Call the Midwife s06e00 Episode Script

Christmas Special 2016

1 JENNIFER: Why do we give presents at Christmas? Because once upon a time a child lay in a manger, asking for nothing yet needing so much? And because three kings paid tribute in the only way they could? Perhaps the reason does not matter.
The smiles of those we love mean more than any ribboned box, whether it is offered or received.
And the most precious gifts cost nothing whatsoever.
Merry Christmas, Fred.
Shh! Less of the "Fred".
I'm Father Christmas's helper.
You can come in as long as you don't ring that wretched bell.
We've half a dozen newborns trying to get their beauty sleep, including Master Rutherford, who's just arrived by Caesarean section, and I assisted in his delivery.
Oh-hoo, look at you, you little bruiser! Now, you been naughty or nice? Nice, I reckon.
Merry Christmas! Merry Christmas.
[HUM OF LAUGHTER AND CONVERSATION.]
Two fully assembled Christmas dinners plated up, in the oven and put on a low light - one for Nurse Franklin and one for Nurse Mount.
To absent friends! ALL: Absent friends.
Merry Christmas, everybody.
[PHONE RINGS.]
That may be the Mother House calling early.
Come with me, we'll take the call together.
Here's Sister Monica Joan.
Happy Christmas, Mother Jesu Emmanuel.
I hope you've had the most blessed and peaceful day.
Oh.
I see.
As you all doubtless know, our Order supports Hope Clinic, a tiny mission hospital in South Africa.
For some years, there has been one doctor there and a handful of nuns under Mother Felicity.
Mother Felicity has just died.
May she rest in peace and rise in glory.
The clinic is now so understaffed it may have to close altogether.
That would be disastrous.
Hope Clinic is the only medical facility for 100 miles.
And that is why we have been asked to send a small working party out there for four weeks.
Four weeks in South Africa? We would be nursing and running an urgent polio vaccination programme.
Meanwhile, a cleric of our choice would disburse a small but very welcome grant from a mission society, and assess the future viability of the clinic.
I would like Mr Hereward to take on this role.
If you would consider it? Of course.
You would have to be scrupulously honest and yet the survival of Hope Clinic will depend on your findings.
When were you planning on setting sail? In a fortnight.
Nurse Mount is doing sterling work.
Forceps won't be needed after all.
Now, I've been researching some logistics.
Most people spend their Christmas Day afternoon watching Billy Smart's Circus and eating Quality Street! How have we ended up discussing a mission to South Africa? Because God moves in a mysterious manner, even on major public holidays.
I have work to do here, Shelagh, in Poplar.
Patrick, London is full of locums and that vaccination programme needs a doctor.
Our own son had polio once.
Also, if we cut down our time away by flying instead of sailing By flying? .
.
then Granny Parker can mind the children.
Well, she's been begging to have them and they adore her.
You really want to go, don't you? I want us both to go, Patrick, because we need to be somewhere where we know the medicine we're giving out is doing good, not harm.
Shelagh, you didn't prescribe thalidomide to anyone.
What you did, I did.
Where you go, I go.
And I think we should go to South Africa.
Don't you want me to stay here, keep an eye on things? What about Sister Monica Joan? Sister Mary Cynthia will take exemplary care of her and Nurse Mount will run Nonnatus very efficiently in my absence.
But I haven't done sanitary engineering since El Alamein, Sister.
Wouldn't you rather take an actual missionary? Fred, the Army Pioneer Corps has given you skills that no missionary could match - logistics, plumbing, mechanics and drains.
I'd hazard a guess there's not much in the way of drains where we're going.
Quite.
Everybody's doing a brand-new dance now Come on, baby, do the loco-motion I know you'll get to like it if you give it a chance now Come on, baby, do the loco-motion My little baby sister can do it with me It's easy as a line in your ABC So come on, come on You next.
Mr Hereward's waiting outside.
I shall see to him.
Oh, I can do his, too.
You must observe boundaries whilst we're away - I think it's best you put them in place now.
The parcel from my sister came.
Oh, I'm so glad I didn't splash out on a new swimming costume! Hers will do me just fine.
No-one's wearing ruched one-pieces with modesty panels anymore, Barbara.
It's a good job I packed you an extra boned playsuit.
And, last but not least, medical supplies box number seven.
Containing 20 gross of sugar lumps for the administration of the oral vaccine.
This contains more fruit than any commercial confectioner's item and furthermore it is steeped in such a richness of alcohol that it will not fester should you transfer it through the hemisphere.
They can't give out Christmas cake in an African vaccination queue.
The marzipan would take a tremendous amount of explaining.
- Travel safe.
- Bye.
Bye.
Bye.
Let us know when you get there safely.
Bye.
Bye.
- Safe trip.
Have a safe journey.
- Bye.
Hey, look at that! Goats in the road! You wouldn't see that down Chrisp Street.
Oh, look at you, Barbara.
Brussel-sprout green all over again.
I thought looking at my Xhosa phrase book might help me take my mind off it.
You just have to suck on a barley sugar, like you did onboard ship.
Are there any left? I've all manner of aids to wellbeing in my bag of tricks.
I daren't ask if you've got anything to stop my mascara from running.
I've some petroleum jelly you can take it off with.
Why are we stopping? I'll deal with this.
Passport and visa.
How many are on the bus? Six more passengers and the driver.
I'm not interested in the driver.
Why've we stopped? Passports and visas, please.
Sunglasses off, please.
- Don't smile.
- Oh.
Thank you very much.
Welcome to South Africa.
You are so very welcome, Sisters.
I'm so sorry to have missed Mother Felicity.
I do hope her passing was a peaceful one.
Amoebic dysentery.
Better ways to go, even in this country.
But she died in harness, which I suspect would please her mightily.
Dr Fitzsimmonds? It's a long time since anyone called me that.
The locals can't seem to get their tongues round it.
You can do as they do, call me Dr Myra.
Did you bring the things we asked for? Everything from penicillin to rubber gloves.
It shouldn't be easier to ship things from London than it is to get them out of one's Administrative Health Board, but that's another story, and we're grateful for what we can get.
I can see the caption now "English roses - African Skies, exclamation mark.
" My jaw's starting to ache, Phyllis.
Well, this is a new camera.
Well, all I can say is thank goodness the Dansette runs on batteries because I don't know what's worse - this or the fact that our complexions are going to turn to pudding in this climate.
We're going to have to find a shop that sells cucumbers, so we can make ourselves a cooling masque.
Food? As a beauty aid? It might be a bit tactless, Trixie.
People here are really poor.
Can anyone smell anything slightly musky? It isn't me, is it? You're not usually challenged in the personal daintiness department, Barbara.
Well, circumstances are rather exceptional.
You shall have to set to with the Lifebouy.
But I was three feet away from Tom on the bus.
Bad enough I got that bit of sick on his trousers in the Bay of Biscay.
There are some memories even Lifebouy can't erase.
Whichever soap you choose, I suggest you apply it with a bit of backbone.
I'm sorry, lass, but you've had enough barley sugar and sympathy.
It's time to pull yourself together.
Meanwhile, I shall have to sneak some surgical spirit from supplies, or else blisters will beckon.
- Argh! - What? Spider.
Argh! As big as a wireless knob and it looks to be heading this way at speed! Dead.
Was it poisonous? I can't tell.
But it's crushed to a pulp - I can tell that.
I'd give your shoe a rinse.
It may have some venom on it or some backbone.
[FLIES BUZZ.]
Let's rest it here.
Yes.
Instruments being sterilised by boiling.
A perfectly efficient method.
We all knew the facilities would be humble.
I didn't expect an autoclave, but this is an oil stove.
I don't actually think they've got any electricity.
Is there no refrigerator? It's over there.
It smells as though it's powered by paraffin.
It's at times like this that I say to myself, "What would Sister Evangelina do?" Well, first of all, she'd mention the war and then she'd remind us we're here for our patients.
Yes.
Sinayo ibhedi kunye namayeza akho.
Zizophela intlungu, kungekudala.
Soon you will have no more pain.
[SHE GROANS.]
Put her in the general ward, the end bed, so she can feel the sun coming in through the window.
I suspect she has leukaemia.
She presented four months ago with joint pain and exhaustion.
Did you consider sending her somewhere larger, perhaps for radium treatment? No, I did not.
She hasn't the money to pay for it and, if she had, she'd run the risk of dying far from home.
And who would take that final comfort from her, hmm? I see someone's made himself at home.
You speak in jest, kind Reverend, but by performing my ablutions in our new abode, I'm in fact marking my territory.
I see.
You see, wild animals, like wolves and those little spotty humpy black dog things, er - Hyenas? - That's the fellas.
Wolves and hyenas mark their territory by leaving their scent.
Soldiers and Englishmen have a shave and visit the khazi.
I've just had a visit to the khazi.
I thought you was looking a bit pale.
I thought national service had prepared me for most things, but not long-drop loos over an open trench.
I also thought that conducting worship would be my biggest contribution .
.
but these people have nothing.
Tomorrow morning, say your prayers and write your report, and I will wage war on the long drops.
In the meantime, have a shave.
We'll have to arrange for deliveries of extra vaccine from Cape Town, with the only phone a mile away in the village Post Office.
I actually shuddered when she said that.
How does anyone run a hospital without access to telephone? What's all this? It's made of a new material called Bri-Nylon.
You can rinse it through and just leave it to drip dry.
Perfect for a colonial climate.
Absolutely.
Honestly, Trixie, I promise you, nobody will know you haven't been able to set your hair.
That hat covers a multitude of sins.
It's the first time I've ever wished I had a wimple.
No-one who comes to Hope Clinic is ever refused our help and, if they can't get here, we will fetch them.
And if they arrive at night, we rise and light the lamps.
And if their only ailment is starvation, we'll ensure that they're fed.
But the bedrock of it all is our open clinic, which we hold every morning of the week.
And how do you organise your appointments systems, Doctor? I don't have one.
I'd be delighted to introduce you to my Rolodexing systems.
The people I take care of know when they're ill and I know that disease cannot be diarised.
What about the maternity patients? Are they given regular checks? If they want them, they can have them, and many do.
Other women choose to give birth at home, in their rondavels, with only their families around them and the village witch doctor chanting just outside.
Really? I've no objection on religious grounds.
But too many of our mothers were malnourished as children, so we see a lot of very narrow pelvises and, in that case, the witch doctor can't save them But we can.
With forceps? Yeah, with forceps or a Caesarean.
It's why I asked you to bring the lignocaine.
But lignocaine is a local anaesthetic Yes, we can't and don't do any operations that require a general.
We have our own methods and we get good results for both mother and child.
Babies are precious here.
Well, babies are precious everywhere.
Nevertheless, I expect half your patients come to you asking you to prevent conception.
Since they licensed the pill, yes, although Well, these women are poor and they are black, and they live in a society that is gradually stripping them of any dignities or freedoms that they ever had, so motherhood is everything.
It's status, purpose, life itself and we have to help it to happen.
It isn't always easy.
No.
But medicine's never about doing what's easy - it's about doing what's essential.
That's why we came - to help.
I'm grateful for your help with the vaccination programme.
Everything else, you can leave to me.
These people and I understand each other.
[GRINDING.]
So this is the hospital truck.
[GRINDING CONTINUES.]
Well, that doesn't sound too healthy, Fred.
Well, it's working.
I just don't know how it's working.
I can see at least three component parts that come from other vehicles.
How far are you planning to travel in this tomorrow? Well, the first village on tomorrow's list is called Elbaai - it's about 30 miles away.
Right.
I was working in the kitchen at home.
It was just a cut, but now it hurts all the way up as far as my elbow.
That is a nasty infection, but there's plenty we can do.
A healthy mother makes for a healthy baby.
Yes.
Nurse Franklin, could you spare a moment? I'll need to lance this hand, then you can dress it.
Of course, Doctor.
[WOMAN CALLS OUT.]
Please help.
Ezikalini.
Scales.
Uyagula lomntana.
Sick.
Is sick.
Oh.
If Baby is sick, we will ask Doctor to look.
Oh, molo! Is everything all right, Nurse Gilbert? I don't know.
There we go.
Sh, sh.
Baby has a very high fever.
[ENGINE RASPS.]
Doctor! Dr Myra! Dr Myra! What is it, Innocent? Running a marathon's never a good idea when you've got TB.
Is it your wife? Undon.
The baby's coming! And she has failed to walk.
Where is she? Two to three miles away.
She couldn't walk, so I ran.
Did you leave her by the side of the road? He's fitting! Febrile convulsions! Baby aged five months, dehydrated, temperature of 102.
You, come with me to the children's ward.
And, you, get the truck, see to this man's wife.
Come.
Hiya pha.
You can't drive this, look, it's misfiring and it's got a really nasty hissing sound coming from the manifold.
May I remind you that I am a member of the Institute of Advanced Motorists and a young first-time mother has been left labouring in a ditch? Her fear is greater than mine.
Give me the keys.
No.
If the swelling's gone down tomorrow morning, doctor will let you go home.
But this will need regular dressing changes.
Is there someone who can do that? Oh, yes.
There's my mother, and my mother-in-law and my mother's mother and my two younger sisters and all the aunties.
They'll take good care of me because we've waited many years for this baby.
All of us.
But you most of all? Ten years of marriage and ten years of prayer.
Well, I'm all for persistence in the face of adversity.
You look like a modern young woman.
You know, I used to work in Cape Town - not as a servant but as a secretary.
I had a good education here at the Missionary School and I got to work for a coloured lawyer.
Oh! It was the happiest two years of my life.
I always think it's terribly unfair when women have to give up their jobs just because they're expecting.
I gave up work years ago.
They changed the law so that you had to carry a pass to go to the city and to stay there and to work, but I never got one.
Why not? It's just the way things are.
But my mother always says we have to bloom where we are planted .
.
and I'm blooming now.
Any landmarks spring to mind? I left her under the shade of a tree.
Mm, that was thoughtful of you.
I recommend that you take deep breaths, Mr Muzungulu.
Ooh! Shame you haven't got your new camera.
Let's keep our minds on our patient, shall we? I take it any jokes about "zebra crossings" would fall on deaf ears? [GEARS GRIND.]
Your grandson has a gut infection and he's starving! Ulambile! Umtyisa ntoni? What have you been feeding him on? Isidudu sikamili mili.
Oh, he's too young for mielie pop! Andinayo eye into endinomnika yona.
If you have nothing else to give him, you can bring him here.
Doctor, she DID bring him here.
Ungabinaxhala.
I'll take care of him.
This is the second time she's come here with a desperately sick grandchild.
Her daughters are both in domestic service, miles away.
It's not just feeding them meal and water that does this - it's the utter lack of hygiene.
Let ME take the baby.
He needs glucose and water.
Ndiyambona! I see her, I see her! I see her over there! [SHE BREATHES HEAVILY.]
[SHE MOANS.]
Good morning, Mrs Muzungulu! Or perhaps I should say Molo! I'm Nurse Crane.
Baby Baby coming Un-ga-bin-axhala.
All is well.
We'll have some privacy for Mother, please, gentlemen.
Keep your distance until instructed to do otherwise.
You poor lass.
You must be petrified, out here all alone.
You're not alone now.
Nurse Crane, I can see something moving in those bushes over there! I don't know what it is, but it looks like it might charge .
.
or pounce.
And do you have the means with which to defend this labouring mother and myself? - What? What do you mean? A rifle? - Yes.
No.
Then I don't wish to hear any more about it.
That's it.
Legs nice and wide apart.
Just bend your knees a little, if you can manage it.
There we go there Hello.
Hello.
I'm just checking on the water situation in here.
There's a bucket in the corner.
It has a lid, which does seem to keep the flies out.
This the little chap that had the fit? Yes.
He's already picking up, thanks to the glucose solution.
Dr Myra thinks we should be able to avoid putting him on a drip.
Well, that's good, isn't it? His grandmother went home in tears, Tom.
I didn't come here to make people feel ashamed.
I came here to make people feel better! I thought it would be easy.
So did I.
In my mind, I'm kissing you very gently.
And I'm kissing you back.
[FEZEKA CRIES OUT.]
Well done, lass.
Well done Fred? Put the stretcher down and escort Mr Muzungulu back to the truck, where he can wait till we're done.
Then come back here.
I shall be requiring some assistance.
When my two were born, I went down the Hand And Shears.
And if there was a bar in sight, I'd recommend you do the same.
And I'll come with ya! Fred! You may not win many medals for sprinting, Fred, but you've got two hands at the ends of your arms.
Get my bag, get the Dettol, and give them a good sluicing.
Then empty my instruments into the smaller of the two kidney dishes and put them there, where I can reach them.
[FEZEKA MOANS.]
It's all right, lass.
It's all right.
Baby's well on the way .
.
and the head is born.
You clever girl.
Not yet.
Now, Fezeka, can you give me a really big, strong push? [FEZEKA GROANS.]
Fezeka, baby needs a bit more room to get out.
We're going to have to get you kneeling down.
Kneel down? And, Fred, I need your shirt.
It's all right.
That's the way.
Now kneel down for me.
You grab hold of me, girl, that's it.
You see? Men can come in handy on occasion.
All right, Fezeka, push now! Push! [FEZEKA GROANS.]
I can't You can, Fezeka, you can! Now, you listen to Nurse Crane and do what she says.
Take some of our strength.
That's it, girl, you use us.
We've got plenty.
We're in this together.
Come on! That's it! It's all right.
[BABY CRIES.]
You clever, brave girl! You have a daughter.
[FRED CHUCKLES.]
See? I see her! I see her! You can have your cuddle in a minute, Nurse Buckle.
What do you reckon they're going to do with this? What, the afterbirth? Fezeka said her family wants it.
They carry out rituals, apparently.
What sort of rituals? I didn't enquire.
They send them off to the allotments in Poplar - I don't enquire about that either being vegetarian and fond of a tomato.
[ENGINE GRINDS AND STALLS.]
Oh! Come on! Oh, hell's teeth.
Could it not have hung on for another quarter of a mile? No, looks like we're walking.
[MUSIC PLAYING.]
I have to say, basic facilities or not, the way Dr Myra does a Caesarean is quite an education.
A much smaller incision and very little blood loss.
I was amazed.
I've been bitten by an insect again.
Cigarette smoke's supposed to repel them.
Do you want one? I've never smoked, Trixie, you know that.
Well, I'm perfectly willing to teach you.
Phyllis, too, if you're in the mood.
No, thank you, Trixie.
They aren't good for you and the pair of you should know that.
Besides, even when I was young and ignorant, I had a distaste for silky paper.
Hold it out, like this, taking care to extend the arm to create a graceful line from the wrist to the shoulder.
You sound like you're teaching a keep fit class! It's not a dissimilar approach.
Keep fit and smoking both require discipline and poise.
I'm awfully sorry.
But has anybody got anything for sunburn? I think my forehead's starting to blister.
Oh, surely it wasn't that hot? No.
But underneath all of this, I'm a redhead.
Your eyebrows had given rise to speculation.
I've got some Pond's Cold Cream.
In a minute, Barbara! Concentrate on your smoking for a moment.
I think you need to exhale through your nose before you open your mouth again.
Can't I just wave it around and frighten off - the mosquitoes that way? - Oh.
It seems we have company.
Hello, Rosa, come and join us.
The most pressing problem is the need to repair that truck.
Without it, we can't get out to the villages to start the vaccinations.
I'm worried about the sheer lack of records and our inability to predict how many people will actually turn up to be vaccinated.
I don't know how things here function as efficiently as they do.
I'm not sure they function efficiently at all.
The sisters do their best but, without electricity, they're struggling to sterilise equipment and keep their premature new-borns warm.
And the lamps aren't bright enough to work by after dark.
Would it help if they had a generator? We made our decision about that long ago.
It was a choice between a generator and the truck.
We had other means of making heat and light, but no other way of travelling.
I'm sorry, Doctor.
We shouldn't have started without you.
I was with my leukaemia patient.
Is that tea? Yes, Ty-phoo.
We brought it with us.
I thought so.
I caught a faint scent of my mother's parlour from it.
Circa 1919.
What else have you put in your report? I'm planning to mention that the water in your tank is at a very low level and Yes, it's unfortunate, but we make the best of it.
There's a better source not far away, but we would have had to lay pipes across somebody else's land and "somebody else" wouldn't give us their permission.
I smoked when I worked in an office in Cape Town - it's what you did.
It was like learning to type or use carbon paper - it was part of being smart.
I worked in a bakery.
It wasn't thought smart there.
Nobody wants to get ash on their bread or in it.
Where does your husband work? In a coal mine in Witbank.
Mine also.
They all come home for two months every year, to help with the ploughing and the sowing.
Three times now, mine has ploughed and sowed a little bit more than maize and peppers.
But my first child and my second child both died.
One in my belly and one in my arms.
I'm sorry.
Why are you sorry? Oh, i.
.
it's something we say in England, when someone says something bad has happened.
It is in the past now.
This baby's in the future, which is why you should never be sorry, just be glad.
[MUSIC STARTS.]
While I'm far away from you, my baby I know it's hard for you, my baby Because it's hard for me, my baby And the darkest hour I ought to go and put my veil on - ready for compline.
Oh, don't dash off.
If you listen to the lyrics, they mention the word "prayer" quite a few times.
A little prayer for me, my baby I suppose it is a bit like a hymn.
And tell all the stars above This is dedicated to the one I love Life can never be Exactly like we want it to be I could be satisfied Knowing you love Enough! This is a prohibited gathering.
We request that you disperse.
What do you mean, disperse? We're nurses and these are our patients.
You know the law, and you, even if they don't.
You're Bantu.
They're white.
You don't mix.
Get back to your beds, or your sleeping mats, wherever you belong.
We'll escort these ladies to their wards, thank you, Sergeant, and leave you to get on with your business.
Your truck is abandoned in the lane.
It's obstructing traffic.
Really, Sergeant.
It's half past ten at night - there is no traffic.
There will be traffic after daybreak - it will obstruct it then.
Makes me just want to get it started so I can run him over.
I'm here on a missionary basis and therefore trying not to think uncharitable thoughts.
I'm perfectly happy to think them for you.
That's my girl.
Ow! Can I bring anything over to your quarters, Doctor? No, thank you.
Tempting though your Ty-phoo is, I fear any more may keep me awake.
I was thinking perhaps some pain relief? Sorry, I didn't mean to pry.
I was in fine fettle until Sister Felicity shuffled off this mortal coil.
But every institution has its crumbling old dear and it would seem that, now she's gone, falls to me to fill the void.
I will keep you in my prayers.
Oh, I don't believe in any of that.
Not quite what you expect to hear in a mission hospital, is it? I've been here so long I can hardly recall my state of faith when I arrived.
I'm driven by people's need, now, not by my own beliefs.
Don't tell anyone.
[THEY SING.]
[SINGING CONTINUES.]
Good morning! Good morning, Constance! Good morning, Sister.
I'm just popping in to look you over before we set out for the day.
Oh! Where's Roza? She has gone home.
The man doctor said her hand was better.
Yes, but he asked me to see to her maternity checks before she left.
Her mother came for her, so she went.
Oh.
Still, she seemed fit and well.
Mm.
Sister, you are an excellent dancer.
Shh! [RATTLING.]
[ENGINE STARTS.]
[ALL CHEER.]
[MUSIC: Pata Pata by Miriam Makeba.]
[MUSIC DROWNS SPEECH.]
[MUSIC FADES.]
[KNOCKING ECHOES.]
Fred, come and look at this.
I'd better stand upwind of you.
I've been digging trenches for them long drops.
Inch of maggots in the old ones.
The water's even lower than it was before.
Did that come out of the tank? Looks like it's full of clay.
We need to put it right .
.
but first we have to find the source.
Yeah.
These old pipes ain't too bad.
Here's the source.
I told ya! Clay.
You can make dinner plates with that lot.
What you want is a new source, full stop.
Well, there's a potential one here but it's not going to be straightforward.
If we can clean and re-lay these pipes, then the SPG grant might just stretch to cover the labour.
But we'd be disconnecting what little supply there is.
Well, that's going to run out in days anyway without rain.
So, tomorrow, I'll go and get permission.
[MUSIC: Pata Pata by Miriam Makeba.]
[MUSIC DROWNS SPEECH.]
Look, through there.
Hoo, every Friday and Saturday night It's Pata Pata time The dance keeps going all night long Till the morning sun begins to shine Thank you, Mrs Nonesi.
Next, please.
Good afternoon, boys! My name is Abel.
We've come for the polio vaccination.
I have money.
If I don't have enough for both, I want my brother to have the injection.
There's no injection, Abel, it's medicine you swallow on a sugar lump.
And there's no charge.
Although we do have to add you to our records, if you aren't already on our list.
We are not from this place.
I walk eight miles.
No wonder your brother's legs got tired.
Matthias cannot walk - he has had polio - that's why I want HIM to have the vaccination.
How long ago did Matthias have polio, Abel? Two years ago.
Did you learn to speak English at school? We learn only handicrafts at school.
Our mother taught me before she died.
Can you feel that? He feels but he can't move.
That is why we want him to have the vaccination, to cure the polio, like it says on the posters.
You can have the vaccination, Abel, and there's no harm in giving Matthias one, too.
But there is something that you need to understand.
I'm going to tell it to you, man to man.
And neither I, nor anyone else, is going to take a penny of your money.
Thank you, Doctor, sir.
Abel, vaccination is to prevent polio, to stop it from happening.
It is good medicine.
All medicine is good .
.
usually.
But vaccination can't make you better when you've already had the disease.
Can't it help him to walk? He was a good walker before he had polio.
No.
They were kids, the pair of them, and I had to take away the only thing they had - the belief that somehow things might get better.
At least Abel's been vaccinated.
Well, that's no comfort to either of us, Shelagh, and you know it and even less comfort to them.
- Look! Oh, wait.
- Please, Sister Gertrude! Please! Please come! Doctor Myra's very, very sick.
I don't need you to examine me.
I'm not playing that game.
When you've been the only doctor within a 30-mile radius for 27 years, you develop an impressive diagnostic prowess.
I don't doubt that and I don't doubt you.
Oh, yes, you do.
Won't you even let me look at you, just to be sure? I have jaundice, nausea, weight loss.
Upper right quadrant pain referring through to the upper back.
Liver cancer's a sordid business, I know what I'm in for.
Do you think it's primary or metastatic? The former.
End of story.
I don't know what's worse, hope, like those little boys had, or no hope at all.
There's never no hope atall, Patrick.
It's 1962! Oh, disgusting! I've just changed Doctor Myra's sheets.
Apart from being helped to drink a little fluid, it's the only attention she'll accept.
Put them in the basket over there.
The lady from the village who helps with the washing went home sick yesterday and hasn't been seen since.
Sister Edith says two of the patients in general ward have developed vomiting and diarrhoea.
Well, I wish I was surprised.
Excuse me.
Is this the Starke farmhouse? Yes, sir.
Every five years, I have to mount these all over again.
The glue disintegrates and, when I open the album, all the photographs fall out like a deck of cards.
I'm afraid I've called at an inconvenient time, Mr Starke.
If you're thinking about running a water pipeline across my land, from the spring to that hospital, there will never be a convenient time.
The new stream isn't on your land and there is just no other route to the hospital.
Then work it out.
Find another spring or find another way.
Mr Starke, our tank is almost empty.
There is no other way.
Our water's running out.
[GOATS BLEAT.]
Nice goat nice goat [GOAT BLEAT.]
You're connected.
Hello? This is Nonnatus House.
'Sister Monica Joan?' It's Shelagh.
I'm calling from South Africa.
"I left a key at Nonnatus House before we came away, so someone could go to our flat and water the plants.
" The parlour palm thrives.
Honesty dictates a poor report on the begonias.
I'm not worried about the begonias.
I need your help.
Could someone go to the flat and look in one of the cupboards for me? [MUSIC: Rubber Ball by Bobby Vee.]
Bouncy bouncy Bouncy bouncy Bouncy bouncy Ee-ee-ee Yonke into ihamba kakuhle.
Perfect.
With your increasing command of Xhosa and my unerring ability to draw a crowd through the deployment of popular music, we're becoming an indispensable double act.
- Please! Please come very fast.
- Is somebody ill? Yes, my daughter's baby's coming.
It's been three days since she had pains.
- Three days? - Yes, please come, please.
Sibiza izinyanya zakwa uMthimkulu, uMthimkulu kwakona, umPafane, uGabatha, nezinyanya zakwa Gadebe Has your daughter seen the doctor? No, not for the labour, only for the bad cut in her head.
Midwives calling.
Hello, Roza.
Remember me? I want to do this the old way, in my home.
There's no reason to suppose you can't.
Let's see if we can get you onto the bed, sweetie.
I'm tired of waiting and sick with bearing down.
First, we'll take a look at you and then we'll get you a cup of sweet tea.
And how often are the pains? Yesterday, four or five times an hour.
And now, just two or three.
You'll be able to have that cup of tea in a minute.
I just want to give you an internal examination, Roza.
I know you won't have had one before, but it shouldn't be too un-comfy.
Heels up to your bottom and knees nice and wide apart.
That's it.
[SHE GROANS.]
Is that a pain? It's all right, sweetie.
I'm just popping outside for a moment.
Here.
There's no heartbeat, is there? It's worse than that, Barbara.
There's no baby.
What? The cervix is hard, the uterus isn't palpable and, despite her waves of pain, she isn't even contracting.
Do you think it's a phantom pregnancy? I know it is.
I've only seen one once before, years ago, but you don't forget it.
Trixie.
Don't you see why this has happened? It's because she's been forced into a wretched, filthy, narrow life, where her only worth comes from what she can grow in her womb.
She wanted that baby so badly that her body started lying to her and she believed it.
The baby may be imaginary but her pains are real.
And now she has to be told the truth.
I know.
I'll do it.
[ROZA SOBS.]
I'm sorry, Roza.
I'm so sorry.
Words aren't enough, I know they aren't enough, but they're all I have, and I can't just sit here and offer you nothing.
You speak of "nothing".
I am nothing.
I am hollow because I am empty! You are not empty, Roza.
You are full of love, for the man you never see, for the mother you try to please, for the child some idiot law of biology won't allow you to conceive, that your soul spilled over and your body told you lies.
Biology might be the idiot, but I, I am the fool.
No.
No, Roza.
It takes a lot of wisdom to love as much as you do .
.
and that's why I know you'll find a reason to go on.
It just won't be today.
Would anyone like to try some of this local sausage? It smells quite spicy, but the kitchen ladies were so kind and I don't want to hurt their feelings.
Hand it over.
It'll fill a hole.
I might walk back up that lane, to that little shop we saw, see if I can buy us all an ice cream.
Whoo! We are on holiday, after all.
Well, we're on holiday for an hour or two.
We're here to do mission work, Tom, and I'm not sure it's possible, or right, to take a holiday from that.
Barbara, the work here is hard cos our patients' lives are hard.
We'll all do it better if we can just put it out of our minds for a little while! We can put it out of our minds for good when we go home and we may well want to, because I'm not sure we'll leave anything worth remembering behind or take anything away beyond insect bites and a few photos.
Listen, lass.
If that clinic closes, it won't be for the want of us putting the effort in - it'll because there's no running water and no doctor left at the helm.
I'm working on that, but it isn't looking hopeful.
I want to believe that Doctor Myra's diagnosis is wrong.
I've learned a great deal over the past couple of years, Tom, mostly by going to my AA meetings.
One was never to judge a book by its cover.
Barbara seemed so squeaky clean when she first arrived.
She still does, if you just look at her on the surface.
I don't just look at her on the surface.
I know.
Perhaps we should all be as wise as you or Barbara.
She is wise, isn't she? She's angry and she's not afraid to say so.
In fact, Barbara's afraid of much less than you'd think.
But you don't expect it from her, so you just don't see it.
I see it.
And that's why Barbara's the person you should spend your whole life with.
She's funny, she's strong and she's clever.
We simply have to overlook her incompetence at racquet sports.
"Whole life", Trixie? I've known it for a long time, possibly longer than you.
But promise me one thing.
If you propose to her, or even when, don't give her that ring that you once gave me.
That ring was your granny's before it was mine and Barbara's had so many second-hand things over the years .
.
that atrocious swimsuit being merely the tip of a very dismal iceberg.
I think she looks lovely in it.
Be that as it may, no hand-me-down rings, Tom.
Get her something brand-new - she deserves it.
Hello, you.
Hello, you.
I'm sorry I lost my temper.
I'm sorry you felt the only way to make your voice heard was to shout.
Did I shout? - Not really.
- Oh.
I was too easily defeated by the landowner, too dependent on him giving his permission.
I'm going to strip out, repair, and move the whole pipeline, round Starke's land if I have to.
In the meantime, we can fetch water from the new spring in barrels.
If the old spring's drying up, we're going to have to do that anyway.
We're going to have to see what faith can do.
Sister Edith has gone down with vomiting and diarrhoea.
Her, too? And I've quarantined Sister Gertrude, so that she's only working on the affected ward.
I'd say it's going to be all hands to the pump, but under the circumstances that's just a really tactless pun.
We'll have to ration the amount of water that's used on laundry and, with enteric fever going round, that's going to be difficult.
The best thing we could leave behind is something that goes on working after we're gone and that means Hope Clinic, which means Doctor Myra.
I might have found a different diagnosis.
If I'm right, she's in with a chance.
A good chance? A slim one.
But if she won't let me near her, it means no chance at all.
Oh, I've witnessed several phantom pregnancies.
The women become deranged by the simple yearning to conceive and bear a child.
I knew that yearning once.
I was lucky because it left me when we adopted our daughter.
But more than once, I clung to the slightest signs and convinced myself I was carrying a child.
Our bodies aren't very reliable witnesses, even when we're in the medical profession.
I'm not imagining I have liver cancer.
You're not imagining you have liver disease - that's different.
Why? Because some liver diseases are curable - if you would just let Dr Turner examine you.
You think I'm arrogant, don't you? No.
But I think you're scared.
And you've been so brave for so long, and so alone for so long, that it's going to take a lot of courage to admit that.
Right, we'll be starting by dismantling the current water pipe and clearing the tubes of any clay residue, then we'll relay the pipes all the way from the new, clean spring to the Hope Clinic.
Everyone working will be paid a daily wage.
If you have any difficulties, you're to come to me, Mr Buckle, or Mr Muzungulu, who's been appointed foreman.
Right! If you're feeling unwell, or if your cough plays up, you let me know.
[MUSIC: Pata Pata by Miriam Makeba.]
And out.
[SHE GASPS.]
I don't think it's a tumour.
I think it's a hepatic abscess, but it's sizeable.
We need to get you to the general hospital in Port Elizabeth.
No.
Not three hours in an un-sprung truck.
If it bursts, I won't survive the journey.
I may be stubborn, but I'm not a fool.
And you're a doctor, which means I'm listening to what you have to say.
Likewise.
Medicine is never about doing what's easy - it's about doing what's essential.
So what do we do next? With your permission, I'll drain the abscess and give you emetine to tackle the infection.
Very well.
A bit of local anaesthetic, it'll be drained before you know it.
No.
No anaesthetic.
We've only got what you brought and I'm saving that for my Caesarean ladies.
Those are my terms, Doctor.
Patients first and, in this case, I mean mine, not yours.
May the Lord bless you and keep you.
I appreciate the sentiment.
Now, back to bed, all of you.
Can't keep my doctor waiting.
Aspirating.
Dish.
How much water do we have left? If you really want to be a good patient, you'll leave all of that to us.
Do you know why Mr Starke won't let the pipe pass over his land? I assumed it was because Because he hates blacks? - Yes.
- No.
It's because he loved his wife.
She was younger than him and you never saw a girl look so pretty on her pedestal.
And when their first-born came along, she went into labour early and they had no time for a transfer to a private nursing home, so they sent for me.
I delivered her of a four-pound boy that lived for six days.
She was too ill to realise what she'd lost, but Mr Starke wasn't.
And she survived only 24 hours more - puerperal fever.
Has Mr Starke held a grudge against Hope Clinic all this time? In his eyes, I I transmitted the disease from my patients to his wife.
When people have no love to live for, it's so very easy to fill that void with hate.
Yes.
Water is now officially on the ration.
No more washing, it's for consumption and sterilisation only.
All right.
[HE SIGHS.]
Is that the aspirate from Doctor Myra's abscess? It's definitely amoebic and that means the drugs we're using should be working, but she's getting worse.
Could you be bold and try a different treatment? I'm not sure there is one and I've been bold already.
I stuck my neck out draining the abscess and look where we ended up.
We haven't ended up anywhere yet, Patrick.
There's a time and a place for caution, but not here and not now.
And I'm not going to say anything else, because I'm afraid I might speak sharply and, no matter how high the stakes, you don't deserve that.
Good morning, ladies.
Good morning! And the Hotel Hope Clinic is once again open for business.
All right, Constance? I think maybe yes maybe no? Today I think something might happen.
Well, if it does, you're in the right place.
Sustenance for the workers, after which we're collecting water from the stream to take back to the hospital.
Why didn't you bring the truck? Nurse Crane said we shouldn't waste fuel.
We won't have to do it for long, just until the new pipeline's connected.
That's it, Constance, that's it.
How much longer? One hour? Or two? A few.
Come on.
Think how long you've waited for this baby.
Oh, no.
Excuse me! You were right, Shelagh.
If we act now, there's one last thing that we can try.
Oh, Patrick, I hope so.
She's coming round.
It's all right, Myra.
We're going to help you.
I promise.
I came as quickly as I could.
We need to get her to a hospital, preferably in Port Elizabeth, and persuade them to give her a drug called metronidazole.
It's new.
It's still experimental, but I've read reports on it and I'm prepared to beg.
She deserves better than this.
Don't worry.
She'll get the very best that we can give her.
Not long now, Constance.
Mr Hereward? The situation at the clinic is becoming desperate.
We're working as fast as we can, Sister.
When will the pipeline be connected to the tank? It could take as long as two months.
Two months? We've barely enough water for two days.
Without Mr Starke's permission to put the pipe across his land, we have to lay it around his boundary - which runs for miles.
And he won't give you that permission? No.
He just refuses.
Well done, Constance.
Now let's see if we can get you a bit more comfortable.
How are we getting on? She's still not fully dilated.
The cervix is oedematous and the head's very high.
Narrow pelvis? Very.
And she's lost two babies before.
[SHE MOANS.]
It's all right, sweetie.
It's all right.
I will fetch Mr Starke.
Oh Thought you were Mother Felicity.
If you had been, would've thrown you straight out.
Mother Felicity has died, Mr Starke, of dysentery.
- She lived to a considerable age, but - Lucky her.
I have spoken with Dr Myra and I do understand why your feelings towards Hope Clinic are less than warm.
Good.
Then leave my house and leave me alone.
I have generally been quite a fortunate woman, Mr Starke.
I've experienced little in the way of loss, but I know what it is to have nothing but a photograph or two to look at and to love.
They fade people don't tell you that.
The photographs fade and the glue disintegrates.
Now, I never took any photographs of Celeste in her last days .
.
because her face was so swollen and discoloured.
I can imagine.
And I never took any photographs of the child at all.
I can't answer for what happened then.
But will you let me say I am sorry? Why? Why should you feel guilt? Hmm? I don't, but I feel so much sorrow.
I feel it every time a child is lost, every time a mother is lost.
I feel it every time I see somebody weeping, even if they don't allow the tears to fall.
Each night before you go to bed, my baby Spare a little ROZA JOINS IN: prayer for me, my baby And tell all the stars above This is dedicated to the one I love I think now we should send for a doctor.
She doesn't need a doctor, does she, Nurse Franklin? Of course not.
She's got us.
[ROZA GROANS.]
That's it.
Mr Starke, if your wife did die because of bacterial infection, you could help prevent that happening to any other mother.
All you have to do is to stop blaming Doctor Myra and her black patients for the death of your wife and baby.
You ask a great deal of a man who has nothing.
You have land, Mr Starke, land that could be traversed with a water pipeline in a matter of just a few days.
Believe me, a clean water supply to the hospital would be a better memorial to your wife than any photograph, even if the smiling faces are not her face and the children saved are not your child.
I have asked a great deal, Mr Starke, I know.
But I will not ask your permission to pray for you, I will do that anyway, because I cannot bear the thought of leaving you alone in such pain.
[SHE GROANS.]
[GROANS CONTINUE.]
She's making no progress.
She can't pass urine and there's a ridge in the muscle in the lower part of the uterus.
Would you examine her, Sister? This? You're right, Nurse Franklin.
If we don't intervene, the uterus will rupture.
The heartbeat's still slow.
Sister? Constance needs a Caesarean section - without one, neither she nor the child can survive - and there's no-one here that can do that for her.
Then we have no choice - we have to operate ourselves.
We're midwives, Nurse Franklin.
I don't normally wish we were doctors, too, but I do today.
Sister, I've seen so many Caesareans at close quarters, I've even assisted in stitching.
We have the instruments we need, we're skilled enough and desperate enough.
Please don't plead with me.
I'm not pleading.
I'm saying again that we have no choice and I want that to be a powerful thing, a thing that makes survival possible.
Not a miserable, grinding version of "no choice", which means we'll have two bodies to bury in one coffin in the morning! That may be the situation anyway, Nurse Franklin, even if we do as you suggest.
But at least we will have tried.
Trixie's already scrubbing up.
Nurse Crane sent me to collect the instruments and the drugs.
It's all in hand, including a strong sedative and plenty of lignocaine.
Sister Gertrude says Nurse Franklin will need to inject it into each layer of muscle as she proceeds.
Are the instruments ready? Erm, they need another 50 seconds.
[ROZA'S GROANS CONTINUE.]
Extra Tilley lamp.
Thank you, Fred.
Can I do anything else? Not this time.
Has the anaesthesia taken? Scalpel.
That's it, Constance, that's it.
She needs more gas.
Uterus exposed.
I'm going to pull the baby out now.
Ready to receive.
It's stuck, I can't move it.
I need I need someone to put their hand into the birth canal and push the baby back upwards.
Barbara, will you do it? Yes.
Applying pressure.
Barbara! Again, Barbara! [BABY CRIES.]
Come on, come on, open your eyes, Mummy! Well done, Trixie.
I couldn't be more proud of you.
Well done.
Well done.
I can't really think of anything else to say, except I'm so glad you taught me to smoke because right now there's nothing I want more than a cigarette.
[THEY BOTH CHUCKLE.]
I've come to speak to you, Sister.
I'm afraid I can't oblige you now, Mr Starke.
This baby's mother required surgery and I need to get back to her.
Don't you bath a baby when it's just been born? Mother Felicity bathed my little girl when she was born, I remember it clearly.
We don't have sufficient water, Mr Starke and, as I said, I can't oblige you now.
I'm sorry.
Truly sorry.
And I want to make amends.
[CHATTER AND LAUGHTER.]
They're back.
What news of Dr Myra? She's been admitted to hospital in Port Elizabeth.
Dr Turner persuaded them to try metronidazole.
It remains to be seen if it will work.
Meanwhile, we stopped off at the airport and collected this, fresh from Nonnatus House.
Oh! Then we stopped off in a certain village and picked up these.
Molo.
Come on, lads.
We've got work to do.
What is this cake? It's Christmas cake.
It's a bit late.
No.
It's a bit early.
Ah.
Ooh.
Phyllis seems to have got her camera working.
I thought that, when the water comes through, we could get a picture.
That way we'll have proof we left something behind.
We don't need proof.
We'll always know it's here.
In the meantime, tuck into this.
I don't fancy looking at it in the Bay of Biscay.
Barbara.
I want you to have this.
No-one's hand ever touched it but mine and it's as though it was just growing here, waiting for this moment.
Oh, Tom.
There'll be a gold ring, there'll be a diamond if you want one, but for now - you beautiful girl - will you just let me love you and accept this blade of grass? Yes, I will.
Barbara Gilbert, will you marry me? Doesn't your boy need these anymore? No.
Our boy - Timothy - got stronger.
These are yours now.
Yeah.
[HUM OF CHATTER.]
Thank you all for coming.
[CHATTER SUBSIDES.]
Now it's time to see if the new spring works.
There you go, chap.
Oh, bless him.
Three, two, one JENNIFER: Not all gifts come tied in ribbons or at a special time of year.
Some blessings surprise us, arriving unlabelled, and we embrace them in a blaze of joy.
Good afternoon, Nurse Gilbert.
Mrs Turner.
Roza.
You look so smart.
Once a secretary, always a secretary.
Roza Mphaphane was appointed clinic administrator, which gave her dignity and purpose, and the hospital the chance to thrive.
Clean water and renewed and increased funding from the mission made Hope Clinic viable again.
It could at last look to the future with the woman who served it for so many years restored to her place as its beating heart.
I hope you're going to behave yourself because, until you're fully recovered, Dr Myra, I'm in charge.
Ooh.
Go on, off you go, go on Right.
Oh, that's nice.
Now just get a bit closer.
Smile! The once frail hospital flourished long after the visitors from Nonnatus said goodbye.
But though they had given their labour and their love, they also took and they learned and they went home wiser, enriched, in ways that they could not count.
Ready! [CAMERA WHIRS.]
Cheese!