Drama about a group of midwives in 1960s London. The winter continues, and the team at Nonnatus House welcome their newest midwife, Lucille Anderson.
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1963 began not as
a bright green shoot, unfurling from a seed,
but as the germ of something frozen,
locked like a crystal in a splinter of black ice.
Nothing grew, nothing moved forward.
Everything was waiting,
marking time until the thaw.
-The winter of 1962-63 is now known to be the coldest
for almost 300 years.
Temperatures have risen above freezing on only two occasions...
The water's gone off at Lisbon Buildings again.
..falling as low as -15 degrees for days at a stretch.
That's quite enough doom and gloom for one day.
# He's so fine
# Do-lang, do-lang, do-lang
# Wish he were mine
# Do-lang, do-lang, do-lang
# That handsome boy over there... #
Turn it up, Dad!
Oh, I don't know about these American pop groups.
There's such a lot of slang in their songs,
and their diction leaves a lot to be desired!
You're in danger of being on time for your paper round today, Tim!
I told you all we had to do was leave the house ten minutes earlier.
A little pre-planning
and some proper organisation makes all the difference!
Even when the country is forced to re-enact Scott Of The Antarctic
on a daily basis?
Good morning, ladies.
SHE TURNS MUSIC OFF
I think we'll have you on the post-natal round today, Nurse Dyer.
Nurse Franklin can do the booking-in lists,
and Sister Winifred to the maternity home.
I will shoulder the burden of the district lists.
Nurse Crane, apologies for the interruption,
but a communication has arrived for Sister Winifred.
It's from the borough council.
I imagine it's about your driving test.
I doubt it!
I heard they cancelled over 10,000 tests nationally
since this cold snap started.
Oh. Weather permitting, it's in two weeks.
To what do we owe this non-inconsiderable pleasure?
I'm on my way to give a dental education talk to the mixed infants
and have acquired tubes of Colgate, one gross, to give away.
-Did somebody donate them?
And I got something for you while I was at the cash and carry.
What, six packets of corn plasters and a bottle of TCP?
Miss Dior by Dior.
They don't do gift wrapping at the cash and carry.
And this is the couch where the poorly people lie down
while I see if I can make them better.
And, sometimes, I look into their ears with my magic torch
and evaluate the tympanic membrane.
Stop playing with your otoscope! You'll run the batteries down.
I've just taken a call from Mr Gelin, 34 Peninsula Street.
His wife has been in a lot of pain
since she was discharged from hospital.
I know she had carcinoma of the bowel,
but that was diagnosed a few months ago.
She was only having adjustments to her stoma.
Something isn't right. I've put her on your list for this afternoon.
GIRL: You all right, darling?
# When you move in right up close to me
# That's when I get the shakes all over me
# Quivers down the backbone
# I've got the shakes down my kneebone
# Yeah, havin' tremors in the thighbone... #
I hope you didn't come downstairs dressed like that.
I don't like the customers seeing girls in a state of undress.
I thought they were paying to see us in a state of undress.
A winceyette nightie and a quilted housecoat aren't exactly what they had in mind.
Well, it's been a very cold winter.
Er, yes. Thank God for Venus in Furs, eh?
The punters like my act.
It's classy, seeing a mink coat on stage.
And you can play with them - opening, closing it.
The regulars are getting bored, Nadine.
"All tease and no flamin' strip!" one of them said to me,
and I can't have that getting back to Mr Marmara.
Anyway, you'd best get changed.
I need you to go on after the Three French Hens.
I don't do lunchtimes.
Lunchtime's for beginners and has-beens!
Meanwhile, I've got a sign outside saying "Nonstop Exotic Girls",
and Eve of Eden's fell off the back of some Maltese fella's moped.
You can have ten bob extra if you go on with her python.
The street is supposed to be being demolished.
But some of us are owner-occupiers.
The council can't do anything to us.
The doctor's a busy man,
and you waste time bringing him tea so slowly,
there'll be a sheet of ice on it before you get it to the parlour!
It's as warm as toast in here, Mrs Gelin.
Ah! I'm fortunate - I have an electric fire.
My son, Martin - he's an eye doctor in Florida, America -
sent me the money for it.
-You have a lovely home.
Tea for the doctor, and a little bit of cheesecake.
I...I didn't make it fresh today but, sometimes, you know,
it cuts a little better.
And it always tastes good.
I know it does!
He worked for Segal's Bakery for over 20 years and,
the day they closed,
he moved into my kitchen, and I've hardly seen it since!
Bread he makes every time there's nothing on the television.
I'm not a man that can sit idle.
And these romantic programmes - they don't interest me.
I went in the kitchen, looking for an aspirin,
and there was a whole tray of strudel.
If you were looking for aspirin, Mrs Gelin,
was it because you were in pain?
Maybe a little.
Maybe I just wanted to know where the aspirin was.
Let me finish this cheesecake, then I'll take a look at you.
Might one enquire as to the nature of this soup, Sister Julienne?
It is pea this time, I believe. No ham.
A very welcome change.
I thought you should never get to the end of that mulligatawny.
One imagines we are now to be faced with this pottage
to an indeterminate sequence of teatimes.
Our numbers are unconscionably depleted.
As it happens, a new midwife is on her way to join us.
Our burdens will be eased immediately and,
Nurse Franklin, you may be able to book that long postponed holiday.
That was sharp work, Sister!
Fortunately, a new class just qualified
from a teaching hospital in Somerset.
Nurse Anderson excelled there.
I thought that she might share your room, Nurse Crane.
By all means.
But Nurse Crane's just turned Barbara's old bed
into a studio couch!
I'm sure that Nurse Anderson
and I will make very good comrades-in-arms.
Wasted scatter cushions notwithstanding.
Can I tempt you to a Nescafe?
It's nearly bedtime!
It won't stop me from sleeping.
Maybe we should buy one of those electric percolators.
I've a letter here about Mrs Gelin from St Cuthbert's.
Her stoma revision wasn't uncomplicated at all.
I was going to arrange further tests.
She had further tests in hospital...
..and they showed that the cancer is back in her bowel,
and she's also been diagnosed with lung and liver metastases.
Poor woman. She won't have long.
Take your coat off! Come on, let's get this coat off!
All right, love? Hello!
MEN CAT CALL
Is that all we're going to get?
Listen, we've paid good money! Let's have a look!
Come on, get the coat off!
Right, Nadine. There comes a point
when even two elastic roll-ons isn't going to hide it.
You'll have to go, Nadine. There's no point me sugar-coating it.
I could manage one more week! I could manage two!
No-one can tell if I keep doing Venus in Furs.
And I've been saving and saving until when the baby comes.
Please, Sonia! Please, just give me two more weeks!
Men beg when they think they're in with a chance of what they want,
and it makes my skin crawl.
What about my wages?
If you're sacking me, you'll have to pay me off! I've done three shows today.
Yeah, and you never showed more than a flamin' knee in any of them!
You're a stripper, Nadine. You get paid to strip.
You can come back, you know, if you don't keep the kid.
Why would I want to come back here?
Because it's a decent, steady living,
and I think you'll regret it if you don't.
You have no idea what I regret!
When Christian Dior commissioned this,
he said to his perfumiers, "Create a fragrance that's like love."
Hm. So he got 100 roses, a big bunch of jasmine,
and squeezed them in a bottle with a dash of Lemon Pledge?
Oh, Valerie! That's the heart note of chypre and Sicilian oranges!
KNOCK ON DOOR
Hm! Can I smell furniture polish?
Trixie's been trying on her new perfume.
It was a present from Christopher.
Oh. It's got quite a personality, hasn't it?
I bring redundant scatter cushions and grim tidings.
Can't be any grimmer than Valerie's news.
My Auntie Edie's upped sticks to live in Frinton,
and I'm going to have to teach ballet classes evenings
and weekends until the dancing school is sold.
the electricity workers are going ahead with their work to rule.
The power cuts start tomorrow.
And no wandering around the coach station.
Fred's going to walk you right up to the chaperone and hand you over.
Yes, Mum. I love you, Mum.
I'm concerned that the conditions are too challenging
for a learner driver.
Nonsense! Good driving is all about caution, attention
and coping with the unexpected.
That's the ticket!
Foot off the clutch.
Of course. First things first.
Mrs Gelin, I can refer you back to St Cuthbert's
if you'd like to talk it all through with the consultant.
Would it make everybody happy? I know what I know.
You talk about making people happy, Mum!
But what would make me happy is if you and Dad packed up here
and moved in with Bernard and me in Hendon.
Dad, Mum doesn't want any strudel!
Hilary, we've had this conversation.
I know you've got two bathrooms.
I know you've got a rotisserie oven and central heating.
And you know your father worked his fingers to the bone
to buy this house!
I'll fetch some water.
Just so you know that I know what it is that we're all not mentioning.
People have different ways of coping, Hilary.
I know it's hard, but you have to take the lead from your mother.
They tiptoe around everything!
They won't even discuss the fact that the street's about to be knocked down!
Have they had an eviction notice yet?
My husband, Bernard, thinks that there must have been a compulsory purchase order,
but that they've ignored it.
They wouldn't tell us if they had.
-So, if you take a seat over there.
PATIENT: Hello, Dr Turner.
I was told this was where to come to see a Nonnatus midwife.
Did your last doctor give you a Co-operation card to pass on to us?
I only saw him once, but he gave me this.
Excellent, that's it.
We'll get you transferred to our books straight away.
I do rather envy you with this sensational coat.
It's earning its keep at the moment, Nurse.
I've got it on my back all day,
and then on my bed to keep me warm at night.
Where are you living?
I was working up west for a couple of years,
but I've just moved into digs off the Commercial Road.
I grew up round here, so I thought I'd come home
until after I've had the baby.
Lots of friends and family, I expect.
No. None. And that's the way I want it.
Now, according to your notes, your blood group is rhesus negative,
which can cause problems for the baby
if it inherits a positive blood group from its father,
but it doesn't affect first pregnancies.
This one is my first.
Well, then, it won't be a problem.
Out of curiosity, do you know the baby's father's blood group?
Nurse, I don't even know his phone number. Or his name.
Heavens to Murgatroyd!
I imagine Nurse Anderson's journey has been delayed by poor weather.
I'll put a salmon sandwich and a piece of pork pie aside for her.
Would it be rude to ask what's going to happen to the gateau?
I suppose that rather depends on whether
it's covered in artificial cream or fresh.
Fresh, I'm afraid. It isn't going to keep.
In which case, that settles the question.
THEY SQUEAL AND LAUGH
Sister Monica Joan, if these power cuts are to continue,
I think I have a task for you.
My first responsibility is to ensure the consumption of this cake.
I would not like our new helpmeet to be
incommoded by the ingestion of spoiled cream.
Why can't I do it?
The information about electricity rationing is published every day.
We're in Area J, according to this table.
We were given advance notice last night
that Area J will be disconnected during Period 3.
According to this table, Period 3 starts at 5pm.
Their reliance on numerological formulae is
almost akin to necromancy.
Which is why I'd be so very grateful if you'd check the paper every day.
If you give us the information, we can organise our work.
Would I be right in remembering you have a few hours off this afternoon?
Barring emergencies, to which we are, of course, perennially prone,
yes, you are!
That's splendid. I've brought you a present.
You can take the morphine orally for now, Mrs Gelin.
No need for any injections,
and Nurse Crane will explain the dose to you.
I didn't want the bed brought downstairs.
You'll be warmer, Mrs Gelin. And the stairs were troubling you.
The damage to my paintwork is troubling me more!
The bag has come away!
Dr Turner, on your way out, could you call upstairs
and tell Mrs Gelin's daughter we'll be needing a change of linen?
No, no, no! Don't let Arnold see!
Don't worry, don't worry. We'll soon have...
we'll soon have that changed.
Will the new nurse come today?
I hope so, after all the hard work you've done on this snow lady.
It's rather a shame we didn't give her any hands.
A manicure would have finished her off perfectly!
You could have one of our manicure lessons later, if you'd like.
Don't you want to try a bit of my new nail varnish?
It's Pomegranate Kiss. You've been longing for me to buy that one!
My mummy says only tarts paint their nails.
Oh, look, look, look! It's starting!
Alexandra didn't realise what she was saying.
I'm not sure she even knows what the word "tart" means!
But she knew the way her mother said it.
And that was enough.
Moira is a very bitter woman.
On the balance, it probably wasn't wise for me
to take Alexandra home last week with bright pink fingernails.
They weren't bright pink, Christopher!
They were a sort of delicate salmon.
Anyway, she'll be taking a lovely plate of Krispie Cakes home
to her mummy this time, so perhaps my reputation will be restored.
Your reputation is spotless.
Your ex-wife called me a tart.
I wouldn't mind, but we didn't even get to go skiing.
What does skiing have to do with it?
Well. We would've been away.
Together. In Switzerland.
Switzerland is hardly a separate moral universe, Christopher.
We would've been staying in a hotel.
And I still want us to stay in a hotel.
I don't care if it isn't in Switzerland.
I don't care if it's five minutes up the road in Epping Forest!
I just want to be somewhere, with you,
in a room where we can close the door
and not be troubled by anyone else.
I really don't think this is an appropriate location
for this sort of talk.
We have another picture postcard from Nurse Mount and Nurse Busby
whose latest adventures involve a safari in Botswana.
It's as well we found a new recruit.
We shall just have to hope she turns up.
I just spoke to the Matron,
Nurse Anderson cleared her room
at the Taunton Nurse's Home yesterday morning,
and left on the early train.
She's a young girl, travelling alone!
If she doesn't materialise tonight, we have to notify the police.
"Nurse Lucille Anderson, SRN, SCM.
"Age 25. Not likely to be in uniform.
"Hair colour, unspecified.
"Eye colour, a matter of conjecture."
I can hardly put five County Constabularies on alert
with only that to go on.
no-one should vanish and not provoke concern.
I leave you with the facts I have at my disposal.
I'm sure Christopher was joking about the hotel in Epping Forest.
He wasn't joking about the hotel.
Or everything that that implies.
He brought the subject up again when he telephoned today.
Crumbs, thanks to the power cuts,
I don't think we have a single set left clean.
The thing is, Valerie, I'm not that sort of girl.
And I've never been that sort of girl. Not once.
In the whole of my life.
I was knee deep in Test Yourself On Road Signs!
Sister Monica Joan said there were no power cuts
in our area till tomorrow.
I should have checked the information she gave us.
I asked too much of her, and she was mistaken.
I was not mistaken!
The statistical evidence was erroneous,
and probably falsified
by those who would conspire against society.
Sister, you must not distress yourself.
Anyone can make a mistake. I make them all the time.
-And not one of them is seized upon
as proof of your...derangement!
You are too swift to declare that my mind is infirm!
That is not the case at all.
We've all been under strain, and you are not invincible!
And neither am I consigned to second childishness!
"Sans teeth, sans taste,
Come in, quick! Out of the snow!
Do you need to see a midwife?
I am a midwife.
I'm Nurse Anderson.
Ah, of course you are!
And I just fell over!
I'm sorry we're in the middle of power cut!
I'm sorry I'm late! I've been travelling for two days.
-Have you brought a suitcase or anything?
-I brought two,
but I had to leave them behind,
-when we were forced to evacuate the train.
Nothing a bit of Germolene won't fix.
We couldn't have said the same if you'd had frostbite.
My mother sent me the money for these fleece-lined boots
the very first winter I was in Taunton.
They stay in their box until this year.
-Is Taunton where you did your training?
Quite a few of us arrived from the West Indies and went straight there.
One hot water bottle, one cup of tea,
one nip of the nuns' cooking brandy, and, of course, a candle.
I feel like a cross between a St Bernard's Dog and Wee Willie Winkie.
The Germans have ten feet of snow every winter,
and they don't go abandoning trains on a whim.
In all fairness, it wasn't really a whim.
We were stuck in a sidings for 14 hours.
So, I suggested to the guard we all just get out and walk.
He took a modicum of persuading,
but the sensible course of action was quite obvious.
You'll breathe more easily sitting upright,
at least until we get some oxygen organised.
I just ran to the phone because I was so excited.
I've brought you a couple of pairs of my nylons, just to tide you over.
And some brand-new thermal knickers,
from the Order's official supply.
I so appreciate your kindness.
It's shoulders to the wheel at eight o'clock tomorrow morning!
You make the most of your early night.
I had to wake the poor lass up this morning,
she slept through her alarm clock.
What do you suppose our patients will say,
about her being...coloured?
One would hope they won't say anything.
There have been West Indian nurses at St Cuthbert's for some time.
Nevertheless, people can be frightfully ignorant.
Hmm. And RUDE. Especially round here.
Anyone saying anything sideways deserves to be corrected.
The National Health was struggling,
till all these girls started coming from the Commonwealth.
Good morning, Nurse Anderson!
I know you've already met Nurse Dyer and Nurse Franklin.
-This is Sister Winifred.
-Very pleased to meet you.
-Likewise. You look very smart.
Didn't you want any breakfast?
We thought the smell of bacon might have tempted you!
SHE MOANS, SLUMPING
All right, sweetie, can you stand up for me?
She's got a raging temperature.
No wonder you collapsed!
Right, back up to bed with you!
It's a rip-roaring bladder infection.
Five days of lemon barley water
and antibiotics ought to set her straight.
No work for at least a week.
I'll make sure she rests.
Well, you have at least a couple of weeks to decide
where you're going to have the baby.
But, Nadine, I would say you'd have more support in the hospital,
or a maternity home.
I'll be on me own wherever I go, Nurse.
I got used to hiding things, when I was working.
I quite like the thought of just hiding, now.
You've done nothing wrong, Nadine!
We're here to take care of you and your baby.
Can't even decide on a name for it.
Because they change the names when babies get adopted.
It doesn't seem worth it,
picking something lovely,
then it getting thrown away.
Do you give out leaflets?
Yes. We do.
You may enter.
I didn't want to disturb you.
Oh! When I am fixed upon a task,
the diminution of my attention is not possible.
-I am led to understand you have a bladder disorder?
I was a little unwell when I set off for London,
and the journey made matters worse.
You have a wonderful book collection.
There are whole worlds within their boards.
"Much have I travell'd in the realms of gold,
"And many goodly states and kingdoms seen."
"Round many western islands have I been
"Which bards in fealty to Apollo hold."
You are acquainted with Mr Keats!
I know him well.
I was a librarian back home in Jamaica,
before I came here to train as a nurse.
Oh, dear! They're in a terrible jumble.
Would you like them rearranged
according to the Dewey Decimal System?
They are aligned according to the understanding
that exists between their authors and myself.
No rearrangement is required.
# He will not suffer thy foot to be moved... #
# ..And he that keepeth thee will not sleep
# The Lord himself is thy keeper
# The Lord is thy defence upon thy right hand
# So that the sun shall not burn thee by day
# Yea, it is even he that shall keep thy soul
# The Lord shall preserve... #
LIQUID TRICKLES # ..Thy going out and thy coming in
# From this time forth for evermore. #
I do not care if regulations
"do not permit private vehicles within designated demolition zones."
I am engaged in delivering vital medical supplies
on behalf of the National Health Service.
Can't you get out and walk?
As I have a large replacement tank of oxygen in my boot, I cannot.
If you do not remove this barrier,
I shall find myself obliged to confer with your superiors.
How long is this going to go on for?
The last time I examined you, your cervix was dilating nicely.
Just a few more hours.
Hours? Not days?
Nobody's labour is allowed to go on for days, Nadine!
Not in the modern world.
And yours is progressing beautifully.
I had to see this woman once, about a kid I didn't want to have.
She did something with something sharp, and cold,
but didn't let me see and then sent me on my way.
Those pains went on for three days!
-Was it this baby you were trying to get rid of?
When that one came away,
it weren't much bigger than my hand.
It was like a little bright-red doll.
So, this isn't your first pregnancy?
It's my first baby, isn't it?
-It's all right, sweetie.
This time, we're going to try the gas.
KNOCK AT DOOR
I'll see to it, Mr Gelin!
Good morning. Are you the proprietor of this vehicle?
Yes, Sergeant Woolf. I am.
It's causing an obstruction.
May one enquire as to what, and to whom?
Essential demolition work.
Which appear to have ceased at the first sign of snow.
This street is now the site of major public works.
Your car is classified as a nuisance.
And you are intruding on a private home.
The council have informed us that as soon as the houses opposite
have been levelled, then all the utilities on this side
will be disconnected, and demolition will follow in short order.
That won't be convenient, I'm afraid.
I have an extremely poorly lady to take care of.
What you doing, Nurse?
I'm just checking Baby's position.
It's always been a wriggler.
Used to reckon if I decided to keep it,
I could take it back to the Red Sesbania
and get it a job as a contortionist!
I can't promise it's going to appear in a spangled leotard,
but it would seem we have a bit of a trickster on our hands.
-Is that bad?
Just rather inelegant.
I'm afraid it's poised to come out bottom first.
I'm just going to knock next door and ask them to call Nonnatus House.
Sister Winifred, if you didn't damage the War Memorial,
and you didn't damage Nurse Crane's car,
I really don't think it counts as an accident.
It counts as a failed manoeuvre.
The only manoeuvres you need to be thinking about this afternoon
are midwifery-related. You head off to the maternity home...
-..they've got three ladies there
in labour - and I'll go and help Nurse Franklin with this breech.
Hello, Nonnatus House? Midwife speaking.
That was Sister Julienne.
She's got undiagnosed twins, on the far side of the district.
I'm sorry, Lucille. I know you're not well.
But this is like when Churchill had every plane in the air
in the Battle of Britain!
Just give me a bicycle. And a map.
You don't need a map!
You follow me,
and I'll drop you with Trixie and then go on to the twins case.
Something's happening in my back passage, Nurse!
I think you're feeling the urge to push.
But you must try not to, until we're sure you're fully dilated...
-I can't help it!
-Yes, you can, Nadine! Blow.
Lots of short blows, like this.
SHE PANTS SHALLOWLY, NADINE COPIES
Just until I've managed to examine you!
Are you all right, Lucille?
I'm in fine fettle!
I've just never ridden on this kind of road before.
-It's called cobblestones, you'll have to get used to them.
Prop your bike here, then straight down that alleyway,
up the stairs and look out for flat 9. Best of British!
Nadine... Nadine, sweetie!
We need to change your position.
And you need to listen to me.
CHILD SCREAMS NEARBY
NADINE GROANS NEARBY
I can't do it!
Yes, you can...
NADINE GROANS AND PANTS
..and you have!
You're exactly where we need you to be.
Bottom right on the edge of the mattress,
and one foot pushing down on each chair.
-KNOCK AT DOOR
-How many breech births have you seen?
Two complete breech during hospital training, one frank on the district.
Everything else is in my head, fresh as paint from my final exams!
She started pushing before she was fully dilated.
The last time I examined her, I felt a definite anterior lip of cervix.
That doesn't matter now. The rest will unfold as it unfolds.
With your next pain, Nadine, I want you to push.
Can't you just pull it out, Nurse?
Oh, we've got lots of party pieces up our sleeves if you need them.
But right now, the more work you do, the better it is for Baby.
Motherhood starts here... with a vengeance.
That's it, that's it. Keep it coming!
SHE BEARS DOWN AND GROANS
Nurse, something feels a bit funny.
Let's see how things are coming along.
-I can feel a foot.
Or a hand...
"Toes are all the same length,
"and the great toe cannot be abducted.
"The os calcis or heel bone has no equivalent on the hand."
It's a foot.
Another one of those pushes when you're ready, Nadine.
We're going to keep things moving slowly and steadily.
Here it comes!
And the other one.
Baby's born up to her tummy-button now, Nadine!
You are a natural-born deliverer of babies!
Now, Nadine, I want another one of those beautiful, steady pushes
with your next pain. You'll know when.
Now I'm going to wrap Baby, to keep her warm
and turn her just a quarter of a circle...
..so that we have one arm...
Oh, thank the Lord!
But you're a clever girl, Nadine.
Then I'm going to gently let go, and let her hang just for a moment.
Gravity can do amazing things.
It keeps our feet on the ground and bring babies down to earth.
I can't see the neck or the hairline, Lucille...
Nadine, sweetie. Can you manage without Nurse Anderson behind you,
-just for a minute?
It's all right, darling. Just another game for the birth club.
I need you to apply suprapubic pressure, as I manoeuvre the baby.
And the nose is free.
SHE BREATHES RAGGEDLY
Come on, Nadine. Good girl.
That's it, good girl. That's it.
Do you want to hold your little girl, Nadine?
So unbelievably brave.
And I wish we all had your courage.
Baby's in surprisingly good condition,
But the mother disclosed that this is her first live birth,
not her first pregnancy. She had a back-street termination.
So there may be rhesus complications after all.
I've left the cord long in case baby needs a transfusion.
Let's transfer them here, as soon as an ambulance can negotiate the snow.
CAR HORN HONKS
WORKMEN CLATTER AND BANG NEARBY
Nurse, Nurse! Thank God you're here!
I leave you overnight, and look at the spectacle that greets me.
She started coughing, it turned to retching.
It... It just poured out of her mouth.
I've got a treat for you!
A heat lamp that bathes your poor nether regions
in a lovely soothing glow!
I feel like I've been riding on a bacon slicer.
You have had quite a few stitches. Ooh!
You don't sound too good either!
Well, don't tell anyone, but midwifery's just my hobby.
Evenings and weekends, I teach Toddler Tap and Baby Ballet
at Madame Edith's School of Dance.
I went to Madame Edith's! Down at the British Legion hall?
It's at the Iris Knight Institute these days.
Madame Edith's my aunt, but she's just retired to Frinton,
and wants to sell the school as a going concern and buy a bungalow.
I loved Madame Edith! She was the first person to ever make me
feel like I was good at something.
When will we know if she's going to be poorly?
Any jaundice will start to show within the next day or so.
It just looks like a bit of a sun tan at first.
Patrick, what's your favourite European language?
You have choice of French, German,
Spanish, Italian, Danish or Hungarian.
We're getting an au pair.
I imagine you're going to enlighten me as to what that is?
It's a new Continental system of domestic help,
in which young ladies wishing to improve their English
lodge with British families in exchange for help
with housework and childcare!
So, I decided I'm getting an au pair.
KNOCK AT DOOR
I wondered if Doctor could come and have a look at Baby Mulvaney?
I can see definite signs of jaundice.
Can't I go with her?
She's too little to go anywhere on her own.
I saw the ambulance outside!
Baby's being sent to St Cuthbert's, for an exchange transfusion.
You were right, of course.
It's the secondaries in the lungs that are going to take her.
I already knew the blinds were going down.
She's taken no nourishment for three or four days.
KNOCK AT DOOR
Can I come in?
It's your house, Mr Gelin.
Come and sit down.
You don't have to break the news.
I knew as soon as she stopped polishing the candlesticks.
Blood all over the bed, I didn't need to see...
Are you getting any support from your synagogue, Mr Gelin?
I haven't gone to synagogue for years.
I paid my dues, but I just stopped going.
The congregation got smaller, people moved away.
I moved away.
Even if I've never left this house.
HAMMERING AT DOOR
You can't throw them out!
This is their house, and they have a right to stay here.
The Council are confident that all the procedures
have been observed, madam. I'm here to ensure they're carried out.
Why don't you wait till my mother's carried out?
-In a bloody box!
Go inside, lass.
Would you be so kind as to step aside, sir?
There are times when uniform speaks best to uniform,
and this is one of them.
Thank you, Nurse. What you'll find...
I'm afraid you misconstrue, Sergeant Woolf.
My uniform is going to talk to your uniform, not the other way around.
And what my uniform says is this -
there is a woman in this house who has days, or hours, to live.
She came to Poplar more than 30 years ago, as a German Jew,
to escape persecution.
And if you hound her out of her house now,
if you drag her from the bed where we are striving to keep her at peace
and free from pain, you will have as much on your conscience
as those who drove her from the place where she was born.
I am not entirely without compassion, Nurse.
My own grandparents came here from Russia.
And there goes the telephone wire!
Her one link with her son in America!
HE BLOWS WHISTLE
The ties that bind can be so very fragile.
Stay right where you are!
Staying sober is about not giving in.
Not letting go.
Not allowing yourself to do the one thing that will make you happy.
Self-discipline becomes a habit.
Self-protection becomes a habit.
And you think you're putting on armour,
but in truth you're building a cage.
And it's safe in a cage.
You can even sing quite a satisfactory song,
as I've discovered.
But one way or another...
..you're still behind bars.
aren't having anything to drink.
QUIETLY: Waiting for a passing is like waiting for a birth.
We need things to keep us occupied.
There's nothing to be afraid of, Arnold.
Is she in pain?
Her chest, it sounds as though it hurts her.
Not any more. We've taken care of all of that.
She's still Ruth.
And she needs you.
I've had the, er, telephone line repaired this morning,
and there's a stay on all demolition work until further notice.
If I could be informed when the, um,
when the end comes, that would be appreciated.
There are things I can set in train.
Thank you, Sergeant.
The East End's still good for some things, Doctor.
SHE BREATHES SHALLOWLY
If I never said I was grateful to you.
I say it now.
If I never said I was proud of the home that you kept,
I say it now.
If I didn't tell you that you were beautiful,
when your face grew lined...
..when you didn't have a new blouse from one summer's end to the next,
I say it now.
And if I didn't tell you that I loved you...
-..I say it now.
..I will talk about tomorrow.
They say they're going to discharge Elizabeth in a week or two.
That's a nice name.
It sounds smart, and respectable.
She can do a lot in life, with a name like Elizabeth.
And I'm going to be around to watch her do it.
Have you decided against adoption?
I let her in, Nurse.
I let her in, and it was like she tore me open!
Not just my body,
but my whole self.
I'm not sure I even knew I had a whole self, until she came.
Some people spend a lifetime waiting for love like that.
And some people are just scared of it.
This is Mrs Gelin's nurse speaking.
I'm afraid your mother's just passed away.
Your suitcases came!
Apart from my church hats being a little bit squashed,
they survived very well, all things considered.
So did this! West Country Clotted Cream Fudge.
My mother always told me never to turn up anywhere empty-handed.
And I...put a hot water bottle under the eiderdown for you.
I thought you might need it, coming from a death bed.
SLOW JAZZ PLAYS NEARBY
-I want my wages.
For the last two shows I did, and for covering Eve of Eden.
I want my wages. And I'm not begging,
because you don't like that.
Have you pawned your mink?
No. I sold it. I'm buying a dancing school.
And I'm paying cash for the goodwill.
I think the phrase you'd use is "decent, steady work".
SONIA CLEARS HER THROAT
Don't forget your self-respect on the way out.
This is my self respect!
You asked to see me.
And I wasn't wholly sure I was going to be in favour or out of it
-so I got you these.
I think it's time that we booked that holiday, Christopher.
The skiing holiday?
If I may paraphrase,
I just want to be somewhere, with you,
in a room where we can close the door
and not be troubled by anyone else for a while.
I think we can manage that.
You'll be fine, OK. Breathe in and out.
In through the nose, and out through the mouth.
Worked a treat for me, at El-Alamein.
And have a piece of fudge.
She's on her way to take her driving test.
THEY SING HEBREW MOURNING SONG
ALL CLAP AND CHEER
MATURE JENNIFER: It is not always sunshine that splits the seed
cleaving the armour,
releasing the shoot.
Darkness makes the heart's case fragile.
Pain breaks it open.
Courage teases out the leaves
and life unfurls and expands
thrusting upwards into light.
Oh, good afternoon, Mr Gelin!
I can't linger.
Hilary's outside, in the Rover, and she's scared someone'll scratch it.
Are you off to live in Hendon, then?
Hm. Her kitchen, you wouldn't believe it!
And this is the last thing that came from mine.
-Oh, thank you.
She does look rather stern.
Magdalena, meet the family.
Get those curlers out or she'll look like she's just off the boat.
I love the time that the three of us spend together.
-Men? In a mothercraft class?
-You know what you should do.
-I miss her, Nurse.
-Life really can change in the blink of an eye.
The winter continues, and the team at Nonnatus House welcome their newest midwife, Lucille Anderson. Nurse Crane and Dr Turner care for an elderly cancer patient facing eviction.