Drama about midwives in 1960s London. Dr Turner gets involved with a troubled young man, and Lucille makes new friends. Meanwhile, Barbara lies ill in hospital.
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Sometimes life is shattered in an instant...
..and all our certainties
are savagely stripped away.
Questions become our weapons.
Answers are our only hope.
Without them, fear engulfs us.
Love and each other
can be all we have.
-Are they sure?
but the lumbar puncture should confirm it.
The fact that Barbara has a rash
that doesn't fade when pressed,
suggests not only meningitis
but a blood infection too.
They've started her on antibiotics immediately.
-Can I see her?
-I'm afraid not.
They have to keep her isolated for the time being.
They can't run the risk of any further infection.
Don't fret, lad.
She's young and strong.
That'll stand her in good stead.
She's a fighter is our Barbara.
There's a nip today, Fred Buckle,
and I don't want you catching anything.
Nursing is not my forte.
..give Tom my love.
While Nurse Hereward is indisposed, it's all hands on deck.
The doctors are advising every one of us here
to take a course of antibiotics
as a precaution.
There will also be a prescription offered to any mothers
who have had close contact with her in the last week.
My mum's friend's youngest had meningitis.
They went through a terrible time.
-It was touch and go.
-Oh, dear, how dreadful.
It was. But he's fine now.
Nurse Crane, would you please add me to the roster?
We will all cover for Nurse Hereward until she's back with us.
Thank you, Sister. Right, Nurse Anderson,
can you add Mrs Palmer from Liverton Street to your list?
Her baby's a week old and Barbara was due...
..to make a home visit today.
Good. Thank you.
Right, I'm going. I'll call if I hear any news about Barbara.
Does Tom know how serious meningococcal septicaemia is?
He does, but he's in shock.
Dad, can I go and see The Rolling Stones tomorrow?
They're on at the Regal.
-Aren't they a bit...?
I'm going to watch them, not make friends with them.
It's not you I'm worried about, it's their crowd.
I'm late. We'll talk about it tonight.
They have got a bit of a reputation, Timothy.
To be fair, he's being pulled in all directions at the moment
with the clinic, his surgery, and Wadelock House.
-What's Wadelock House?
-A remand home.
He's covering for a colleague there this week.
Come along, ladies. Shift yourselves before you take root.
Nurse Crane, if you'd like me to drive you to the hospital later,
I'd be more than happy to do it. You only have to ask.
Thank you, very kind, but no, thank you.
But keep a close eye.
If the colour in her fingers or toes deteriorates any further, call me.
Two, three, four, five.
Star jumps for ten on me! Ready? Go!
One, two, three, four,
five, six, seven, eight...
Ah, Dr Turner, good to have you on board.
I'm afraid you're about to earn your keep.
We have a galloping outbreak of our old friend scabies.
Ah, well, in that case, all bedding and clothing
will have to be washed in boiling hot water then dried with heat.
Don't worry, we know the drill.
Welcome to Wadelock House.
One, two, three...
How is she?
Erm...much the same.
We need to give the penicillin a chance to do its work.
But she's holding her own, and that's something to take heart from.
Can I sit with her? Just for a few minutes? Please.
I need to see her for myself.
I know it's hard, but you won't be of any help to her
-in her present condition.
-Please don't let her die.
We are doing everything in our power to prevent it.
I have great faith in our doctors, Mr Hereward.
As much as you have in God, I suspect.
You can come back this evening.
Ah! Good morning, Nurse...
Anderson. I'm afraid Nurse Hereward is sick today
and I'm covering some of her patients.
Oh, what a shame. I had a little gift to give to her too.
You know, just to thank her for the gift she's given me.
You can give it to me and I'll make sure she get it.
Look at me, keeping you on the doorstep. Come in, come in.
Ah, shoes off...if you don't mind.
It's a brand-new carpet.
Winston - he's my husband - said we should get the linoleum,
but I had my heart set.
We'll be in the back room, Nurse.
I only have the heating on in the front room on a Sunday.
You sound like my mother.
Your mother sounds like a very smart woman.
-Where are you from, Nurse? In Jamaica?
Now, that should keep you busy.
Let me get myself settled and then I'll have you in.
One at a time.
Has he been crying more than usual?
He never cries.
-He's the best baby in the whole world.
And what about you? Are you feeling well?
No sign of a rash or stiff neck?
Why? Could we have caught this?
It's unlikely, but we'd like you both
to take a course of antibiotics, just to be on the safe side.
It's really nothing to worry about.
Your baby is thriving, Mrs Palmer.
He's put on 2oz since Nurse Hereward last weighed him.
-All he does is eat.
-That's what he meant to do.
-That and sleep.
-I hope he slows down, just for a little while.
Otherwise, he'll be bursting out of his christening robe.
And what will your father think if he has to bless you
and accept you into God's love naked as you came?
My husband is the pastor of our church.
We've waited a very long time to thank God for our child.
That's lovely. Where is your church?
You are standing in it.
My husband's congregation is a small one.
We gather in the front room, read the Bible, pray together.
When we first came we attended a larger church,
with a fancy altar, big congregation, but
their hearts were not so big.
Our church is not like that.
-You go to church, Nurse?
-but I'm thinking of changing.
-So you know what I am saying.
-No. Nothing like that.
You're welcome to pray with us. It's a squeeze, but...
It's kind, but I think I will be too busy working
until Nurse Hereward is up and about again.
Well, this door is always open,
like at home.
Right, so you are Michael Sumpter? Yes?
Let's take a look at you.
Hmm. You have a mild dose of scabies.
The lotion should clear it up fairly quickly.
This cut's infected.
How did you do this?
I'll dress it for you now.
Then come in again tomorrow
and I'll change it.
It stings. Sorry.
What's that for?
Visiting time, sir.
You'd better go, then.
I don't get no visitors.
Doesn't your family visit?
I don't have no family.
Oh, Tom, you're soaked.
Sister Grant sent me home.
You took a lot of notice, then.
I'll go back there tonight,
I don't think I can face it yet. Not on my own.
I know. I had a feeling this might happen.
Here - a bit of sustenance and clean clothes.
We can't let standards slide.
I'll try my best.
There's no change, Phyllis.
It's early days and no change cuts both ways.
She's no worse, Tom. Think of it like that.
I know how much you love her...
..and how much she loves you.
Here, Sumpter, is it true you and your bird are having a kid?
What happened? You forget to pull out?
Surprised you put it in.
She's not my bird. She's my wife.
-Look, he talks!
-And sticking up for a tart and all.
What do you say? Go on, say it again!
Get off me! Get off!
Did you know that Mrs Palmer's husband was a pastor?
Oh! How interesting.
-Where's his church?
-In their little flat.
The congregation comes to him and they worship there.
-We are not judged by the size of our churches,
but the way we inhabit them.
Sister, you're not wearing your glasses.
They must have fallen off.
It's a sign.
-Perhaps they do not like it there.
We'll find them.
Now, come along, eat up.
Strangely...I find myself devoid of the ability
to partake in this nourishment.
I am old.
I have had my time, yet here I am, sight renewed...
..while our beloved friend is stricken so.
I would gladly let the Good Lord take me
if he would spare her.
He does not trade one precious soul for another, Sister.
It is not his way.
Aren't you cold out here?
Now you mention it.
There's a local boy in there,
same age as Tim.
He troubles me.
I can hardly get two words out of him.
There are scars on his wrist, Shelagh.
He's clearly depressed,
but there doesn't seem to be any help in there.
He doesn't strike me as the usual type.
I saw him defending his wife's honour today.
And she's pregnant.
Can you imagine how he must feel, locked up, away from her?
I wish I could get him to open up to me.
Would you like me to find out if his wife is a patient at Nonnatus House?
Their name is Sumpter.
I'll check in the clinic.
-It's Monday, remember.
He should be back about seven.
Did you get some sleep, Mr Hereward?
I have a confession, Sister.
I didn't even go home.
I'll sit here, and I promise not to move.
I just have to be here when she wakes up.
I've sat at the bedside of so many dying people,
some of them in this very hospital,
surely I can be near my own wife?
She's still very ill, but she's calmer
and not as feverish as she was.
If you wear a mask and gown,
I'll let you in to sit with her for a few moments.
Just sit with her.
I have a feeling she'll know you're here.
Where have you been? You're late.
Till this time? It's nearly ten!
We were worried.
I almost called the police.
You're not allowed out with your friends again until I say.
That's not fair. They're all going to see The Rolling Stones tomorrow.
Good for them.
Hope they get out in one piece. Now, go to bed.
Would you like me to pray with you?
Please don't think me ungrateful. Pray all you like for Barbara,
but don't ask me to do it.
I'll just do what I am doing, quietly.
I might have put my foot in it last night.
Why? I asked Phyllis if she wanted to pray with me for Barbara.
I knew she wouldn't want to, so I don't know why I did it.
It would be like asking you.
You were being kind. Phyllis'll know that.
If I'm honest, I think it was more for my sake.
I like to pray with other people.
It's how I was brought up.
I can understand that.
Everything feels so fragile right now.
There must be a comfort in it.
If you want some company on the bus this Sunday,
I'm happy to tag along.
I can always go for a wander when you go to church.
That's kind of you, but let's see how Barbara is first.
Nurse Crane, why don't you let myself
and the other midwives share your cases between us?
I'm sure you'd rather be at the hospital.
I think I'd prefer to carry on for now,
but perhaps later.
What do you think about asking Mrs Turner to come back?
Could be the perfect solution. If she's willing, of course.
We can but ask.
How's your hand?
Hey, look - Sumpter's boyfriend.
I need to change your dressing.
Can you come up to the medical room when you're finished here?
-Oooh, Medical room.
-Oooh! THEY LAUGH
He's been right as rain, nurse. Not up or down.
That's good. I wanted to make sure.
I forgot to give you this, for Nurse Hereward.
Oh, that's pretty.
Nurse Hereward will love it.
My mother collects little glass ornaments.
You miss her, don't you?
but my work is here, and I love it.
Which reminds me, I have clinic today.
We have a prayer meeting this evening.
Thank you, but I have choir practice tonight.
We don't have a choir, but we love to sing.
Goodbye, Mrs Palmer.
That's looking better.
If you like, I can ask them
to take you off gardening duty for a few days.
Nah, I like going outside.
I saw those other boys provoking you.
Does it happen often?
It happens to everyone.
I ain't anything special.
You hear what they said?
Is Alison your wife?
Called her a tart.
-I'm sure she isn't.
Don't know what she saw in me.
Her mother says I'm good for nothing.
She didn't want her to marry me,
but she didn't want a bastard in the family so she let her.
All she cares about is what people think.
Where's Alison now?
Living with her.
Couldn't afford a place of our own.
Must be hard.
At least she's not stuck with some good-for-nothing waster
who's going to be in and out of jail for the rest of his life.
Did Alison say that?
No. I did.
But I bet she thinks it.
you look terrible.
How is she?
She's still not awake,
but the fever's come down a bit.
-The sister says that's good.
What did I tell you? She's a strong lass.
I've bought her some clean nightclothes. And this is for you,
from Fred. It's a razor.
And if I were you, I'd use it.
You don't want Barbara waking up and getting the fright of her life
because your facial hair has taken on a life of its own.
Wouldn't that be something?
For Barbara to wake up and look at me
in the way that she does.
Looks like the word's out.
This is Poplar, Fred. The word is always out.
They must think a great deal of Barbara.
They think of her and Tom as family.
That's a lovely thing,
especially as they're not from here.
I saw Sister Julienne today.
She asked me to come back to Nonnatus House and work with them
-while Barbara's in hospital.
-What did you say?
I said I had to talk it over with you.
I checked at clinic
and there isn't anyone called Sumpter on their books.
That's a shame.
I hope she hasn't moved away.
That would make things harder for Michael.
I was about to send out a search party.
I went for a walk.
Just for a few minutes, mind.
We're satisfied there's no risk of infection now,
so you don't have to wear a mask.
You can talk to her if you like, but keep your voice down.
She's very drowsy still, so don't expect her to talk back.
Nurse will be in and out.
If you need anything, ring the bell.
My poor darling.
Your hand's cold.
Everyone sends their love.
I've been thinking
about when you're better.
I know we both love it here, but I think it's time for a change.
Let's move to the country...
..with fields and streams,
and hills as far as we can see.
And a little cottage that opens up onto grass
and not onto a fog-filled street.
Somewhere to bring up a family.
Folk have babies in the country.
Some of them even go to church.
It brings a whole new meaning to the word flock.
Oh, you gave me a fright.
You need a shave.
-Phyllis said you'd say that.
Phyllis knows everything.
Do you want some?
Lucille, what you said before,
about Tom and Barbara being lucky,
it made me worry you still don't feel welcome here.
I'd hate that.
It's not here.
It's at church.
Why? What's happened?
I only went there because of Sybil, and she made me join the choir.
But then the choir master gave me a solo.
I thought you said you couldn't hold a tune.
My mother tells me never to boast.
Anyway, some people there wasn't too happy about it.
Some people thought it wasn't the done thing
to have the likes of me stand up, on my own, and be seen.
Don't go back.
Isn't that the easy way?
Part of me thinks I should stay
and not be cowed by their ignorant behaviour.
I should stand up there in front of them all and sing my heart out.
Why don't you go to Mrs Palmer's prayer meetings instead?
I think they sound lovely.
They do, they sound so much like home.
But I'm living in England now and I should be
trying harder to fit in here.
Nonnatas House. Midwife speaking.
Oh, Mr Hereward...
-How is everything?
That's so wonderful.
I'll tell everyone.
Barbara's come round.
We can go and visit her! Isn't it just so wonderful?
Now, I've allocated you each a time to visit
which does not interfere with your nursing duties.
You are allowed five minutes each.
Remember, Barbara is still very weak.
Are we all agreed?
If only all rotas were as welcome as this one.
-Welcome back, Nurse Turner.
Thank you. It is only temporary, till we get Barbara back.
I've pulled together a list of your calls.
First up is Miss Wetherley.
How does that feel?
More like my Tom.
# Don't know much about history
# Don't know much biology
# Don't know much about a science book
# Don't know much about the French I took
# But I do know that I love you
# And I know that if you love me too
# What a wonderful world this would be
# Now I don't claim to be an A student
# But I'm trying to be
# For maybe by being an A student baby
# I can win your love for me
# Don't know much about history
# Don't know much biology
# Don't know much about a science book
# Don't know much about the French I took
# But I do know that I love you
# And I know that if you love me too
# What a wonderful world this would be. #
Today, Miss Wetherley, I'm just going to examine you
to make sure everything is progressing normally.
Do you have to examine me? I feel fine, don't I, Mum?
Course, you do. You're neither up nor down with it.
I was the same. I hardly knew you were in there.
-Are you still planning to give birth here?
-Course she is.
Why wouldn't she? This is where she lives.
-I just have to ask.
-She's going nowhere.
Not as long as I've got breath.
I don't like to think where you might have been living
-if it was up to that...
Your hand is healing nicely.
If those lads are bothering you,
I could have a word with the superintendent.
I'll be out of here soon.
I'm up in front of the magistrates the day after tomorrow.
You could be going home.
I stole a car.
I'm not going home.
Why did you do it?
Got a kid on the way.
A bloke turned up with some keys,
told me to drive it up to Stepney and he'll pay me for doing it.
Next thing I knew, the police had me.
-Are you sorry?
-What do you think?
Then tell them that.
I don't have the right words.
They tie me in knots.
Tell me. I'll help you.
You don't need big words,
just the truth.
I'm sorry for doing it, cos it was stupid...
..but I just wanted to look after my wife, and I'd rather die
than take money off her mother, the old bag, I mean...
See. I can't say that. I can't do it.
I just don't have the right words to use.
You could say it in a different way.
You could. I can't.
It doesn't matter.
What kind of a father would I be anyway?
You got kids?
Three. Two boys and a girl.
My eldest son is the same age as you.
Bet he's not in trouble.
-He is at the moment.
-What did he do?
He stayed out later than he should.
Is that all?
What did you do to him?
I told him he couldn't see his friends for a few days.
I wish I was going up in front of you.
You sound like an all right dad.
Where's your dad?
Buggered off before I were born.
Like father like son.
The baby's lying perfectly, Miss Wetherley.
The head is down and engaged.
It might not be long now.
It's not Miss, it's Mrs...
Mrs Wetherley? I thought that was your mother's name.
Wetherley is my maiden name.
I was Mrs Sumpter, but I go by Wetherley now.
I don't want you thinking I wasn't married or anything.
Why? What's wrong with that?
Nothing, but I think there's something you should know.
My husband is a GP at Wadelock House just now.
He's met your husband.
Don't say a word to my mum.
If she finds out, there'll be hell to pay.
She can't stand him.
I'm sorry to hear that.
Did you go to Mrs Palmer's prayer meeting?
She remind me too much of my mother and her sisters
and everything I miss from home.
Makes me ache.
If it was me, and I was that way inclined, I'd be there like a shot.
Oy, Sumpter, want a drag?
Why can't I speak for him?
Because then we would have to do it for all of them, and we can't.
How they feel is not our concern.
We're only interested in what they've done.
All that boy needs is for somebody to show some faith in him.
Just once. That's all.
Can I give you a piece of advice?
The same advice that somebody once gave me.
You can't save them all,
and you'd have nothing left if you tried.
I'll go. You look tired.
Get some sleep before Tom comes.
Let him know if there's anything you want me to bring.
These are worse, aren't they?
I can't feel anything with them either.
I'll go and get Sister Grant.
That was Nurse Crane.
The tissue on three of Nurse Hereward's fingers has been
badly affected by the septicaemia.
They won't know how much tissue is dead or has been badly damaged
for a while yet.
Could she lose them?
She's a midwife.
She won't be able to do her job.
Not if she can't feel anything.
What are you doing with that? Does it need dry cleaning?
No. It's for Michael. He'll need it for court.
-Does Timothy know you've taken it?
-I'm only borrowing it.
I'll see you at the maternity home later.
You'd never know I got it in a jumble.
Don't go buying anything else.
It'll grow out of everything before it can wear them all.
Appearances matter, Alison, especially in your situation.
I will not have people talking about you or my grandchild
just because you were stupid enough to get swept away by a fly-by-night.
You're not the first, you won't be the last.
No wonder this country's gone to the dogs,
because girls like you can't tell the difference
between that thing and proper affection.
Well, it's a good thing we won't have to worry about him after today.
He'll be well away by the time that baby's here.
-What do you mean?
-He's in court today,
facing up to what he did. There's no hiding now.
-How do you know that?
-I've been keeping tabs.
Now, content yourself.
You'll upset the baby.
Are you tired, darling?
Do you want me to go?
You must always hold my hand.
Even if I can't feel you,
I'll remember your touch.
All I ever wanted to be was a midwife.
Ever since I was little.
I wanted to bring babies into the world.
But if that's not to be, then it's not to be.
And I'll just have to be the best curate's wife
in the history of curate's wives.
Remember what you said about moving to the country?
I didn't know you'd heard me.
Maybe it was a dream...
..but if it was, it was the most wonderful dream.
I don't have to give up on babies, Tom.
Not when we have our own.
That day we got married,
and I was all wrapped up in my cloak...
..that was the safest I've ever felt.
And that's because of you, Tom.
Bring in my engagement ring later.
The grass one?
The grass one.
-Excuse me, miss.
-I just want to go in.
-No, sorry, you can't come in here.
-I'll sit at the back.
I'm sorry, miss. You can't. You have to leave.
He's my husband!
-Michael, I'm sorry.
-You have to wait outside.
Why can't I just go in?
Go to her. She's upset. Please.
I thought you wanted me to stay.
I'll be all right.
I'm Dr Turner.
I've been working at Wadelock House.
I've been trying to help Michael.
Are you all right?
I need to sit down.
I've had a gripey tummy all night.
You might be in labour, Alison.
We need to get you to the maternity home.
I'll call an ambulance.
Please don't let anything bad happen to the baby.
I did take that car. I did...
..but I wish I hadn't.
More than anything, I wish I hadn't.
I know it was wrong,
but sometimes you don't know what's wrong until you've done it and
then it's too late.
You need someone to show you where you're going wrong before you do it,
and I don't have anyone like that,
or I didn't.
But I'm married now.
If you give me another chance, I swear...
I swear I'll make good, for her and our baby.
I have heard your statement and believe you are remorseful.
However, I do not feel you are ready to face your responsibilities.
I am therefore sentencing you to three years.
Consequently, you will shortly be moved to a juvenile prison.
She was at the court.
Contractions are coming in every four minutes,
but she's doing very well.
Well done, Alison. That's it.
-It hurts so much.
-Breathe nice and deep.
That's it. Well done. You're doing so well.
Do you want us to get your mum?
No. Not yet.
That's it. good girl.
Baby's going to be here very soon.
SHE CRIES OUT
-It hurts so much!
Shall we get your mum?
No! I want Michael.
-I want Michael.
-Alison, as soon as your baby is born,
Dr Turner will make sure Michael knows.
On the next contraction, I want you to give me small controlled pushes.
-I can't, I can't.
-Yes, you can.
You're nearly there and you're doing so well. So well.
That's it. Just one small push.
Lovely. And another.
Oh, well done!
SHE CRIES OUT
Baby's head's born.
Push again and we'll have baby.
Well done, Alison!
You've got a perfect baby boy.
Let me see him. Let me see him.
Well done, Alison.
He looks just like his dad.
You've got a little boy.
And he's perfect, Michael.
-She was wonderful.
She sent me here to tell you, Michael.
She wants you to know that he looks just like you.
I know three years must feel like a life sentence,
but it's up to you.
You're a dad, now.
You've got someone to prove it to.
I'm not getting better, Phyllis.
As long as I've known you, you've never hidden from anything.
I've learnt a lot from you
and I didn't think there was much left to learn.
There's nothing anyone can teach you about caring for people, Phyllis.
Not sure everyone would agree with that.
Well, they don't know you like I do.
This next bit is going to be hard.
I hate seeing the people I love upset.
We'll do our best.
-Is that my suit?
Did you go into my room and take it? Without asking me?
Imagine if I'd done that. I probably wouldn't be allowed out for a year.
I'm sorry. I should've asked.
-I would have given it to you. You know that.
But we weren't speaking,
and I wanted to help one of the boys at Wadelock.
He was up in court and he didn't have anything to wear.
That's not an excuse.
What happened to him?
He got sent to an approved school.
-How old is he?
-Same age as you...
..but he seemed much older.
I'm not a child any more either.
Sometimes it's hard for a dad to accept that.
You will always be my little boy.
I am sorry you missed that concert.
It's a good thing they're coming back then, at the end of the month.
-I'll come with you.
-Rather go with my mates.
I don't blame you.
Valerie, it's Tom.
Please tell Phyllis to meet me at the hospital right away.
I'm afraid that the septicaemia has caused irreversible damage.
There's nothing more that we can do.
I love you so much.
My life has been blessed to have you in it.
I can't bear to let you go.
Talk to her, Tom.
She can still hear you.
The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.
He maketh me lie down in green pastures.
He leadeth me beside still waters.
He restoreth my soul.
He leadeth me in paths of righteousness.
Yea, though I walk
through the valley of the shadow...
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil,
for thou art with me.
Thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.
-Am I too late?
-No-one is ever late in God's eyes.
-Is everybody very hungry?
All right, we got you some good food in a minute, right?
Not too much, son, I'm watching you.
-You better watch.
Welcome! Welcome to our gathering, sister.
THEY SHOUT GREETINGS
Everybody! Amazing grace...
..how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me.
# Amazing grace
# ALL: How sweet the sound
# That saved a wretch
# Like me
# I once was lost
# But now I'm found
# Was blind
# But now I see. #
Love cannot always save us,
but it can be the reason why we fight.
Then love becomes the wound that bleeds.
The space to be filled.
The emptiness that echoes into silence.
The world doesn't stop.
We've got work to do, haven't we?
Do you reckon you might be a bit old to be doing this?
Do you reckon you might be too young?
Anniversary of my own birth will doubtless go unmarked.
Have a good look, and tell me what you think has gone.
I want to go home now.
You will find a way. I promise you.
Dr Turner gets involved with a troubled young man, and Lucille makes new friends. Meanwhile, Barbara lies ill in hospital.