Herein is the second half of the Missing Scenes from series five of “Call The Midwife”. The missing scenes are ones that have been edited out by PBS for their broadcasts, which differ from the full-length broadcasts that the BBC airs – PBS versions are about 3-5 minutes cut from the originals. If you want the full versions I recommend purchasing the DVDs, available Amazon UK (Region 2; requires a multi-regional DVD player) or Amazon US (Region 1). As mentioned in the previous post, all dialogue and screen-captured images contained herein belongs to Heidi Thomas and her production team, and Neal Street Productions, and the BBC.
The first half (501-504) is available to view here. I will be adding the remaining episodes until the current series finishes on PBS.
At home with the Turners, Patrick arrives in the living room (as Shelagh and Timothy are preparing for supper) with the latest copy of The Annual Report from the National Office of Health for the Borough of Poplar for 1960.
Patrick: (Holding up the report) Ta-da! Hot off the press.
Shelagh: Is that the health report?I feel a drum roll is in order.
Patrick: Well, shall we see how we’ve fared?
Timothy: Thought it might at least be the new James Bond novel.
Shelagh: Far more exciting. Patrick Turner, GP, licensed to practice medicine, and secret agent, Shelagh Turnova, save Poplar from ill health and disease. (Shelagh and Patrick chuckling).
In the Poplar Community Centre, Trixie is continuing with her Keep Fit class. This week they’re working with hula hoops, some with more success than others.
Trixie: That’s it ladies. If we want to reduce, we must keep moving. And make sure you all have enough room. No injuries tonight please. That’s it!
Violet: (Swings hers a bit too much and it lets go) Oh, Sorry. (She goes to retrieve the hoop).
Trixie: (Blows her whistle for everyone to stop) And everyone sitting. Bottoms firmly on the floor. (All get seated) And arms up and arms down. And now we raise our legs as if we’re pedalling a bicycle. Keeping the arms moving, and pedal and pedal.
Violet: (Collapses backwards on the floor). Oh, sorry, Miss Franklin! My bike’s got a puncture. (The ladies around her chuckle).
Trixie: (smiling) You may dismount. Just this once, Mrs. Buckle. (Giggles) And pedal and pedal…
At the clinic, women waiting about, young children running about. A woman comes up to Phyllis with a urine sample wrapped in a coloured paper bag. Shelagh is sat at the desk doing some registrations. There’s a few men sitting with their wives in the waiting chairs.
Mrs. Cadman: Oh, not here, Nurse. Not in front of the gents. It’s my you-know-what.
Shelagh: Take a seat, Mrs. Cadman. (Mrs. Cadman goes to sit right next to Mr. Dawley).
(Phyllis takes the sample into the testing area where Trixie and Barbara are)
Phyllis: It’s got to stop. We can’t have women too embarrassed to handle the samples because men are present.
Trixie: (Takes the sample out of the bag.) I’m rather more disappointed at being given urine as a gift.
Barbara: I think the men are quite a comfort to their wives.
Phyllis: Well, they’re no comfort to me.
(Trixie and Barbara look at each other in amusement as Phyllis leaves the room for the main waiting area, where she addresses the men sitting there.)
Phyllis: Ah, gentlemen, we’re short of space. If you’d repair to the corridor.
Sr Winifred: Please come through, Mrs. Dawley.
Mr. Dawley: (Helping his very pregnant wife up from the chairs) Can you manage, my dear?
Phyllis: Today, if you would, Mr. Dawley.
Slight continuation of that scene – in curtains at the clinic. Sr. Winifred is with Mrs. Roseanne Dawley who’s quite nervous.
Roseanne: I was hearing about how the baby shouldn’t sleep on its back in case it gets sick. And it got me to thinking, what would make it sick.
Sr. Winifred: (checking Mrs. Dawley’s ankles for swelling) Oh, there are lots of little things. (Looks reassuringly at Mrs. Dawley) All babies get gripes and upsets.
Roseanne: Such as what, Nurse?
Sr. Winifred: (Returning to assess her ankles) Have you had a little look at the pamphlet I gave you?
Roseanne: I misplaced it.
Sr. Winifred: i’ll get you another one. (Turns to get one of the pamphlets from the table behind them.) But wind, over-feeding. They’re very common, Mrs. Dawley. You mustn’t worry.
Roseanne: But who do I telephone, if it does get sick?
Sr. Winifred: Us, Mrs. Dawley. Any time, day or night. Even if you have plumped for a hospital delivery over us.
Roseanne: Because they keep you in for 10 days, til they’re quite sure you’re ready to be at home, and til they’re sure baby’s ready, too.
Sr. Winifred: You and baby will be a pair. You’ll be ready together.
At the Dawley residence, Roseanne Dawley is arranging flowers while the cleaner was doing some dusting.
Cleaner: You do that beautiful. Fred’s mum always did the flowers. It’s where he got his love of incense and whatnot. (She comes closer to Roseanne and finds the Ante-Natal pamphlet Sr Winifred had given Roseanne.) What do they say these days about baby?
Roseanne: I don’t quite know. I haven’t got to it just yet.
Cleaner: Sir says I’m to come each day when the baby is here (this surprises Roseanne). Keep the house the way it’s always been.
Roseanne: Something so small can’t make so much mess, can it, Mrs. Dash?
Cleaner: That little scrap’s gonna be the biggest thing that ever came into your life. But, better get on now, Mrs. Dawley.
The nuns and midwives are all sat down to a meal chatting away then Delia enters the room and they all stand. Delia looks at Patsy a little surprised and curious as they all raise their glasses of lemonade.
Sr. Julienne: Nurse Busby, without your quick-thinking and calmness (Patsy looks on Delia with complete admiration), today may have ended very differently. (They all nod)
Delia: I only did what you all do every day.
Barbara: The difference is, we’ve been trained for it.
Delia: I was a bit rusty, but those obstetric lectures never really leave you, do they?
Patsy: Not if you’re taught by Mr. Slade. If they could bottle that man, we could do away with gas and air. A more numbing fellow you couldn’t find. (Laughter all around)
Sr. Mary Cynthia: It’s been ages since we had a BBA. (At Delia’s silent query) Born before arrival of a midwife. (Delia nods)
Phyllis: BBB, born before bicycle. (Laughter) Wretched things. I don’t know how you manage them.
Sr. Winifred: Well, that’s telephone duty sorted out. I’ll be washing my hair and reading magazines from now on.
Delia: I have to admit, it’s a lot more rewarding than male surgical.
Sr. Monica Joan: I have always assumed the results of the male organ to be more rewarding than the organ, itself. (Everyone stops a moment as they look like they can’t believe she made a rather crude comment, given the company).
Sr. Julienne: (After a rather brief moment, raises her glass again.) To Nurse Busby. We could not wish for a more trusted reserve.
All: (They raise their glasses, and Patsy bestows Delia an adoring proud smile) To Nurse Busby. (And Delia raises hers in a slightly embarrassed thank you).
At the Dawleys’ residence, in their bedroom, Mr. Dawley is enamoured as he is holding the baby whilst a disengaged Roseanne is leaning against the head of the bed.
Mr. Dawley: This little thing we’ve created is so entirely perfect. I know what my mother meant by not fully knowing love or fear until she had me.
At Dr. Turner’s office, Dr. Turner and Timothy are moving a desk around to make room for his chest clinic meeting.
Timothy: Although strictly a volunteer helper, I’d hope to see my good work reflected in this week’s pocket money.
Dr. Turner: I’m sure you would.
(Shelagh comes in from another area and helps them with putting out chairs).
Nonnatus House kitchen. Barbara is washing dishes as Phyllis was drying. Sr. Winifred is putting the dishes away.
Phyllis: I worry that the traumatic birth has put Mrs. Dawley in a peculiar way of thinking.
Barbara: There was something rather lost about her in the shop. A sort of sadness, as if she would have preferred to stayed in there with us. Could it be a touch of the baby blues?
Phyllis: She’s yet to forge a link with baby. That much is apparent.
Sr. Winifred: I don’t think Mrs Dawley ever fully believed she was pregnant.
Phyllis: I’ll keep a weather eye on her. (Barbara is scraping at a plate to get off some dried on food.) You think we might try gathering a little pace? I should like to devote what’s left of my evening to Spanish.
(This startles Barbara who drops the plate back in the water, resulting in soap suds flying up at her face, and sends Sr. Winifred giggling.)
At the Maternity Home / Dr. Turner’s Office, Shelagh was tending to a patient then goes for a biscuit on the cart – trying to keep her hands otherwise occupied – when Phyllis comes in requesting help, startling her.
Phyllis: Might I beg a favour, Mrs. Turner?
Shelagh: (Around a mouthful of cookie) Of course.
Phyllis: Mrs. Roseanne Dawley.
Shelagh: Oh yes. How…How are she and the baby? (Picks up the plate of cookies and takes them into the office and places them on the desk, Phyllis following behind her.)
Phyllis: She’s upped and left what, by all accounts, looks a perfect life. Would you have a glance at her notes, see if there’s anything that may indicate any difficulties?
Shelagh: Certainly, Nurse Crane. (Wipes cookie crumbs from her lips then heads to the filing drawers to find Roseanne’s records)
Phyllis: I’m worried she might have got herself into a bit of a pickle.
Shelagh: She registered two years ago.
Shelagh: First visit was to confirm pregnancy.
Phyllis: Previous notes? Could they be under her maiden name, Lakey?
Shelagh: (Sighs as she goes through another drawer and not finding what she’s looking for) Oh, there’s nothing for a Roseanne Lakey. They just still be with her previous doctor.
Phyllis: Find them for me, Mrs. Turner. Quick as you like, please.
Shelagh: Should you telephone the police?
Phyllis: I think perhaps I shall have to. (Shelagh nods and Phyllis takes her leave as Shelagh goes back to the filing cabinet.)
At the Poplar Board of Health, Dr. Turner is sat waiting for a meeting with the Board director. He’s sat making origami as he waits. Another man in the waiting room lights up a cigarette and Dr. Turner takes in a deep breath then crushes his origami crane.
Director: All right, Turner. Let’s get this over.
Dr. Turner files into the man’s office ahead of him.
In thankfulness that none of Delia’s or Patsy’s scenes were cut at all this week, I give you these adorable images of Delia assisting the birth over the phone and Patsy being proud of her. 🙂
Dr. Turner has brought his medical bag round to Nonnatus House to have his instruments cleaned. Phyllis takes the bag and places it up on the counter in the clinic room.
Phyllis: The autoclave is coming to the end of its cycle. I shall replenish your instruments as soon as it concludes.
Dr. Turner: Thank you, Nurse Crane. They said they’d come and repair the one at the surgery tomorrow.
Phyllis: (Opening one side of the bag) Oh, Doctor, whatever is this? (picks item out of the bag).
Dr. Turner: Cornish pasty.
Phyllis: Or, more precisely, half of one! And would it have killed you to sit down for five minutes and eat the whole thing? (She throws it in the garbage bin under the counter). Now, hop it and put your feet up in the parlour while I sort you out some instruments. (Shakes her head.)
Out in the courtyard at the neighbourhood picnic for the Pensioner’s Tea, Shelagh and Barbara are operating one of the food tables, as some of the Nonnatus nurses are doing hostess duties and delivering food/drinks. Trixie has come up to the table.
Shelagh: Mr. Pillbean has demanded a refill. I think he might just find we keep him waiting.
Trixie: Shelagh, did you know Mrs. Hills was expecting again?
Shelagh: Not until now.
Trixie: I just wondered who referred her to St. Cuthbert’s.
Patsy: (In her Scout leader uniform, arrives at the table and sighs) Frightfully sorry. Dreamless scone alert.
Shelagh: Run out of cream again?
Patsy: I think certain guests have been taking more than their fair share.
Trixie: I threatened to put one man over my knee but it only encouraged him. (Patsy gave a big grin in response.)
Shelagh: (calling out) Timothy!
Tim: (Comes over to the table from the piano; he’s also in his scout uniform) Please don’t make me play any more.
Shelagh: You’ve done your bit, dear. Now, run inside and open three more tins of Nestle’s cream.
Patsy: (digs into her pocket) In the meantime, I popped into you-know-where last night and you-know-what’s ready for you-know-when. (Both Tim and Shelagh are smiling as Patsy hands him over a key.) I think you better take charge of this. (All laughing as Tim leaves to heading into Nonnatus House).
In Nonnatus House kitchen, Delia is pouring some Ovaltine into mugs from a saucepan. Patsy and Barbara are sitting at the table. Delia’s wearing a sleeveless base of a dress she’d been making.
Patsy: How awful! We were only waiting up to see if you’d help Delia with her bust darts.
Delia: It’s all hands on deck once I start tangling with bodices. (places a mug in front of Barbara) I’m a terrible seamstress.
Barbara: (Talking about the young woman who’d been attacked and ran into her and Tom). There was nowhere she could turn to. No one who would help her.
Delia: Apart from you.
Barbara: (Sighs) A few kind words and a bit of antiseptic.
Patsy: There’s nothing to stop you from reporting it to the police. Perhaps you should.
Delia: It can’t do any harm. It might make you feel better.
Trixie: (Walking into the kitchen) Hello, girls. How was your evening?
Barbara: Well, er, we enjoyed the film. How was art history?
Trixie: Riveting. We’re doing Vermeer. I can’t resist a good interior.
Delia: I wondered if things had gotten a bit emotional. Your mascara’s run a bit.
Trixie: (Rubbing the fingers on both hands under her eyes). Oh, I sat upstairs on the bus, it got wretchedly smoky. Is that Ovaltine?
Delia: Yep.(Turns back to the stove to fix Trixie a mug of the drink)
Nonnatus House dining room. Sr. Mary Cynthia has laid a plate of food in front of Sr. Monica Joan.
Sr. Monica Joan: Very prettily done, Sister. But you cannot tempt me.
Sr. Mary Cynthia: Everyone has noticed that you aren’t eating properly at mealtime, Sister.
Sr. Monica Joan: My strength comes from another source. And I hope you do not need to ask from whence.
Sr. Mary Cynthia: No, of course not, but…
Sr. Monica Joan: How recently did you study for novice’s vows? Were you not appraised of the practice of mortification of the flesh?
Sr. Mary Cynthia: Yes. Are you trying to fast?
Sr. Monica Joan: (Sighs) I have few joys and, therefore, little to surrender.
Sr. Mary Cynthia: But Sister, you found the Lenten fast very hard. Why now?
Sr. Monica Joan: I am in fair health now, and able to sustain the sacrifice.
Sr. Mary Cynthia: But, Sister, if you want to fast, you must tell the rest of the community what you’re doing. That way we can uphold you.
Sr. Monica Joan: (Breathing heavily) Very well. You may remove this platter of frivolities.
Sr. Mary Cynthia: (Stuttering) Of course.
Sr. Monica Joan: (Sighs)
In the Poplar Community Hall supply room, Patrick, Shelagh and Patrick are going through the scouting supplies they’ve been approved for use for their trip.
Dr. Turner: Good Scout army surplus. (Hands Tim a large tent bag pack). Perfect for a week in the New Forest.
Shelagh: Patsy says they’ve been serving the Cubs of Poplar for 15 years.
Tim: (Opening the ties of the bag, looking at part of the tent) I remember this one from when we did our camping badge at Kelsey Bill. It’s got bullet holes along the ridge.
Shelagh: I’m quite sure they’re not bullet holes, Timothy. They were probably made by moths.
Patrick: Or mice. (Continuing to set aside items for camping
Shelagh: it does all smell rather musty. (Picks up a camping cooking pot.) There’s mould in this billy can.
Patrick: Oh, it just needs a quick swill in some hot water. (Sighs) Shelagh! This holiday is about getting back to nature and being together as a family.
Shelagh: We’ll enjoy it, won’t we?
Patrick: Yes, we will. Because we’ve earned it.
In the Nonnatus House Clinical Room, Phyllis, Sr Mary Cynthia are gathered, talking.
Trixie: I’m sure you deserved it (as she, Patsy and Barbara arrive giggling.)
Phyllis: (Taking a look at her uniform watch) And a round of applause to the Beverly Sisters. Better late than never.
Trixie: (As Barbara looks at her own uniform watch) We’re not late. It’s 8:00 on the dot.
Phyllis: If you spent less time lathering on the eye black, Nurse Franklin, you’d have been down here five minutes ago and ready to start work five minutes ago. Like Sister Mary Cynthia. (Patsy and Barbara are still half-giggling that they’re not in trouble). I’d be careful if I were you, Nurse Mount (as Patsy is yawning), it may be October, but there’s still plenty of flies still looking for a home. (Tim Turner comes in, smartly dressed in his school uniform). Good morning, Master Turner. You’re looking very spruce. New blazer?
Tim: Yes. Although it’s still purple, unfortunately. (The nurses chuckle).
Phyllis: So I see. Insulin?
Tim: My mum asked me to drop it off. And she says can Sister Julienne call in at the practice after surgery hours.
Sr. Mary Cynthia: I’ll tell her. She’s already asked to see me in her office.
Phyllis: Thank you.
Sr. Julienne’s office. She is standing by the window, when there is a knock on her office door. Sr. Mary Cynthia opens the door and pops in.
Sr. Mary Cynthia: Tea is on the table, Sister.
Sr. Julienne: I shan’t join you today. I feel I need to spend some quiet time in chapel. Perhaps you’ll say grace instead?
Sr. Mary Cynthia: Of course.
Sr Mary Cynthia closes the door behind her and Sr. Julienne is quite pensive. She heads to her desk and pulls out a well used copy of the Bible, scanning through a couple of pages of scripture looking for something.
Morning mealtime at Nonnatus House. During breakfast, the nurses and nuns are preparing their meals at the table.
Phyllis: Barge people are a law unto themselves. They always were. They don’t call them water gypsies for no reason. I…(stops and stares at the bryl cream that Tom had left on the wallpaper from an earlier scene) Good grief. Where did that stain on the wallpaper come from?
Barbara: (looks at the wall and with pretence replies) What stain?
Sr. Mary Cynthia: Oh dear. I do hope it’s not another patch of damp. Sister Julienne’s worried the building is getting wet rot. (Phyllis is inspecting the stain further, sniffing at it.)
Barbara: Ooh, perhaps its just an optical illusion.
Phyllis: (taps finger on the wall) This isn’t moisture. It’s grease.
Sr. Monica Joan: I surmise a manifestation from another realm. Spirits have been known to talk through the approbation of strange substances.
Phyllis: Well, whatever it is, it’s strange enough. Smells rather masculine to me.
Phyllis: Though what it’s doing six feet up the wall is anyone’s guess.
(Sister Julienne enters the room and heads to her chair at the head of the table).
Sr. Julienne: Good morning, ladies.
All: Good morning, Sister.
Sr. Julienne: Nurse Crane will issue the morning schedule after breakfast. But, this evening, I would like you all to attend a special seminar here at Nonnatus House.
Trixie: I have an obligation this evening. I have it every week.
Sr. Julienne: Of course. I’m sorry. After a great deal of prayer and reflection, I have asked Dr. Turner to come and talk to us about the new contraceptive pill, which will be available within the next few weeks.
Patsy: That’s absolutely tremendous news.
Sr. Julienne: I’ve also invited Mr. Hereward to join us, so he can give us a Christian perspective.
Sr. Winifred: It’s a shame Sister Evangelina isn’t here. She’d have had plenty to say about it all.
Sr. Julienne: Sister Evangelina has elected to be absent. We must proceed without her view.
At the Mother & Baby Clinic at the Poplar Community Centre, the nuns and midwives are attending their patients. Phyllis is attending a young Ceylon woman and her infant. Sister Monica Joan is doing arts & crafts with the children.
Sr. Monica Joan: (as one child holds up his creation) Excellent! (to another girl with hers) Oh, really good!
Trixie is handing out orange juice and milk tokens.
Woman: Thank you.
Barbara: (weighing her patient) You haven’t gained anything in a month, Gina. Top of the milk for you and make sure you help yourself to an extra potato. (Gina nods) That being said, I’m not sure how much longer you’ve got left.
Gina: Still nothing doing, Nurse. I thought if I came down here, it might stop me painting the bathroom, or my husband.
Barbara: Oh, is he getting restless, too?
Gina: Not so as you’d notice. It’s like he doesn’t even know there’s a baby on the way. (Barbara’s looks like she’s not quite sure what to respond to that.)
At the mother and baby home, Patsy is attending her patient, Daisy. She’s taking a listen to the woman’s blood pressure.
Daisy: (Looking around). Am I the only one in here?
Patsy: Yes. You’re lucky. We’re unusually quiet at the moment.
Daisy: Ceiling is so high. Makes me feel dizzy, even though I’m not.
Patsy: Your blood pressure is rather good today.
Shelagh: Morning, Mrs. Blacker. A doctor will be here to check you out shortly, and I’ve come to ask if you want a soft or a hard-boiled egg.
Daisy: I have bread in the mornings, usually.
Patsy: Eggs are surprisingly rich in iron.
Daisy: (Referring to the bundle of folded linen that Shelagh is carrying) What’s this?
Shelagh: Nightdress, dressing gown and slippers.
Patsy: I told you, everything will be provided.
Daisy: No, I mean this (pointing at the lettering on the clothing)
Shelagh: It says, ‘Property of Kelinworth Row Maternity Home.” We write that on everything. (Dailsy looks unimpressed).
During the storm, with the power out, Phyllis is trying to direct an ill Gina, and her husband down the stairs of their tower flat, whilst she holds the new baby.
Phyllis: That’s the ticket, kids. One foot in front of the other.
Leslie: (holding on to his wife) Here you go. Almost there, sweetheart. (At a landing, they stop as they hear glass breaking)
Phyllis: Still in one piece, kids? (Gina leans over the banister and vomits)
Leslie: She’s being sick.
In the barge, Patsy is helping Daisy deliver her baby.
Patsy: That’s it. (Waiting as Daisy is doing most of the work herself, breathing and pushing the baby through.) That’s wonderful, Daisy. (Daisy gives her a look as if to say she’s not quite sure about that).
In the tower flat staircase, Phyllis, the couple and baby continue down the stairs. Gina stops at the next landing and vomits again. Leslie stops to wipe his wife’s face.
Phyllis: Come on, you lovebirds. (Phyllis hands the baby over to Leslie and she begins to assist Gina down the stairs.) Save your courting, til we’ve got you safely in that ambulance. (They continue on down the stairs.)
Not a scene cut, but the music selection played over the scene for Patsy and Delia at The Gateways Club was different from the BBC version to the PBS version.
At Poplar Community Centre Mother’s & Babies clinic. Sister Monica Joan and Sister Evangelina are doing child development checks.
Sr. Evangelina: (to a slim boy of about 8 or 9 yrs old) My goodness, young Lenny. You’re filling out nicely. Have you got bricks in your pockets? (She writes his weight down on her clipboard and he grins and shakes his head.) Marbles? (Sr Monica Joan giggles with the hand puppet she’s got on.) Well, must be all that extra milk we’re getting into you. Now, off you hop, and Sister Monica Joan will give you a liquorice allsort.
Sr. Monica Joan: It is Sooty who is handing out liquorice allsorts today, not I. (She grins as the boy takes an allsort from the hand puppet, as another boy steps up on the scales next to Sr. Evangelina).
Dr. Turner and Shelagh are assessing Rhoda Mullucks and her daughter Susan.
Rhoda: When she’s tucked up in her pram or all wrapped up, it’s not so bad. She looks like any other baby, and people don’t stare. Or, when she’s in the house, I just have her in a nappy and a vest, and she sits there, all propped up smiling like nothing’s the matter. (Susan starts fussing in Rhoda’s arms.) And then I remember, in the middle of the night, I remember she’s got no arms, and no legs. (Sobbing) I just lie there shaking.
Dr. Turner: Are you getting much sleep, Rhoda? (She shakes her head) Because we can help with that. I can give you a mild sedative and you can take it only when you need it. It’s called Distaval.
Rhoda: If I can’t fix her, I’ve got to fix myself. (Kisses baby Susan’s head).
Barbara is at a home visit with an expectant Sylheti woman. She’s taking her blood pressure at the kitchen table.
Barbara: That’s absolutely perfect, Tripti. (Barbara greets the other woman as well, speaking Sylhetti) Kubala.
Muna: (Replies ‘Thanks’ in Sylheti).
Barbara: There’s no need to thank me, Muna. It’s all part of the job. (Picks up her pinnard stethoscope) Now, let’s get you on the bed and see if we can have a listen to baby. (Barbara gets up and pulls the curtain as Tripti follows behind; Tripti’s husband is lying on the bed.) Oh, Mr. Valluk, I beg your pardon. Are you working shifts again? (He nods and turns over).
Tripti: I’m sorry, but he will not look.
Barbara: It’s all right. Once I delivered a baby with the father fast asleep beside his wife. But, he was drunk, and Mr. Valluk just looks tired.
Tripti: It’s not the home we left, but it is a new home. (She moves her sari out of the way so Barbara can have a listen). That is why I want the baby born here, in my bed.
Barbara: And if that is what you want, that is what you shall have. (She smacks at a bug bite on her forearm).
Tripti: Something is bite you?
Barbara: No. Not at all (chuckling)
Barbara arrives at Tom’s, nicely dressed up.
Barbara: I think I’m allergic to fleas. I never get just a little bite mark, always a great, itchy welt.
Tom: There are some houses I go to where I have to wear bicycle clips to stop the fleas going up my trouser legs.
Barbara: And yet people try so hard. (Sits down at the table.) It’s almost always the landlord’s fault. Where there are bad drains, there are rats, and where there are rats, there are fleas.
Tom: Or bed bugs. (Tom sits as well) Bed bugs can really sink their teeth in when you’re sitting with the dying.
Barbara: (Chuckles) And on that romantic note, where are we going to go this evening?
Tom: (Leaning in) I have it on good authority that the Palace Picture House was fumigated just last week.
Barbara: I don’t want to go to the cinema tonight. I want to talk to you.
Tom: I’m always agreeable to that.
Barbara: And perhaps dance a little?
Tom: I’m agreeable to that, too. Although, please note, I’m not wearing any Brylcreem, so wherever we go, the walls will be quite safe.
Sr. Mary Cynthia is called out to see the new patient, Noelle, who had just arrived from Australia.
Sr. Mary Cynthia: I don’t think anything is going to happen just yet, Noelle.
Noelle: I feel like a bit of a chump, calling you out when there was no need.
Sr. Mary Cynthia: If a quick home visit helps you to relax and look forward to your wedding, that’s all to the good. (Sr. Mary Cynthia goes round to the window to open the curtains, then goes back to sit with Noelle on the settee).
Noelle: It’s like being royalty. Mr. Hereward says that the special license came from the Archbishop of Canterbury. Grand as well as quick.
Sr. Mary Cynthia: Is that your outfit? (looking up at the light rose colour printed dress hanging up.)
Noelle: I brought the maternity dress from home. And Tessie took charge of the accessories. We tried and tried to find me a proper gown but all the dressmakers were busy and, well, I’m not going to get anything off the peg in my condition, am I?
Sr. Mary Cynthia: Perhaps not. But I love the colours, and Tessie certainly knows how to pick a hat.
Noelle: It’s…just not very bridal. It’s not like I thought it would be when I was little and used to run around with one of Mum’s lace curtains on my head on a wash day. She used to say she couldn’t wait to see me all in white.
Sr. Mary Cynthia: You’ll still look beautiful, Noelle.
Noelle: But will I feel like a bride? (sad chuckle and sighs).
At Dr. Turner’s surgery, he’s going through his patient records from the filing drawers. Shelagh is on the phone.
Shelagh: (adamant) No, I won’t call back later. I’m quite content to remain on hold, thank you. (Turns around to see her husband with a bunch of files in his hands.) Patrick, you don’t know how the filing system works. Leave it alone or come and hold the telephone instead of me. (He gives up, but goes to sit on an adjacent chair; he’s very anxious.)
Woman on phone: Hold the line, caller.
Shelagh: Very well.
(Patrick gets up and leaves the room and Shelagh turns around and looks at the clock as is now noon and she sighs. Patrick returns to the chair with his cigarette and lighter and smokes it to try to calm his state of mind).
Sisters Julienne, Mary Cynthia, Monica Joan and Winifred stand at the base of Sister Evangelina’s bed as they prepare her for her final resting place. Sr. Julienne lights a couple of candles on the ledge at the end of the bed, and they all begin a prayer.
All: And it is certain that we can carry nothing out. The Lord gave and the Lord hath taken away.
(As the prayer continues in the room, down in the dining room, Trixie, Barbara and Delia are adjusting Sr. Evangelina’s religious vow wedding dress so that it will fit Noelle).
Nuns: Blessed be the name of the Lord.
(As the nuns carry out the ritual cleansing for their late Sister, Barbara and the midwives make the dress alterations, Trixie adjusts the veil on Delia.)
The nuns: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord. Yea, saith the spirit, for they rest from their labours.
Trixie: (Knocks on the door, interrupting briefly.) The undertaker’s arrived. (Sister Julienne nods and Trixie leaves).
Very little dialogue, but in an instrumental montage, Patsy and Phyllis go around their district rounding up and collecting any bottles of Distaval (Thalidomide) pills.
Phyllis: (at Patient’s flat’s door) Mrs. Michaels.
(Switches to Patsy closing a door, and placing another bottle in her work bag, amongst many other bottles).
Back at the surgery:
Dr. Turner: Prescription patients have been passing Distaval around as if they were nuts at a party. (Shelagh shakes her head at the increased risk of patients with thalidomide babies.) I’ve knocked on Rhoda Mullucks house twice; there’s no one in and the neighbours don’t know where they’ve gone. (Shelagh hands Patrick a clipboard of papers).
This series has been one of the most stunning ones that Heidi Thomas McGann and her team have accomplished. The writing was brilliantly done, with the first time a storyline (the thalidomide storyline) that has spanned multiple episodes of the series.
Every series, the stories, the characters bring a sense of realism and compassion that transcends any one particular generation. Families of multiple generations watch the series, both in the UK and abroad. I think that, no matter where we are on the spectrum of life, there is something about Call the Midwife that is relevant and something in which we can identify – either as nurses, patients or as anything and everything in between.
In this series, we lose one of the boldest, oft times larger than life characters in Sister Evangelina (played wonderfully for five series by Pam Ferris). Over the years, Sr. Evangelina has taught the younger nurses, encouraged them, criticized them, and loved them. She’s a character whose legacy will be missed by more than just her Sisters, and colleagues – as witnessed by the numbers of people who attended her visiting and funeral procession. She was loved by many and was touched by many; these people in Poplar, lining the streets during the final regular series episode of series 5, I felt represented the audience. Her legacy will live on by those she loved and who loved her.
Over this series we’ve also seen the growth and development of Patsy and Delia’s relationship, in the context of changes that the 1960s brought and will bring about. While the secrecy required of them poses its own risks to their livelihoods, the snippets of their lives at Nonnatus House showed that their love had only grown stronger since Delia’s return following her accident the previous series.
Phyllis. What a brick, to paraphrase Barbara. Phyllis this series has been so much of a support to the younger nurses, not only as a guide and mentor, but as a guardian of their lives. We saw a more relaxed Phyllis several times this series. She’s someone who’s not terribly quick to judge, is willing to listen, and has a knack for comforting them when they need it most. One who understands when secrets must be kept, but knowing that secrets create their own burden that affect their lives: Trixie’s alcoholism/going to AA, Barbara’s relationship with Tom, Patsy’s (unconfirmed) relationship with Delia. No good ever came from keeping secrets, did it, Nurse Mount?’ In some ways, Phyllis’s brisk nature resembles Sr. Evangelina’s, but not in the same way that it ever felt like there was a complete overlap.
Sister Monica Joan had her own compelling overall arc this series, which seemed to have kicked off in the 2015 Christmas episode; trying to figure out her own worth in a world that has been in a flux of change. Even with her periods of senility, she’s got words of wisdom, comfort to share, and love to give. It’s often in those quiet moments that we understand our worth both to ourselves and its affect on others. The strongest relationship she’s had this series has been with Sr. Evangelina; the sadness and confusion as Sr. Evangelina prepared to leave in 503 for the secluded silent nun’s order, to her joy at her return in 507, and utter loss and grief in this episode.
The Turners as a family have grown, learning to listen to each other more and take comfort in each other even when times get tough.
Trixie had a lot of personal growth this series in questioning where her life is heading now that she’s sober, and single. Her friendship with Patsy has changed, subtly – whether that’s partially down to the sharing of alcohol before, Delia’s presence at Nonnatus taking more of Patsy’s ‘free’ time, or some combination of both. Both of her cohorts – Barbara and Patsy are in relationships (the latter of which is secret, but Trixie’s no fool), and she’s feeling alone despite being in a houseful of nuns and midwives.
Sister Mary Cynthia has had some wonderful moments this series which have built upon her character, from the learning about her younger brother who died, how she interacted with the Mullucks initially, to her attack, her anger, despair, and then self-confidence following that incident. As she said, she may be afraid of many things, but speaking up when others won’t or can’t, that’s not something she’s afraid of.
Sister Winifred we really haven’t been given a lot of insight about this series, aside from the sole storyline of her dealing with the teacher who was pregnant and self-aborted her baby. There’s so much we still don’t know about her other than surface comments.
Sister Julienne, the guardian, protector, supporter, friend, boss. This series I feel she’s played much more of the support character, championing the others, whilst also taking on new and different responsibilities like her stint at St. Cuthbert’s Hospital. Her interactions both earlier in the series and in the finale with Ruby Cottingham over the death of her baby was beautiful and emotionally heartfelt.
We have a long several months wait until the Christmas episode (509), which will no doubt bring it’s own heartbreaks and joys. See you then! In the meantime, I leave you with some wonderful, though sad scenes about Sister Evangelina. We’ll miss you. Wonderful job, Pam Ferris!