I shall have to go out in the morning and buy a whole new outfit.
I don't want Susan going nowhere. Not to hospital,
not to anywhere where she's going to be prodded and poked.
We've got to start thinking ahead.
-It's been easy until now, Bernie.
-Easy? You call this easy?
Not for us, but for her, for Susan.
What we going to do when she needs to go to school?
She doesn't need to go to school.
She doesn't need to go anywhere where we can't go too.
We've got to grab every chance she gets!
We could finish morning surgery half an hour early -
we've very few appointments in the book.
Then I don't see why you can't squeeze in your house calls between
11 and half past 12 and drive them all to Roehampton after that.
I thought you'd tell me that I had other responsibilities.
That I shouldn't get involved.
When Susan was born,
you sat up all night with her, thinking she would die.
And you held her in your arms, and she lived.
You've been involved ever since.
I was involved before that, Shelagh.
I prescribed the drugs that robbed that child of every single limb.
Science is meant to help, not harm.
Nurse Dyer, would you test me on my Highway Code?
I've just been trying to sing The Lord's My Shepherd
and all I could think of was reversing round a side bend.
Little Mrs Sengupta's water's broke at four o'clock this morning.
Theory's all very well and good, Sister, but lately, every time
I've offered you a practice drive, you've made excuses and refused.
I haven't booked my test yet.
You're dragging your feet and making it worse for yourself.
Action stations for me, too! Carrie Antoine's gone into labour.
Oh, I have a soft spot for the Antoines.
Can we swap?
Come in, Nurse.
Come on, lass, face out of that eiderdown.
You'll do much better breathing in some air.
It's the smell of that fried bread.
He always puts that much bleeding sauce on it.
Off you pop, Mr Antoine, that forklift truck won't drive itself.
Can't I stay?
You might need an errand running or maybe someone to hold her hand.
You will be summoned, Mr Antoine, should the need arise.
It's like when I used to go away to sea.
Just a breath away.
Just a thought away.
My girl. My brave girl.
So, off we go, then!
That's it, Carrie, put another one behind you.
It's not working, Nurse!
It's run out, that's all.
And there's plenty more where that came from.
I'll ask your neighbour to telephone Nonnatus House.
"I'm terribly sorry, but something's cropped up - no fun for us tonight!
"Could we meet up same time, same place, on Thursday?
This is the third time this has happened!
And it was delivered by hand?
I just found it on the doorstep.
He must've run away.
"Best? Best?" What on Earth is best supposed to mean. Best wishes?
Best of a bad job? Best steer clear? PHONE RINGS
Perhaps that's the gentleman in question. Telephoning to apologise.
I'm afraid he's going to have to.
He does start with the word, "Darling," Trixie.
Men never say, "Darling," unless they have quite serious intentions.
I had quite serious intentions about this hairdo!
I didn't spend five shillings on setting lotion and two hours
in rollers only to spend the evening knitting with the nuns.
Nurse Crane needs fresh gas and air and an extra pair of hands
at Mrs Antoine's. I shall hop on my bike.
Oh, sorry, Sister. Routine maintenance.
Can you give me ten minutes?
No, not really. It doesn't matter.
I shall quite enjoy a trot on Shanks' pony. Bye!
This place has been at the forefront of
so many developments in artificial limbs.
It's been the best in its field since the First World War.
Did you hear that, Bernie?
Douglas Bader, the pilot, was a patient here during World War II.
Have you seen Reach For The Sky?
Yes! It's a smashing film!
Do you want me to put reins on you, like a pony?
Sorry! Unbroken colt on the loose.
It's nice to see them running about.
Isn't it? As long as you can keep up!
Well, it looks like another one for our little gang.
There are children with other problems here, but...
Well, one knows the type.
Come on, darling, right this way.
Hello. You must be the Mullucks family.
And I imagine this is Susan.
Now, the other children are having some juice and biscuits,
would you like to join them?
There we are. There we go.
You said someone was coming with more gas.
Oh, a couple more of these champion pushes
and we'll have no need of it when it arrives.
You'll have had this baby by then, mop of black curls and all.
Can you really see its head?
It's as good as crowned. We're on the home straight now, lass.
People call my kid's hair frizzy, but I think it's beautiful.
It looks dandy under a Cub cap.
You know what to do, Carrie.
Mouth closed, no noise and your chin on your chest.
GROANING IN BEDROOM
Come on! You can do it!
-Is it out?
-It most certainly is!
Oh, I'm sorry!
Where've you been with that gas? Mother was in pain!
-BABY CRIES ALL:
We got a new baby!
What do you think it is? Another boy for us?
Or a little girl for your mother?
I don't care! Can I play on my bugle now?
-Honestly, you'd be surprised how quickly
the kids get used to the appliances.
The little chap who wears these is coming on a treat.
He's a corker - he was picking up Dinky cars
with his artificial arms on last week.
Do they actually walk on the legs?
I-I mean, do they move them one at a time?
Or is it more like a seat that they sit on?
Well, most of the thalidomides don't have normal hip or shoulder joints,
so we make each set specially to fit them.
We'd be taking a full plaster cast of Susan's body to help us.
Ted, can we introduce Susan's family to Glyn?
Well, goodness me, you do look smart!
I hope you're going to be allowed to wear these in the garden later.
So, we'll start Susan off on short legs like Glyn's to begin with.
We call them rockers.
They help the children learn to balance, don't they?
# Happy Birthday to you
# Happy Birthday to you
# Happy Birthday, dear brother
# Happy Birthday to you. #
Now then, ladies, can I offer you a small glass of something,
just to wet the baby's head?
Marcus! There's a time and place for bandying your rum about,
-but it's not here and it's not now!
-Who said anything about rum?
I got a bottle of sherry in, specially.
Thank you, Mr Antoine, but tea will suffice.
"The cup that cheers, but does not inebriate."
If you want tea, you can have tea...
with a sherry on the side, just so you can catch a sniff of it!
Off you go now, lads. Go and let off some steam.
But you stay in the play street, do you hear me?
In the play street, and nowhere else!
And make sure you stick together!
Poor Mrs Antoine suffered far more than was necessary!
If you'd ever seen a baby born without recourse to pain relief
you'd be a bit more aware of the difference it can make,
and you'd have stopped at nothing to get it there.
It would have taken ten minutes if I'd had my bike.
And it would have taken five if you'd been behind a steering wheel!
The sooner you pass your driving test the better.
Get behind that wheel and get some practice in!
Rhoda wanted to make sure you were all right.
How can anyone be all right after seeing that?
The appliances are quite hard to look at, I'll give you that.
Not the appliances. Them.
-The other children?
Them little lads. One with nothing in his coat sleeves,
the other one shuffling around on those little wooden feet,
if you could call them that.
I felt sick when I saw them, and they're better off than Susan.
Is what I felt in there what other people feel when they see her?
I recommend you dip your clutch.
That was the accelerator!
-And it's mirror, signal, manoeuvre.
-Did I signal first again?
VAN HORN BLARES
For pity's sake, Sister! How many months have you been learning?
VAN HORN BLARES
Before we both find ourselves in need of gas and air!
Very well, we are aware of your presence!
-Get out of the road!
Above all else, a driver needs common sense and a cool head,
and you have neither.
Can you hear me?
We need an ambulance!
POLICE BELL JINGLES
I've called for an ambulance, Officer.
What's happened, Nurse?
A child's been hit by a car.
Where's the driver?
It was me.
It's quite common for parents to feel overwhelmed
on their first visit here, Mrs Mullucks.
How many are there?
Patients in our department?
Children...deformed by these pills.
It seems there could be thousands worldwide.
So far more than 300 have been identified in Britain.
How many like Susan?
At the moment we believe that at least 30 are affected
in all four limbs.
Most of their mothers took Distaval
or other medicines containing thalidomide
during the very early weeks of pregnancy.
But why isn't it in the papers more?
I suppose because it's better that we all concentrate on doing
what's best for Susan, and for you.
We have an assessment place available from tomorrow for Susan,
if you want to take it.
Do you have your car keys with you, Nurse Crane?
The Constable took them at the scene.
I'll need to take a statement from you
and assess whether there's a case to put before the magistrates.
Take a seat, Nurse Crane, I'll see if we can get you a cup of tea.
Sergeant! My boy, my boy! He's been hit by a car!
By the time I get there the ambulance had gone
-and nobody knows which hospital he went to!
-Oh, Mr Antoine...
It was you?
Would you take her into the side room, please?
Anything to do with the sherry you was drinking?
Mr Antoine, I did not imbibe.
I poured you a glass, and you accepted it!
Could you arrange for Nurse Crane to provide a sample of urine?
It will establish whether there's any alcohol in your system.
I'm sorry, but we'll need to know.
It's all my fault!
If you weren't behind the wheel you cannot be to blame.
What condition was Lenny in when they put him in the ambulance?
He was barely conscious.
And pray, what of our colleague?
Thank you for calling, Sergeant.
My hand did not stint in the application of the sugar.
HE PLAYS OFF-KEY
Patrick! Patrick, stop!
He'll hear you!
I doubt it, over that racket.
All I can say is, Caroline Gillespie had better be absolutely gorgeous.
I love to see you laugh after a hard day.
Others have had it harder.
And they'll have it harder for months, years, decades.
I keep looking at the Mullucks and wishing I could just
write a prescription for a pill to make everything better.
And then I remember...
that's where it all started.
I'm afraid I have to report the incident
to the General Nursing Council and the Central Midwives Board.
And I also feel that, for her own sake,
Nurse Crane should stand down from duties until
-the situation is resolved.
The police are investigating the accident
and her car has been impounded until further notice.
I don't want her going anywhere! Anywhere out of our sights!
It's a week, Bernie, a week!
That's less than when she went to that children's hospital for
the sweating she used to have.
When she is at home, she's normal. When she's with us, she's normal.
When she's with Belinda and Perry, she's normal.
And I don't want 'em taking her anywhere where they think
that she's a freak that needs fixing.
But she does need fixing! And if we don't let them try and mend her,
then her life's over before it's begun!
Well, you should have thought of that before you started taking those bloody pills!
Is there anything at all I can do to make things better for you tonight?
I don't think I can manage much conversation.
Do me hair, Mum?
I'll have to be quick, Susan's still in her cot.
Plaits or bunches?
Erm, plaits, please.
Mum, what are Susan's clothes doing on the table?
I'm taking them to be altered.
Phyllis? Breakfast is on the table.
It's kippers, but Sister Winifred has poached you an egg.
Tell her that was very thoughtful,
but I'm busy ordering supplies.
Is there any news of the little lad?
Sister Julienne was able to telephone the Children's Ward.
He has concussion and a fractured femur.
And your notes tell me that you weighed 9lbs 6oz!
What a bonny boy you are.
Was he your heaviest baby, Carrie?
Lenny was over ten.
My first and worst.
None of them gave me as much gyp as him.
If I could just see him!
If I could just go to the hospital...and take him his rabbit,
he's had him since he was born,
and he pretends he doesn't need him any more, but he does.
Carrie, it isn't 24 hours since you gave birth
and your blood pressure isn't quite settled.
It's far better that you rest at home
and try to build your strength up.
I thought I was having a girl.
Do you know why?
I couldn't see myself with four boys.
It was as if, deep down, I knew I'd only have three of them.
And if Lenny doesn't get better, he puts me back to where I was before.
Three boys, not four.
Not four of anything.
He needs his rabbit.
That lovely GP of yours rang and said you were on your way.
-Can I help you?
I was thinking, Sister, when she gets her arms,
will she be able to put proper jumpers and cardigans over them?
Only I've been making things without sleeves
and I thought perhaps I ought to get knitting?
You'll have to make them in bigger sizes,
but we can measure her once she's wearing her appliances.
Would you just sign here, Mrs Mullucks?
I'll leave the two of you to say goodbye
and then I'll take her to the ward, all right?
I'm sorry, Susan. I'm so very, very sorry.
It was pure silk twill with a handmade rolled edge.
Not Hermes, but something very like it,
and absolutely drenched in L'Heure Bleu by Guerlain.
L'Heure Bleu? Is that bad?
Suffice to say it's not a perfume anybody's maiden aunt would wear.
Did you check it for blood stains or saliva?
Perhaps he gave a patient a lift home after an extraction.
This isn't funny, Valerie.
Christopher's obviously involved with someone else.
Sergeant Noakes just telephoned.
He asked that you call in the police station with your documents.
I told him that I would accompany you,
and he'd like to speak to Sister Winifred too.
Thank you, Sister.
Nurse Franklin, what about the rabbit?
-Did you get it to Lenny?
-Yes, Phyllis, I did.
And you passed your driving test in 1935?
As soon as it became compulsory.
I'd been driving two years prior to that,
but I prefer to keep things tidy.
Were you self-taught, Nurse Crane?
It was the usual method in those days.
And your insurance documents all seem to be in order.
Nurse Crane assures me she's never made a claim
in almost 30 years of driving
and no-one has ever made a claim against her.
I accept that, Sister Julienne,
but we're still trying to piece together what happened yesterday.
And it's still possible that Nurse Crane may face charges of
reckless driving or driving without due care and attention.
But I'm a member of the Institute of Advanced Motorists.
We have to deal with the facts.
Why didn't you let us say goodbye?
Aren't we even allowed to visit her?
Children are only allowed at the weekends.
Everybody's got a lot to do at that hospital.
They don't need brothers and sisters cluttering up the place.
Did she cry?
When you left her, did she cry?
It's for her own good, Belinda.
It's so she can lead a proper life, like you!
Dad's going to kill you when he gets home.
There wasn't a trace of alcohol in her system,
the tests proved that.
We're often offered a drink to wet the baby's head
and we're absolutely forbidden to accept it.
But, Sergeant, I'm convinced Lenny Antoine ran out in front of the car.
-I'd swear to it in a court of law.
-You may have to, Sister.
Sergeant, I think his brothers saw the accident.
Their names are Wesley and Jerome.
Well, there's no record of them being at the scene.
They would've run away, and I believe I know why.
She's ours, Rhoda! You might've been the first one to say it,
but we've both been saying it since the day we brought her home.
She's ours! And that means you don't just get to do
-whatever you like with her.
-I'll tell you what "ours" means.
It means me wearing holes in the knees of my nylons
trying to teach her how to shuffle on her bottom on the floor.
It means me trying to stay one step ahead,
trying to work out how she's going to balance on a potty,
how she's ever going to pull her knickers up and down
or how she's going to manage the stairs or hold a pen.
She'll manage. We'll manage.
You do most of your managing down the Black Sail, Bernie.
Doesn't mean I don't love her.
It's not enough to love her, we've got to fight for her.
And I don't know how or who the enemy is.
-I left my maths book on the table.
-Take it in the parlour.
No, do your homework here. Come on, find the right page.
The thing is, lads, sometimes in life
we're told to do things and we don't.
Or we're told not to do things and we do.
And then when things go wrong, we can't talk about them
because we're scared of getting into trouble.
And I think...
I don't know, but I think that something like that
might've happened to you.
I think that maybe your mum told you
you could only stay in the play street where it's safe.
I say that to them every day. It's the only place I'll let them play,
and they have to stick together.
Did you disobey your mum?
Did you see the accident
and run away because you were scared of getting into trouble?
He just ran out. He didn't look.
Why didn't you stay in the play street, Wesley?
Cars aren't allowed there. It's all blocked off.
Children were calling us names.
The point is that I tell you to walk away when they do that!
Marcus, they did,
and that's how they ended up on the main road.
I don't want Nurse Crane charged.
I don't believe there's anything we can charge her with.
Good. You can go and tell her that now.
She's a good woman.
Do you mind if I join you, Nurse Crane?
Not at all.
Though it's not as warm as your fiancee made it out to be
when she insisted I sit out here for a breath of air.
I think Barbara's just concerned about you.
Any concern, in this situation, should be reserved for others.
Those poor little Antoine lads.
Having to run away from other children
because they're being called names.
Lenny Antoine is going to make a good recovery.
I was with his family earlier today
and they said he may even be allowed home this week.
His leg will be in a cast and he'll be on crutches,
which generally makes life quite exciting for small boys.
There's no virtue in making light of it.
Whether he ran without looking or not,
my lapse could have cost him his life.
You were adjusting your rear-view mirror.
You were doing what any responsible motorist would.
we don't come at many things from much the same angle.
You're fond of your meat,
and our views on God and His existence
are divergent to say the least,
but we both follow vocations.
Vocations which in one way or another
are concerned with taking pain away.
I can't disagree with you on that.
So if you caused harm to someone else, even inadvertently,
would it not make you question everything your life
has come to stand for?
I'd certainly need to pray about it.
And there you have it, Mr Hereward.
You, a man of faith, would turn to the Almighty for advice.
I, a rational woman, have no-one to question but myself.
I couldn't get through to her, Barbara.
Sometimes cheering people on from the sidelines doesn't help.
Are we done?
You look absolutely flawless.
Just don't go near any naked flames.
If I'm not back within the hour, you may take it as a good sign.
Where's she off to?
It's best not to enquire.
I thought a stroll in the fresh air
might perk up our appetites before dinner.
Meanwhile, I thought I'd better put an Eccles cake in my handbag
in case you didn't turn up.
I'm so sorry about the other evening, Trixie.
-"Cropped up," was the phrase you used the other night
and on the two previous occasions.
You think I'm seeing another girl, don't you?
A blunt question deserves a blunt answer. Yes.
She's as blonde as you and as sweet as you and as funny as you,
and I adore her,
but she's six years old and she's my daughter.
I married young. It was never going to last, and it didn't,
but you divorce a wife, you don't divorce a child.
Why didn't you tell me, Christopher?
Because I was afraid of what you would think
and because I wasn't sure if we were going to become close enough
-for it to even be relevant.
-And is it relevant now, would you say?
Do you want to go for a drink?
We can go somewhere out of this wind.
It appears the wind would be the least of my problems at the moment.
On second thoughts, it's starting to make my eyes water.
# As I was walking sometime yesterday
# To simply
# Pass away the time
# I saw him walking
# Sometime yesterday
# And wondered if
# We will meet again
# Till then
# I'll think of sometime yesterday... #
There you go, Nurse Crane. Everything back to normal.
# Just wondering if
# We will meet again. #
Mrs Clarke's husband just telephoned.
It looks as though those twins are on their way,
so we're going out to her together.
And that leaves you first on call.
If I were you, I'd just go and sit with Sister Monica Joan.
She's still unravelling old sweaters from the charity box to knit up
mittens for the poor. It's not going very well.
May I join you?
Yes, of course.
I think we met a few days ago.
My son Philip came careering down the corridor
and almost ran you down.
Oh, I remember, the little boy...
Without any arms, yes. And quite unabashed by their absence...
Er, I brew myself some coffee in the Cona every morning.
They only ever have tea here,
and on the bad days I need all the help I can get.
Can I tempt you to a cup?
I wouldn't mind.
Every time I do this...
..I'm proud it isn't gin.
Your little girl's an absolute doll, by the way.
Can I ask if you took Distaval?
I can hardly even remember swallowing those pills.
But I'm reminded every single day that I did.
And I'm Rhoda.
I would sooner pound the treadmill in the workhouse
or pick oakum...
..than spend another hour engaged in labour such as this.
There's many will be glad of what we make when winter comes.
If you do not repair to the telephone,
I shall find myself obliged to answer it instead.
And the words, "Nonnatus House, this is not a midwife speaking,"
are most unlikely to reassure the caller.
Do other women say to you,
"I was prescribed them, but I flushed them down the lavatory"?
Yes! They do, but why would they have done that?
Nobody knew those pills could maim a child, not then.
I was given it in cough mixture.
I'd no idea I was even pregnant.
It can't hurt the baby once you're about eight weeks,
did you know that?
No, I didn't.
You learn new things all the time when you're in this wretched club.
The drug was licensed in Germany in 1956
and the first deformed babies were born in 1957.
But Susan was born in 1961!
And Philip arrived in autumn of '59.
The day Princess Margaret got engaged.
It irritates me dreadfully that I remember that.
Babies were being born with no arms, no legs, no palate, no eyes,
and those were the children that lived.
And nothing was said. Nothing was done.
Even now there are people who think there's no case to answer.
That it should just be kept out of sight.
But why was it allowed to happen in the first place?
I ask myself that every morning...
the moment I open my eyes.
It is unwise to tarry.
Mrs Downley awaits.
-And her home is not nearby.
-No, it isn't.
I surmise you are unfamiliar with the route.
In contrast, it is not unknown to me, so I will accompany you
and provide direction.
Nurse, a mother awaits us.
-It's just a swift half.
-I don't mind.
-It's something else, isn't it? Something other than...
Everything's going to be about Susan, Bernie.
It's the way things are.
It's like we've moved to a foreign country and nobody gave us a map.
We're going to have to stick together...
..or we're just going to get lost.
I'm sorry, Rhoda.
I'm making a new rule.
I'm making it, and we're all going to have to stick to it.
Look at me, Bernie.
Nobody in our family ever apologises again.
Not to ourselves, not to each other,
not to our beautiful, beautiful little girl
because we aren't to blame for this.
Other people made those pills.
Other people sold them.
I'm not going to say their names right now
because right now they don't matter.
And we do.
You will be restored to your bed in a matter of moments,
and the mattress will thank us for our attention.
It might give them bed bugs something less to sink their teeth into.
Let us settle you against these pillows.
Nurse Crane, your patient awaits.
It is better for the midwife if you lie on your left side.
We no longer insist on left lateral, Sister. Times have moved on.
I don't feel as though they have.
It's ten years since I had a baby
and nothing feels any better than it did the last time!
Come, come. Now is the time for courage.
I haven't got any bloody courage!
Like I haven't got any man worth mentioning again.
Like I haven't got a clue how I'm going to bring this baby up.
According to my notes, your first name is Vera.
Vera, when did you last have something to eat?
Yesterday morning, about seven.
We'll put that right now, and the rest will follow.
It's not like you, Trix.
Cheering yourself up with something hot and fattening.
A pan of custard is hardly a nutritional crime.
Besides, I'm going to pour it over this sliced banana,
so vitamin C will be involved.
I'd be prepared to overlook the fact he had a wife.
I'd be willing to accept the fact that he has a child.
I just find myself stumbling over the fact
that he didn't tell me about either.
Do you think he might have been afraid of your reaction?
It's the duplicity that makes me angry, Valerie.
People who have secrets, they're usually afraid.
Afraid of being laughed at or rejected or punished.
Nobody does it for fun, promise you.
Haven't you got any secrets?
That would be telling.
That last little push has given us the baby's head, Vera.
Naughty monkey's got the cord looped round its neck.
Nothing to worry about.
You give me another push when you're ready.
You have a little girl,
and you have been magnificent.
No, Nurse, you have.
-Did you miss us, Susan?
Watch Perry, Susan. Watch how he bashes his bucket with the spade.
That's it, lift it off, Perry, go on.
That's for you!
I'd make the most of that, if I were you.
It's a whole new game of soldiers with their artificial arms.
How's Philip getting on?
Oh, he screams the place down as soon as he sees them.
And what's worse, they keep running out of gas and getting jammed,
in the most awkward positions.
Can't wait for our turn, can we, Bernie?
Rhoda, I'm taking Philip home today, but I'd like to keep in touch.
-We're not on the phone.
-We can write.
And, erm, there's going to be a meeting, for thalidomide parents.
Only half a dozen people, not everyone wants to join in,
and probably in some ghastly hall in London.
But do come, both of you.
As long as you put some of that coffee in your handbag.
You got my note, then.
I wasn't sure if the summons for Guy Fawkes tea with the nuns
meant I was forgiven or in worse trouble than before.
And if that sounds flippant I beg you to forgive me
because I absolutely did not mean it to.
You're a very sincere man, it seems to me.
And if I was too quick to mistake your caution for dishonesty,
then the fault's mine.
I should have told you sooner.
Trust unfolds in a friendship, Christopher.
And just because a friendship becomes something else
it doesn't mean the trust should unfold any faster.
Have you heard of an organisation called Alcoholics Anonymous?
I'm a member and I have been for two years,
and I didn't want to tell you cos I was afraid of what you'd think.
I don't think anything, other than good for you,
and I won't be bringing champagne on any future dates.
Can I kiss you, Trixie?
I wouldn't advise the intermingling of lips on this particular doorstep,
but you may write our initials with a sparkler later on.
What are you doing loitering in the hall?
It's your one day off, you should be studying for your examination.
-I spotted an obituary for Patsy's father in The Times.
He died a fortnight ago in Hong Kong.
-Has she not been in touch herself?
I'm sure she'll write personally, as soon as she's able.
I hope so.
Pack! Pack! Pack!
-Take a seat, boys.
That's quite sufficient, thank you, Abdul.
Tonight we're going to take it in turns to step up to the front
and show all the other Cubs our Treasures From Home.
It's a chance to practise our public speaking and learn new things.
And we're going to start with
Lenny, Wesley and Jerome Antoine
talking about something very important.
This is our baby brother, Delamare.
He was born last week, and he has pale brown skin like us
because our mum is from Poplar and our dad is from Jamaica.
Everybody looks a bit like their mum and a bit like their dad.
You might have blue eyes like one of your parents
and blonde or ginger hair like the other one.
Mostly we think Delamare looks like us.
You can come a bit closer, if you like,
and if you're lucky he might squeeze your finger.
This is our son, Philip.
He was born without arms.
He's coping well with that and can feed himself using his feet,
which is quite the party piece.
But he's three and he isn't speaking.
The doctors have just told us that he's deaf.
This is my little girl, Katie.
I took Distaval for morning sickness before I'd even vomited.
I was just so sick with my other two,
I thought I'd try it in advance.
And Katie's got no eyes,
and no roof to her mouth,
and when I go to see her in the home I stroke her hands
in a special way and I think she knows me.
Her hands grow out of her shoulders.
Her father's never even been to visit.
This is our little Susan.
18 months, going on 18 years.
She's as clever as they come, never misses a trick.
And you can see from the photograph what it did to her.
She's worse off than some, but she's ours...
..and she deserved better.
They all deserve better.
But they have us.
'Thalidomide parents had no expectations,
'but they fought for justice for more than 50 years.
'That fight remains ongoing,
distinguished by its dignity,
'fuelled by anger and by love
'because children must be loved.
'There's no rule of life so simple or so true.'
I've watched women becoming mothers
for nigh on 30 years, and midwife or not,
you're no different from the rest.
They don't look much different to aspirin, do they?
When you think what they can do.
Someone knew who I was once, but it's as if she's vanished.
We need to have her transferred to hospital.
You've got your work cut out
getting a wedding together in just three weeks.
Dr Turner helps the Mullucks cope with the stresses of caring for a disabled child as the terrible legacy of thalidomide becomes apparent and Nurse Crane faces an unexpected crisis.