Website changes & life updates

Due to changes with my previous web-hosting company (switching to commercial only accounts), I decided to transfer things over to WP, including the Otalia Virtual Seasons as a separate page from the blog. All of the mini-sodes that were written are compiled into seasons and are available in ePUB and PDF formats. In addition, all of the episodes are also available as single episodes and as complete seasons in ePUB and PDF formats.

Majority of the fan fiction I’ve written has now been transferred over to my account over at Archive Of Our Own (AO3). Still adding some fic from old site to AO3 – have the stories on my computer, just need to upload them to AO3 as time permits.

On a personal note, I’m still working through the Coronavirus pandemic as I’m a nurse in a geriatric nursing home – fortunately still with no cases of the virus, and we’re doing everything we can to keep it that way. In my non-work time, I get creative with painting – flow acrylics for the most part. I started doing that early last November as a creative endeavour to help with my mental health after the death of my younger brother (from a Glioblastoma Multii-forme brain tumour). And now with the self-isolation / social distancing measures with the Coronavirus, the painting continues to be an outlet to create something artistic.

I’ve got quite a number of paintings done – enough that there’s not enough wall space to put them all. I’m hoping to be able to get some photos of the paintings done so that I can start selling some of them. The paintings below are just some rough captures of some of  the paintings after they’ve been done but before they’ve been varnished. I’m also still crocheting – which is infinitely more portable than my painting supplies. 🙂 Less messy for one thing. While most of my paintings are on various sizes of canvases, I’ve also done several on ceramic tiles (4″x4″ and 8″x8″) and MDF board (12″ x 24″ and 16″x20″). I have some more ideas for multi-canvas pieces but it may take some time…and practice.





Posted in Commentary, Entertainment, Fan-fiction, Painting, Personal, Television | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

Crime drama worth listening to

J. Lynn Stapleton

A couple of years ago I was listening to an audio series on BBC Radio4 called “Stone” as part of their Afternoon Drama segments. Late to the series as I was, I found it via Audible; the series was released in shorter segments by series, a series at a time. Then later it’s been released in two larger sections, Series 1-4 and Series 5-7. Series 8 ran earlier this year on BBC Radio4 Afternoon Drama. The detective series, is a full-cast audio drama created by Danny Brocklehurst (writer of Safe, Coming Home, Ordinary Lies, The Five, Shameless, Clocking Off) and is about a Major Incident Team in Manchester, led by Detective Chief Inspector John Stone (played by Hugo Speer). His team includes DS Sue Kelly (Deborah McAndrew) and DI Mike Tanner (Craig Cheetham). It is directed by Nadia Molinari, Stefan Escreet, Charlotte Riches and Pauline Harris.

Screen Shot 2019-07-05 at 6.24.16 AMAlong with Danny Brocklehurst, the detective radio drama features the writing talents of Chloe Moss, Damian Wayling, Cath Staincliffe, Gurpreet Bhatti, Martin Jameson, James Rye, Richard Monks, and Vivienne Harvey. The stories grasp you and bring you into the various episodes where you can visualise the stories as clear as watching would. They focus on scenarios that can and do occur in many a crime drama: dealing with historic crime, vulnerable adults,  domestic violence, dishonour amongst families, honour killings, gang violence, corruption, ineptitude, witnessing a crime and being intimidated from coming forward (or testifying), racial discrimination, murder of a sexual predator, etc.. 

The first episode, Mary Shane, opens up with a case of a missing girl which triggers the memory of an older woman played by Anne Reid, who comes into the police station and confesses to a WWII era cold case triple murder. But memories being what they are, Stone and his colleagues are unsure at first whether to believe her. Suranne Jones also guest stars in this episode as the woman’s friend who also struggles to believe that this woman she’s been friends with for decades could be guilty of such a crime.

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For the first few series, the stories are episodic for the most part – each story being contained within. In series seven and eight, the stories run through the length of the series (and have more episodes per series). Series seven consists of ten episodes and guest stars Jill Halfpenny across the series as the detectives try to work out the arson of a social housing development when a man’s remains are found in the aftermath and it links back to a former case of Stone’s. The eighth series (also running ten episodes) Retribution – The Unravelling of a Murder, Stone and his team are up against witness protection in their attempt to solve a murder and keep running against obstacles.

At times through the series, you have glimpses at the main characters’ personal lives, and the impact upon which the cases affect the lives of the detectives and their families, but on the whole, the stories focus on the cases before them and how they deal with solving the cases. The team of three – John Stone, Sue Kelly, and Mike Tanner work well together, playing off each other’s strengths and weaknesses, both professional and personal. There’s a camaraderie that blends nicely even when they do annoy the shit out of each other. Screen Shot 2019-07-05 at 6.29.16 AM

The ninth and final series of Stone, will air likely early in the new year on BBC Radio4.

There are times when I’ve binge-watched a television series for hours. In the case of DCI Stone, I’ve binge-listened to multiple episodes as I’ve worked on other things that don’t require my full attention, as I’ve gotten roped into the stories that I just want to hear what happens in the next story. The stories runtime in S1 is about 56 minutes each, and running about 43 minutes each in S2-7. They also stand up on re-listening. So, if you’ve got some time on your hands and enjoy crime audio dramas, check it out.

As mentioned above, Series 1-4, and 5-7 are currently available on Audible. Series 8 is currently not available online (at least as far as I’ve checked – hoping it will be compiled with series 9 next year).

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Image © BBC Productions.


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My overall impression of the first series of “Gentleman Jack”

So many things to say…
J. Lynn Stapleton

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There are so many things to appreciate about the entirety of Gentleman Jack that I scarcely know where to begin. I’d been massively looking forward to this series since I heard of its conception sometime last year. Though I hadn’t known much about Anne Lister or her diaries until a couple of years ago, when I found out about the 2010 telefilm, The Secret Diaries of Miss Anne Lister starring Maxine Peake, this new series project looked amazing.

To wit, I have long been a fan of Sally Wainwright’s writing, since the beginning days of Scott & Bailey, following through with the likes of Unforgiven, Last Tango in Halifax, Happy Valley, and more recently, To Walk Invisible: The Brontë Sisters. For those who might not have known, Scott & Bailey was the brain-child of Suranne Jones & Sally Lindsay (Coronation Street co-stars; Lindsay played Rachel’s sister, Allison Bailey, in Scott & Bailey); Suranne brought the treatment to Sally Wainwright to develop into a series. Suranne was also the lead in Wainwright’s three-part drama, “Unforgiven”. I love Sally Wainwright’s attention to detail, and her wonderful knack of writing women, bringing an authenticity to their interactions. So much of her writing is focused on women because she has said many times over that that is the kind of television that she likes to watch herself, so she writes it.

The pairing of Wainwright’s writing and directing this series – one that’s she’s worked on for 20 years before it finally was green-lit for production – and of Suranne as Anne Lister were the first draws to the series. Add in the pairing of Sophie Rundle (of Happy Valley, The Bletchley Circle, and Peaky Blinders) as Ann Walker, and you’ve got a wonderful start. Then you add into the mix, Scott & Bailey alum, Amelia Bullmore as Mrs Eliza Priestly, Gemma Whelan (Game of Thrones), Gemma Jones (Spooks, Rocketman, Last Tango in Halifax, Unforgotten), George Costigan (Scott & Bailey [S3], Happy Valley [S1]), Joe Armstrong (Happy Valley), Peter Davison (Doctor Who, Law & Order UK), Rosie Cavaliero (Cleaning Up, Unforgotten, Prey), and a slew of other notable Northern actors.

Anne Choma’s 30 year history of working on transcribing Anne Lister’s diaries. upon which she wrote her Masters Thesis – “Anne Lister and the Split Self (1791-1840): A Critical Study of Her Diaries”, University of Leeds, (1994), hugely helped form the basis upon which Wainwright’s series was written. Utilising roughly 300,000 words from Lister’s diaries, the series focused on the period of 1832-1834 for the first series. Her companion book to the series, “Gentleman Jack: The Real Anne Lister” has currently reached Amazon’s Best Seller lists in multiple countries.

Jill Liddington (Female Fortune: The Anne Lister Diaries and Other Writings 1833-36: Land, Gender and Authority”, [1997]) and Helena Whitbread (The Secret Diaries Of Miss Anne Lister: The Inspiration for Gentleman Jack, [2010] and No Priest but Love: No Priest But Love: A. Lister – Cutting Edge: Lesbian Life & Literature [1993]) are also notable historians focusing on the life and diaries of Anne Lister, and upon whose works were drawn for the series.

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Huddersfield, Yorkshire folk wife duo, Belinda O’Hooley and Heidi Tidow wrote and performed the show’s closing title track, “Gentleman Jack” (O’Hooley & Tidow – “The Fragile” [2011]). The two have been touring and selling out venues around the UK. The catchy title tune is a wonderful ear worm to be caught singing (internally or aloud). Their album, “The Fragile” has also been soaring to the top of folk charts, as well, the other songs on the album are lovely, and get frequent playing on my mobile. They currently have six albums: The Fragile (2011), Silent June (2010), The Hum (2014), Summat’s Brewin’ (2015 – a limited edition release of 1000 copies), Shadows (2016), Winterfolk, Vol I (2017)

Now, onto the series. I do apologise in advance if this seems somewhat incoherent, because trust me, this show exceeds any expectation I might have ever had. Suranne’s specific nuances as Anne Lister, whether they be utterly formidable and at times ruthless as landowner and business woman, to deeply vulnerable, and protective in her personal life, are enthralling to watch. Anne was remarkably well fit, oft times walking more than ten miles a day (about 4 miles each way to Lightcliffe [Ann Walker’s residence]), and working the grounds with her tenants, and she was a polymath.


When Anne Lister returns to her home at Shibden Hall, Halifax, Yorkshire, it’s following the utter rejection of Vere Hobart’s affections when the latter chose to marry a man, especially as it was not the first time that Anne’s faced that kind of rejection. Past loves such as Mariana Lawton (neé Belcombe) and Isabella Norcliffe both married for status. She also had suffered the humiliation of returning to Halifax instead of further travel to the continent, due to financial constraints – while she was vastly intelligent and moved in higher social circles, Anne Lister was not a wealthy woman. Though Anne is very charismatic, her social foibles sometimes get the best of her in upper class social circles, leaving an impression that is not always positive. Her gender non-conformity to certain tasks, such as collecting the rents, owning land, opening coal pits as well as her other business ventures makes her an oddity to the folk of Halifax and surrounding areas. As her sister Marian points out, Anne’s behaviour may be “all well and good being different in York or Paris, but this is Halifax; people talk, and it isn’t always very nice.”

Anne had inherited a moderate agricultural estate, along with property in Halifax and shares in various industries from her uncle, James Lister upon his death. Although she drew a modest income from the estate and managed it until her aunt Anne’s death in 1836, her finances were somewhat limited. So, she returns to Halifax to set her goals of finding a local wealthy woman to love, marry, and settle down with.

Though Anne was hesitant about meeting Ann Walker (recalling her previous meeting with Ann and her sister Elizabeth following the death of their parents), Anne appeared rather smitten with Ms. Walker, and although she set out to romance Ann and convince her that they should settle down together, Miss Walker, despite her mental fragility at times, was more than able to temper Anne’s impulsiveness. They balanced each other quite well.


Wainwright’s dramatising of Anne Lister’s diaries, picks up the nuances of Anne’s habits, such as writing down the timing and frequency of her sexual encounters in her diaries, her business practices, the weather, her family life, and what was happening socially and politically of where she was. Anne was an utter force of nature, and her strength of character and her overall positive mental health outlook shone through in every aspect of her character. She knows who she is and with whom she loves. Who she loves, she has known from a young age, are women – that is how God made her, and she is utterly unashamed of that, though she does note to her aunt that she was dealt a cruel trick to be this courageous and strong into a woman’s body, especially in a time where women in society were limited, socially, politically. Suranne Jones emanates these qualities in abundance in her portrayal of Anne Lister.


Many times the dialogue spoke to Lister’s confidence of who she was; she was very much aware of her ‘oddity’ status, but she owned that about herself. Though the social nature of today versus the Georgian period in which Anne Lister lived is quite different, the dialogue is as much relevant now as it was then. The inequality and egalitarianism on different scales is relatable. I also loved that she was very determined that she was never compelled to become a mother, yet another thing that separated her from most of society at that time – even now, women still get shamed for not wanting to have children.


Ann Walker was coming into her own, despite her mental health challenges through her life. She’d had a tragic life with her parents and some friends dying, her religious persecution fears, and the overbearing nature of some of her relatives to leach money from her estate. She grew more confident of herself when she was with Anne, drawing strength from her love. Anne’s interactions with her varying family members – her sister, Elizabeth, who became rather supportive of her younger sister’s relationship with Ms. Lister (how aware Elizabeth was about the sexual intimacy aspect of that relationship was I don’t know, but she certainly was aware that Ann loved Anne). The Priestley’s became quite aware of Ann and Anne’s relationship after Mrs. Priestly all but walked in on them in the sitting room kissing each other. At first, Eliza Priestly was all for the friendship until she realised the nature of it. Though I think Mr. Priestley was more ‘live and let live’ aspect of his cousin Ann’s relationship with Ms. Lister, a bit less concerned with the social mores than his wife. Ann’s cousin, Catherine Rawson, I believe it was, came to realize how much Anne cared for her cousin, taking care of Ann’s mental health needs. And she was forthcoming to Anne, apologising for thinking the worst of Anne (in possibly taking advantage of Ann’s wealth).

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A major thing I love about the approach to the love story in Gentleman Jack is that unlike so many preceding stories featuring lesbians (or other WLW love stories), is that this is very obviously told without the ‘male gaze’ in mind. There is a beautiful intimacy that is soft and gentle, without the explicitness or gratuity that is often typical in some lesbian and bisexual female relationships in many shows or films. There’s an utter joy and respect shown to the characters and actors, in the writing and directing of the intimacy between Anne and her lovers, past and present. Touch is a wonderful act of intimacy, without it always being Anne&AneBedsexual or perceived as such. Vulnerability as well speaks volumes in intimacy between partners, allowing ones self to feel the emotion is so strong. That is shown very specifically in a number of occasions, specifically when Anne realises that she’s aware that Ann cannot commit to her then, that of the partners that Anne has had, Ann Walker came the closest to understanding Anne’s nature. Her breaking down at that point was heartbreaking. In addition, in the finale, after Ann tells her that she’d agree to marry Anne and mean it, Anne pleads for her love not to hurt her, because sometimes she’s not as strong as she seems.

Anne&AnnWeddingTheir marriage, in contrast to her tenant, John Sowden, is a much quieter affair, the two women privately exchanging rings then taking the sacrament together in church was beautiful and meaningful, highlighting the joy at their union. Their amusing bickering after leaving the church was just perfect and on point.

Anne’s family life is very rich. Although Wainwright took slight narrative liberties of having Anne’s father Jeremy present rather than her Uncle James, I think it worked well in this case. I adored Aunt Anne’s wonderful relationship with Anne. She had a wonderful acceptance of her niece’s differences and just wanted Anne to be happy with whomever she loved and settled down. Aunt Anne adored Anne’s eccentricities and zest for life, her ability to take on life and explore. And she had the ability to reassure and support Anne when she was hurting. Anne’s care of her aunt’s Ann&AuntAnnehealth was just as wonderful; there was such a strong bond between them. I also loved the relationship between Anne and her sister Marian. The dynamic was just perfect. Marian had such wonderful long-suffering reactions to her sister: “It’s uncanny. However far away my sister goes, however long she’s gone for, whatever crisis is happening here, she always, within minutes, manages to inveigle herself into becoming the main topic of any given conversation. (*sigh*).” The meal-time conversations are hilariously done, with both Anne and Marian at times breaking the fourth wall with a look, a sigh, a smile or a roll of the eyes.


Onto other matters. Her servants and tenants. Anne was oft times ruthless when it came to her tenants in getting them to vote how she wished, as she could not vote as a woman (a specific gripe of hers as is revealed in the opening episode in a discussion between herself, her sister Marian, Aunt Anne, Ann Walker, and the Priestley’s about the upcoming Reformation Act.) She would also evict tenants who could no longer be useful on her land. She made it her business to be aware of things going on, such as the young boy who’s leg was amputated in an accident caused by Christopher Rawson – Anne made it a mission of hers throughout the series to try and find a way to make Rawson pay for injuring the child. She was also aware (to varying degrees) about Thomas Sowden and his uneasy relationship with his abusive father. Despite the circumstances of his father’s disappearance, which I’m sure Anne probably saw as suspicious, (especially as his and his mother’s stories told to Mr. Washington about the disappearance did not always match) but she agreed to let Thomas and his family to stay and work the land. Eugenie, the unfortunate young woman whom Anne chose as a lady’s maid, who barely MrsCordinglyspoke/understood English, and was pregnant by her now-deceased lover (also a servant of Anne’s), and became engaged to another servant, the affable Joseph Booth, under the guise of necessity – despite the two of them not speaking the same language (on more than one level). Rosie Cavaliero as Elisabeth Cordingly was brilliant both in her interactions with her fellow servants (acting as mediary between Joseph and Eugenie), and in interactions with Anne. Her exasperation at times was just priceless to watch.

Both Anne and Marian frequently broke the fourth wall, looking or speaking to the audience, and it worked quite effectively. Anne’s diaries were a reflection of her thoughts and feelings about life and the world around her, and in these instances those thoughts directed towards the audience gave us insight into that.

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Anne’s business acumen and her knowledge is extensive in many areas; she was a well studied woman in matters of business, politics, social science, nature, anatomy. And what she didn’t know at the time, she sought to educate herself further, and seek guidance from other trusted sources as to things like sinking coal pits. She learned agricultural techniques and equipment so that she knew how her land was farmed, and she often would go work on the land with her tenants, mucking in to even the arduous work of pulling up trees, working on the stone walls.

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Speaking of trees, stone walls and the like, the West Yorkshire landscape and Shibden Hall grounds (upon which quite a bit of the series is filmed) is a character unto itself. The rolling valleys, mixed with the early 1800s appearance of town give the series a brilliant backdrop to the drama going on around it.


The show has been well received on both sides of the Atlantic given the airing on HBO in the United States and BBC One in the United Kingdom, so much in fact that after the first airing in the UK, the show had been green-lit for a second series. Given that there is well over four million words written over her lifetime (starting at the age of 15 until a month before her death at the age of 49 in 1840), there is a lot of material to cover from 1834-1840. Anne took over full ownership of Shibden Hall in 1836 after the death of her Aunt Anne, and both Anne and Ann did a lot of travelling in their married life. I don’t know what period of time the second series will cover, but I suspect we can look forward to a lot more wonderful drama that we were treated to in the first series.


All images Copyright © 2019 Lookout Point Limited.
Music score for Gentleman Jack: Murray Gold.

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Taking a tour of Emmerdale Village

This past summer I had the good fortune to be able to visit the Emmerdale Village and Studio Experience tours.


To back up just a bit, I’ve been a fan of the nearly 46 year old UK soap for six years. I started episodes in 2012 – leading up to the 40th Anniversary Week of episodes in October (16th October 1972 the show started, then called “Emmerdale Farm”). That year, Emmerdale did their first (and only so far) broadcast live 47+ min episode – an episode which contained 2 births, 2 weddings and a death. For those not familiar with the soap, there are, in general, six half-hour episodes per week – Monday to Friday with a second episode on Thursdays.

2012 October Anniversary Live episode

You’ve got your usual soap tropes going on, wheelings, dealings, and all sorts. The Woolpack pub is the hub of village life – folks coming in for a pint and a natter. Other gathering spots are David’s Shop (a little convenience store/olive bar), the Cafe, and The Grange B&B.

As with many small villages, it’s a close knit community – with all the good and bad trappings that comes with it; everyone seems to know everyone else’s business and keeping shtump about secrets never really works out well, for anyone. Families grow up, move away, some come back, for generations onwards.

The largest family – multi-generaltional – within the dales at present are the Dingles, going from Faith Dingle, Lisa Dingle & Zak Dingle being at the upper level, then Chas, Cain, Charity, Marlon, Sam and Belle being of the next generation (cousins, second cousins, and siblings), Aaron, Debbie, Ryan, Noah, Moses, April, Leo, Kyle, Isaac and Samson in the next, and the great grandchildren of Zak Dingle are Sarah and Jack Sugden (Debbie’s kids). And that’s not including the step-children and the in-laws. 🙂 Really, you need a complex diagram to keep track of everyone.

Other main families in recent years have been the Sugdens, Bartons, Thomas’s, Kings, and until recently Whites, and various other smaller family groups. My personal favourites are the Dingles (well, some of them much more than others), Vanessa Woodfield, Tracy Shankley, Moira Dingle, Rhona Goskirk, Megan Macey, and Harriett Finch. To find out more about the show’s characters check out the Fan Wiki.

I’ve seen a lot over the past six years with many more to come! Knowing that there were tours of both the Emmerdale Village and the Emmerdale Studio Experience, I kept watch of when they were going to be running for when I had my summer vacation. The Village tours are only done on weekends, due to it being an active filming area during the week. Occasionally on there are some weekends when they’re shooting something big, they will take extra time, and so tours don’t happen then. As they generally shoot six to eight weeks ahead of the shows airing, the tour company has to wait for the schedules from ITV before they can book the tours. To avoid the post being too long, I’m going to split the Village tour and the Studio Experience tour into two posts.


Road to Emmerdale Village

I kept checking the website for availability, and fortunately (for me), the Village tour was available to do on my birthday (it being on a weekend). The Studio Experience tour I could do on a weekday, so I booked that one for the next day. While the Studio Experience tour is done in Leeds, the Emmerdale Village is on the Harewood estate (a bit over 8 miles north of Leeds), since 1996 (previously Esholt), on 300 acres of land purchased for building the village and the buildings were constructed (mostly of timber frame & stone covering) in 18 weeks.

While it rained heavy in the morning, by about noon it had stopped and by the time the tour started at 3, it was clearing off and we had a mix of sun and cloud. Which was great for us, but the poor tour guides (ours was lead by Kim – not Tate 😅) were still drying out from the morning’s tour.

The tours do not include exteriors of Home Farm (located off-site), Butler’s Farm run by Moira Dingle (off-site; the farm – Brookland Farm – is an actual working farm leased by ITV for days required for filming exteriors). The Sharma’s home and Eric Pollard’s home are on private property owned by the Mayor of Harewood, and the Dingle family homestead is also on private property leased by ITV. The rest of the village exteriors, are part of the tour. The Tour starts at the Sharma & Sharma factory, then a walk down through the Village. All the flowers and shrubbery are grown on site in a greenhouse, and planted as per season – and as they film six weeks out, they are in bloom for air dates, rather than filming time.


Me outside the Sharma & Sharma factory.

Smithy Cottage (Rhona’s home) & the vet’s surgery had the doors open for the tour guests to look inside (but not actually go inside). Many of the building’s interiors are actually storage spaces for props, lighting, actors and extras green-rooms, bathrooms, etc.. There are a few buildings that are used for film interiors but most interiors are done at ITV Studios in Leeds. The church was also available for tour guests to go inside and look around.


Smithy Cottage & the Vet’s surgery.


Rhona’s living room, Smithy Cottage


Rhona’s kitchen, Smithy Cottage

Out and about the noteable businesses in the Village:


Veterinary Surgery


The Cafe and Brenda’s home.


The Woolpack Pub


Me outside the Woolpack


Beauty & Bernice – Bernice’s beauty salon


Barton & Dingle Automotive


David’s Shop


The Grange Bed & Breakfast


The Parish Church of St. Mary’s, Emmerdale


Inside the vestry at St. Mary’s Church, Emmerdale


Emmerdale Village Hall

Fun fact about the village hall – in 2015 during Debbie Dingle’s wedding to Pete Barton, the filming took extra time, due to the fact that the hall was purposely destroyed three times with the helicopter crash and resulting explosions, and it had to be rebuilt each time, so filming was done in stages.

Resident homes in the Village


Woodbine Cottage – Harriett Finch’s home


Tug Ghyll Cottage – Vanessa Woodfield’s home


Dan and Kerry’s Cottage


Ross & Pete Barton’s


Mill Brook Cottage – Megan Macey’s home


Jacob’s Fold – Debbie Dingle’s home


Mill Cottage – Aaron & Robert’s home


Laurel’s cottage

Sometimes the tour company – Continuum Attractions – are excluded from some areas depending on if it’s potentially story spoiler related – such as the graveyard. If there’s a character that’s due to be killed off, they’ll often prohibit access to the graveyard for a certain time. Fortunately, at the time of our tour, we were able to go through (along the path) the graveyard to view some of the gravestones and the like. FYI – Emma Barton’s is a small cross near the back – and no one goes down there. 😀

Fun fact: Some former Emmerdale crew when they’re finished with the show, choose to have a gravestone marker in the Emmerdale graveyard as a marker of their time working on Emmerdale, so occasionally one might see a non-character marker in the graveyard.







Other bits & bobs noted around the village. Unfortunately due to health & safety, we couldn’t actually go on the playground equipment. Sad face.




Stone bridge out to Butler’s Farm (Moira & Cain’s home)


The bus stop


The sign into Emmerdale. The lower one reads: Please drive carefully through our village – however, the extensive flower growth covers up the lower sign.


The drive out Hotten road which connects Emmerdale to the dales beyond.

Get a glimpse into the Emmerdale Village set


Google Maps overhead look at Emmerdale Village

See you soon for the tour of the Emmerdale Studio Experience – where I play at pulling a pint in the Woolpack pub. 🙂

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Writing Meme: Cool Asks for Fic Writers

Questionnaire snagged from a few others via Tumblr. This is a bit of a first for me – at least in terms of responding to a questionnaire on writing

Describe yourself how you would describe a character you’re introducing.
Mmm. Petite. Early-mid 40s. Adept at many things. Nurse, photographer, writer, crafter. Introvert. Observer.

Is there any specific ritual you go through while/before/after your writing?
Often tea & biscuits (digestives, gingersnap or shortbread)

What is your absolute favourite kind of fic to write?
Drama w/ slight to moderate angst.

Are there any other fic writers you admire? If so, who and why?
Many. And they vary by fandoms that I’ve participated in. However, Melissa Good (Xena /Dar & Kerry) particularly stands out because she was one of the early fic writers I started reading and I’ve gone back to read her stuff many times. Her stories are very well-written. She does over-arcing love stories that are not explicitly sexual in detail, nor do they need to be. Her love scenes, when written, fit in very well with the tone and style as the rest of the story. Trust me. That vision of Xena scaling a mountain, risking death more than once, then running – practically flying – over the fields in a rainstorm to the borderlands between the Amazons and Centaurs to save Gabrielle from a renegade shit disturber amazon, then landing a big kiss on Gabrielle in front of said crowd of Amazons and Centaurs is pretty legendary. Story is called ‘At A Distance’). The series of stories is ‘A Journey of Soulmates’ and begins with ‘A Warrior By Any Other Name’. Melissa’s Dar & Kerry series starts with ‘Tropical Storm’

How many words can you write if you sit down and concentrate intensely for an hour?
Don’t know that I’ve actually counted. When I get into a zen stage of writing where the characters keep talking I just go with the flow and don’t stop until:
a) I need a trip to the loo
b) my tea has gone too cold/run out of biscuits
c) my stomach is growling to loudly to ignore.

First fic/pairing you wrote for? (If no pairing, describe the plot)
Oh heavens. Not published anywhere, but Beauty & The Beast (Catherine & Vincent) – the Linda Hamilton & Ron Perlman version. I was in my late teens. Pre-internet.

Inspiration, time, or motivation. Choose two.
Inspiration & time

Why do you choose to write?
An outlet to explore feelings, explore characters that speak to me on some level, and sometimes to challenge myself.

Do you ever have plans to write anything other than fic?
I have an original story in the works. I’ve also written a published academic article in a Canadian Oncology Nursing Journal back many yrs ago when I was a nurse trainee. I’ve also conducted interviews with musicians, writers, creators.

What inspires you the most?
Different things. Sometimes it’s being out in nature, conversations, reading other well-written stories, sometimes music, travel.

Weirdest thing you’ve ever written/thought about writing/etc.?
At the moment I can’t recall. Well, not completely true. I can write a love scene and have done in the Otalia Virtual Seasons, but I can’t write explicit sex scenes as it feels weird to me. I’m not a prude; I can read them at times – if it feels right within the context of the rest of the story and it’s well-written without feeling like I’m reading a young-adult’s attempt at porn (made even worse when the characters are most definitely NOT in their 20s-30s). I’m also not a fan of vulgarity or flowery terms for sex.

A fic you wish you had written better, and why?
My early stuff seems a bit cringeworthy now but then we learn from our past and reading other well-written stories. Also, as we age, our own life-experiences and awareness of the world around us contributes to our overall knowledge (or at least it should). How I wrote as a teenager/early 20s is quite different from how I write now (nearly mid 40s), as well it should.
Reading other well-written stories with correct spelling, proper punctuation and grammar, verb-tense agreement, etc. REALLY helps improve one’s writing skills, as well as really knowing the characters (and their development). Getting a beta-reader (editor) who can constructively critique your stories to bring out the best in your work is also a recommendation. I’ve been writing fic off and on for about 25 years.

Favourite fic from another author?

  • Lunacatriona – ‘Waves that Rolled You Under’ (Holby City – Bernie & Serena). (Available online)
  • LarkhallReturns: ‘Love With Deception’ and ‘Abuse of Power’ (Bad Girls – Nikki & Helen AU). I don’t think either are online anymore (I have them in PDF format for reading offline); they might be accessible via WaybackMachine search – it’s been a while since I checked.
  • SelVecanti: ‘Reunion’ (Babylon 5 – Ivanova/Talia, set post S4.) Brilliant story. Capt Ivanova has a new Warlock class ship made unknowingly to her at the beginning using Shadow technology. Psi-Corp are trying to get to Ivanova by using Talia. (Archived in PDF format offline; no longer available online as far as I can tell).
  • Nordica: ‘Jungle Fever’ (Hospital Central – Maca & Esther, plus other HC regulars). An AU set at a Médicins Sans Frontières clinic in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. (Another story I have archived in PDF format offline)
  • G.L. Dartt – After Larkhall series (Bad Girls – Helen & Nikki) series, starting with ‘Dead Slow’ – some odd coding on the site at the moment, though.
  • And just to plug something I was a part of (both as a writer, editor, and sometimes season planning collaborator) was the Otalia Virtual Seasons (Guiding Light – Olivia & Natalia).

Your favourite side pairings to put in?
Depends on the fandoms I’m writing in at the time. And not necessarily romantic pairings, but sometimes just friendship pairings.

  • Holby City sides: Sacha & Essie.
  • Call the Midwife sides: Delia & Phyllis friendship or pretty much any dynamic with Sister Monica Joan. (This is stuff I’ve only partially gotten round to writing)
  • Scott & Bailey sides: Gill Murray & Julie Dodson – though sometimes they’re the main with Janet & Rachel as the sides.
  • Guiding Light sides: Doris & Blake

Your guilty writing pleasure?
Don’t know that I really have one, at least that I can think of at the moment.

Do you have structured ideas of how your story is supposed to go, or make it up as you write?
I have a general sense of direction for the story, with notes of plot points and such. Somethings can get moved around a bit as needed. For shorter one-off pieces it’s a bit easier than multi-chapter stories, but I’ve got an idea for the full plot generally planned out. Sometimes than changes based on character development.
When I was writing with the OVS (mentioned above), we had an over-arcing plan of things that we wanted to accomplish over the season, so specific plot points were planned out well in advance. However, like a serial drama, one story had to follow from the previous so we needed to be aware of what the writer before us was incorporating so that there was continuity between one story and the next, also to lay in bits in our story that would be picked up in the next one (and future stories). What was really fun was coordinating the multi-author stories in the season, where each writer would take a different group of characters to write about and making sure no one character was in two different places at the same time.

Would you describe yourself as a fast writer?
On the one-off pieces, usually. Or if I’ve got a deadline. Multi-part stories, not so much…unless I’ve got a deadline.

How old were you when you started writing?
Crikey. In my teens I wrote for my high school Creative Writing class book (circa 1989-1991). In university I wrote for the uni newspapers (and for two terms I was a graphics editor). Before that, just my own jotting of ideas.

Why did you start writing?
As a way to express ideas & feelings

4 sentences from your work that you’re proud of.
Oh, good heavens. There are many, over 20+ yrs of writing, writing in over a dozen fandoms.

Posted in Commentary, Interviews, Personal | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Women Direct: Storytelling a changing vision

An interview with actress and director, Cady McClain
By J. Lynn Stapleton

When under two percent of the top 100 films are directed by women, it is not unreasonable to question the larger issue of ingrained cultural bias against a woman’s ability to lead.

Double Daytime Emmy Award winning actress, Cady McClain has a new creative venture underway, a five-hour serialized documentary series called Seeing Is Believing: Women Direct, which explores the challenges and biases faced by female directors, along with providing tools and skills needed to help women succeed in directing, whether that be web-based programming, television or film.


Cady McClain. © Courtney Lindberg Photography

In order to counter long-held biases and outdated belief systems within the industry, a revolutionary change is needed. Cady has travelled to multiple countries, interviewing nearly fifty award-winning film and television directors including Meera Menon (Equity), Anne Makepeace (We Still Live Here: Âs Nutayuneân), Nicole Conn (Elena Undone, A Perfect Ending), Bethany Rooney (NCIS, Criminal Minds), Joanna Kerns (Jane the VirginPretty Little Liars, Nashville), Sarah Gavron (Suffragette), Jennifer Pepperman (One Life to Live on-line reboot), Tina Cessa Ward (Anyone But Me), and with newcomers like Kimberly McCullough (Nice Guys Finish Last, Pretty Little Liars), each with the goal of examining the challenges and obstacles – cultural, professional and creative, seeking and finding ways through. This documentary also hopes to serve as a peer-to-peer mentorship for men and women seeking to explore their dreams of storytelling.

I had long been a fan of Cady McClain’s work on All My Children as Dixie Martin, so I was delighted to be able to have the opportunity to interview Ms. McClain about her thoughts and ideas about her debut documentary and what this means for her.

Lynn: The Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media has done a fair bit of research in terms of gender bias that exists in the number of women present in films/television, and the types of roles (personality, career, etc.), speaking and non-speaking roles. The idea behind their motto: “If they see it, they can be it.” I see this motto equally applying to leadership roles behind the screens. With so very few women in the upper tier of women creating, directing and producing top-grossing projects, what made this ‘Seeing is Believing: Women Direct’ project personal for you?

Cady: I think there is a lot of truth in the saying “A rising tide lifts all boats.” I noticed that when a group is doing well, then all the members in that group have a better chance at doing well. In that vein, I felt that if women directors across the board didn’t get a better chance, then it was going to be unpleasant going in my own directing career. So it was important for me to do something to help the group. I also really needed to learn from those who have gone far further than I have. It’s been an honor to get to interview so many amazing women. It’s like I had 50 intensives with incredible women. Now I feel a responsibility to share what I’ve had such a privilege to learn.

Personally, my mom really struggled with believing she had a shot in any career, especially over 40. So I wanted to get out in the world to see what I could really do if I took on a different belief system. I do believe we are the stories we tell ourselves, so I wanted to create a new and exciting story that would challenge and uplift both myself and the women I knew who also struggled with passed down, limiting ideas.

Lynn: What are some of the pitfalls and biases that exist in the film and television industries for/against women’s leadership roles? How do you believe these biases can be overcome?

Cady: I’ve heard, “women don’t understand technical issues as well as men do because our brains aren’t made the same.” I’ve heard, “women are good with actors because actors are like babies.” And I’ve heard that “women make good editors because editing is like sewing.”

I suck at sewing but I’m really good at editing. If I treated an actor like a baby they’d notice and resent it. And I taught myself how to use a professional camera in 4 days by reading the manual. So those biases are clearly false.

Pitfalls are that you’re likely to hear some sexist remarks somewhere along the way. How to deal with it is up to each individual. I recently heard a story about a woman crew member working on the floor on a line of television cables, and a male crew member walked by and said, “Get off your knees, you’ve already got the job.” I’m sure that fellow thought he was being funny, but if you reversed that scenario, I can assure you the man on his knees wouldn’t be laughing. Crude talk is nothing new in TV or film, but I have to say I think it’s classless and tasteless. My general response is, “How’s your wife?” That usually shuts them up.

Unfortunately, bias is an equal opportunity offender. Both men and women hold these limiting beliefs as to what women are capable of. So we all need to get onboard the concept that women are many things, not only mothers or wives or sisters… we are whatever we choose to be. And men can’t be relegated to the role of “bringing home the bacon.” Our “selves” can’t be put into these cookie cutters. Ultimately, biases are meant to control others. When we allow them to control us, we are agreeing with someone else’s fear.

Lynn: I do see more women in leading positions in creating, writing, directing, producing roles in web and television more so than in film, though that is growing slowly. Where do you think the best inroads are to expand women’s leadership roles in this regard – in web projects (such as the Emmy Award winning Venice the Series), television and film?

Cady: I see that women are getting a lot more opportunity on the internet, which is really great. But what we need is to not get kicked out when an area proves to be fiscally successful. Because that’s what happens: where there is money and status, the aggression gets very high, and the women tend to get kicked out of the game. Kicked off the playground, so to speak. That needs to stop happening, and we all need to stop letting that happen.  I believe we are stronger when we are unified and supportive of one another.


Design by Xaviera Lopez


Lynn: You’ve had the opportunity to explore this documentary through interviews with many people in the industry. Each person brings new ideas and different approaches to the processes that go on behind the camera. What have you learned the most along this journey and how do you hope to bring that knowledge forward to help others coming up the ladder?

Cady: It’s hard to put it all into a few sentences. But I can say that “Trust your instincts” is not a suggestion, it’s a rule and a daily practice. “Follow YOUR path” is another. You can’t step onto another’s path and live their life. But you can look at the path ahead of you and think about what is the right next step.

I’ve also learned that you don’t have to shout to be heard, in fact you can speak softly…. but you do need to speak clearly and directly and, honestly, it helps if you have a low voice if you are leading a group. Communication is one of the main tools a director has. That’s just one of many tools I’ve learned, and as with all tools, it’s really a matter of putting it into practice until it becomes a habit.

I believe that seeing all these women persevering, learning HOW they’ve persevered and stepped into leadership positions will help women of all walks of life feel more supported and confident in reaching for their own goals.

Lynn: What challenges you and inspires you?

Cady: My husband, Jon Lindstrom, is a big source of inspiration. He’s really supportive of my doing this doc, and has given me a lot of great advice. His passion for the work and his ability to stay in what is really a very challenging business whether you are a man or a woman, keeps me going.

I also really love how the technology is becoming more and more consumer friendly, and I’m really excited about how genres are mixing and creating new forms.

Despite the challenges, it’s a great time to be in this industry! Things are changing for women, and I’m thrilled to be a small part of pushing the change forward.

There is currently an SIB: Women Direct Indigogo campaign to raise funds for the post-production costs; there are a lot of lovely perks, including tote bags and t-shirts with the Seeing Is Believing: Women Direct logo design created by Chilean artist Xaviera Lopez (seen above), journals, caps, a signed copy of the Seeing Is Believing: Women Direct documentary companion book, signed photos and much more. Feel free to choose a perk that you would like to help support this creative endeavour. If you’re unable to purchase a perk, you can help spread the love via social media. The campaign runs through until 25th November 2016.

Cady can also currently be seen co-directing and acting in the fifth season of Crystal Chappell’s Venice the Series web drama.

Cady McClain’s: Twitter
Search tags: #SIBWomenDirect

Posted in Entertainment, Film, Interviews, Interviews, Television, Webseries | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Call the Midwife – Series 5: Missing Scenes [505-508]

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.

Episode 505

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.
Phyllis: Mmm-hmmm.
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. 🙂



Episode 506

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.



Episode 507

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.
Barbara: Masculine?
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.



Episode 508

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).



Editorial Commentary
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!


Comments welcome.

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Call the Midwife – Series 5: Missing Scenes [501-504]

As I had done for the BBC series Last Tango in Halifax, I will be posting the missing scenes that differ from what the BBC airs to what PBS edits. The dialogue written by Heidi Thomas McGann and co-writers . Images belong to Call the Midwife, Neal Street Productions and BBC. The scenes where dialogue is missing will be highlighted in red. Rather than make eight separate posts, I will be adding to this post for the first four episodes, then another post for episodes 5-8, so keep checking back.

Episode 501:
This scene picks up once Phyllis emerges from Sister Julienne’s office, where Trixie, Patsy and Barbara are awaiting her exit.
Phyllis: Oh, go on. I’ll race you!
(She leads the group going up the stairs, where Sister Mary Cynthia and Sister Winifred have stopped to let them pass.)

Sister Winifred: Ah, no new look for us, Sister. Still, better 600 years out of date than 6.
Sister Mary Cynthia: Yes.



Meal time at Nonnatus House
Sisters Julienne, Winifred, Mary Cynthia and Monica Joan are at the table awaiting the midwives to arrive in their new uniforms. When they do, the sisters clap.
Sister Julienne: You all look every bit as smart as I imagined.
Sister Evangelina: (coming in behind them) What I want to know is are those waspy belts practical? If there’s one thing midwifery has always involved is a good deal of bending at the midriff. One protracted birth on a low-slung mattress and you’ll end up cut in half.
Sister Julienne: (sitting down for meal and grace) Bless us, oh Lord and these thy gifts which we receive by thy bounty (Sister Monica Joan stops eating the bread which she had already started on). Amen.
Others: Amen.
Sister Evangelina: I was at Lisbon buildings with Mrs. Gallagher and young Jeffrey.
Sister Mary Cynthia: Is he the baby with missing thumbs?
Sister Evangelina: And his mother’s no more nearer getting over it than she was six weeks ago.
Patsy: The trouble is, Mrs Gallagher’s quite the nervy type. She was demanding sleeping pills the moment she knew she was pregnant.
Trixie: I’d demand sleeping pills if I lived at Lisbon buildings.
Sister Winifred: Surely she’s on the list to be re-housed?
Barbara: Everyone in Lisbon buildings is on the list to be re-housed, but the new flats aren’t being built fast enough.
Sister Julienne: I’ll talk to Dr. Turner. Perhaps he can help with a medical note.
Barbara: Bad housing has a lot to answer for.
Phyllis: I think you’ll find family planning has a lot to answer for. These young wives get themselves a diaphragm and once they can pick and choose their family’s size, the picking and the choosing never stops. They want everything just so, and if it isn’t, they don’t know where to turn.
Sister Evangelina: I hope they know they can turn to us, Nurse Crane. Kind words won’t give Jeffrey Gallagher his thumbs but it may help his mother to cope.
Phyllis: Kind words are a universal panacea, Sister. And like you, I can dispense them quite liberally when occasion demands. And like you, I temper them with common sense.

Barbara: Would you like some bread and butter, Nurse Crane? (passes her a plate of bread)
Phyllis: Thank you. I’d also like the honey, as I see there is still no cake.
Sister Monica Joan: One wonders why you comment on its absence, given it is our common sacrifice for lent. Meanwhile, Islamists have festivals of fasting in which the frail and elderly are not deprived.
Sister Evangelina: I have no objection to our Asian neighbours, but when it comes to Lent, we do things our way. Thank you very much.
Phyllis: Honey, Sister?
Sister Evangelina: No. Bread and butter for me.


Reverend Tom Harewood walks towards Nonnatus House and Fred greets him from the garden.
Fred: (standing up to move to another section) Morning, Reverend.
Tom: Morning, Fred. You look busy.
Fred: (sighs) The Jersey Royals are comin’ on a treat. (Pats a new section of ground where the flowers are starting to emerge). Half a crown deposit secures a first crop.
Tom: I’m a curate, Fred. I’m so poor, the church mice feel sorry for me.

(Fred nods and cuts to Tom ringing the doorbell at Nonnatus.)


Patsy’s attending Rhoda Mullucks delivery.

Rhoda: (bent over, leaning against the bed, moaning in labour pains, Patsy’s rubbing her lower back). They’re sending men into space. You think they’d find away around this by now.
Patsy: We’ll have another try with the gas with your next pain
Rhoda: I feel like a right chump with my bum stuck up in the air.
Patsy: (smiling) Believe me, Rhoda, I’ve seen it all before.
Rhoda: I was hoping for a nun, not one of you young ‘uns. Bet you’ve all got lovely bleedin’ bums.

(Rhoda pounds her fist down on the bed with a groan as another contraction hits.)



Another quick shot of the photographer taking pictures of Barbara & Trixie in the East End. No dialogue.



At Nonnatus House, Sister Mary Cynthia and Sister Winifred are cutting up some fabric to make some nappies for Susan Mullucks.

Sister Winifred: But, if Rhoda’s husband won’t let her take Susan home and she won’t put her in an institution, where will they go?
Sister Mary Cynthia: There has been talk of finding her a room in a hostel where she could take the baby but she has two other children to consider.
Sister Winifred: It’s not going to be easy.
Sister Mary Cynthia: No. Things might resolve. The situation doesn’t have to be impossible.
Sister Winifred: Seems fairly impossible to me.
Sister Mary Cynthia: I had a little brother, born with water on the brain.
Sister Winifred: Oh. I had no idea.
Sister Mary Cynthia: We aren’t encouraged to talk about personal things. My mother wouldn’t put him in a home. When we took him out, she’d say, ‘If people stare, stare back.” And I never could, because after they’d stare, they’d turn away, shake their heads. And when they did that, I could see him through their eyes. But we knew we loved him. He died. Long time ago. And that was when we realized how much he’d really mattered.
Sister Winifred: God bless you, Sister. And him.
Sister Mary Cynthia: (slight sobbing) Thank you.
Sister Winifred: I just…wonder if it’s not something in the atmosphere. The father of the baby with the missing thumbs is a chemical mixer at the patchworks. (At first, Sr. Mary Cynthia looks like she thinks Sr Winifred might have something there, then realizes that the other nun does not).  There are atom bombs going off in the Sahara, and a polluted river running past our front door. 
Sister Mary Cynthia: I’m not sure any good can come of asking why, Sister. We have to accept things are as they are, and reach out with all the love we can find.
Sister Winifred: I suppose that’s what we’re doing now…Susan’s clothes.
Sister Mary Cynthia: The trouble is, these aren’t Susan’s clothes. They’re what we could find in the charity box. Things people threw away. And it just isn’t good enough.


Episode 502

Trixie, Patsy and Barbara are down by the docks, having a meal of fish & chips

Trixie: It’s practically a sea view. Imagine we’re dining in Saint Tropez with David Niven.
Patsy: Quite what he’d make of cockles and chips, I don’t know.
Trixie: It’s David Niven, it doesn’t matter what you’re eating.
Patsy: (Looks at Barbara who is distracted and saddened) There are chips going uneaten, Nurse Franklin. While not an emergency, it is a cause for concern.
Trixie: Patient shows no sign of elation in the presence of deep-fried matter.
Barbara: (smiles) I don’t know what it is. I’m trying to look after Mrs. Beckett. She’s got high blood pressure and she’s very anxious, but she won’t talk to me. Whatever I say, she makes me feel like I’m straight out of Malory Towers.
Trixie: It’s the same for all of us at the start. It’s about building trust.
Barbara: But I’m not new any more.
Trixie: No, but you are newer. You just need a few more battle scars.
Barbara: (saddened again) I have them. I just choose not to display them.
Patsy: (looks over at Trixie in a bit of concern.) Well, we think you’re wonderful. And we couldn’t manage without you. And your knowledge of bundt is quite unsurpassed.

(Barbara laughs and leans over to steal one of Patsy’s chips, followed by Trixie throwing one of her chips at Barbara. They all start laughing.)


In the clinic room getting ready for the day are Phyllis, Patsy, Trixie and Sister Winifred.

Phyllis: A new system. Help us get the most out of every day and ourselves. Each coloured pin represents you and your patient visits. We can see straight away if we’re covering the same patch. Nurse Mount, you’re on district with me. You’re yellow.
Patsy: Not my best colour.
Phyllis: I’m blue. Efficiency ladies. We need to do more and we need to do it faster.
Trixie: (quieter) Why not simply give us radio transmitters so we can telegraph our whereabouts?
Phyllis: There are people in Poplar falling through the cracks. I’ve persuaded the borough council to provide a number of home helps. So when you’re on your visits, make a note of anyone you feel you cannot call, we’ll put their names forward and see if we can’t make life a little easier.
Sister Winifred: Mission accepted.
Patsy: Quite so.

Phyllis: Oh, while I’ve got you. We have visitors of many lands now amongst us and I thought we might equip ourselves with languages to serve them better. I had hoped to find a class in Urdu or Punjabi, but these have eluded me. (Patsy and Trixie look at each other in surprise, trepidation and amusement). However, there is a module in Spanish starting this evening. Anyone who wants to join me, I shall be leaving at 7 o’clock. Sharp.


Barbara is doing a home visit with Mrs. Beckett. This section starts after Mr. Beckett leaves to find work.

Barbara: We want you to have your baby at home, but if your blood pressure remains high, we’ll have to bring you in.
Mrs. Beckett: It will be a relief. (sobs)
Barbara: Oh, Mrs. Beckett. Oh, please don’t be upset. The thought of baby is daunting, but you’re not alone.
Mrs. Becket: I’m talking about having no home. In the past six months, Johnny’s brought in next to nothing in shifts, and I’m living off what my sister can send us. I don’t know how we’ll make next rent.
Barbara: Have you applied for national assistance?
Mrs. Beckett: He won’t beg.
Barbara: But the assistant’s board is there for hard times. My father’s parish serves the docks in Liverpool and he’s referred many men to the board in recent years.
Mrs. Beckett: There’s work for those that wants it. The man I married, he would have died for his family. But, Johnny ain’t the same no more.
Barbara: Some men are overwhelmed by the thought of fatherhood.
Mrs. Beckett: There ain’t no time to be overwhelmed.


At Tom’s residence

Barbara: You make soup for the tramps every night?
Tom: Soup’s a loose term. I make something hot and wet for the poor devils.
Barbara: Every night.
Tom: Everyone deserves one meal a day
Barbara: Tom, what do you do when you learn something about one parishioner that another has the right to know but knowing would probably cause quite a bit of upset?
Tom: I deal with confidences every day. There’s no need to be quite so cryptic.
Barbara: One of my patients. Her husband’s not been working and she has high blood pressure with the worry. And now she thinks he’s back in work, and she’s so relieved. But he’s not working. He’s in a pub. All day.
Tom: Well, I’ve never been thanked for interfering in a marriage.
Barbara: (sighs) I can’t just stand by.
Tom: You’re quite the warrior, aren’t you?
Barbara: (looks at the mess around the table and clears throat) I thought cleanliness was next to godliness.
Tom: Apparently not.
Both work to clean up the mess of vegetables and pots.


Dr. Turner is visiting Mrs. Beckett with Barbara

Dr. Turner: Johnny has regained consciousness. (Mrs. Beckett sighs with relief). He’s been able to talk to the doctors. But he is very poorly, Mrs. Beckett. He has pneumonia.
Mrs. Beckett: Oh. I didn’t know what you was going to say then. Pneumonia. It’s the dust down on the docks. He just needs a vapour bath.
Dr. Turner: The chest specialist is treating Johnny. But he is concerned there may be some underlying cause. Your husband mentioned to staff he’d been exceedingly tired, for a good while.
Mrs. Beckett: Well, that will go, won’t it? With the treatment?
Dr. Turner: The London are going to run some further tests.
Mrs. Beckett: I should like to go to him, Doctor.
Dr. Turner: If I might suggest you go this evening, the consultant may have some of the test results back.
Barbara: I’ll go with you, Mrs. Beckett. It will fit in quite well with my rounds.


In the maternity home, Barbara and Trixie are working with Mrs. Beckett to get her labour moving along.

Mrs. Beckett: (cries) It must be coming. (Moans) The cramps.
Barbara: The cramps are from the castor oil. Your contractions haven’t started yet. (Mrs. Beckett moans again). Try to relax, Stella.
(Trixie’s preparing the towels for delivery. The door opens and Shelagh pops in for a moment to hand Trixie some more supplies)
Shelagh: Dr. Turner wonders if there’s any progress.
Trixie: We’re still in the early stages.
(Shelagh nods and leaves)
Trixie: We need to hurry things along.
Barbara: (nods) Stretch and sweep. (Trixie nods) We’re just going to feel what baby’s up to. (She puts her hands on Mrs. Becket’s abdomen, moving the baby slightly. We need to do a little more to bring on contractions.
(Barbara and Trixie switch places as Barbara moves to the rear of the bed). I’m going to gently stretch your cervix and then I’m going to ease away the membranes holding baby.
Mrs. Beckett: (cries) Oh, God.
Trixie: The procedure will release a hormone that will start your contractions.
(Mrs. Beckett nods and starts breathing heavily. Barbara and Trixie look at each other and nod in support as they start the next stage. Trixie holds Mrs. Beckett’s hand as Barbara gets to work on the cervix.)
Barbara: Now, another deep breath. (Mrs. Beckett moans). Well done. We’re about four fingers dilated. That’s very good.
Trixie: This should move things along for us.
Barbara: Another deep breath. (Mrs. Beckett whimpers in discomfort)
Trixie: That’s it. Breathe out. Think about Johnny meeting his baby. Think only of that.

Dr. Turner with Mr. Beckett in the London. A nurse takes Mr. Beckett’s pulse then shakes her head to Dr. Turner, he nods.

Mr. Beckett: (wheezing) My old man used to take me to the games. His old man took him. (He points to his chest). I got so much in here but my child won’t know it. (Breathes weakly)
Dr. Turner: Come on, Johnny. Kick-off’s nearly here. You are going to tell your little son or daughter that Spurs won the cup. Stay with us. Your baby is coming.


Episode 503

In Meg’s kitchen, her niece is sitting having a cigarette when Meg returns.

Angie: Auntie Meg. What’s it look like? The baby. Is it…well, you know…(pulls up edge of eyes, to indicate Asian).
Meg: (maddened at her niece for her obvious racism) “She” is beautiful. And she looks like my great granddaughter. (shoves the plate of bread and jam at her.)



In Delia’s new room. She and Patsy have been sorting things. Delia puts a picture frame on the dresser as Patsy is sorting a bouquet of flowers on a table.

Delia: You must be exhausted now.
Patsy: I must be. I don’t feel it. (Delia passed behind her to walk over to her bed.) There. (Smiles and heads over to join Delia on the edge of the bed and sighs). I’ve waited such a long time to sit beside you looking at a bunch of flowers in a vase.
Delia: Under the same roof, at last. Just you and me. And Trixie, and…
Both: Barbara and Nurse Crane.
Delia: And quite a few nuns. (Both laugh heartily)



After Dorothy heads towards Nonnatus but before she knocks on the door, there is this scene: In the Nonnatus House kitchen, Patsy, Trixie, Delia, Barbara and Shelagh are gathered. talking about Typhoid.

Shelagh: If it is Typhoid, we have the list of registered carriers at the surgery.
Trixie: No one else in the family seems ill?
Patsy: (sighs) Not as far as I know. But the extended family is huge.
Delia: Patsy, even if you’re right, the antibiotic treatment now is really effective. (She places a hand on Patsy’s arm). Typhoid isn’t like it was.
Patsy: (jerks her arm back quickly and speaks a bit more harshly than she otherwise would). I know that, Delia. I’m talking the prevention of spread.

(She quickly stands up, startling and upsetting Delia as she takes her dishes over to the sink. Everyone is rather startled by her behaviour).
Trixie: (trying to lighten up the mood, puts a plate on the table) Who wants toast?
Delia: (stands up from the table) Actually, I think I’m going to go read my book. (Leaves the room full of tension).
Trixie: (Moving over to Patsy) Patsy, that was really rude. Poor Delia was only trying to help.
Patsy: (quietly) I know.
Trixie: If I’d had a rotten day like yours, I expect I’d be touchy, too. Have some of Violet’s jam before Sister Monica Joan gets her hands on it. (Takes the dishwashing mop from Patsy’s hands.) Then go and say sorry to our new housemate.

(Patsy’s clearly troubled but she knows Trixie is right)



In Delia’s room, she’s lying on her bed, on her stomach, distractedly reading her book, when Patsy enters and shuts the door behind her. She’s tearful.
Patsy: I’m sorry.


(Delia moves to sit up. The scene cuts to Jeannette struggling with the effects of Typhoid then back to Patsy and Delia, sitting side by side on the bed.)
Delia: I knew you were thinking about your mother and sister, but I would never have mentioned them. I know how difficult it is for you to talk about the camp.
Patsy: I’ve been thinking about them all day. (Picking at the hem of her dress).
Delia: Of course you have. It must have brought back so many awful memories.
Patsy: I so wanted to let you comfort me. But I didn’t know how to do it with the others there.
Delia: (Turns to look down at the floor a moment) Patsy, if me being here makes you uncomfortable, (turns back to Patsy) I can go. I’m sure I’d find somewhere…
Patsy: No. I don’t want that. I want you here. I nearly lost you once already.
Delia: (smiles at her) But you didn’t.

(Patsy nods and sniffles as she leans into Delia, and Delia hugs her, holding her arm and rubs her arms.)




After Mr. Su gets his blood test and joins Meg on the chairs at the surgery, there is an extended scene of residents from that East End neighbourhood also having blood work done. At the end, Patsy is placing the labelled vials into slots in a box, checking them against her list of names.

Dr. Turner: We’ve missed the lab collection.
Patsy: Oh, I can take them up there. I’m not allowed to work in the clinic anyway.
Dr. Turner: (sighs) Oh, The clinic. (Puts on his coat) Do you mind?
Patsy: No.
Dr. Turner: Thank you so much. And can you tell them it’s urgent.
Patsy: Mmmm hmmm.



Episode 504

At the Community Centre Clinic, Shelagh is setting up a meeting for mothers-to-be about delivery in hospital. Several are already setting up in the chairs as Shelagh passes around pamphlets. Sister Julienne is at one of the stations getting preparation done. One mother comes in with a crew of three children. There are also some other children playing with toys in a play area.

Mrs. Cottingham: Is it alright if I bring the boys in?
Shelagh: (Chuckles) Of course. As long as they steer clear of Wendy House Corner. I don’t want another incident with the mangle.
Mrs. Cottingham: Oh, right. Go on. You heard.

Shelagh: Take a seat, Mrs. Cottingham. We’re just talking through the differences between home and hospital delivery. (As Mrs. Cottingham finds a seat, Shelagh passes her an information pamphlet.) We’ll try to give you as much information as we can.
Mrs. Cottingham: I’m stopping at home. Turn my back on my lot for 10 days, I’ll have no house to come back to. My old man would have lost it in a card game. (Chuckles all around) Or the kids will have burnt it down. (All laughing).
Expectant mother: Isn’t there any visiting in the afternoons? My Kevin’s on permanent nights.
Shelagh: Rules are quite strict on maternity wards. It helps get babies into a routine. Many new mothers find this quite helpful, though baby would see more of his or her father if you gave birth at home.
Mother: I want the gas though. Proper gas. Off a machine. Someone told me if you have it at home, they give you gas through the cooker, and I think that’s dangerous. (All laughing).
Shelagh: That would be very dangerous, indeed. Gas and air is completely different. And the midwives bring the apparatus to your home.
Mother: (Quietly) Oh. What if something goes wrong, with the delivery?
Mrs. Cottingham: Is it your first, love?
Mother: (Softly) Yeah.
Mrs. Cottingham: You’d be all right with the Nonnatuns, wouldn’t she? (The other woman murmuring agreement)
Shelagh: Dr. Turner is never far away. And in an emergency… (children shouting in the room) you can get to the hospital very quickly.
Mrs. Cottingham: (Turns around to see one of her sons as the problem.)
Terrence. You leave that little girl alone. I do not want any more fingers in mangles. (Turns back around to face the front.) Should have had them at the hospital and left them there. (Women laughing.)



Nonnatus House clinical room, Sister Julienne arrives as Sister Mary Cynthia has been on-call.

Sr Mary Cynthia: No calls this afternoon, Sister. Could have come to the clinic after all. (She takes Sr Julienne’s clinic bag from her and sets it up on the counter.)
Sr Julienne: I don’t like to leave the phone unmanned. This is usually such a busy time of year.
Sr. Mary Cynthia: (Upon phone ringing finally, she lights up). Nonnatus House, midwife speaking….Yes, of course. She’s here now. (Turns to Sr Julienne) Sister? It’s the matron at St. Cuthbert’s Hospital. She asked to speak to you.


At the dining table at Nonnatus

Phyllis: I’m entirely happy to deputise with regard to administration, Sister. But hospital routines are rather gruelling. Are you sure you don’t want to send one of the youngsters?
Sr. Julienne: It’s only for a week. But I’m sure St. Cuthbert’s would provide a bath chair if I can’t take the pace. (Sr Winifred giggles)
Phyllis: I’ll thank you for the beetroot, Sr. Winifred.
Patsy: Sr. Julienne, I really don’t mind going. I’ve never been seconded to St. Cuthbert’s. They’ve won prizes for their hygiene.
Sr. Julienne: I’ve volunteered my services for several reasons. First, their need is great. Second, my load here is lightest, in terms of clinical work. And third,
I haven’t worked in a hospital for almost ten years. More and more women are choosing hospital deliveries. I’m keen to see why.
Phyllis: I think you’ll find that whatever the fold involves, babies come out in much the same way. And they have done since Adam and Eve were in their birthday suits.
Sr. Julienne: Sister Mary Cynthia? Whilst I’m in hospital, would you be kind enough to draw up a plan for Sr. Hildegard’s service?
Sr. Mary Cynthia: It would be an honour, Sister. (Sr. Monica Joan looks both surprised and a little agitated.)
Sr. Monica Joan: But the child barely knows the woman’s name, let alone count her virtues. Or recall her toil.
Sr. Julienne: I thought this would be a chance for her to learn.
Sr. Mary Cynthia: It will. (Turns to the elder nun) If Sister Monica Joan will help me.
Sr. Monica Joan: (Suddenly happy) We shall toil together. Like Ruth and Naomi, after the death of Elimelech.
Sr. Winifred: That would be lovely.


On the front steps of Nonnatus House, Patsy and Delia are sitting down as Delia holds out a newspaper.

Delia: I can’t believe La Dolce Vita is finally here. I’ve been reading about it in magazines for the past twelve months.
Patsy: And I’ve been promising to sit through it with you.
Delia: (looks knowingly at Patsy) You want to see Anita Ekberg in that fountain just as much as I do. I’m not on duty a week next Friday. And as far as I can ascertain you’re not on call.
Patsy: (Smiles up at her) Have you been looking at the advance roster?
Delia: Guilty as charged. (They both laugh, leaning a bit against each other). But is it a date?
Trixie: (Comes out to join them) What are you two up to?
Delia: Trying to get our legs brown. I’m not doing too badly, but poor Patsy’s struggling, (smirks down at Patsy) what with being a redhead and everything.
Patsy: (Grins) I had shins like milk bottles even when I was a blonde.
Trixie: (Looks over at the page Delia’s got open.) Oh, just look at Anita Ekberg’s bust in that black dress. (Patsy & Delia doing just that.) She must be wearing the most stupendous brassiere or how on earth has she managed to go strapless?
Patsy:Well, if you come to the flicks with us next Friday, you might find out.
(Delia gives her a dirty look, which Patsy realizes she’s just stuck her foot in it with her girlfriend)
Trixie: Oh, how perfectly marvellous. Should we treat ourselves to the two and nines?

Barbara: (Just came outside to join them on the steps). I’ve just tried rubbing my legs with Trex to speed things up. There’s a great big block of it in the fridge because Nurse Crane won’t eat anything fried and dripping.
Delia: Do you fancy coming to the pictures next week Barbara? We’re going up West to see La Dolce Vita. If enough people join in (gives Patsy another dirty look), we could book a charabanc. (Patsy gives her look that just says ‘I know. I’m sorry’).
Barbara: What day next week?
Delia: Friday.
Barbara: I’d love to, if I’m not busy.
Trixie: (Annoyed) Why would you be busy, Barbara?
(Patsy & Delia look at Trixie as her tone is quite frosty, and they’re wanting to stay out of it, and be anywhere else.)
Trixie: You normally have Friday evenings off.
Barbara: (Lying as she hasn’t yet told Trixie of her relationship with Tom.) A relative from my mother’s side is going to be in London, and I promised her I’d show her the sights.
Trixie: How terribly public-spirited of you.
Barbara: No, not really. I’m just very fond of Cousin Mabel.
Trixie: (Starts to stand up) Of course you are.
Barbara: Trixie?
Trixie: You’ll have to excuse me. I’m going to make myself a face mask out of salad cream. I believe one can find the most amazing aids to beauty in the kitchen cupboards. (Turns to head back inside)
Barbara: (Sighs loudly).


At Nonnatus house at night. Patsy arrives home and heads towards the kitchen first to put down her bag first. She finds Delia, with her hair down, standing there in her pyjamas at the stove, pouring milk into a saucepan. Patsy watches her for a moment, smiling before she says anything.

Patsy: Delia…
Delia: (Turns and smiles big) There’s no one here. There’s nobody watching. Nobody but us. (Walks towards Patsy)
Patsy: You waited up. (Puts her arms on Delia’s drawing her close)
Delia: Yes. It’s what we dreamed of, wasn’t it? When we were planning the flat, before our future got interrupted.
Patsy: (Begins playing with Delia’s hair) Do you know, Dels, in my whole life, I never once had anyone wait up for me.
(Delia looks over Patsy’s shoulder to make sure there was no one around, the placing her hands on Patsy’s waist began to move her around the kitchen; Patsy, too looks over her shoulder).
Delia: I bet you never had anyone make you a cup of Bournvita with a tot of Johnny Walker in it either. (Walks Patsy backwards to the counter, Delia then runs her hand over Patsy’s shoulder to her neck) While you were out, I was thinking (Patsy raises an eyebrow at this) ‘I’m going to unpin her hair, let it fall down to her shoulders and run my hands through it. But you’ve gone so mad with the lacquer, you could pull out every kirby grip and the beehive wouldn’t budge. (Patsy smiles widely at her).


At the home of Sadie Bulmer (patient with the arm dressing & coughing/congestion), Dr. Turner is there.

Dr. Turner: I think we need to refer you to the hospital for some tests. (Puts his stethoscope back in his medical bag)
Sadie: I’ve been coughing on and off for years. Everybody does around here. (Doing up the top buttons on her shirt). They said, we’d all be cured after the Clean Air Act.
Dr. Turner: The Clean Air Act wouldn’t have had much of an impact on conditions inside Heywoods, Mrs. Bulmer. We need to rule out emphysema.
Sadie: It’s emphysema what did for my husband. I’m a widow. I need to work.
Dr. Turner: You have a strapping grown-up son, Mrs. Bulmer. He could take care of you now. (Ian is stood outside the open door listening in.)
Sadie: I wish I had your confidence.
(Ian looks at his watch that was his father’s, realising that it would be worth some money to buy the engagement ring.


At the Turner’s home. Dr. Turner is poured over charts and journal articles trying to find out what has been causing the babies malformations. Shelagh’s in the kitchen making him a cup of tea.

Dr. Turner: This seems to be our only clue that these anomalies are part of something more widespread. This residential hospital that specialises in children with malformed limbs. (Shelagh brings in the tea)
Shelagh: It’s not a new hospital. But it is a new specialisation.
Dr. Turner: It may mean nothing at all.
Shelagh: Patrick, we have to go to bed. We have patients to care for in the morning. They don’t need us crawling in half-dead through lack of sleep. (She leans over him from behind and to the side, and wraps her arms around his neck.) I never know when I love you the most, but I sometimes think that these are the times that I love you best. When the whole world is sleeping and you’re sitting up, with dark rings beneath your eyes, just trying to make it better.
Patrick: (Leans back in the chair, Shelagh adjusts but still holding him.) Oh, Shelagh. (She moves behind him.) We had a wonderful old professor when I was at medical school, Macatin Phipps. He was a real physician. Cared about patients, inside and out. And he used to say, “Never be afraid to say when you don’t know the answer.” (Shakes his head) But these babies…Shelagh, I don’t know. And I don’t know if there is anything to know. And I’m scared.



Well, that’s it for 504. Stay tuned for episode 505 Missing Scenes coming soon…

Posted in Entertainment, Television | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

A Connection from the Past to the Future

An interview with Jason Whelan
By J. Lynn Stapleton

Some twenty-five plus years ago, I attended Gonzaga Regional High School in St. John’s, Newfoundland, where a group of students (Jason Whelan, Arthur O’Brien, John Rowe, Chris Andrews, and Pat Moran) formed a band that occasionally played at school events, mostly playing traditional Newfoundland and Irish folk music. That love for playing music continues to this day.

With the upcoming release of his second solo album, Connection set to debut 2nd January 2016, with a release show in St. John’s towards the end of January, I had the opportunity to do an interview with Jason Whelan.

Jason began playing professionally with Newfoundland blues group, the Roger Howse Band at the age of 17 and has since worked as a founding member of The Punters and Connemara. He’s also worked as a session player and/or producer on projects from artists including The Ennis Sisters, Shannygannock, Pamela Morgan, Matthew Byrne, Arthur O’Brien, Fergus O’Byrne, Jim Joyce, amongst others. His first solo album, “Blur” was released in 2003.

Jason also owns and runs The Sound Solution studio, a digital music production facility in our hometown of St. John’s, NL featuring full-length commercial recording production as well as cd mastering, demo, sound for film and jingle production.

Photo © Chris LeDrew

Photo © Chris LeDrew

JLS: Traditional Newfoundland music has long been part of our past and will be part of our future. What is it, do you think, that draws people to this genre?

JW: I think it is the depth of story, the varied complexities of the melodies and the abilities for people to recall them and perform them in a very relaxed setting ie just singing at a table etc that ensures they live on and evolve too.

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JLS: Newfoundland has such a strong history and connection to folklore and music, especially with regards to Newfoundlanders and the sea and its resources. In Blur (released 2003), you had songs which drew from those ties (‘The Emmigrant from Newfoundland’, ‘Petty Harbour Bait Skiff’ and ‘Stays the Same’), along with some touches along the political (‘’49’). What can you tell us about how this folklore and Newfoundland’s rich history influence continues with your new album?

JW: I think it is hard for me at this point to untangle that element from my playing or singing. Whether the song is actually a traditional song, or an original – the melodies and even my playing will contain it. The guitar solo on one of the songs is very much rooted in Scottish fiddle playing (even though I don’t play fiddle, I do play many Scots pieces on acoustic guitar or mandolin, so it is with an electric guitar solo. Same holds true for Irish or NL pieces a little closer to here). The songs all have those elements – just to different degrees.

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JLS: In Blur, your music combines some traditional Newfoundland and Irish tunes (‘Knows Ye Can’t Go Set’), along with some blues (‘Sally Brown’), techno/electronica & traditional blend (‘Exercise ’n Frustration’ – ed note: a favourite of mine), ballads (‘Beeswing’). What can we expect with your second solo album?

JW: Same here BUT… I think I may have pushed it a bit more; there is some more worldbeat (whatever that is) influence here. I think folk music is just a catch all term for whatever local styles are. If you love music and travel, you will take something from every place – perhaps subconsciously, but still it gets inside you. I hope this project is a reflection of  me and my influences, but rooted.

JLS: As a musician, what inspires you? Also, who’s music inspires you?

JW: I love different things for different reasons; I love the wizardry of great players – folk, blues, rock, classical etc. BUT I also love simple emotion whether it’s a 2-chord punk band ripping one or a Sean Nos singer from Ireland (old style solo singing in Irish). Emotional delivery for me is important, if you can only play/sing one piece, do it with feeling!

I am inspired moreso these days by people who tend to be balanced in their showcase vs message: Mark Knopfler, Richard Thompson, Ron Sexsmith, Colin Hay, Warren Zevon to name a few that say what they need to and don’t need to overstate or overplay to prove themselves (even though they could).

JLS: Newfoundland has just recently lost one of its beloved singer/songwriters in Ron Hynes, who recently passed away. His songs have been have been covered by many artists the world over. Two of my favourites of his are ‘The St. John’s Waltz’, and ‘Atlantic Blue’ (about the Ocean Ranger disaster). Which songs in particular of his stays with you and why?

JW: Ron Hynes was, and IS an incredible influence here and will be for some time. Like fine Scotch, some of his that I like best – I never liked at first, to be honest – until they sank in. But there are favs that I liked from the first listen – ‘Away’, ‘Man of a 1000 songs’ (which is eerily autobiographical for Ron), and ‘Final Breath’ (from Secret Nation). I also loved when Ron did Johnny Burke songs; Burke was kind of the Ron of the earlier century, and I feel Ron had a connection to him via his songs.

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JLS: You’ve worked with many local musicians, including Shannygannock, Pamela Morgan, The Punters, The Ennis Sisters. What other artists that you would love to work with, that you haven’t yet?

JW: I would love to work (and I hope I will) with the above again, and anyone else here locally that thinks I could bring something out in their songs as producer, tech or player. I would really like to do another compilation project like We Will Remain which I produced in 1998/99 to mark the 50 years of Confederation. Those projects are not cheap to produce as there are numerous acts and much time involved, but I think they allow everyone involved to shine through AND produce a project that may last as a cultural reference – sometimes well into the future. I think I should get that going as soon as I catch my breath from this one. haha…

JLS: Aside from your second solo album, what else have you been working on recently?

JW: A number of studio projects have come through here in the last few months, including a Christmas EP from Matthew Byrne and a stellar release from his brother Allan’s group Bluedrop – we have some projects booked tentative now for early Jan- I’ll keep you posted on progress and releases!

Photo © Chris LeDrew

Photo © Chris LeDrew

Blur is currently available in the iTunes Store and in Google Play Music, and on CD.

Jason Whelan’s studio contact information for rates, bookings, or more info…

Phone: 709-689-5580

Posted in Entertainment, Interviews | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Interview with Composer Fred Mollin

This is one of my early interviews that I found in one of my desk drawers recently and decided to post online. [Originally published in Fast Forward, the newsletter of the Fredericton Science Fiction Society, June 6, 1996]

An Interview with Fred Mollin
By Lynn Stapleton

On May 23, 1996, I had the opportunity to do a telephone interview with Forever Knight’s composer, Fred Mollin. Mr. Mollin has amassed a considerable career in music, ranging from producing albums for such artists as Jimmy Webb and Dan Hill. He has won one Gemini Award for series score for Beyond Reality, as well as two Juno Awards for Producer of the Year: Dan Hill; and Best Children’s Album: The Rugrats. He’s also received multiple nominations for Producer on Dan Hill’s “Sometimes When We Touch.” Mr. Mollin has a large body of work that ranges from series work, miniseries, cable movies and motion

Here, Mr. Mollin speaks of his experiences in the music business, his association with Forever Knight, upcoming projects, and the newly released Forever Knight Original Soundtrack Recording CD. The music was written by Fred Mollin, with guest appearances by Geraint Wyn Davies, Nigel Bennett, Lori Yates and Stan Meissner. Long Live the Knight!

LS: How old were you when you first got bitten by the musical bug?

FM: I’ve been playing music since I was really young. I started playing…my first instrument was drums, so we’re probably talking age 10. And then really when I made my first kind of professional music debut maybe when I was about 14 or 15. So I’ve been doing it since I was 13.

Image belongs to Fred Mollin.

Image belongs to Fred Mollin.

LS: Music sort of runs in my family. Does it in yours?

FM: Music didn’t run in mine. I don’t know where I got it from, but I got the musical bug really early. I didn’t really have much of a choice. I just followed my muse. I quit school when I was 16 to pursue music, so I’ve been a “professional musician” since I was 16.

LS: What sort of musical background did you have before composing for television and movies?

FM: Well, I was a singer/songwriter, and I had rock bands when I was in my teens and into my early twenties. I then went into performing acoustically as a singer/songwriter. I moved to Toronto because my older brother had moved there, and I wanted to check it out. When I was about 21, I made a career change that took a couple of years where I went from being a performer to a music arranger and then a record producer. Over the course of, let’s say, the next couple of years – so we’re talking the early seventies now – I made that change and all of a sudden we’re producing records. I produced records, pop albums for the better part of…I guess from 1970…’74 until about 1983. Within that time, I produced a lot of artists and had a lot of hits. I was very fortunate. Probably the biggest hit that you would know of in Canada would be Dan Hill’s “Sometimes When We Touch.”

LS: That’s one of my favourite songs.

FM: That I produced a long time ago. 1977 or 76, I think. So I was real fortunate that I was able to make that part of my career happen at an early time. Then I lived in L.A. For a number of years while I continued to produce records. In 1982, I moved back to Toronto and around that time I was fairly disillusioned with the record business and I just wanted to get more…I just wanted to get back to more of my own composing, my own music. So over the course of the next two or three more years I made a very slow transition from producing records to writing songs again, and then getting into TV and film music. I didn’t really plan to do that, it happened that things just worked out, and I had a couple of options. I took them and they worked out well. By 1985, I was full time composing for TV and film. So I can safely say for 11 years I’ve been a full time composer in this medium, whereas before 1985, I was still perceived as a record producer.

LS: I’ve noticed while watching the Canadian SHOWCASE Channel, where they air Friday 13th: The Series and Beyond Reality, that your name is listed there as composer.

FM: Right. More of my oldies, but goodies.

LS: You’ve also composed for the CBC drama, Liar, Liar.

FM: Yes, that’s a great film. I’ve also done a recent one for the CBC called Little Criminals.

LS:: I’ve seen ads for that.

FM: You must see that film. It’s brilliant. It’s so stark…so powerful.

LS: What kind of musical influences did you grow up with, that helped inspire you with the bands?

FM: I was very much…as opposed to…there’s a lot of TV and film composers that I’m sure you’ll talk to that would say, ‘I went to Julliard’ or ‘I studied here…’ and ‘I did this…’. I came from a whole different background, much more from the street, so to speak. I was from a middle class family in Long Island, NY, and I was completely taken by rock and roll by a very early age. By age five or six I was walking down the street, to the record store myself and buying records. I really loved rock and roll: it got me really excited by music, so my earliest influences were Buddy Holly, then around 12, it was The Beatles. And The Beatles were obviously the ultimate inspiration in a lot of ways, people like Elvis. All these were important influences. Then after The Beatles, I have so many people I was inspired by for my song writing, such as Jimmy Webb, Randy Newman, and James Taylor.

LS: And now you’ve been producing some of their music.

FM: Yes, I’ve been very fortunate, because I’ve been working with Jimmy Webb for twenty years. I’m just finishing a new album with him right now, actually. But I’ve been really lucky, I’ve had such good fortune in the music and recording business, and I’ve been doing it for a long time. It’s been one of these things where it’s as big a part of my life as anything. That’s really what started it. And my influences continue. I’m influenced now by the great TV and movie composers like John Williams, Dave Grusin and Randy Newman. There are so many people out there that I have such unbelievable high regard for.

LS: My most recent CD preferences have been the Forever Knight CD and the Braveheart CD.

FM: Who did Braveheart, James Horner?

LS: Yes, I believe so.

FM: Yeah, James Horner’s brilliant. There’s so many talented people out there, I feel like a phony. Like someone’s going to find me out.

LS: You’re not. What led you to composing for Forever Knight?

FM: There was a call that was made to my agent in L.A. That Paragon Pictures was looking for a composer for a new series, which of course at that point was Forever Knight. Actually, at that point it was still called Nick Knight. They put a call into about 10-20 different composers across Canada to pitch on it. Pitch on it means that they sent you a couple of treatments, with a couple of blurbs about what the producer wanted and you were to do a couple of sketches that were to evoke the mood of what you would do musically on the series. And I gotta tell you, I felt that there was a very strong chance that I wouldn’t get the job because I’d been working for Paragon a lot and they definitely touted me to Jim Parriott [Forever Knight producer] who I didn’t know. And I think Jim didn’t like being told who he should have. I knew that for real because at one point I think Jim told the guys at Paragon, “Look, don’t tell me who I should hire. It’s got to be my choice.” I remember telling my agent, Wayne Burgos – a great guy who died with AIDS, very sadly – that I wasn’t even going to pitch on this because I’m perceived as one of Paragon’s team, or something, and it seemed to me this guy wants to make his own mind up, and it seemed like I was starting off in a very bad way. I told Wayne, “Look, I don’t think I’m going to pitch on this, cause I think it’s a waste of time.” He told me not to do that, and just pitch it. If it was great, the guy was going to like it no matter what Paragon or whoever says. Basically Wayne said not do give upon it.

LS: The opening sequence is very evocative.

FM: Exactly. I did two pieces and one of the pieces I did turned out to be the theme. I mean, literally, outside of remixing it, that’s what I gave to Jim Parriott. He did have about 20 submissions, and they were all from the best composers in Canada. I really thought I didn’t have a chance in the world. Then it turns out I got the phone call saying we got the gig. That’s kind of the ultimate compliment because I had a lot going against me on that. When I met with Jim, we just got along so wonderfully, that it turned out to be – for my money – probably one of the best working relationships I’ve ever had. I can’t tell you how fortunate I feel that the music worked for him and I was able to have this wonderful give and take with this guy for the past four years. It’s been incredible.

LS: I had a group of friends over to watch the season finale, and it was great how the music added to the feel of the show.

FM: It was a great show.

LS: Very ambiguous ending.

FM: Absolutely. I spend about 10 minutes on the internet every night answering fans’ concerns, and I said, “Look, I don’t know if you were watching the same episode I watched, because you never see LaCroix kill Nick.

LS: And you never see Natalie actually die.

FM: You never see Natalie die. It’s totally ambiguous.

LS: I think the only one we know of for sure, would be Tracy.

FM: I think, yeah. And frankly, you know, if we had to lose Tracy, we lose Tracy, because she added an element to the show that was frankly more cop. I always felt, the only problem with the show is that sometimes it was too much of a cop show, and we love the vampire side. So I think we’re in very good shape because if they want to do a sequel movie or whatever, we’ve done nothing. I mean all we’ve done, as you say, is create an ambiguous ending, which we can easily change.

LS: The group on the fan-fiction list are going to be busy for the next while, because of the ambiguous endings, such as in “Last Night” and “Human Factor” [ep. 316].

FM: Exactly. On that one [“Human Factor”], clearly I believe that Nick brought Janette over, because the next day he sees the bodies and they have fang marks in them. Janette’s fangs. You know what. I think we’ve luckily left it [“Last Night”] ambiguous enough that if they need to come back to the show, doing a movie, or another season, we haven’t done anything wrong except create a lot of controversy. I loved the final episode. It was very emotional.

LS: Many of the show’s fans know that the cast is a close-knit group. Is that common or uncommon on other projects you’ve worked on?

FM: I think it’s not really that common, but at the same time, certainly the longer a show runs with the same team, I would imagine the closer you’d get. I think the fact that we were together in a sense, even though it was three seasons, it was actually four years. I think we just happened to get a little involved in each other’s lives, and I made wonderful friends. I think there’s a lot of the camaraderie there. It wasn’t unusual, though, maybe for a show that only ran for three seasons.

LS: What were some of your favourite episodes to score?

FM: Well, I probably would have to say the finale was the most emotional. I mean I really found myself getting very emotional as I was writing certain cues, like when he brings Natalie across, or not when he brings her across but when he bites her. ALS:o when I wrote the whole cue for Tracy, the whole thing after Tracy’s death, like all these things. When Tracy had to impale Vachon [“Ashes to Ashes”, ep. 321], that was very emotional. That show [AtA] was probably my most ambitious and probably my proudest moment, scorewise, because I think out of maybe…the show is 44 minutes long, so I would imagine there is 42 minutes of score in that episode. It’s all real big stuff and I felt great about it. I would say “Ashes to Ashes” was one of my favourite scores. ALS:o “Last Night” and “Queen of Harps” were my favourites. There’s one cute from “Avenging Angel” that they just let me go with no sound effects, just me.

LS: That’s one of the scores on the CD.

FM: Yes. There were 70 episodes, and there’s a lot of shows I loved.

LS: “Undue Process” is one of my all-time favourite episodes.

FM: “Undue Process.” Absolutely. That was another very emotional show. That’s on the CD as well. There’s a lot of favourites, but certainly of the third season, “Ashes to Ashes,” and “Last Night” are real high up on the list. There are a few others earlier on, too.

LS: How much creative leeway do you have with composing an episode?

FM: I have a lot. I was very lucky in that I was able to establish a form and a style with Jim. And once I kinda locked with it, he liked it. It was kind of like, ‘Okay, Fred. You run with the ball now.’ So I had a lot of freedom to work within the world that I had created that he liked. I couldn’t go too much further to the left or right, but as long as I stayed within the realm that he liked, I basically got to score the show as I saw fit. And it was a wonderful amount of trust. It was an incredible experience.

LS: From any of the different episodes, what was your favourite moment?

FM: Well, that’s a good question. There were so many. I have to go back to the most recent shows. I think just “Last Knight” overall. There’s just so many incredible moments in that show. I think the moment in “Ashes to Ashes” with Divia and LaCroix.

LS: Kathryn Long did a fabulous job as Divia.

FM: Yeah, that’s incredible job. I loved the scenes, the montage in “Avenging Angel.” I think that was kind of direction we could have taken in a fourth season. I loved “Queen of Harps” which just had great production value, wonderful scenes.

LS: I like the flashbacks.

FM: The flashbacks are always really rich. There were wonderful flashbacks on the train where they meet the young Hitler [“Jane Doe”] – those are great flashbacks. I love the show. I was a big fan, as well as being a big part of the show. I was a huge fan.

LS: A number of the fans know that the cast are into playing practical jokes on each other. Have you ever been on the receiving end of a practical joke on the set?

FM: Yes, I was the butt of one. On one episode called “Blood Money,” which was the last episode of season two. Ger [Geraint Wyn Davies] directed it. It was…Ger basically asking all his friends to do little cameos, walk-throughs, or extra parts. I had seen him in a restaurant a couple nights before he was shooting, and he says, ‘Ah, you’ve got to come on the set and I’ll put you in one of the scenes and you’ll do a walkthrough. I told him it sounded great, no problem, and it sounded like fun. In Toronto, I don’t live far from where they shot the show, so I said, ‘No problem.’ I went there and said, ‘Okay, look. I’ve got on my black jacket, black t-shirt.’

LS: They’ll stick you in the Raven.

FM: I said I’ll be like a Raven customer, and he said, ‘Great.’ So the day we shot in the Raven, I hung around and shoot the shit with everybody. When they wanted to shoot the scene, the one they wanted me in the background for, Ger kind of choreographed it, and it was a scene where Janette and Nick walked through the doors of the Raven; they were talking. He choreographed it with Lori [Yates] singing in the background. I kind of walked through, and he found an extra, blond hair, very attractive girl who was going to be fake talking to me in the background, as in the foreground, Janette and Nick are still talking. And so basically as an extra – I’m an actor and have been for many years, and I’m kind of a performer, so I know all that side of it. For people who don’t, as an extra, you never look at the camera, you’re always supposed to be doing your thing, whether its talking to someone or whatever. So I never looked to see where the camera was, I was looking at my companion, this fetching girl, faking talking and we were doing rehearsals. Then they do the first take. I wasn’t watching where the camera was going, cause I’m imagining the camera is on Janette and Nick, and it’s none of my business. I’m just an extra doing my extra business.

LS: So Ger just brings the camera around in front of your face…

FM: That’s just what I was going to say. What Ger had done is that he had told the girl on a certain direction or count or something to basically lock lips with me, and to really as close to sexually overtaking me, except with all her clothes on. The girl basically starting kissing me, this is while the camera is rolling, and I’m thinking to myself this girl is really thinking that she’s going to get a better extra part, if instead of fake talking, she’s faking that we’re kissing. Next thing I know, she’s jamming her tongue down my throat, and you know I’m a married guy, and I’m getting sweaty here. Of course by now I’m hearing laughter because the camera is right at my face. So they got all this on film of me being a) caught by surprise and b) being embarrassed, but the camera’s there and its like ‘oh shit’. They really got me on that.

LS: That’s one shot that didn’t make it to the Blooper Reel.

FM:: It didn’t make it to the joke real and I’m thankful. I was probably so shocked and embarrassed, that it would have been so hysterical. But yes, I was the butt of Ger’s practical joke at that point.

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LS: How were the selections for the Forever Knight CD chosen?

FM:: I didn’t choose them. I sent every single show’s score down to Mark Banning at the label, at Crescendo Records. Mark was patient enough and loved the show enough to go through all the cues and he picked out what he liked. Once he picked out what he liked, I then added a couple of suggestions on my end, and then I sorted through what he liked. We then kind of got to an agreement on what should be on the album.

LS: Some of Nigel’s [Bennett] cues are very interesting.

FM: Those are great. Nigel wrote them himself and he was very funny. We came in on a Sunday morning and did those real quick. It took him ten minutes to do them and we were all on the floor laughing, because they were so good.

LS: Are there any science fiction programs that you haven’t done that you would like to score for?

FM: That’s an interesting question. I’m not usually a huge sci-fi or horror fan, believe it or not, even though I do a lot of horror and science fiction scoring. So I can’t really say there is. You know I’m not really a Star Trek fan…I wouldn’t say that I aspire to scoring great projects. I don’t care what genre. I mean, if you give me a great drama, thriller, comedy, romance…I’m delighted to do a good project. I don’t really shoot for sci-fi or horror as my idiom. Actually, these days, I’m trying to get out of that a bit because it can pigeon-hole you.

LS: I remember that you had done some scoring for The Outer Limits. From that interview it seemed that the experience was not a fond one.

FM: No. The L.A. producer was a very bad person to work with, and made you realise how wonderful someone like Jim Parriott is. You get very thankful on a show like Forever Knight when you’ve worked on The Outer Limits, which is the opposite.

LS: Parriott seemed to have had a good handle on the show from the start.

FM: He’s just a brilliant guy, and he’s someone that once you’ve earned his trust, he allows you to do your best work.

LS: Aside from the Forever Knight CD and the Friday 13: The Series CD, are there any of your other compilations on CD?

FM: I don’t have any other compilations. I do have, of course, the records I’ve produced, but there’s actually a two-volume compilation album called ‘Vinyard Sound’. It’s on Critique, which is distributed by BMG, and it’s a pretty interesting one and worth a listen. It’s different musical artists from Martha’s Vinyard and there’s a cut of mine on each of the volumes. I’ve got an instrumental kind of new-age cut. There’s one on Volume I called “Kataima Meditations”, and on Volume II, there’s one called “Last Boat Home”. It’s all local bands, well-established artists and all the money goes to charities. They are lovely compilations and are available at the large record stores. As well as the things that I do in record production, I have a new album coming out in September for Jimmy Webb that I’m in the middle of producing now. That will be out on Guardian Records, which is part of BMI, and it will be called ‘Ten Easy Pieces’. Jimmy Webb is singing his most famous songs in kind of an unplugged setting and it’s wonderful. It’s going to be incredible.

LS: Will the sheet music for the main title [of Forever Knight] ever be released?

FM: I’m hoping that the main title theme will be released in a sheet music folio of other TV themes. The person you want to contact – and I suggest all fans contact – is Laura Levinsky. She’s at the Music Department of Tri-Star Television in Culver City. Laura is a lovely gal and the more letters and the more phone calls she gets about it, she can pass it on to whoever is involved. I think the more demand, the more they’ll be willing to put it out. [Laura Levinsky, Department of Music, Tri-Star/Columbia Pictures TV, 10202 Washington Blvd, Culver City, CA, 90230, USA].

LS:: I had noticed recently on the FK listservs that there are requests being made to various sci-fi companies to produce Forever Knight merchandise, and get it out there.

FM: That’s something Tri-Star should have done right off the bad. It’s really sad that Tri-Star didn’t understand what they had, because had they merchandised the show, we’d already be in our fifth season and they’d have had a hit on their hands.

LS: Had they even advertised the show, really.

FM: Exactly. They didn’t publicize, they didn’t advertise, and they didn’t merchandise or market, and what a shame because the fans out there wanted it.

LS: Where can we expect to hear from you next, other than the CD with Jimmy Webb?

FM: Well, at the moment, I just finished a movie called The Abduction for the US Lifetime channel and the Canadian network, The Movie Network. It stars Victoria Principle and Robert Hayes. I’m in the middle of Jimmy’s album. To be honest, that’s what I’ve got going. One of the things I’ve been doing over the last couple of years, actually the past year and a half, I’ve been building a library of music for Hard Copy – Paramount’s tabloid show. Lots of people do watch it to get the gossipy junk. But if you do watch Hard Copy, about 70% of the dramatic score would be mine. That’s on a daily basis. I’m continually evolving my library of music for them. So, between that, Jimmy’s thing, and the movie, it’s kept me pretty busy. I look forward to a new series or two for September, but so far we have not lined up anything particularly exciting yet. These things tend to happen now they start organising for a new season.

LS: I’ve been watching a good amount of Canadian programming and I continue to see your name come up in the credits as composer. You’ve become quite successful.

FM: I’ve been very lucky. In the past ten years I’ve amassed a lot of credit. I’ve got a lot of products out there because I’ve been very busy, I feel pretty lucky.

LS: I haven’t got any further questions for you, but I would like to thank you.

FM: I would like to thank you and the rest of the fans.

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