Call the Midwife s04e09 Episode Script

Christmas Special

1 'Christmas is the celebration of a baby's birth.
'It is the story of a mother's love, 'her fear, her faith 'and her determination.
'It tells of promises fulfilled, 'a cradle rocked, 'a journey both concluded and begun.
'It is the story of all that is cherished, 'in a world where too little is known.
' .
and of the Holy Ghost.
We seek it here, we seek it there.
Indeed, one is obliged to ask oneself if one is in pursuit of a comestible item, - or the Scarlet Pimpernel.
- Sister Monica Joan, never mind that now.
Would you just carry on cutting out the grease-proof circles? The mincemeat will be ready for the jar soon.
Are we going to get that tea in the clinical room or aren't we?! Urgh, sorry, I had a problem with the desiccated coconut.
If we have to wait much longer, you'll have a problem with a desiccated corpse -- mine! And lo, the angel Gabriel appeared carrying the first tin of Quality Street of the season.
I'll get it.
Nonnatus House.
Midwife speaking.
- It's our twins case.
- Oh! Yes.
Yes, of course.
See? You all thought me a fool to persist in my endeavours, but behold -- I have located the brandy.
Now's the time to souse the Christmas pudding.
Just don't go sousing yourself into the bargain.
You give us enough gyp when you're stone-cold sober.
Tea, now! Then you and I are off on the ulcer rounds.
Good afternoon, everyone .
and, uh, - thank you - Sh! - .
boys and girls - Quiet! - .
for being nice and quiet whilst the babies were being christened.
The Cradle Roll service is a very special one - Take one and pass it down.
- .
because it's one of the few days of the year when all the children in the parish get to come together to celebrate being part of our big church family.
Nurse Gilbert, our Sunday school teacher, is going to bring the children's choir to the front, where they'll sing Silent Night to help us start our journey towards Christmas.
Merry Christmas! Silent night Holy night All is calm All is bright Round yon virgin - Mother and child - Rosemary McConlough, Doctor.
Holy infant So tender and mild Oh Never heard such a racket! They were flat, they weren't singing together, and one of them was picking his nose! But they had nobody to follow -- why didn't you sing with them? Cos I'm practically a baritone since my voice broke.
Excuse me, Mrs Turner? Oh, Mrs Willens, wasn't that a lovely service? And the church looked immaculate -- you keep it so spick and span.
Oh, it's just elbow grease, anyone could do it.
Begging your pardon, Mrs Turner -- when the nurse came for the doctor, - were they called out to my niece? - I shouldn't say, really.
But I believe they were.
Hard luck, sweetie.
We've fired the starter's pistol a bit too soon.
Nothing's on the move just yet.
I've had enough -- I want them out now! No cheeking the nurse, young madam.
She came into this world shouting the odds and she's not stopped since.
Come along, Rosemary, let's see if we can get you a bit more comfortable.
The main thing is to get some rest and remember that both babies are doing well.
How's she getting on, Eileen? - Stay nice and warm.
- Walter sent some satsumas - from his barrow.
- No, it was a false alarm.
We'll have them anyway.
Plenty more where they came from.
Oh, it's bitter! A nice cup of tea, I think.
Oh, no! Sister! Sister? Can you answer me? What on earth's that noise? Poor Eileen looked worn to a thread.
Rosemary's always been a madam.
Once she's had those twins, it's going to be all hands on deck.
The family will rally round to help 'em.
- We always do.
- Not sure I'm wanted.
Eat your grapes.
- Good for your kidney stones.
- Kidney stones don't bother me any more.
Oh, love.
I don't know why you go to that bloomin' Cradle Roll service.
- You end up in shreds every year.
- How can I stay away? And Lorna's name still on the list of members? They don't rub it out, Walter, just cos she's not with us any more.
I know, love, I know.
Rosemary's got two lovely matching cots for these new twins.
On the never-never, probably! But, aw, they do look smart.
I'm glad now I never offered her Lorna's cradle.
I'd have liked it to have had a new home.
A little life inside.
Yeah, maybe not.
Sister Monica Joan is in bed with a fever and dosed up on aspirin.
Doctor's going to call tomorrow.
- She sounded quite delirious when I went past her room.
- Poor old thing.
Would it be frightfully callous to enquire about the pudding? According to Sister Evangelina, we'll be having Swiss roll with custard for dessert on Christmas Day.
- Oh - She's in a perfectly savage mood.
Purple cellophane? - I think this one has Nurse Mount's name on it.
- Marvellous.
The perfect accompaniment to a whisky nightcap.
You won't tempt me, I'm afraid.
Alcohol's perfectly beastly on the complexion.
Are there any coffee creams? I need them to take away the taste of the glue.
18 down, 24 to go.
If you lick my stamps, I'll give you what appears to be the only coffee cream in the tin.
One for Delia -- how is she? Well, I believe.
Her mother hasn't written in a while.
Head injury can be a ghastly thing to recover from.
And she was in quite a bad way when they took her home to Wales.
I guess she was.
Now, where's that coffee cream? - Oh.
- Mmm! Thank you.
I'm so glad you're here.
I almost called you again.
Not I, nor He who commands us all Get back into bed before the hot water bottle goes cold! Come in, any time you like.
Nelly put a hot brick to my feet.
I knew it was winter then, when it leached the smell of starch out of the sheets.
Sit down! Temperature of 102, coughing like a drain and dotty as a two-bob watch.
I can see that.
Oww! You're going to have to lay off the mince pies, Fred Buckle, or never mind splitting your trousers -- you're not going to fit in this Santa suit at all! Well, the kiddies leave them out for me.
They'd be disappointed if they didn't disappear.
Yeah, but you're not the real Father Christmas, remember.
You're just one of his helpers.
Yeah, but I'd look shocking in an elf suit.
I could do with an elf or two to help me in the shop this afternoon.
I've got the entire Christmas raffle display to put in my window, or I'll have half the Poplar shopkeepers baying for my blood.
I wish I'd never said I'd take the responsibility.
Be good for trade, though, won't it? I've only donated a couple of balls of wool and some nappy pins.
The rest of the space is all taken up with other people's stuff.
Tins of powdered milk and I don't know what.
Well, that's not very season of goodwill.
Oww! Pass me the scissors.
I'm not biting this, it's too close to your backside.
A high temperature and a nasty cough.
But what we don't want at her age is pneumonia.
We've been more worried about her confusion - than her physical health lately.
- Exactly.
If she goes any further down Doolally Hill, we won't be able to look after her.
I've prescribed Distoval as a sedative.
It'll calm her down and perhaps make her behaviour less erratic.
Distoval won't bring our Christmas pudding back from the dead.
Or from the ceiling! We're about to go into compline.
I'll look in again afterwards.
Very well, but there's no need for you to linger.
Sister Monica Joan and I have established the rules of play and thus far, she is abiding by them.
My mother's hands were cold, like yours.
Mother's been looming rather large this evening, I'm afraid.
That's often the way when she's unwell.
- These sometimes help.
- Hmm? They're family heirlooms and she cherishes them.
Oh! I can't consume that! The tang of urine assaults me even from the plate! It isn't kidney, Sister Monica Joan, it's liver.
And it's terribly good for you.
And if you eat quickly, we can listen to Desert Island Discs while you eat your semolina.
I have tired of the wireless.
There are too many jumbled voices.
I like television better.
There isn't a television at Nonnatus House.
There's one in the window of the new shop by the tunnel.
- Have you seen it? - No.
We have one.
At home.
But I won't be seeing that for quite some time.
- Why is that, child? - Don't encourage her.
There'll be ample salt in that gravy already.
You don't need tears in it as well! I can't go home for Christmas, Sister Monica Joan.
We're going to be too busy.
Sister Julienne told me this morning.
But the very purpose of Christmas is to revisit where one's roots lie! Was Christ himself not born in Bethlehem because his father and mother were called to their birthplace for the census? All should head homeward.
If their natal home still stands.
My natal home was razed to the ground when they made "improvements" to the Kirkstall Road in Leeds.
I'm rather looking forward to filling the mead cup and draining the barrel in Nonnatus House.
Figuratively speaking, of course.
We'll have a splendid time! And so, the bishop said that BBC Television want to film a carol service in an ordinary London church and broadcast it on Christmas Day.
How nice.
Well, I think it will be more than nice.
I think it will be wonderful, for the whole of the parish.
Our parish? I'm sorry, I should have made that clear.
Well, I think it sounds tremendously jolly.
And the children will certainly enjoy it.
But filming, Mr Hereward, - in a church? - My sentiments exactly! - Is nothing sacred?! - To my mind, Sister Evangelina, Christmas is the most sacred festival of all.
And sharing a religious service with millions of people is a really good way to remind them of that.
Not to mention frightfully glamorous! I rest my case.
People have forgotten what Christmas is all about.
Mrs Turner has kindly agreed to take the children's choir in hand and I was thinking we could create a crib scene and place a real newborn baby in the manger.
- One of OUR newborn babies? - Yes.
I was rather hoping to see Nurse Gilbert.
The producer of the television broadcast, Barrington Swann, - is coming to inspect the church tomorrow and - Mr Hereward.
Tomorrow is a very busy day.
And Ms Gilbert will be fully occupied.
I was led to expect more in the way of ornamental plasterwork.
It always photographs so well.
Still, I see your Mrs Mop is working wonders with the elbow grease.
A shiny bit of brass will always catch the arc lights.
Our cleaning lady is called Mrs Willens, not Mrs Mop.
Whatever she's called, we'll have to add to the artistic presentation.
Seasonal floral arrangements, of course, and the children's pageant is completely essential.
- Do you mean the Nativity play? - Oh, N-Nativity scene, I think.
Don't you? We mustn't overface the viewing public.
But children are essential.
I was a kiddie performer myself.
I know how they add to the sparkle.
- And they must sing! - I have all that in hand.
- And they must be in costume.
- Mrs Turner has that in hand, too.
The aesthetics are vital.
We can't have anybody looking poor.
How dare he?! Poplar may not be the richest parish in the country, but not one mother would turn her children out looking less than the very best she could.
I almost gave him his marching orders there and then.
Begging your pardon, Mr Hereward, but I'm glad you didn't.
Why, Mrs Willens? He was almost as rude about the church as he was about the children.
Whom he hasn't even seen.
I'm not convinced he has any faith in us at all.
It's not about his faith, is it? Have a pink wafer.
I got them in for Mr High-And-Mighty, but I decided they were stopping in the packet.
You should have one yourself.
You'll need to build your strength up - if you're going to be helping us out.
- Helping you out? Mrs Willens, this carol service needs all the help it can get.
And with the number of children involved, so do I.
I want you to ask the headmaster's permission to put one on the notice board.
There are some lovely singers at the grammar school.
Yes, and they're mostly baritones and tenors.
I've put treble and boy soprano on the poster.
We need quality voices, male and female, if we're not going to embarrass ourselves in front of the BBC.
Not to mention the entire nation.
Which is why we are going to have auditions and why we are going to advertise.
Good morning, Mrs Willens, Mr Willens.
- Morning, Mrs Turner.
- We've a busy day ahead.
By the way, the parish manger's gone missing and we'll need to find an orange box.
Perhaps Mr Willens can oblige.
Now, run and catch your bus.
Can you go a bit higher, Violet? Yeah, a bit bit higher.
Yeah, perfect.
Thanks, Violet.
Everybody's waitin' for the man with the bag Cos Christmas is coming again He's got a sleighful It's not going to stay full He's got stuff to drop at every stop of the way Everybody's waitin' They're all congregatin' Waitin' for the man with the bag.
What do you think you are doing?! Preparing for Christmas.
With a joyful heart.
I shall need all of this when our tree is purchased.
- However tardy its arrival proves.
- No tree until the week before Christmas.
You know how we do things and it does not involve tinsel.
Auntie Iris! Rosemary, what are you doing out of doors? I can't settle, I can't sit.
All I can do is clean.
I thought I was turning into you.
Do you fancy coming with me to the clinic? Aren't you going with your mum? - She's gone up west to pick out the pram set.
- Oh.
- Nothing but the best for these two.
- Yeah Oh, come on, you'll enjoy it.
Mrs Turner said the rash has developed since this morning.
I only came in to bring the baby for his needles.
I never saw the rash.
I thought he was just a bit off-colour.
I'm afraid it's a bit more serious than that.
We can postpone the baby's vaccinations, but I want you to go straight home.
That's the fourth case in a week.
I'll notify the medical officer.
- Other practices are having the same thing.
- I know.
And the last thing we need is an epidemic.
Look, I just wish there was a vaccine.
I know they're testing one, but it takes so long.
Oh, I can't get on that bed, it's too high.
I can't lie down in any case, cos it makes me feel as though I'm suffocating.
You don't have to lie down until Doctor comes in, but if we can just get your bottom onto the bed You'd have more luck with the hoists and winch from down the dockyard! - Oh, no! - Oh, yes! - Have I wet myself? I hope not -- this is a good pair of nylons.
I'll be right back.
Whoever cleaned up after that explosion wants horse-whipping.
It's insanitary, having Christmas pudding clinging to the walls! I suspect you're right.
It may well attract mould and we don't want spores falling into the food.
Are you sure you don't want me to get up on the table, Sister? No, no, you save your strength for your trip to see the Christmas lights.
I should very much relish the chance to see the lights myself.
The Sunday school children would love that.
And there'll be plenty of room on the bus.
I'm sorry, I'm going to exercise my power of veto.
You know my views on dicky chests and cold winds.
And we need you at compline, Sister.
Sister Mary Cynthia is at the twin birth.
She won't be back tonight.
You speak to me and of me as though I am a child.
No, we speak to you and of you as though you have been ill.
And you can explain this space-age monstrosity whenever you like! It's a wreath for the front door.
Sister Monica Joan designed it herself.
- When are you planning to put it up? - Sister, we have all agreed there will be no tree or decorations in Nonnatus House until December 18th, as is our custom.
Advent will take precedence in the meanwhile.
But we are out of kilter with the world! Every other window is brilliant with light.
Every other home bedecked and splendid! Only we await our tree and we will never know the joy of television.
- Television?! - It is the portal to much happiness.
I have seen it work its magic on 100 children's faces! There are plenty of children round here who don't need that sort of magic.
They need a square meal and clean clothes and a loving hand! Not spending money hand over fist on television sets and tinsel.
Children incline to happiness.
Even I knew delight and transportation as a child.
- And my youth was not a happy one! - Not happy?! - You never knew what hardship meant! - Sister, please! - I did! I did know! But perhaps my mind is too misshapen to recall it now.
Well, all I can say is, if the cap fits, wear it! And I don't want to see any more of this until the 18th of the month.
All aboard! All aboard the Christmas bus Ho-ho-ho! Come ride with us Lights and shops and fun we'll see Ho-ho-ho, come ride with me.
Merry Christmas, merry Christmas.
- Really, Fred, it's worthy of the poet laureate.
- Ha-ha! - What have you got in your bucket, reindeer food? - No, sawdust.
I have two famous vomiters and one who can't be trusted with the waterworks.
Oh, dear.
Come on, then, you stragglers.
You're married to the lady in the sewing shop.
- Uh, no.
Uh, that fella is a cousin of mine.
Same-shaped face.
- Hmm.
Well caught.
Are you coming, Mum and Dad? No? Right, on you get.
Ho-ho-ho! Come ride the bus.
I see you're still using the old newspaper trick.
Sister Julienne did that when I had my daughter.
We've saved many a mattress this way, Mrs Willens.
Still doing the enemas too? Do I have to? I thought only the old ones did that.
We're older than we look, Rosemary.
Practically ready for our pensions.
If you're happy and you know it And you really want to show it If you're happy and you know it, clap your hands If you're happy and you know it, stomp your feet If you're happy and you know it, stomp your feet Anyone for a sherbet lolly? - No takers, I'm afraid.
Tina's not feeling very well.
- Oh, dear.
- Will we be needing the sawdust? - No, she says she just has a headache.
She's quite hot, too.
Well, you can have one, if you like.
Thank you.
Yellow and pink.
The thing that fascinates me most about these is that they're so pale, until you lick them, and then their colour changes completely.
I love them.
Most people look on lollies like they're a childhood thing.
I don't.
I've no pride and no shame when it comes to confectionery.
You should try one.
- Yellow and green.
- See? You don't know what you've been missing.
Take a deep breath, Rosemary.
And another, that's it.
Just take in some air.
Now, push, Rosemary! Well done! Well done! Oh, what is it? It's a girl.
- And she's beautiful.
- Oh, a girl.
I wanted a girl! You might have two soon.
Perhaps Auntie Iris can look after this one in the meantime.
Sweet pea! I'm glad I stayed.
The next one's breech.
They drive us every year.
What are you staring at, cariad? That bus.
I'm not used to being back in London.
I thought you were having one of your spells.
I don't have them any more.
Well, you haven't for a while, praise the Lord.
We'll have a very happy Christmas.
And then say goodbye to this city for good.
If you're happy and you know it, touch your nose If you're happy and you know it Urgh, can't the doctor just pull it out?! Oh, you can do this on your own.
Doctor's more than happy standing there twiddling his thumbs.
Lean back into me if it helps you to concentrate.
Keep your bottom on the edge of the bed.
That's it, sweetie, gather your strength.
That's it! That's it! That's! That's it, keep it coming! Keep it coming! We have a leg! That's it! And another leg! Doctor, could you possibly pass me the towel, please? This one's a boy, Rosemary.
Nurse Franklin's just wrapping baby in the towel, Rosemary, just to keep him warm and calm.
Where's its head? The head will be born soon.
Oh, you're doing so well! Rosemary, you're going to gently feel me turning baby a quarter of a circle.
That's it, that's it.
Just breathe.
We're going to let baby's feet hang, just for a moment, so that his own body weight helps him in the right direction.
Oh, God, have I missed it?! That's it! That's it! That's it! You clever girl! Top work! Beautiful boy, Rosemary.
- You have one of each! - One of each?! - Little girl came first.
- And she's gorgeous.
- Aww, hand her over! Oh! I'm a grandma! A grandma! How about that? - How about me being a mum? - That as well, obviously! Oh, we're going to be quite the double act, you and me.
- I'm sorry, Mrs Lewis.
Poor Tina isn't feeling very well.
- She's burning up! If I'd have known, I'd have brought the pushchair.
Don't worry, Nurse Gilbert.
I'll take Tina home.
I'd give her an aspirin and do call the doctor if you're worried -- I'm sure he'll come out.
Wakey-wakey, campers! Hello, Iris! I heard Rosemary had the twins.
- What a lovely Christmas you'll all have.
- Yeah, won't we? There, nappy pins.
One blue set and one pink.
You give those to that clever niece of yours with my congratulations.
That's kind of you, Violet.
She'll be thrilled.
She'll be even more thrilled if she wins that layette I'm displaying in my window.
It's got everything in it that a new mum could ask for and it's all in aid of the maternity home.
Yeah, go on, then! Best have two, seeing as it's twins.
84 and 85.
Nothing like babies for making people smile.
Some people, maybe.
Oh, Iris.
Me and my walloping, thoughtless mouth.
I'm sorry.
No, I didn't mean to snap, Violet.
It's just - It's Christmas, it's a tricky time of year.
- Oh, it would be.
Poor little Lorna and poor you.
- You remembered her name.
- I couldn't forget it.
Any more than I could forget that smile she had.
I look at her photograph sometimes and I think, "Oh, I wish I'd called her something happier.
" Lorna.
It seems a sad name, somehow.
There is nothing sad about your little girl, Iris.
- Even at just three months.
- Four months.
I'll have a triple-hook brassiere expander, if you would, please, Violet.
White, buff, or tea rose? Hot water bottle stone-cold and exactly where I left it.
This bed hasn't been slept in.
We should have checked.
The necklace has gone, and so's the sapphire ring.
I must telephone the motherhouse.
Sister Julienne, you must telephone the police.
I thought it might be scarlet fever.
- You know, she seems poorly enough.
- No, it's measles.
You'll need to dose her with aspirin every four hours.
Start her with these.
I'll write you a prescription for the rest.
- Can't she have antibiotics? - They won't work.
There's no need to look flustered, Iris.
All you have to do is ask each child their name, age and address, write it down, then tell them to sit on a chair and wait their turn.
And what about the juice and biscuits? They can have them when they've auditioned and not before.
Can I have a biscuit now? Don't think I can get through this without a boost to my kinetic energy.
No, you can't.
We don't want crumbs on the keys.
Quick, grab yourself a gypsy cream.
Everybody must go to the lady at the desk and give their name, age and address before they sit down, and wait until they're called! - And no dogs.
- It's a singing dog.
If it can't sing Silent Night, I'm not interested.
Would you say the necklace and the ring were worth a great deal of money, Sister? They were family heirlooms.
I wish I could say they were of purely sentimental value, but Sister Monica Joan was not at all sentimental about her relatives and they were extremely rich.
Sister Julienne, did anything unusual happen yesterday? Anything that might have upset her or caused her to change her routine? We live in close quarters at Nonnatus House, as you know.
Very like a family, in fact.
And like all families, we have our disagreements.
Congratulations on being chosen for the choir, everyone, and well done for getting here on time.
We're just going to rehearse for half an hour before you all set off for school today.
Mrs Willens will have some hot Ribena ready for you when we finish.
Thank you, Timothy.
In a bleak midwinter Frosty wind made moan Earth stood hard as iron - Where have you gone? - Water like a stone It's now been 36 hours since anyone has seen her.
Her habit and her veil make her distinctive in this area, at least.
But if she's gone further afield, she may not be recognised.
She's extremely elderly and she's been ill.
Sister Monica Joan! Sister! They're definitely hers.
Is there anywhere else she could have gone? I tried to telephone her nephew, who lives in Richmond, but his housekeeper said he's skiing in Switzerland and can't be reached.
And she isn't at the motherhouse.
It's as though she's just vanished.
Nobody just vanishes, Sister Julienne.
That's very reassuring, Sergeant.
Sir, I found these in a bin on the Commercial Road.
Anything could have happened to her.
It was dark when she left and the streets around the docks are deserted after six o'clock.
She probably thought her habit would keep her safe.
I don't think she gave safety or danger a second thought.
I think she was just excited about Christmas and upset that she wasn't allowed to be.
The situation is troubling enough, Nurse Gilbert, without speculation, gossip and histrionics thrown into the mix.
I would thank you to get on with your work! I'll be seeing you later, then! Get your Christmas trees here! All shapes and sizes! - Come on, then.
- I want a Norwegian pine.
No bigger than seven foot tall and no more than 15 bob.
Pat! Where on Earth have you been? Didn't want to knock on the door.
Didn't want to be asked in, to see you for the first time with everybody watching.
Wait here.
I need to change out of my uniform.
I couldn't write at all to begin with.
Not for the first month.
But after that, I sent three letters.
My mother posted them.
Or maybe she didn't.
I would have answered if I'd got them.
You know I would have answered.
Does she suspect? She thinks you're my friend from training school.
Oh, yes, the lady she helps at Cubs.
I promise you, that's all she thinks.
But she doesn't want me coming back to London to live.
- Or to nurse.
- Why not, if you're well enough? In her mind, I'll never be well enough.
- I've got an appointment at the London to see Mr Hendry.
- The neuro chap? And then another with the rehabilitation people.
They'll tell me then when I can go back to work.
If I can.
Maybe months.
You look tired.
I lose my train of thought sometimes.
Better than losing you.
We're staying with my aunt in Hornsey, did I tell you? No.
Till after Christmas.
I think Mum's hoping I'll see the "horror" of London through fresh eyes, but the minute they went off to their Welsh-language carol service, I was on the bus to Poplar.
I'll be on the bus back to Hornsey soon.
I don't know what I'm supposed to say to that.
You're supposed to say ".
Don't disappear again.
" You're supposed to say, "Meet me again, write to me.
"Don't break the thread.
" Let's pick up all the broken pieces.
Let's pick up where we were.
Can't I just say, "Come back"? Darling, I love you Yes.
- Keep warm.
- I will.
- Telephone me when you've seen the doctor.
- Yes.
Hang on, mate.
- What's that? - What? Oh, my God! 'ere, get the hook.
- 'It's an old lady.
' - I see.
'You still there, guv?' Yes.
'You'll need to check your missing persons record.
' I'm aware of the procedure, thank you.
- Patrick! - What's happened? It's little Tina Lewis.
Her mother called -- it's urgent.
I assume motorised transport to the mortuary may not go amiss? I was going to drive them in the police car, Nurse Crane.
Allow me to spare you the encroachment on your time.
Nobody here has done anything criminal.
She was all right last night! Sh-she was talking, she said there were little men in the wallpaper! Tina! Tina! She's unconscious.
- I'm sending for an ambulance.
- She's not going to die?! She can't die, it's only measles! It's never ONLY measles, Mrs Lewis.
Just give the attendant the word when you're ready.
We're ready.
It isn't her.
Poor woman.
Poor, poor woman.
Enough for Him, whom cherubim Worship night and day A breastful of milk and a mangerful of hay.
See, that's where I want the descant to come in.
It always seems to peter out there.
Well, that's because of the words.
What's wrong with the words? Well, there's just a word that no-one likes singing.
It's in that line.
And it begins with a "B".
What, "breast"? - Da-da! - Dad! I'll get that.
- Dad, I've gone bright red! - Hello? - In the privacy of my own home.
- I'll fetch him now.
Hold the line.
It sounds like another measles case.
Joey Minton.
And he's in my choir.
Tonight at compline, we will once again say special intercessions for the safe return of Sister Monica Joan.
And we will also pray for the lost soul - recovered from the Thames this morning.
- Yes, Sister.
And that's all I can manage to say at the moment.
Sister Mary Cynthia .
perhaps you would lead us in grace.
Dost think, because thou art a rat .
there shall be no more cakes and ale? What a caterwauling do we keep here! Oh, good.
Can you go straight through and help Nurse Gilbert in the delivery room? Doctor's been delayed at the Board of Health and we've a lady in there with an occipital posterior.
Nothing like manning the gas and air to start the day.
Trixie, is there any news of Sister Monica Joan? How can a trail go cold like that when someone has a home and when they're loved? The Board of Health have approved the quarantine regulations.
Hendy Street and St John's schools are breaking up early for Christmas and all children's groups are suspended till New Year.
You did the right thing to push for that.
I'm glad you think so, because the suspended groups include your choir.
- No! - I'm sorry, Shelagh.
But I never want to put another unresponsive child into an ambulance.
Mr Swann, I appreciate your disappointment, but we can't magic up a children's choral performance out of thin air.
And I can't bring the magic of Christmas all the way to Poplar wrapped in paper and string! You have to furnish the sparkle, Reverend! Those were the terms of the deal.
We're in the grip of a measles epidemic.
I had chicken pox when I was doing Peter Pan with Madame Aida's Champagne Babes.
I still managed to play the Princess Theatre nightly! Have you never heard the phrase "the show must go on"?! It's not a show, Mr Swann, it's an act of worship.
Until somebody films it.
And if nobody films it, you might as well worship in a darkened room with all the doors locked.
What do you mean, "if nobody films it"? Mr Swann, I think that what Mr Hereward hasn't made clear is that the children have been quarantined for the good of their health.
- And I'm sure you don't wish to see that compromised.
- Of course not.
- But - And I'm sorry you weren't taken better care of as a child.
No-one should have forced you to go on as Peter Pan.
I wasn't even Peter Pan.
I was Smee.
Children matter, Mr Swann.
And they're at the very heart of Christmas.
But if you put them at risk just to prove that point, - you make a nonsense of it all.
- What do you propose we do, Mrs Turner? Simply bring your cameramen and your lighting equipment to the church as planned.
And we will give you a show to be proud of.
Mrs Turner? Hello, Iris.
I finished the first of the shepherds last night.
I think the tunic's come up lovely.
Just, I wanted you to see it before I got the rest sewn up.
I've got two mums flat out on Mary and Joseph and two more sneaking the angels into work with them.
They're seamstresses down the curtain factory.
- They're naughty girls.
- They're good girls.
It was a good cause.
WAS a good cau? - Shall I bring it in now? - Yes.
Make sure you take it off the barrow.
He will dither! Thing is, Mrs Turner, you need something better than an orange box if that manger's going to be on the telly.
- I know, but - I'm proud of this church.
I put all the love and care I couldn't spend on Lorna into looking after it.
Made sure its face is clean and its hair's brushed.
Always made sure it was turned out in its proper Sunday best.
Yeah, maybe Lorna wouldn't have liked me fussing.
She might have been one of them little madams who wriggles and says the brush hurts.
But I think she would have liked you to have this.
I spent 22 Christmases not letting any joy in because I had no child to share it with.
This year's been different.
Has it? I stopped holding out against the happiness, didn't I? And I found out that Christmas was meant for me, too.
I pretended to Mr Swann that the children weren't the most important thing, yet I just don't know how I'm going to replace them.
Oh, I don't either.
But you keep that cradle.
Took me too long to let it go.
Can I help you? You may stand aside and admit me! My parents had a run of woeful butlers.
But none that ever wore their hat indoors.
Mind all this stuff.
I wouldn't like you to trip.
There were once a pair of wolfhounds here.
Romulus and Remus.
They sprawled on the floor in semblance of a rug.
And caused more mishaps than any mess of cycle parts.
I think that might have been before our time.
Almost all the world is before your time, child.
Though I see from the badges you affect, you are concerned to see it last a little longer.
We're squatting here while we protest at the Aldermaston base.
This was a school for a bit, but it shut and they can't sell it because there are nuclear weapons two miles up the road.
This was always a house of discord and attrition.
I was almost never happy here.
But it was my home.
I shall need a hot brick for my feet.
So you want the midwives of Nonnatus House to sing instead of the children, wearing our uniforms and our habits? I almost didn't like to come and ask you.
It seems frivolous and stupid to be fretting about a carol service when Sister Monica Joan is missing.
And that's without the television element.
I do know you were always uneasy about that.
I was but it sometimes seems to me, the older I get, the more I have to learn.
We get so much out of love.
We find strength in it and courage.
Love is our foundation and our fuel.
But, if we don't show enough of it No.
Sister, no.
You are not to blame for Sister Monica Joan running away.
then we might as well not feel any love at all, and that is why I'm here choosing clothes so a woman who drowned, who didn't even have a name, can be buried with some evidence that someone somewhere cared and that is why I'm going to say yes to singing in your choir.
I offered her some of that lentil risotto but she didn't want to know.
I had a bit more luck with the Eccles cakes.
- Should we send for a doctor? - No, we aren't registered with one.
- We could take her to hospital if she - I shall be taken nowhere.
It was effort enough to make my way here.
Now that I am home, I am quite content.
But, Antonia It seems strange to hear my name again within these walls.
I have come home to be counted.
Do you suppose it's all right for us to feel excited about the broadcast? If Sister Monica Joan were here, she'd be more excited about it than anyone.
We should enter into the spirit of it, - for her sake.
- Exactly.
Barbara, you must let me give you a make-up lesson.
The television lights can be frightfully cruel to one's complexion.
We won't even be able to see ourselves perform, anyway.
Unless we stand outside the electrical shop and peer in through the window.
I suppose my family will see me.
They'll be watching the broadcast when it's screened on Christmas Day.
Pan Stik, that's it.
I promise you, just one layer of Pan Stik.
And some rouge and a teensy lick of mascara.
Trixie, Barbara doesn't need mascara.
Some lipstick might be nice.
With a touch of Gay Geranium, you'd look quite like Jean Simmons.
The young Jean Simmons, obviously.
I haven't been to the cinema for years.
Behold, I bring tidings of great joy.
We have a truncated house call list this evening - so we can finish early to attend choir practice.
- Oh! All right, all right, your enthusiasm is duly noted.
Now let's turn our minds back from our performance to our patients.
Nurse Mount.
You've made me swallow it.
It's meant to be a gargle to lubricate my tubes.
Mrs Turner recommended it after rehearsal.
My singing is rather rusty.
I'd have recommended engine oil.
I'm not going to quarrel with you.
Not at Christmas, not with everything hanging over us like this.
You mean Sister Monica Joan? Oh, yes.
I could kick myself, I really could.
If we get her back safely, she can put up next year's tree on Easter Sunday if she likes.
I just keep running through everything I said.
I keep running over everything she said when she was ill.
Delirium's always interesting.
Sometimes, the truth comes out.
Was she talking about her mother? Mostly.
She was talking about her childhood.
About the house she lived in and what they did when it was cold and it must have been on her mind because, the next day, she mentioned it again.
- The house? - She said everyone should go home for Christmas.
That was why Jesus was born in Bethlehem.
Something about that being its true meaning.
I know where she is.
- Morning, Sister.
- Sister Monica Joan.
I know where she is.
Here, I've written it all down.
I'm sorry, this really doesn't say "manger" to me.
It isn't supposed to.
It's supposed to say "cradle".
Something every mother watching is going to recognise.
Just as they'll recognise the newborn baby that we'll place there.
Will it be a good-looking newborn baby? We don't know yet.
We haven't been to the maternity home to pick one.
- Yes.
- 'I'll make sure the information is passed on.
' - Thank you.
An inspector from the Berkshire constabulary's going to call me back - in due course.
- Due course? She's been missing for days and she's nearly 90! This address is out of my area, Sister.
It has to be referred.
I'm just as worried as you but those are the regulations.
Regulations? One day, Sergeant Noakes, when you're a bit less wet behind the ears, you will realise there are regulations and there is common sense.
Stop! Wait! Morning, Sister.
What happened to your bike? Nothing, but pedal power isn't going to get me all the way to Berkshire.
- Berkshire? I've got a van full of Christmas trees.
- Go! I am reconciled to the lady on the right's habit.
It smacks somewhat of the Virgin Mary, which is nothing if not fortuitous, but this, the hat, the mackintosh Oh, we won't be wearing our macs.
And the cardigans are really very Christmassy.
Glorious technicolour has not come to the BBC yet, dear.
This fabric is terribly limp.
Oh, they're midwives, the uniforms get washed a lot.
Is there the smallest chance of frilly little caps? Oh! Quite a big one, actually.
And, if you stump up for more broderie anglaise, they could be very frilly indeed.
I shall be starting on your ensemble in a moment.
Mrs Turner Iris, whatever's the matter? I woke up feeling proper rotten.
I had a kidney stone last year.
I reckon it's come back.
And it would be today, when there's so much to do.
Today's just the rehearsal.
The church looks beautiful! Oh! I'm taking you to see Doctor.
'Antonia Antonia! 'Nanny found the Bible in your room again.
' Antonia Try to drink something.
There was a piano in here.
But I imagine you used it for firewood.
You must take in some fluids.
Or we'll have to take you to a hospital.
I will not go.
The story is concluded.
I was born in this house.
And I'm content to meet my maker here.
Have you passed any blood recently? No, I've had the change.
I had it early.
I meant in your urine.
I have been going more than usual, though.
Oh, I feel a bit sick.
The pain's in my back, mostly.
Ah, oooh.
Iris, dear, when you're ready I'm going to get you to your feet and we're going to help you across to the maternity home.
Maternity home? You're going to have a baby! When? Very soon.
I, I don't, I I don't feel safe.
When I had my Lorna, Sister Julienne said the most important thing was to f-feel safe.
I'll ring Nonnatus House.
Will you please put your foot down before I put it down for you? I'm driving down dangerous country lanes! There might be rabbits or sheep! Iris, Iris, I know this is hard to get to grips with.
I know.
I-I'm, I'm 46.
How can I not have known? You're not the first woman this has happened to.
It's rare, but you're not alone.
But will it be all right? How is it going to be all right? Everything will be all right, Iris.
I promise you.
Sister Julienne.
You delivered my Lorna.
Yes, I did.
And I've often remembered her in my prayers.
I never thought I'd have another child.
I just I kept loving her.
And you always will.
Love is not going to be halved, but doubled.
That's it, that's it, Iris.
Another strong, steady push.
That's it, that's it.
Yes! Perfect, perfect.
Baby's head stopped slipping back now, it'll be with us soon.
Your husband's arrived now, Iris.
Dr Turner's just bringing him up-to-date That's it.
That's it.
Nice, steady drag.
This is the place! Well done.
It's a little girl! And she's beautiful.
Come here.
Come on.
Come to your mum.
I remember the days of old.
I meditate on all thy works.
I muse on the works of thy hands.
I stretch forth my hands unto thee.
My soul thirsteth after thee, as in a thirsty land.
Cause me to hear thy loving kindness in the morning.
For in thee do I trust.
Cause me to know the way wherein I should walk.
For I lift up my soul unto thee.
) Open wide.
I think you'll find it's my turn to start shouting the odds.
The police have arrived.
They want to know if they should call an ambulance.
An ambulance is not required.
I have funds aplenty since I pawned my mother's jewels.
- You pawned them?! - It was an interesting experience.
En route, I spent one highly displeasing night in a Gerrards Cross guesthouse.
Much capital remains.
I suggest we telephone a taxi.
Your chauffeur already awaits.
I reckon, uh about six pound, 4oz? You're spot on! Costermonger's never wrong! What we going to call her, then? No sad names this time.
I'm going to call her Joy.
Oh, that's a lovely name to give a child.
It's all we've got to give her! I haven't got a vest or a mitten for the poor little scrap! Nonnatus House, midwife speaking.
'I'm calling from a box on the corner of Whittle Street.
' There's someone there in need of attention.
- What are you up to? - We're drawing the raffle tomorrow.
Tomorrow? I could murder a bit of cheese on toast.
I've been driving through countryside.
Well, you can have cheese on toast when you've helped me out with this lot.
I want you to take out all the 84s and all the 85s.
I reckon this is immoral.
Well, keep at it, and then you've got the choice of Wensleydale, cheddar or Red Leicester.
They say the headaches will fade away.
I just need to rest for a little longer.
Not that my mother will let me do much else.
Will she let you come back to work? I have to come back to work! Back to London.
This is where my life is.
- And where you are.
- Deils, I'm not going anywhere.
You can't come back if they don't give you a clean bill of health.
They will.
I'll make them.
People out here are waiting! People in here are waiting.
Sheila, it's here, I found it.
Wait there.
I didn't know you could arrange flowers.
There's a lot about me that you don't know.
Beatrix Franklin, midwife of mystery.
In your own time, Mr Swann.
Any ticket you like.
Number 85! Oh! Fancy that! Oh! 'Sometimes, the route to joy is indirect.
'Our journey home not quite as we expected.
'There's no magic star to guide our steps, 'no ancient prophecies to predict our way.
'The greatest gift is to know that we travel not alone, 'but in the company of others.
'That there are hands that we can reach for 'and hearts to keep us warm.
' Silent night Holy night All is calm All is bright Round yon virgin, mother and child Holy infant so tender and mild Sleep in heavenly peace Sleep in heavenly peace Silent night Holy night Shepherds quake at the sight Glories stream from heaven afar Heavenly hosts sing Hallelujah Christ the Saviour is born Christ the Saviour is born.
'Sister Monica Joan never did 'redeem her mother's jewels from the pawn shop.
'Instead, she purchased two things.
'A replacement for the Christmas pudding 'and a television set.
'She deemed both essential for contentment at Nonnatus House.
'If others disagreed, they gave no voice to their objections, 'and the family gathered round, 'watching their faces flicker black and white, 'their very presence in the room an act of love, 'a welcome home.
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