Call the Midwife s03e00 Episode Script

Christmas Special

1 MUSIC: "It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas" Can I have a go? Chestnuts, chestnuts! All right, boys? You all right? 'At Christmas we like to see things in their proper place.
'We unwrap the ancient legends and the oldest truths.
'We like our angels unchanged and our rituals familiar.
' Chestnuts! 'We like the right faces around the table, 'the right carols to be sung, 'the promise that this is how it is and will always be.
' Happy Christmas, Nurse! Hello! Mistletoe! Hello, Fred.
Merry Christmas to you.
Season's cheer and a ho-ho-ho! 'Because that is Christmas.
'The one still point in a world forever turning.
' Hello, Nurse Lee.
Hello, Shirley.
Merry Christmas.
Boys.
Your antlers are very big, aren't they? Buy yourself some mistletoe! Christmas cheer and a ho-ho-ho! Buy yourself some mistletoe You got a hawker's licence for that, Fred? Don't want the costermongers kicking off.
I can't just give it away.
I've been all round Epping Forest! Proper countryside, that is.
I need danger money.
It's a shilling a bunch.
Sixpence.
And a blind eye.
Christmas cheer and a ho-ho-ho! Oh, sorry, Sister Evangelina, I nearly forgot.
Half a pound of dolly mixtures, as requested.
I requested barley sugar twists.
But it's Christmas.
I thought dolly mixtures might be a bit more festive.
Oh, yes, very festive for the child who's had his jab, dithering over which one to take! Meanwhile, the child behind works himself into the heebie-jeebies, and won't roll his sleeve up for the needle! Sorry, Sister.
Afternoon.
Ready for the off? Make yourself useful.
Take all the jujubes out of there.
They're everyone's favourite, and we don't want a riot on our hands.
After which you can give them to Dr Turner, as a thank you for setting all this up on the day the kiddies have their concerts! I hadn't much choice.
The national programme's been rolling out too slowly, and we've had half a dozen cases in the district since November.
I've got the eights-to-elevens booked for first thing in the New Year.
Hopefully we can avert an epidemic.
I can't believe he's getting married in three days.
And to Sister Bernadette! He really does look happy.
Men generally do when they've got everything they want.
That's right, get it all out your system! Now.
Who wants to go first, Dasher or Dancer or Donner or Blitzen? I want to go first! Me! Yes.
Father Christmas will come and see Freddie.
Yes, he will.
I can't tell you how glad I am to see you! I've been followed around all day by the smell of young sir's vomit, and I've just found out it's in the turn-up of my trousers.
Guess what I've got behind my back? Not the smallest idea, but if it's a steak and kidney pie, I shall love you forever.
Sorry.
Never mind.
Same sentiment applies.
Hello! Whose turn is it now? Petticoat tails? Another Yuletide gesture from a grateful patient.
I thought you were doing the polio vaccinations.
Finished.
I need some addresses for my house calls.
What are you doing? I'm trying to bring on the hyacinth in Sister Monica Joan's table decoration.
It's going to be all hands to the pump on this one.
I told her they'd be too cold on that sideboard.
And damp.
The Christmas serviettes were absolutely green with mould.
And have you seen the mushrooms growing in the cloisters? Yes, but don't tell Sister Monica Joan.
She'll be sprucing them up with tinsel and some glitter.
Alec thinks we could be here for another 18 months.
They're behind on the rebuilding programme.
Until they catch up, they won't knock Nonnatus down.
Really? We'd be none the wiser if your new squeeze wasn't a council surveyor.
Oh, speaking of which He called and left a message.
Nonnatus House, midwife speaking.
Oh.
Hello, Sergeant.
Dare one ask if you had any luck with the estate agent? Camilla, there are no family homes to rent anywhere.
I know.
But one mustn't give up hope! The station called.
There's been an incident at the building site on Rake Street.
At least it's only round the corner.
Ah, Nurse Lee! Our usual teatime appointment.
My dear Shelagh! Hello, Sister Julienne.
It's so very good to see you.
The bride to be! I was on my way to sit with Timothy while he does his homework.
Dr Turner's out on call, and my lodgings aren't far away.
Is there something very special in that box? My wedding dress.
I've just been to collect it.
It's knee length.
Really quite simple.
And for that very reason, you'll look exquisite in it.
Christmas Eve is a beautiful day to be married.
It'll be a quiet ceremony.
Timothy will come with us, of course.
I understand.
Nevertheless, we'd hoped we'd see you more often.
I don't like to trouble you.
Nonnatus House is such a busy place.
We aren't too busy to include you in our prayers.
That means a very great deal to me, Sister.
And I thank you for it.
Six days overdue.
If it hasn't come by Christmas, I'll be skipping the sherry and swigging castor oil.
Baby's head's well down and nicely engaged.
It won't be long now.
Alan! You can come in.
Everything all right, Nurse? Couldn't be better.
What about you? Are you ill in bed? Oh, had a bout of malaria.
It flares up every now and then.
Did you pick it up during National Service? Yeah, Korea.
Makes me sweat like I don't know what, but the doctor gives me quinine pills.
I'll be fine in a day or two.
She's the one who wants looking after.
Yvonne? She's in fine fettle.
She can potter about as normal.
Just stay close to home.
What if Yvonne has it on Christmas Day? What if there's no-one there to help? It gives me nightmares.
Alan, Nurse doesn't want to hear about your nightmares.
Just telephone Nonnatus House.
We're like the Windmill Girls - we never close! While shepherds washed their socks by night All seated round the tub You blasphemous lot! The nuns'll have us all thrown out onto the street! I doubt it.
We just sidled past the parlour with these innocuous little bottles of Babycham under our cardies and they were all drinking whisky sours and playing poker.
They're getting themselves in the mood for carol singing! We've got exactly ten minutes to have a quick brightener ourselves.
Gosh.
Do you suppose you ought to be traipsing round hospitals and clinics smelling of strong drink? Babycham isn't a strong drink, Chummy.
It's made of pears.
There's no limit to her sophistication now she's got a boyfriend! Are you sure you won't come with us? No, I've hung up my carol singer's lantern.
Some things are worth staying in for.
Cheers! What do you think? Why are you asking me? I'm not a woman.
I'm not even a girl.
I needed a second opinion.
And I can't ask your father.
He's the groom, so it's unlucky.
Why isn't it white? It's nearly white.
It's grey.
I wanted somethingunderstated.
Oh.
I heard a woman in the sweetshop saying you were doing it all hole and corner because you'd been married before.
To Jesus.
She said you were like a divorced person.
You're doing that in quite a cross way.
I am cross.
But not with you.
It's all right, Maggie.
Just breathe deeply.
Doctor has everything in hand.
Blade's in position.
Can I hear singing? Yes.
That'll be something to tell baby, won't it, in the years to come? Now, here we go, now, breathe! That's it, Maggie, now, there we go! Push! Push, there we go.
Good girl! May we do And ever morn and day For thy parting neither say nor sing A little girl, Maggie.
Aren't you just the best thing anyone ever got for Christmas? Textbook forceps, if I say so myself! What was the problem? Deep transverse arrest.
Oh, dear! We were all done and dusted by the time the nuns got onto Away In A Manger.
It's the first year I haven't joined in the carol singing.
You've other things to think about.
I know.
I ordered your bouquet today.
White roses and carnations.
And freesias, because the shop lady said a bride should carry scented flowers.
Patrick, that's terribly extravagant! In the convent, we only had roses on St Raymond's Feast Day.
Shelagh The Sisters ask after you every day.
It's not too late to invite them to the wedding.
Yes, it is.
I know I saw them all at Freddie's christening.
But I just felt soawkward.
They wouldn't want you to feel like that.
They love you.
And I wish they didn't.
Because I left them for something I loved more.
I can't get over the sense that I've rejected them.
You'll feel better than this.
We'll find a way, I promise you.
There were rules in the religious life.
But no-one ever told me what the rules were afterwards.
I think perhaps I have to write my own.
Oh, no Oh, no! No! I'm on my way! Peter! Where's your key? I'm here on official business.
Has the electricity gone off? I'm sorry.
I think a fuse blew in Trixie's hairdryer! That's the least of our worries.
Hello? Jenny, get up and get dressed! We've got to evacuate the building! Why? What's the matter? They've found an unexploded bomb.
What? Trixie? It's right next to an old warehouse.
They found it when they were underpinning the foundations.
It took hours for the experts to arrive, and now half the bloomin' Army's on its way.
Why isn't there any electricity? Oh.
Precautionary measure.
There were exposed wires in the immediate vicinity.
Peter, spare me the police jargon, and shine your torch on something useful.
On what? The baby? Bedside table.
Then I could find my glasses, which would be a start! Thank you.
Evacuate the building! Evacuate the building, please! I think the leccie's off.
There's an unexploded bomb in the next street! A bomb? Wakey, wakey! We have to evacuate the building! All right! All right! Keep your hair on! Come on, now.
You're sweating, Al.
It's It's the malaria.
It's not.
I know it's not.
Evacuate the building! Keep it moving.
Come along, now.
I have to say I feel rather like Mary, when Herod decreed the cull of the first born and she had to flee to Egypt with the infant Jesus.
Where's Sister Monica Joan? Oh, I reckon I heard her in the kitchen.
Unless the rats are back.
With hindsight, I wish I'd sent her to the Mother House with the choir sisters for Christmas.
She'll find it so distressing being uprooted! Out of the night that covers me Black as the pit from pole to pole, I thank whatever gods there be For my unconquerable soul! I hope that's a cake tin underneath your scapula.
No, it is the hyacinths.
Which I did not care to see abandoned! That's it.
Make your way to the Leopold Institute! Keep moving, please.
Ladies and gentlemen, turn left and make your way to the Leopold Institute! The Leopold Institute is your designated rescue centre.
Er, stick together, young madams.
Where are the Sisters? Sister Evangelina's gone on ahead.
The others are behind us.
More to the point, what are you up to? You're quite the dark horse, Fred! I am, in fact - it seems to have escaped your notice - a Civil Defence Volunteer.
Observe, if you would, the uniform.
It's terribly smart.
Thank you, Nurse Miller.
Ladies and gentlemen, turn left and make your way Do you suppose the lights will be on when we get there? I hope not.
I've still got my pin curls in.
The Leopold Institute is your designated rescue centre.
Ladies and gentlemen, turn left and make your way to the Leopold Institute! The Leopold Institute Good evening, ladies and gentlemen! Then again, as it's 3am, maybe I should say, "Good morning".
Now, I want this hall properly organised.
Is that the fastest you can move? Or is there a switch for emergency mode? This ain't the Blitz.
Never mind the technicalities.
Dozens of families are homeless, and there'll be children crying for their beds.
Now then, don't go putting any Bourbons out.
They create expectations we'll struggle to fulfil.
Shelagh? I'm sorry to wake you, Patrick.
Any room at the inn? Right Right! A word of warning! This is a civic emergency, and not a football match.
Anyone that doesn't walk into the Rescue Centre in an orderly manner and behave with courtesy and consideration will be disciplined.
By me.
Is that a threat or a promise? Right! Come along.
Do come in! It's warm and there are beds available.
Yvonne! We won't sleep.
I can't.
And I've been keeping him awake, pacing up and down, tidying and folding.
She needs to be at home.
This'll have to be your home for now.
It's not for long.
I'd so much rather you had my bed.
I can easily bunk down on here.
You'd not get a wink of sleep.
Your feet would be hanging right over the end! And it's only for the night.
Will we still be able to get to the church if there's a bomb? I hadn't thought of that! The Parish Hall is cordoned off, but the church is safe.
It was the first thing I asked the policeman I saw.
Now nothing will stand in the way of this wedding.
I won't allow it.
How many days to the wedding? Two! Spot on.
It's worth checking, after a stressful experience like this.
The most important thing now is you get as much rest as you can.
They still do Scottish dancing on a Thursday night.
A kiddie's class, like we did? Yeah.
You should have brought your kilt.
My maiden name was McKenzie.
This is where we met when we were seven.
I was eight.
I'd suggest you go into the hall now, and get yourselves settled.
Do we have to? Well, there are still a few camp beds available.
I can make sure you two get a cosy corner somewhere.
We'd get more sleep in here.
And it's nearer the lav, which suits me, obviously.
If we get bored, we can do a bit of Scottish dancing.
Can't we, Al? All right, I'll get a couple of camp beds sent in.
Ssh.
I see the Lone Ranger's come looking for Trigger.
Peter? She's in the far corner.
Thank you.
Look who's here.
Hey.
Ssh.
Ssh.
He must wonder what on earth's going on.
Poor little soldier.
You wouldn't look in the holdall, see if I brought the gripe water? One had all manner of fantasies about young sir's first Christmas.
None of them seem to have quite come true.
Never mind.
I don't.
Just having him in my arms is miracle enough.
No gripe water, but you've packed your Akela hat and whistle.
Well, the Scouting motto is "Be prepared".
Ssh.
No No No.
Fixed bayonet.
Fixed! It's all right.
Alan! It's all right.
Damp.
At least it makes me feel at home.
Now then, let us say Lauds, Sister.
It will prepare us for the day.
I do not care to.
Since Sister Bernadette departed, when we sing, there is silence at the heart of every note.
Our prayers falter, like a wing with a feather gone.
We take flight, but we do not soar.
Music is the vehicle, Sister, not the journey.
Our destination does not change.
Sister Bernadette veered very far from course.
She forswore the succour of the spirit for the slaking of the flesh, and I am haunted by the thought that she confused her appetites.
The only appetites we need to concern ourselves with are those of the people in the hall out there.
They will be hollering for their breakfast any minute! But you have said what we all feel.
Which is that we miss our Sister.
Hark, now hear the angels sing A new king born today And man will live Would you like some toast, Timothy? Yes.
That would be smashing! The damage to this area in the Blitz was colossal.
The next street was flattened by a direct hit.
This bomb only caused limited damage, but it was overlooked.
How? Didn't somebody count them, keep track? Well, they tried, but there was just so many.
In the chaos afterwards, the original crater was just patched over.
I said no unauthorised personnel! Mr Jesmonde's from the council, sir.
Oh.
Sorry.
Saw the Hush Puppies, thought you were a journalist.
No, sir.
No, the only report I'm filing is for the Council Architects' department.
Be keeping your lot busy if this goes pop.
You'll be rebuilding the whole ruddy street from scratch.
Iced buns! Iced buns! Iced buns donated by a kindly baker.
Tuck in.
Working men get first pick! Never mind working men.
What about growing boys? Oh, the kindly baker sent some dry bread.
I can't eat dry bread! I'll make you eat it, if you don't behave.
And I don't want you or anyone else being profligate with the milk! That crate should've lasted the duration.
The children keep asking for it, Sister Evangelina.
They're not going to get rickets if they go without for half a day! We've got mothers in here with nerves like cat meat.
Two hours' sleep, can't fetch a clean nappy, can't rinse out a wet one.
That milk is for their tea.
Pack, pack, pack! I want all members of the 5th Poplar Cubs to come here immediately and form a line.
Now, I want you all to put one of these scarves on.
I've decided that as we find ourselves in rather peculiar circumstances, we're going to treat it all as a terrific challenge.
Like camping, or cycling proficiency.
And everyone who conducts themselves according to the rules of scouting and thinks of others before himself will be awarded a Star Badge.
What about the Christmas party? It was meant to be tomorrow.
Yes, I know that.
it will have to be postponed because we can't get into the Parish Hall.
Can't we have it here? Jack, I don't think worrying about the Christmas party counts as thinking of others before ourselves! Nurse Miller is quite right.
Now, before we start, what sort of Cubs are we? We're Wolf Cubs, not Reindeer Cubs.
Reindeers don't have cubs, they have calves.
So, antlers off, please, Nigel, or you won't get a hockey stick.
Have there been any new developments, sir? Sorry.
I'm under orders not to give details.
Will people be able to go home for Christmas? Excuse me.
You are impeding Officers of the Law from going about their duty during a civic emergency! Get back to your camping stool.
We'll alert you when you're wanted.
Captain Goodacre asked for you to report directly to him at the crater, Constable.
Thanks, Fred.
Superintendent sends his compliments.
What's the problem, sir? Looks like Santa left a surprise in our stocking! And I don't mean two walnuts and a tangerine.
This one's a double-fuser.
One ill-timed tap and the whole ruddy thing will go sky-high.
I'm not going near it.
The best man for the job is semi-retired and in the Scottish Borders.
The soonest he can get here is tomorrow.
The authorities are aware that you want to get home, but the bomb has to be treated as live until proven otherwise! The rescue centre will remain open, and the WVS and the Sisters of St Raymond Nonnatus Trixie.
.
.
will be providing refreshments for another night! Good grief, Yvonne, you don't look at all comfortable! It's like there's a hand inside the bottom of my back, and every so often it just gives a really hard squeeze.
It might well be the beginnings of labour.
And about time, too.
Perhaps you'd like to pop outside for a bit.
There's tea, and I think I spied some Custard Creams.
Can't I stay here? We don't have any secrets, nurse.
He'll look away.
Won't ya? No! No, please.
I told you the rules.
You're meant to hit the ball! That wasn't very nice! Well, if full-blown labour is a blizzard, I think those twinges are just the first few snowflakes.
I reckon I'm relieved.
I want to have it in my own bed.
Course you do.
None of us know when we'll see our own beds again, that's the trouble.
For two pins, I'd detonate that wretched bomb myself! One quick blast Mr Bridges? Mr Bridges? We need to make sure you don't need medical attention.
(Jenny.
Speak softly.
) (What's his name?) (Alan.
) Alan? You can come out now.
It's safe.
Alan, it's safe, I promise.
(Alan, it's all right.
) I think you'll get away without having to have stitches.
Beastly old red stuff's not oozing quite so fast.
Blood on my hands, eh? My father fought in Mesopotamia.
When I was told where I was being posted .
.
we didn't even know where Korea was.
We had to go to the library and look in an atlas.
Never thought I'd have to kill a man.
I was Reemy, I-I fixed spark plugs.
But the Chinese They never stopped coming.
We needed all the fire power we could raise.
Then they came at night.
They came so close, we had to use our bayonets.
It was like carving meat in the dark.
Blood dries on khaki.
You can't get it out.
And when you sweat, it smells likeliver in a butcher's.
Can you smell it now, Alan? I can always smell it when my nerves are bad.
Alan.
No-one wants to hear about your nerves.
Sorry.
I ought to have more self-control.
I don't ever want to hear you say that again! Never seen such a young man so broken.
Nor a couple so close and so distressed.
They've been together since they were children and this should be the sweetest chapter of their lives! Alan needs psychiatric treatment.
We should talk to Dr Turner after Christmas and arrange for him to get assessed.
After Christmas? After Christmas is a week away.
He can't sleep for more than hour at a time and he smells blood every moment he's awake! Now, listen here, old thing.
Sister Evangelina turned her back on the milk crate just for long enough for me to smuggle a pint away, under the cover of my cardigan.
I'm going to make us all a mug of Horlicks.
For pity's sake, Chummy! You may have given up nursing but surely you don't believe Horlicks can cure everything?! Horlicks.
They're getting out the burns kit in case you throw it at me.
People called it shell shock in the Great War.
Battle fatigue, in the war after that.
My mother just called it the horrors.
My father didn't speak of it at all.
At homehe didn't have to.
Outside .
.
nobody did.
You didn't tell me that.
Exactly.
My father had appalling nightmares all his life.
One of my earliest memories was of waking in the dark to hear him screaming in his sleep.
I wasn't supposed to know.
Mother looked after him at night.
And in the daytime, it was my turn.
When you were a child? BECAUSE I was a child! I used to be able to crank up my "dimples and sunshine" routine and be extra-specially funny and enchanting for exactly as long as it took to make him smile.
I'm sorry, Trixie.
That's an intolerable burden to place on someone so young.
Yes.
Yet one way or another - roll of drums .
.
it made me the person I am today.
And it helped HIM.
How can it help Alan, do you suppose? We have to give him hope.
We have to show him something bigger than the horrors Something that can wash away the blood.
Doctor is out on a house call, Nurse Noakes.
Do you want to step into the sitting room and wait? I was actually hoping to see you.
And I'm no more "Nurse Noakes" these days than you're Sister Bernadette.
I suppose not.
I don't suppose you're up for doing an old pal and a lot of small boys a favour? MUSIC: "Rocking Around The Christmas Tree" by Peggy Lee No skulking around the chairs, Gary, waiting for your chance! Be careful with the baby, Jack.
He'll bring his milk up.
I want everyone dancing all around the room! It's only me, Mrs Goldman! Remember to lock the door, Alec.
(All right) Up you get.
This way, she only hears one set of footsteps.
Do you think any less of me because I'm petrified of my landlady? No.
I'm in awe of your daring and bravado.
And, frankly, grateful for a cup of Nescafe.
There's only tea at the rescue centre.
Can I tempt you to a Garibaldi? One of our special biscuits? I could eat the whole packet! Oh, I can't tell you how much I'm loving this quiet.
And smelling your cologne, instead of stale bodies and old plimsolls.
What time do you have to go back? In about an hour or so.
Sooner, if Mrs Goldman stages a raid on your room.
The perils of living in digs, eh? I live in a convent, Alec.
You'll get no sympathy from me! Are you looking forward to coming for Christmas dinner? Absolutely.
The Sisters couldn't invite you fast enough when I told them your parents live in Ceylon.
I've bought a new bow tie and a bottle of Tio Pepe.
Ha-ha! I'll have to warn them in advance.
They can dust off the sherry glasses! Are you sure you don't want to come here with the girls? If I stay in Mrs Goldman's good books she might let me put a capon in her oven No, Alec! The nuns'll be heartbroken.
And besides, I've already washed and ironed all the Christmas serviettes, so I want you to appreciate my handiwork.
Understood.
Nonnatus House is your home now, isn't it? Yes.
We might not get another Christmas there if it's demolished.
Sorry.
I'll forgive you.
If you pass me a Garibaldi.
Pack, pack, pack! Now it's time to get back to the rescue centre! You heard Akela! I'm sure nobody wants a pillowcase full of cinders! Come on, lads! One sweet each and then everyone is to follow me, and if you all behave we will take a detour past the cordon so you can see the bombsite.
Merry Christmas.
Come on, boys.
Chop chop, Jack.
'Tis the season to be jolly! The party gave me a headache.
What are you doing, Timothy? I'm looking at my tongue.
The cherryade turned it red.
Yvonne? It's all right.
There's nothing happening.
Just couldn't sleep.
Well, that's quite normal at this stage.
It's usually Alan tossing and turning.
How is he? Exhausted, I reckon.
Gets him like this once in a while.
Malaria brings it on.
Or bad things happening.
We manage.
You really understand him, don't you? He understands me.
We do most things together.
Always did.
Ever since Scottish dancing.
Except when he went to Korea.
I always thinkif I could've gone, if it had been me, too I wish I could've shared the things that hurt him.
Cos then I could share the things that hurt him now.
And the pain would be halved.
Cos that's what sharing does.
That's what love does.
Yes.
Here we go, chaps.
Sir.
Sir.
Major Fawcett.
Looking very good, sir, if I may say.
Couldn't quite do all the buttons up.
Rather too much pipe and slippers, I'm afraid.
Comes to us all.
Yes.
If we're lucky.
A man? In a delivery room? A man present at the birth of his child.
Alan and Yvonne have shared everything that matters since they were tiny children, so why shouldn't they share the most profound and precious thing of all? Nurse Lee, quite apart from any other concerns, Alan Bridges is emotionally unwell.
But by seeing his baby being born and supporting Yvonne, it could really help him.
Your concern does you credit, but he will be helped in due course, and in the proper way.
I'm sorry, Sister, I really am, but in the modern world, who's to say what's the proper way? Well, it's not dragging a man in where he doesn't belong! We think he does belong there.
He's weak, and ashamed, and he needs to know he has the strength to support his wife, and protect his child.
And what about the mother, Nurse? What about your patient? I think, deep down, she needs to know that too! Oh, you do, do Nurse Lee, and Nurse Franklin.
I suggest you both go and look at the log book.
However upside down the world seems to be, we still have calls to make and patients to look after.
O little town of Bethlehem How still we see thee lie Sing out, Jack! Show the little ones how it's done.
Above thy deep and dreamless sleep Urgh! Oh, dear.
One last quick visit to the surgery, then it's the barber's for us two.
Meanwhile, Auntie Shelagh's gone up west.
Something to do with her outfit for the wedding.
Women.
Eat up and get dressed, son.
Hello.
Turner speaking.
I see I have to go to the rescue centre.
I'll be back as soon as I can.
But what about the barber's? You said we were going to go together.
And you said I could have Brylcreem.
We'll go tomorrow, first thing in the morning.
And tonight I will take you for a fry-up, at Capriani's caff.
It can be our stag do.
Stag do? Well, you are going to be my best man, aren't you? Really? I need somebody to keep me in order.
Shiny shoes, ironed shirt, best bib and tucker.
I wouldn't have anyone else.
Once upon a time, we thought the 17 Type fuse had a maximum life of 80 hours.
What we didn't realise was that the clocks were often faulty.
If they jammed, and the bomb was preserved in the cold, the electrical charge wouldn't last for hours, but years.
I once saw one go off so viciously and with so little warning that we found my sergeant's tunic button embedded in a door two streets away.
Nothing else was left.
It's all right, Jack.
Doctor will be finished in a moment.
Can you wiggle your toes for me? You were right to send for me.
Keep him isolated, while I arrange an ambulance.
Just so you know, we do part exchange, if you want to push the boat out and go for something fancier.
Have you considered ballerina length? You've got a lovely pair of ankles.
You really ought to be showing them off, maybe with a satin stiletto? I'm not sure.
Is it usual, for a bride to go off her dress? It happens.
But once you do a bit of prodding, you usually find that what's really going on is that they've gone off the groom.
Would you put the original dress back in its box, please? There's plenty of stock you haven't looked at yet.
We've got three designs inspired by Princess Grace of Monaco, though we normally only recommend those for the, er, taller bride.
No.
Thank you.
As you wish.
Polio? We won't know for sure until after the lumbar puncture.
But half the children still aren't vaccinated, and in overcrowded conditions like these, the virus could spread quickly.
It could spread like wildfire.
I'm calling the Chief Medical Officer to say we want them all back in their own homes, and the vaccinations expedited.
I wonder if you're dithering because you came in on your own.
Most people bring their mothers.
My mother died when I was a child.
That's a shame.
Brides need mothers.
How else are you going to get your veil on straight? I'm wearing a hat, not a veil.
Oh.
Have you got any sisters? No.
Oh.
I'm sorry, this is urgent.
I'm trying to avert a potential epidemic.
'Would you like to hold?' No.
I would like to be connected, please.
Hello? Timothy? Timothy! Timothy? Wake up.
Timothy, dearest.
Can you sit up for me? Timothy.
I need you to sit up.
Come on.
Stir your stumps.
Can't.
Timothy, can you wiggle your toes? Stand back, please, Mother.
Please.
I'm a trained nurse.
I've seen polio before.
Let's leave the diagnosis to the doctors, shall we? I keep thinking of all the things I should've done.
Or shouldn't have done.
The things I should have spotted but I didn't.
Your immunities protected him throughout infancy and early childhood.
He carried them with him, like a shield, for years.
But immunity wears off.
And you are not to blame.
But I'm not his mother.
I should have taken greater care, not less.
If you are not immediate family, I'm afraid you shouldn't be in here.
There are rules, and as a nurse, you should know that.
I'll be a footstep away.
That's all.
He can't clear his throat! You must leave.
Shelagh! I'm sorry.
I'm so, so sorry.
Are you the father? Yes.
The machine is breathing for him.
He's not currently able to do that on his own.
I understand.
I'm his GP, too.
Of course.
You sent in the other young lad.
Jack Smith? Polio.
Mild dose.
He's out of bed and giving cheek.
Timothy? Timothy? I suggest we take it one hour at a time.
He may recover the ability to breathe.
Respiration is not always permanently impaired.
I know that.
I know all the facts, but Just now, they're no help to me at all.
In Thee, O Lord, do I put my trust Let me never be ashamed Deliver me in Thy righteousness Into Thy hands I commend my spirit Thou hast redeemed me O Lord God of truth.
Bow down Thine ear to me Deliver me speedily Be Thou my strong rock For an house of defence to save me For Thou art my rock and my fortress O most loving God Therefore, for Thy name's sake Lead me and guide me Pull me out of the net that they have laid privily for me For Thou art my strength Make Thine face to shine upon me In my hour of need.
You're to stay here tonight.
In the morning, I will telephone the vicar and tell him that your wedding has been postponed for several weeks, and why.
What about the witnesses? And the flowers? Patrick ordered roses.
I will deal with all of that, too.
It will be no trouble.
Your plans were so simple.
I kept everything as small and quiet as I could.
Is that what you really wanted? I don't know.
I know I couldn't quite face the fact that it was happening.
And now it isn't, and I think my heart is breaking.
Your marriage will take place.
It is meant to.
We will pray for your new family in the meanwhile, especially for Timothy.
I'm so very glad that you came to us.
Are you? Did you believe for one moment that we wouldn't want you here tonight? That we wouldn't welcome you with open arms? I turned my back on you, Sister.
I walked away.
I became someone else.
No, you didn't, Shelagh.
You found joy.
And I've never questioned it.
There is no joy now.
But there is love.
And it's Christmas.
Have courage.
Good luck, Sir.
Thank you for all your help.
Sir.
Right back, now.
I'm on my own, and that's as it should be.
I've been having these bloomin' twinges since yesterday.
It can't be normal.
It's perfectly normal, I'm afraid.
Your body just seems to be going into labour rather slowly.
I want to go home.
I want to have it there.
I want you to have it there too, Yvonne.
You won't send me to the maternity home? No.
Nurse Franklin and I have plans for this baby.
So you tell it to stay put! It's ticking.
Get down! Get down! Get down! All's well that ends well.
Well, that brought back a few memories.
Man the urns! We shall all be wanting tea! You all right, Chummy? I don't know.
I don't know what's happened to Peter.
Help! Help! Alan! Stay calm.
Never mind me.
Help her.
Yvonne, breathe through it.
Breathe through it.
That's it, breathe.
Please don't send him out the room.
Don't worry.
We won't.
.
.
near your house, was it? Ladies and gentlemen! The bomb has been detonated, and the damage was not as great as we had feared.
The Army are lifting the cordon, street by street.
You're heading home! Merry Christmas! It's scarcely a five-minute walk.
You may well find you get all the way home without having a single contraction.
Can you hear my slippers squelching? They're sopping wet with tea.
Believe me, sweetie, you're lucky they're not sopping wet with something else.
Trixie! Don't look so shocked, Alan.
You'll hear a lot worse before the day is out.
So, Sister, all present and correct.
These bulbs are very far from present and correct.
I had hoped they might perceive the frisson of the dynamite.
Organic matter ought to be receptive to vibrations.
Oh, heavens to Murgatroyd! What now? Mr Jesmond? We were told it was safe to return.
Sorry, Sister, but the building was already fragile.
Fragile, my foot.
They told us it was falling down when we moved in, and it's still standing! It was the impact of the bomb.
The explosion was angled in such a way that it ripped right through the foundation.
It could come down at any minute.
Been a while since I've wanted Adolf Hitler's guts for garters.
But I'd cheerfully dance on his grave today.
Poplar was doing so well.
It was recovering from the war, it was being rebuilt.
There was so much hope, so much work for us to do.
Still is.
Always will be.
He'll have a reason for all of this.
Brylcreem.
Brylcreem? Fetch the nurse.
Good.
I can't do it! Yes, you can.
You can.
Push for me.
That's it.
Good.
Good.
Come on! Good girl.
Good girl.
Well done.
Your baby's head is born.
You've done the hard part now, Yvonne.
The next big push, we're going to meet this baby.
(Are you ready?) The baby's turning.
Can you feel that, Yvonne? I'm so proud of you.
Here we go.
Good.
That's good.
Good.
Good.
Keep going.
There's a girl.
Keep going.
Good girl! This is your baby, Alan.
This blood is beautiful.
Wemade this.
We did it together.
Am I breathing, Dad? Yes, son.
Yes.
You are.
In you come, sisters.
'We ate our turkey at separate tables that year.
'Our community was scattered, but not to the four winds.
'We were offered refuge, 'separately and together in temporary lodgings across Poplar.
'Christmas turned to New Year, 'and New Year to early spring.
'And it was Chummy who found her new home first.
'Whilst the rest of us hoped, 'and resumed our work as best we could.
'And when Nonnatus House was demolished, 'we heard its dying fall only in the distance.
' I think lace is perfect for a bride.
You won't regret it for a moment.
I couldn't be more thrilled, but what about my grey dress? Fear not.
It'll have its moment.
I never saw a more perfect going-away outfit.
I've never worn nail polish in my life.
It's only pink, and we're only practising.
Open wide.
And bat.
You get it, Chummy.
You're the lady of the house.
Ah, beautiful.
Now, be bold.
Glasses or no glasses? Glasses.
I'd quite like to see the groom.
I had failed to divine their purpose.
They have bloomed when the Lord ordained that they should do so.
Timothy, are you ready? I'm scared people will laugh.
Weddings are about love, Tim.
And love isbeautiful, and serious, and if people smile, it's because they're glad.
Now, did you remember the rings? They're in my pocket.
Because I remembered something too.
Brylcreem.
(Why don't you give him to me?) 'Sometimes, Christmas is not a still point.
'Snow swirls and melts away, 'and the day doesn't offer up the peace that we imagined.
'But in the darkness, seeds awake, 'and green shoots unfurl towards the light.
' You should be giving me away.
You should be walking with me.
You belong to no-one but yourself.
And you know exactly where you're going.
You are the breathless hush 'Fate might shake us, but our roots run deep.
' Ready? 'And we have love to water them.
'And so we bloom where we are planted.
' You are the angel glow 'Turning our faces to the sun.
' That lights a star The dearest things I know Are what you are Someday My happy arms will hold you And someday I'll know That moment divine When all the things you are Are mine You are the angel glow That lights a star The dearest things I know Are what you are Someday