Call the Midwife s13e00 Episode Script

Christmas Special 2023

MATURE JENNIFER: We would give
children anything at Christmas
..their passing fancies
or their hearts' desires,
their frenzied crazes
or the things they yearn for.
We want to fill their hands
because it fills our hearts.
That is the secret
of grown-ups everywhere.
Oh, sorry. Sorry, sorry,
sorry, sorry. Sorry!
This is a bit of
a quick turnaround, Fred.
I mean, what are you going to do if
any of the children recognise you?
I'm just going to have
to fall back on the truth
and tell them
I'm one of his helpers!
Oh! There's my girl!
Now, what do you say to Auntie Vera?
Thank you for looking after me
for so long.
Oh! Make sure you come and see me.
She will. We both will.
Happy Christmas.
Come on, Mummy!
Happy Christmas to you, too!
Good lad. Good lads, come on.
Good afternoon, Fred!
Afternoon, Sister
Mummy! It's even got a kettle,
just as Sister Veronica promised.
It was a duplicate wedding present.
Oh! There's also an alarm clock.
Also aduplicate wedding present.
So you can get up early
and make your mother a cup of tea!
Sister Julienne, I can't
thank you enough for all of this.
Once we had persuaded you
to stay with us,
it was the only living arrangement
that seemed to make sense.
One can only marvel
that it was not thought of sooner!
And that was my omission.
MAN: You've had the eviction notice.
I don't like the look of that.
Mr Aylward?
I'd thought the bailiffs
would have been and gone by now.
There's a lady in the basement
of number 11 who's being moved
to a geriatric hospital.
It's taken all afternoon
to persuade her out of her armchair.
All cellar dwellings are to be
evacuated and boarded up.
Those rooms are structurally unsafe.
I only found out we owned these
a few months ago.
I'm not leaving till I've seen
Nigel! Who's Nigel, Mrs Sleaman?
If you give me a telephone number,
perhaps I can call him for you.
He's a cat. He was down there
all along. Nearly had me eye out!
Ohhh! Oh, bless you.
Oh, you're a good boy, aren't you?
I don't think he's any more keen
to leave than you are.
We've been through
some times together.
If ever you're passing
..he wouldn't say no
to a tin of pilchards.
Sir! Erm, can I leave this with you?
I've left Jonty sitting in the car.
Of course. You must go. Thank you.
Good evening, Nurse Crane.
Just my usual evening call
of inquiry!
We've had no births on the district
as yet today.
And it is Nurse Aylward's second day
back at work after her honeymoon.
This morning we spent 25 minutes
..looking at wedding photographs
in the clinical room.
If I hadn't been sent
on this infernal refresher course,
she could have had longer off!
Indeed. But refresher courses,
however ill-timed, have their uses.
We must have every credential
in order
before the trainee midwives arrive
in March.
And March will be upon us
before we know it.
I've a few new thoughts
for my list of concerns. Mm.
Please, Mr Sharma! If you don't open
the door, we'll have to force entry,
and I don't want to have to do that.
You will force nothing!
This is my home!
Please, sir.
I know this is your home.
But all these cellar dwellings
have to be boarded up.
The electricity and water
have already been disconnected.
You called me sir
..and I shall do so likewise.
SirI am leaving of my own accord.
No enforcement is required.
Do you have somewhere to go?
Yes. I can find my way.
Board it up.
Jingle Bells
What is asparagus, anyway?
Well, it'sit's greens, basically.
You can "ugh" all you like,
but it's one of the most popular
items in the Christmas Club boxes.
People tick the forms for either
asparagus or sherry consomme,
a coconut or a pineapple.
CHILDREN: Hello! Happy Christmas!
What can I do for you, Mrs Turner?
The children were wondering
if there was anything
in tonight's papers about Apollo 8.
Not half!
The Gazette's full of it again.
You would have thought
they were launching it from Poplar,
not from Florida! Can I please have
some glue for my scrapbook?
Yes, treacle, it's just down there,
on that stand in front of
the comics. I've never seen a child
so besotted with the space race!
Her teacher has promised her
house points
if she takes the scrapbook in
after Christmas.
I reckon it's a nice thing
for them to be mad about.
I mean, what else have they got
to watch on telly, eh?
Biafra. Oh! Don't even get me
started on that Blue Peter appeal!
I've sent two parcels
of old clothes off already.
Here, you can have the paper
on the house. Oh, thank you!
The glue will be a shilling.
Of course it is.
There we go.
There you go, children.
Hello, Daddy! Ah, hello, Daddy.
In we pop.
Your obsession
with giving things away
is going to be the death of me.
Or very possibly this business!
Oh, have a heart, Vi! Reggie, go
and put the "closed" sign up.
And then I want you to help me hang
this notice up in the window.
What's all this, then?
For every ten Christmas Club boxes,
we are donating one free of charge
to a deserving local resident.
Just because I know about business
doesn't mean to say that I don't
know how to love my neighbour!
That's it! Thank you, Jonty.
Watch Daddy!
All right
Oh! Beautiful!
for our newest resident
to place her letter
to Father Christmas in the grate.
I wrote "NEW ADDRESS" in capitals,
next to Nonnatus House.
AND underlined it,
so Santa doesn't get mixed up!
SISTER VERONICA: If we're lucky
and the elves come tonight,
it'll be on its way
to the North Pole by morning.
Timothy says
he wants driving gloves,
he's passed his driving test,
and the new LP by the Kinks.
His money's run out. I don't think
Father Christmas brings records.
Hmm, I think you'll find his elves
are up-to-date
with ALL the modern trends.
He won't have a problem
with roller-skates for May
or a telescope for Angela, either.
How do you spell tortoise?
Father Christmas doesn't bring
It's too cold in the North Pole.
I want a tortoise!
Is Colette asleep?
Out like a light.
Father Christmas hasn't collected
the letters from the fireplace yet.
I wondered if we might be forgiven
for taking a little peek
at what she's asked for.
She says
"..Dear Father Christmas,
"I don't need any Christmas presents
this year"
What? "..because
I have everything I want."
Good morning, sir!
I don't think Mr Palmer opens
until nine.
I'm content to wait.
I require tools.
Our own kettle!
And our own key!
Put this on now. I've warmed it
through on the radiator.
You're spoiling her, Sister!
She's going
to a hospital appointment!
Nasal cautery is not something
to be sniffed at!
But it IS going to put a stop
to all those horrid nosebleeds.
A tortoise, Patrick!
He wanted a pogo stick last week.
Too late! The letters have gone
to Father Christmas now.
I can't remember the last time
Miss Higgins let me have free rein
with the reception desk.
If she wasn't out
inspecting new clinic premises,
you wouldn't get anywhere near.
This morning's surgery starts with
a double appointment.
Beckwith, mother and son.
A, menstrual disorder,
B, teething trouble, query eczema.
Then Mrs Brenda Shelby,
expectant mother of twins.
Yes, Brenda Shelby!
I'm looking forward to seeing her!
Ah. I HOPED she'd be under Mathers.
He's the top man in the field.
Clinic will commence
at two o'clock sharp every Tuesday.
The midwives and myself will require
ingress at precisely 1pm.
I don't think Knitting Club
will have finished by then.
Knitting Club will be obliged
to finish.
Our schedule of classes, including
mothercraft and relaxation,
will make us
this hall's primary occupant
..and your principal source
of income.
Now, we need to discuss
the aroma in the lavatories.
And in all those seven years,
did you not conceive even once?
We tried and we tried,
and we hoped and we hoped, but
..nothing ever happened. It's hard
to explain how hard it was.
You don't have to. I do understand.
I'm one of eight kids.
When my sisters started getting
in the family way, I
..I thought it would eat me alive.
That's why we moved away.
And this is why you've moved back.
There's nothing like having family
around you.
Even five years ago,
these fertility drugs were
still the stuff of dreams.
Last week, Mr Mathers brought
students in to look at me,
and he kept calling me
"the research subject"!
Brenda, the Royal College Hospital
have been with you
every step of the way on this.
According to Mr Mathers' notes,
they're going to admit you
well in advance of your due date.
Now, what we need to do is work out
a plan
for looking after you and the twins
once you all come home.
Oh! We've hardly thought about that,
have we, Vince?
Do you know,
I always get a bit giddy
every time I see a piece of tinsel.
Christmases were never
quite the same
at the branch house in Hong Kong.
Did you ever spend the season
overseas, Sister Monica Joan?
My mission has always been confined
to our home shores.
The Almighty willed it thus.
Oh, well, never say nev
THISforthcoming Christmas
..will be my last upon this Earth.
Sister! That is
a very doleful prediction.
It is not a prediction.
God has assured me of this grace.
I shall not see another
festive season this side of heaven.
And I accept his will.
You say that as if you've got
nothing left to live for.
I should not phrase it so bluntly
..but the sentiment is not
What about the people
devoted to your care?
What about your Sisters
and your friends?
What about man's incursion
into space?
You've followed that programme
for years.
Surely you want to live
to see man walking on the moon?
I fearit does not impress.
Just as Apollo 8 will not impress.
Apollo 8 is going to go
round and round the moon, Sister!
The moon itself has circled
our petty planet for eternity.
I see no great virtue in
an American vehicle doing likewise.
I am at the end.
And this will be my final Christmas.
We shall pray for you.
Pray that it will be a happy one.
Deck The Halls
Gosh! It's a
..little early for a negligee.
It's a hostess gown. Oh? We have
a strenuous evening ahead of us.
Mm! Writing thank-you letters.
Oh, Matthew, come along!
Sit to the table.
I thought the bride did this. Well,
I'm sure she did traditionally,
but traditionally, she didn't have
a job that kept her out all day.
Fair enough. Shall I do my side
and you do your side?
No. I'll do your side
and you do my side.
It's more suggestive
of the union of two families.
Peace and goodwill towards all men,
lest we forget.
Is your mother still being difficult
about Christmas dinner?
Not, er, difficult.
Justfragile. It's still so soon
after my father died.
I've told you, I don't mind going
to your mother's house at all,
as long as we can get to
Nonnatus House in time for pudding.
I just wanted something of our own,
Christmas done
..our way.
Oh, darling. And so many things will
be done our way, here, in our home.
Smoked salmon kedgeree
on Christmas Eve.
Cooked by me.
And the holly and ivy and red roses
on every surface, arranged by me.
These are all things that are ours
and ours only, Matthew.
Geoffrey! My gorgeous sister!
I spent the entire taxi ride from
the nether reaches of Herne Hill
trying to think up
a witty conversational opener
along the lines of,
"Any room at the inn?"
Er, I thought
you were spending Christmas
with your friend, Bernard,
and his aunt.
Bernard's aunt has fallen ill.
Er, there's been a change of plan.
Do you think Nurse Crane will take
photographs this Christmas?
I don't doubt Nurse Crane will take
photographs into perpetuity.
And beyond. It's going to be
the best Christmas of my life.
I don't want it to vanish
from my mind.
The best Christmas of MY life
has never yet faded from mine.
What do you remember about it?
A knitted stocking
hanging from the bedstead,
containing a ragdoll,
an orange
and a Book Of Common Prayer.
Green garlands
above the Yuletide table,
boar's head,
plum duff
as spherical as the Earth itself.
And there was a tableau
in the village church -
the shepherds and the magi,
a living ox,
a living ass
..and the Christ Child.
Like a Nativity play?
Not the way
you would think of it now.
It was inspired
by a Flemish painting,
and it seemed
as though the infant himself
was the source of all the light.
I look back now
..and it's as though it was painted
on glass and set with jewels.
I rode to church
in the pony chaise
..with my mother.
And under the furs
..her hand held mine.
I don't recall the touch of her,
ever, after that.
My mother holds my hand
all the time.
I was not so fortunate, perhaps.
But that day was miraculous
in everything it offered.
if I could live
butone hour of it again
..I would die contented
..with my soul replete.
CHILDREN: You did it yesterday! No,
May, it's not fair. It's MY turn.
It's my turn. You did it yesterday!
I can't hear the radio.
I'm going to miss
the Apollo 8 bulletin.
Timothy! Special delivery!
I think this one fell off the back
of Santa's sleigh.
Oh, there's a pile of post, as well.
How was the sleeper?
Sleepless. Plenty of time for a kip
before clinic.
And the coffee's already on,
unless my nose deceives me.
It's mine! It's mine!
Ah, Earl Grey!
Oh, I knew your domestic
arrangements would be civilised.
Er, can I beg for
half a grapefruit for my breakfast?
I don't have any grapefruit in,
Geoffrey! Not unless I'm slimming.
And you didn't bring any pyjamas.
I lost all my smart pyjamas when
the Ormonde Hotel went up in flames.
I did get them back,
but the smell of smoke on the silk
was unendurable.
Besides, you have to admit
this is a top-quality singlet.
Geoffrey, is Bernard's aunt
really ill, or did you two quarrel?
Bernard is engaged to be married a hairdresser
from the salon on the cruise ship.
She's a nice little thing,
quite elegant.
Well, perhaps he can bring her out
to visit you in Malta.
Malta and I are "fini"! Why?
The expat community are dwindling by
the year. It's all tourists now,
and, of course, the Maltese.
But the long and the short of it
is that, er, nobody needs
an osteopath when they're on holiday
and I have a sniff of an opening
in Harley Street.
Oh, that sounds promising.
I simply need somewhere to stay
while I pursue it. I can pay rent.
Inin cash, or in kind. I can cook
and wrap Christmas presents.
There's no end to my talents,
You can stay with us for as long
as you want, and well you know it.
Have you found yourself
a place to sleep yet?
Maybe a nice, warm shed?
Sir? I won't report you.
You are from the council. Mm.
Sometimes I have to do as I am told.
Sometimes I make my own decisions.
But I don't think this is the best
place for you to be living in.
Sometimes I make my own decisions,
Absolutely everything appears
to be in order.
Sister, it wouldn't surprise me
if you saw us all lowered
into the ground.
Can you not remove this man?
He appears to be pleading the case
for eternal life!
She's suffering from depression.
It's common in the elderly
and often goes undiagnosed.
Butit can be very damaging.
Does she need to see a psychiatrist?
If she did, the recommendation
would be to steer her towards
the things that make her happy.
A sense of being valued.
But we try so hard to give her
all those things.
What's reminiscence?
It's talking about the past,
but in a way that makes you happy.
Sister Monica Joan
reminisced with me last night.
And she stopped talking about dying.
Screens and couches
straight into position, please.
The floor has been marked
with chalk.
Mrs Shelby?
Sister Veronica, our health visitor,
will apprise you
of your entitlements.
Here are some leaflets to read
whilst you wait.
Do help yourself to refreshments.
Oh, my mum's just getting me some.
Mince pies and everything!
Watch out, they've gone a bit mad
with the icing sugar.
You don't half look familiar.
You a Poplar girl?
Depends who's asking.
Hmm, I'm just trying to place you.
Maybe we knew you
when you was a kiddie.
Did you live in Madeira Gardens?
I'm looking at you and it's's like I'm getting
hair ribbons? Give over, Mum.
I see congratulations
are in order for you, too.
How long you been married?
Antoinette Douglas.
Douglas! I knew I knew her.
You don't forget a child
whose life started off like that.
Poor little scrap.
Poor little scrap?
Mm. She made my life a misery
when I was at St Wilbur's.
She was a snob. And she was a bully.
I'll ignore her when she comes out.
Obviously having that sprog
out of wedlock.
Nothing out of the ordinary here.
Not that there ever is with you.
You're a model mum-to-be.
Oh, I'm an overdue mum-to-be.
Only as of yesterday.
First babies often drag their feet.
Oh, any news of your boyfriend?
No! And there won't be
until his ship comes in.
Are you doing all right on your own?
When I'm on my own,
I'mI'm good at that.
It's just when I go out and about
or when I come here.
There's just such a lot of smiling
faces. I lost my family in the war,
so this kid's not going to be
anybody's grandson or granddaughter.
It's going to be YOUR baby, Toni.
Do you think just having a mum's
going to be enough for it?
Do you know,
you might get a surprise.
I did.
Timothy could be doing that,
Shelagh. I'm sorry,
I've been a little distracted today.
I know.
May's mother sent a parcel
from Hong Kong! What did it contain?
I've hidden it in a drawer. Even
Patrick doesn't know about it. Why?
Last Christmas,
she didn't send anything.
Last birthday,
she didn't send anything.
May is perfectly content with that,
and so was I.
But the minute I open that parcel,
the fact that she has a real mother
becomes completely inescapable
The contents of the parcel
may be entirely innocuous.
But youyou must
tell your husband.
No marriage thrives on secrets,
large or small.
Nothing more today, my friend.
It's you again.
Why do you always bring your cat
with you?
It isn't my cat. It just likes me.
I came to wish you
the tidings of the season
and to bring a gift
from the local community.
I can resist many things.
I can do without much.
But a pineapplea pineapple is
a thing too rare.
I cannot refuse it.
A Victorian Nativity tableau
in a church
seems a most appropriate way to try
to lift our Sister's spirits.
But it would be
a very elaborate enterprise.
A living ox and a living ass?
Very specialised!
And I don't know what the vicar of
St Oswald's will have to say about
animals in church. I told him it's
going to raise money for charity,
which I'm sure can be arranged. With
the assistance of Councillor Buckle?
If you could see the way
Sister Monica Joan's eyes light up
when she talks about her memories,
you wouldn't doubt the value of this
at all.
No-one doubts the value
of making her happy.
It's just that it's a
a tall order, and at short notice.
Lots of things happen
at short notice.
I mean, what if she's right?
What if this IS her last Christmas?
What if we don't try and make her
happy while we've got the chance?
NURSE CRANE: Sister Julienne!
I've been having some further
thoughts about the training scheme.
Regarding the role of the enema,
why it has fallen so far
out of favour and what we can do
to reinforce the practice
with our students.
We can discuss all that
once you come home.
In the meanwhile,
I have a commission for you.
A knitted Christmas stocking,
Victorian style.
Whatwhat sort of size?
Big enough to take a ragdoll, an
orange and a Book Of Common Prayer.
We are planning something
rather special.
When I first came here,
the only pineapple was in tins.
And tins were only possible
if you had connections.
When I first came here, it was
papaya that I missed the most.
There are too many seeds in papaya.
I brought this for you, Mr Sharma.
You must eat.
You are a guest in my home.
I haveother guests.
But these I do not feed.
Mr Sharma, I think I can bring you
something that would help with
those. I don't want to help them.
I want to kill them.
I have access to chemicals.
I work for the council.
Ah, that I forgot, for a moment.
Eat, please.
Shelagh, we can seal this up again,
but we have to open it
in good faith.
May's mother would never
deliberately hurt her.
She might upset her unwittingly.
Well, she might upset me.
She's already upset you. We can
comfort May if she's distressed.
She has a loving home with us.
"To a dear little girl,
"with love at Christmas
from Mama in Hong Kong."
Two kisses.
I would have to have
a heart of stone to object to that.
We can't keep this from her,
Shelagh. I know.
Patrick, this is far too small. It
wouldn't have fitted May a year ago,
and she's grown and grown
in the last six months.
Her mother's not to know that.
What will May think?
That her mother remembered
that it's Christmas
but has forgotten who she is?!
ANDY WILLIAMS: # It's the most
wonderful time of the year
# Ding, dong, ding, dong
# With the kids Jingle-Belling
and everyone telling you
# Be of good cheer #
# It's the most wonderful time
of the year
# Ding, dong, ding, dong
# It's the hap-happiest season
of all
# Ding, dong, ding, dong
# With those holiday greetings
# And gay, happy meetings
When friends come to call #
She didn't say who acted the angels.
Just that the shepherds were played
by ordinary labourers
from the village
and that Mary and Joseph were
the most recently married couple
from the village. I'm sorry,
but that just sounds daft.
Those are children's parts.
That's what Sister Monica Joan said!
The children only came on
at the end, and she was one of them.
And what were they dressed up as?
She said they wore ordinary clothes.
Here are some more things
I need you to find out.
# There'll be much mistletoe-ing
And hearts will be glowing
# When loved ones are near
# It's the most wonderful time
of the year! #
Oh, and listen, I know the master
of the house is salivating
at the thought of steak tartare, but
in a change to the advertised menu,
we're having cod croquettes.
Geoffrey, I love you so very dearly,
but this really will not do.
Well, you know what I'm like
around blood and meat.
It's not my fault
you married a vampire!
That wasn't what I meant.
Oh, no
No I'm in the way, aren't I?
Trying too hard
and ending up a bloody cuckoo
in the nest. No. It's not that.
It IS that. It absolutely is that,
and I ought to know better.
It's just that Matthew's mother's
been so difficult,
and I was so thrilled to see you,
..I'm trying so hard to make
something that's just ours.
Well, I'm not going to have you
jumping through hoops
to please anybody.
You're too good at it, sis. And one
way or another, it will hurt you.
Oh! Oh! It's Mrs Douglas, isn't it?
Miss. I felt all right
until about lunchtime,
and now the pains are coming
every five minutes.
I can't do this on my own. I can't!
Toni, you don't have to.
And why haven't my waters broken?
Sometimes, waters don't break
until baby's actually born.
But I'll talk you through everything
as it happens.
I'm here, and I will not leave you.
Can I have the big light on?
I never do well in the dark.
A lot of our mothers prefer the
lights low. It helps them to relax.
Well, it's not working with me,
is it?
Your delivery room,
you make the rules.
Now, with your permission,
I'll have a little check
on how things are going.
Will you stop if I have
another pain? Oh, of course!
Now, we can try the gas again,
or you can just breathe through it.
Please, at least stay until morning.
No! Far better that your last
glimpse of your favourite relation
is of him looking wounded but noble
as he walks out into
the desolation of the night.
Where are you going to go, Geoffrey?
A skilled single gentleman always
has two things at his disposal -
a circle of friendsand a plan.
Mwah! I will see you both
during the festive season some point.
I'd gone down Bethnal Green Tube
with my mum, dad, my baby sister,
my Auntie Pat and my grandma.
The good news is
you're practically fully dilated.
We used to go every night,
before the siren even sounded.
It was a laugh, even an adventure
if you were a kiddie.
Is it all all right? Oh, Baby's
in the most beautiful position.
The head is
just where it ought to be.
I was the only one of us
who made it out alive.
More than 150 people died.
I remember it so vividly.
Are you going to listen
for its heart now? Yes.
I only remember how dark it was
..and how tight the fireman held me
when he pulled me out.
God, he held me so tight,
I thought he must be a relative,
someone who knew me. But
..they were all gone.
On nights like that, every child
felt like your own child.
I was taken in and brought up
by my mother's friend.
She said she always wanted
a little one to love.
I'm not sure she ever knew how.
And then, when I was 16, she died.
When I get to hold this baby's going to be the first time
that I've touched
my own flesh and blood since then.
I can't wait! I will be
back with you in just a moment.
Daddy, do you think Father Christmas
will bring me a telescope?
Well, you asked him very nicely.
And he must know you'll need one
when Apollo takes off.
Hello? Patrick, I need you here
as soon as possible.
Toni Douglas's baby
is going into distress.
The heartbeat is very irregular,
and as yet I don't know why.
I'm on my way.
I need you to stay in exactly this
position until Doctor gets here.
Why is the doctor coming?
Is there something wrong?
No. We just need to manage
the way Baby is lying
until it's ready to be born.
Is it to do with why
my waters haven't broken?
Stay exactly as you are.
Do you hear me? Do not move.
Her forewaters are still intact,
but I detected a funic souffle
through the Pinard, and I can feel
the cord through the membranes.
She's in second stage, fully dilated
and feeling the urge to push.
Is the cord still pulsating?
Yes, but I think it's compressed.
The heartbeat is very erratic.
I can't lose my baby!
And my baby can't lose me!
Toni, that is not going to happen.
We're not going to let that happen.
And I need you to listen to me.
I'm listening. Good girl.
We need you lying on your back
..and we're going to put your feet
into these stirrups.
Episiotomy. Forceps. Now.
Cord's out of the way.
I want you to push now. Don't wait
for the pain. Push for your baby.
That's it! Come on!
We can do this if we work together.
Head's out.
Final push.
You and I, young man,
nearly had a falling-out.
"Young man"? Is it a boy?
It certainly is!
Well done, Toni!
Hello, son.
I'm your mummy.
I don't even know
what that means yet, but's a start.
Morning! I don't suppose
there's any tea left in the pot,
is there?
No Earl Grey,
but a most acceptable Typhoo.
And I even have grapefruit!
I went to the market specially.
The glace cherries were already
in the cupboard. We just had
to blow the dust off the jar.
Are you going to tell her, Sister,
or shall I?
Oh, Mr Franklin will be moving into
Nonnatus House with us
for a few weeks, as a paying guest.
Well, where's he going to sleep?
In the room that once belonged
to Sister Frances.
I was offered your old bed,
but there's still a whiff
of your extra-firm-hold lacquer
in the region of the headboard.
I thought it might keep me awake.
I'll have one reel each
of the crimson, the bottle green
and the primrose.
And a yard of this material.
That's not going to be enough
for a dozen carol singers' capes.
A dozen carol singers' capes?
Well, Sister Veronica said that
you were in charge of them when
I'm in charge
of the singers' singing,
not their costume!
Oh, can't you help them, Violet?
You're the best needlewoman
in Poplar. Oh!
I'm already running up
or rooting out shepherds' costumes,
Wise Men costumes,
Mary and Joseph costumes.
I'm petrified to pick up the phone!
Mr Robinson, sir? Yes, sir?
The cloth and the disinfectant -
when you have finished,
please may you leave them behind?
Oh, they've done as much good as
they are going to with these walls.
I do not want them for the walls.
I want them for my legs.
What is wrong with your legs?
Mr Sharma, are they very painful?
They pain me more now
than they did once.
Me and my house, we're both rotting!
Have you been to the doctor?
It will cost you nothing.
And if you don't want
to go to the surgery,
I can ask the doctor to come here.
I will not see a doctor.
I will not speak to a doctor.
This door, MY door,
is barred to all doctors!
Sister Veronica
Oh, thank you, dear.
There is no doubt
that this is a lovely,
lovely thing that you're doing
for Sister Monica Joan.
It's perked her up no end,
and she doesn't know about it yet.
She's even gone out
to the shops just now
because she remembered how much
she loved the smell of tangerines.
Yes, but she isn't going to love
any of it if it all falls flat,
and people are going to be asking
for their money back!
I've got carried away,
and now I'm out of my depth.
It reminds me
of when I was in the Guides
and I failed my Life-saving badge!
I got my Life-saving badge.
And mindful of your manifold
and great kindnesses to me,
I would consider it an honour to
jump in and stop you from drowning.
Oh, do say yes!
Yes! Please!
Four! Three!
Two! One!
What do you reckon to that, then,
I think it is as well they have
done it now and not next year.
I am not displeased
to have witnessed it.
Would this man let ME take a look
at his legs, do you suppose?
He's clearly scared enough
to ask for help.
He's just too scared
to receive it from a doctor.
Mrs Buckle and I have been
making hay at the haberdasher's.
What do you think of these?
Russet brocade for the shepherds,
velvet in mauve and tawny tones
for the magi
and blue for the Virgin Mary,
because who am I to tangle
with two thousand years
of Christian iconography?
Can you actually sew, Mr Franklin?
Trouser buttons are my limit,
but this is all about the vision,
and I have an abundance of that.
Meanwhile, a little bird tells me
..that you have a knack
with carpentry.
We also need some men of science
to play the magi,
and you got a degree
in civil engineering.
My daughter needs seeing.
She's normally under
top-quality consultants.
Are you in labour, Mrs Shelby?
I just feel like I'm going to burst,
like I'm being blown up and up,
like a bike tyre.
The only shoes she can get on
are her mother's,
and she wears size nines
on account of her bunions.
That's just plain bloody indelicate,
Your ankles are certainly
a little swollen,
but your blood pressure's normal.
Urine's normal.
But I would still like to get you
on the couch and have
a proper feel of your tummy.
I can't. Even if you get me up
there, I won't be able to lie down.
I haven't been able to lie down
for four days.
It's like I'm being smothered
from the inside.
I can't stand another six weeks
of this. Can't you do something?
Brenda is going to spend
the night here with us,
and I am going to speak
to her consultant now.
I shall need to get my tape out
after this, Reggie,
because we need to get you measured
for your shepherd's costume.
I don't want to be a shepherd.
Fred's going to be a shepherd.
You'll both be the same!
I don't like sheep.
I can't stand sheep!
But I'm still going to perform
as a shepherd, without complaint,
because I know it will make
Sister Monica Joan happy.
Well, it will make me unhappy.
You've done well
to get these seen to, Mr Sharma.
Venous ulcers can be quite nasty,
and if they become infected,
they can make you very ill.
If you kindly leave the ointment,
I can keep them clean. Mr Sharma, it
may not be quite as simple as that.
I'm concerned they may be caused
by diabetes.
Do you have any other symptoms,
such as unusual thirst?
I have to get water
from the neighbour.
We're going to get
our heads together
about your living conditions
after Christmas.
Right now, you need blood tests.
I'm going to have to insist
that you see a doctor.
No doctor! No. Not to touch me, not
to persecute me, not to label me!
No lies! No doctor!
This is enough for today.
Timothy, I cannot house a tortoise
on medical premises.
It simply isn't sanitary.
It's from a respectable pet shop.
And Dad said it could just go
under your desk.
Did he indeed? And pray tell,
am I expected to furnish nourishment
and exercise till Christmas?
Tortoises are
exclusively herbivorous
and diurnal, with a tendency
for crepuscular action.
He might just want
to stretch his legs for an hour
before you go home from work.
Oh, good afternoon.
My name is Warwick Mathers.
I'm Mrs Shelby's consultant
at the Royal College Hospital.
Mr Mathers!
Do you want some water, Mr Sharma?
Here, give us here.
I thank you.
Charming little place.
And here she is, one of the first
in what we hope will be
a very long line
of fertility-drug success stories!
Hello, Beryl. Are the locals
taking care of you? Yes.
My name's Brenda.
Mr Sharma?
Mr Sharma!
You're right, of course, Turner.
Height of the fundus does suggest
she's now at term.
And polyhydramnios is always a risk
in a twin pregnancy.
There's plenty of water in there,
but not too much.
We had wondered
if it was MORE than twins.
There seems to be a pattern
of higher-order multiples
with fertility drugs.
Oh, don't believe
everything you read in the papers.
Any interest in obstetrics?
Of course, sir. Warm your hands,
and perhaps Mother will let you have
a bash at palpating.
So, start here.
And then walk your hands
around the abdomen, like so.
Let's book an ambulance
for tomorrow morning
and get her transferred over to us.
X-ray, bed rest,
continual observation.
This lady is carrying
extremely precious cargo.
I believe you had a hard time.
I wouldn't wish it
on my worst enemy.
Not even me?
Faggots, mash, gravy, peas
and a piece of your Auntie Glad's
jam roly and evap.
Young mums need to be
properly looked after.
Has he any family you can tell?
I don't really know.
I think he comes from India.
It can knock you for six
when your milk first arrives.
My bosoms are like
bloomin' balloons!
If the baby doesn't suffocate,
he'll drown!
I'll talk you through
the next couple of feeds.
Do you have a name for him yet?
His father was called Mitchell,
..I thought an M name would be nice.
Bless you.
There! I think, with some hay
underneath the pillow,
this is going to do
the infant King just fine.
Yeah, but how are we going to
make it look like that golden light
is shining out of him? What's
the phone number for Nonnatus House?
Why do you want to ring
Nonnatus House, Reggie?
It's past everyone's bedtime
including yours.
I want to talk to Geoffrey.
What about?
I want to tell him
I don't want to be a shepherd.
Reggie, what do you want to be?
An angel.
Angels are played by children,
They were grown-ups in the Bible.
And they've got the best costume.
Can I get you the nurse?
Or a hankie?
You were the one who never had
a hankie when we were at school.
You were the one who never had nits.
I was scratching my head
more often than I wasn't.
We're that sort of family.
You were all lovely. So lovely.
I used to watch you together,
and all I wanted to do
was be horrible to you.
Tell me I gave as good as I got.
You did all right.
Hmm! I'd have given anything
to have been as loved as you.
I hope you're joking.
Spotless hair ribbons looks
a lot like love to a scruffy child.
Clean shoes. The right dinner money.
ANY dinner money!
We were all on free school lunches.
Maybe I looked as though I had it
all, but they were the only things
the woman who brought me up
could give me.
I'm not at my best when I'm jealous.
I had nephews and nieces arriving rabbits jumping out of hats.
And my lot,
our motto was always
"share all, share small".
I kept being passed these babies to
cuddle, and I just couldn't do it.
I still haven't even held one,
not since I was a child myself
and didn't
..didn't know what it meant
or how much it could hurt you.
Well, you need to get
some practice in, Brenda.
I know I do.
You can try holding Mark.
But only if you want to.
Oh, I do want to.
Oh, I like his hair.
His dad's from Trinidad.
Is this a private pyjama party,
or are we all invited?
Time to have another go at feeding.
Oh! I hope you've brought
your plastic mac!
Thank you.
Turner residence.
Mrs Turner, Brenda Shelby's been
having intermittent pains all night.
She's not dilated,
but her cervix is effaced.
How soon can Dr Turner get here?
What's all this, Mr Sharma?
Would you like some breakfast?
You are going to have to start
eating more regularly.
You've been diagnosed
with late-onset diabetes
and we're treating you with insulin.
I do not consent to this!
The specialist is coming round
to see you later.
I'm going to get you some toast.
Her blood pressure
is showing a sharp uptick,
and I am concerned about moving her.
Just get her into the ambulance.
It's barely 30 minutes door to door.
But there's snow on the roads
and more forecast.
Listen, Turner, I have no doubt
at all that a normal twin delivery
is entirely within your scope.
But with these twins,
the stakes are far higher.
Send her over now!
God bless you, love. And thank you
for making my Christmas perfect.
She hasn't had them yet!
One kiss on the cheek each and then
I'm afraid we must be on our way.
We'll call you as soon
as she's safely at the hospital.
I'm going to drive
behind the ambulance.
One pony and trap,
booking confirmed!
IN SILLY VOICE: Nonnatus House,
stage manager speaking!
Yeah, no, are you calling
about the illuminated manger?
No, I'm calling about Reggie.
He doesn't want to be a shepherd.
It's not like travelling by rocket,
is it? Hmm!
Are you warm enough?
I've got two hot-water bottles.
It's like Saint-Tropez under here!
Eurgh! There's something leaking.
Am I wetting myself?
No. Your waters have broken.
If you put your lights on,
people will know we're in convoy.
We're hardly moving.
The ambulance is hardly moving.
It's like I want
to push something out.
No, Brenda! You must not push.
You must not push
until we know your body's ready.
Just let Sister Julienne
examine you.
I can feel Baby's head advancing.
Is it coming?
Are they going to be born?
baby number one is on its way.
I thought it'd be harder than this.
We need to pull over.
It's indicating it's pulling in!
That's it, Brenda.
We need a long, gentle, slow push,
right down into your back passage
..and Baby's head will be with
A little boy!
Small but perfectly formed.
Can I see him?
You can hold him close for now.
Keep him warm.
There's been an accident.
What's happened?
Er, twin number one's arrived. No
complications, other than the fact
that we're nowhere near the hospital
and there's a blizzard blowing.
On the other side here, yeah
I think the second twin
is already on its way.
We need to divert to St Cuthbert's.
It's nearer.
I want you to ring ahead and tell
them we need the obstetric team
on standby at the entrance.
Two incubators.
And alert the police.
The road's been blocked.
They can't move the car in front!
But they're going to have to
move it! I'm going to the phone box.
He's holding my finger!
Sometimes I've laid in bed
holding my own finger
..wondering what it would be like
if it was a baby.
I wasn't holding tight enough.
We need to get it
right up onto the pavement,
out of the ambulance's way! Push it!
I only had to push twice last time.
I think this little one didn't read
its brother's instruction manual.
It seems to be coming out
tail end first.
Do you mean it's breech?
Yes, Brenda, I do.
Will you tell me
when its head's out?
It's a little girl, Brenda. And
her head is going to arrive last.
Liquor with meconium.
Another push, Brenda,
for your little girl.
She's not crying! Shhh
Tell her she needs to cry.
That's right, you tell your sister.
Mucous extractor.
I feel a bit funny.
I need to check her blood pressure.
Keep moving.
Bit more.
Yes! Right, that's clear, isn't it?
It's too low.
I think she may be bleeding.
I can hear another heartbeat.
Brenda? Can you help us?
We're on our way to hospital,
but we've still got work to do.
We're to follow them
to St Cuthbert's.
What are the pavements like?
Pavements?! I thought you'd passed
your flaming driver's test!
The key's in the ignition.
This one's coming on its own.
Just breathe.
Brenda, just breathe.
Come on.
You have another little girl,
And she is pinking to perfection.
We have heavy blood loss.
No Syntometrine - I can't vouch
for what's going on in there.
Mother in shock, haemorrhage,
no sign of the placenta.
Let's get this little one inside.
What's the latest?
All three babies
have made it to the nursery.
Brenda's still in theatre.
She haemorrhaged, and they're having
to remove the placenta manually.
What's happening?
There was a fourth baby!
Is that why you wouldn't give
In case there was another baby.
Has anyone ever had quadruplets
But they've always been so rare.
Things are going to be different
now science is involved.
Mr Sharma didn't answer his door.
He might have seen your car
and think it's an official
visitation. Well, in a way, it is.
I own that house. When he was still
paying rent, it went into my pocket.
And now he isn't paying rent,
he's squatting in my property.
I have to talk to him
..find him somewhere else.
He needs one room. One room!
With water in the taps instead
of on the floor. And a fireplace.
And anand an electric light.
It seems so little to ask.
I don't have as much control
as I once did.
I'm selling a lot of these buildings
off. Does that grieve you?
Everything to do with
my father's business grieves me.
Wait. Wait.
MATHERS: So, we have Baby A, a boy,
3lb and half an ounce,
Baby B, a girl, 3lb precisely,
Baby C, another mademoiselle,
tipping the scales at 3lb 3,
and poor little Baby D bringing up
the rear at 2lb 10, a boy.
He's the only one I haven't seen.
Are you going to move them
to your hospital? All in good time.
They're best left undisturbed
until they're stable.
Our role in the miracle
is, of course, well understood.
I shall make sure
the press report it correctly.
Four names! We've going to have
to think of four names, Bren.
Eight, if we give them middle names,
as well.
We're going to have to get
another pram!
We can race each other.
I'd race you to the end of the world
and back again, Brenda Shelby.
Drink this. It'll warm you through.
It was good of your neighbour
to give us some fuel.
That was almost
a complete white-out.
I'm surprised you managed
to find your way home at all.
I was aa navigator
in the Indian Air Force.
Youdevelop a memory for routes
that sits
in the muscle and the bones.
No! No fire!
I won't have a fire in here!
I never have a fire in here!
Put it out. Out!
I am not cold.
I have trained myself.
A A man in the Air Force
..can train himself anything.
Dr Turner's surgery.
I have completed my last task and
submitted my last written exercise.
There's a lecture
on new ways of managing
maternal exhaustion in the morning,
and then I'm on my way home!
The snow is forecast
to continue intermittently,
and I confess to being glad
that you winterised your tyres.
I shall be dandy with my chains on.
Nearly 200 of us volunteered for
the British RAF when war broke out.
The King needed us.
The free world needed us.
It doesn't seem to me that the King
or the free world were
..quite as grateful
as they might have been.
I have my military pension.
But is it enough
for you to live on, Mr Sharma?
I had medals, too.
But I sold them.
Why? It was necessary.
I had skills, but they were not
required when I returned to earth.
I could read maps
and aviation instruments
..and the constellations.
But when machines fail, a good
navigator can find his way by stars.
Every day, I promised God
that no pilot, no plane
would ever get lost
when I was there to guide the way.
That is an enormous promise.
It was an enormous war.
We had hearts like lions.
You lived a brave life, sir.
You've endured war
..and loneliness
..and hardship.
But a man only has so much courage.
I know he does.
And minds break, like bodies.
But it isthe body
that will kill you.
Let us help you, Mr Sharma.
Let us fetch the doctor.
One final, desperate foray
into yet another public library,
and a number of mysteries
have been solved.
The only mystery that I'm interested
in solving is how we're going to get
all these costumes ready in time
for Christmas Eve!
At this present moment,
that need not detain us.
Oh! I seem to have identified
the exact Flemish painting
Sister Monica Joan maintains
the village Nativity was based on.
It is called
The Adoration Of The Christ Child.
Artist unknown.
Fancy that! Yeah.
You'll have to show Fred and Cyril.
I wanted to show you first
so you could see the angel
sitting next to Mary.
And the one standing behind.
They look like Reggie.
They've got the same thing
that he has. There's no denying it.
And now there's no denying him.
An angel he will be.
Shepherds are easy to come by.
God's messengers are not.
Have you been able
to hold any of the babies yet?
Erm, I've been allowed to put
my hand through the incubator holes
and touch them all, apart
from the smallest. It was lovely.
And when will you be able
to take them home?
Questions for another day, I think.
Mrs Shelby will be getting tired.
Thank you. Thanks so much.
Thank you.
Ah, one of our midwife heroines,
unless I'm much mistaken.
Yes. I've already posed
for pictures by the ambulance.
That's why I'm wearing extra lippy.
How are you all doing?
They're all breathing well,
with just some extra oxygen,
only receiving glucose thus far,
of course,
but we'll move on to tube feeds
with artificial milk.
Artificial milk? Mine's come in,
but it won't be enough for them.
They don't even think there's enough
in the hospital milk bank.
I might just know a way round that.
I don't know what hurts more,
my nipples
or my hand from all that pumping!
It's going to be less painful
than the engorgement.
And those quadruplets
are going to do so much better
having breast milk
through those tubes.
Do you need me to do this every day?
At least as long
as you're in here with us.
I'm due out on New Year's Eve.
My ten days will be up.
It'll just be me and him, linking
hands, singing Auld Lang Syne.
Are you sure this is the only place
they put the ships
that are due to come in?
It has been the method of record
since the early 19th century.
I did take the liberty
of telephoning several dockyards,
but no container ship of that name
is scheduled to arrive.
It's even possible
no ship of that name exists.
And no boyfriend, either.
Or at least, not one that's ever
coming home. I shall go to her flat
and pin a card with our
telephone number on it to the door.
That way, should he materialise,
he will know where he should come.
Tell me again
that you're safe to drive.
I've got a hot-water bottle
against my sacrum,
I've taken two aspirin
and I'm lathered in Fiery Jack.
Thermos? Full of Nescafe.
Not that I intend to avail myself
of much liquid.
I aim to get home without having
to make a call of nature.
Merry Christmas! Merry Christmas!
This is the best picture of you,
the one in the Mirror.
They caught your good side.
You look like your cousin Dot.
I would've thought you'd have
more milk than that, Brenda,
with four of them to fatten up.
I'm already making
nearly half of what they need!
And Toni Douglas
is providing loads, as well.
I'm not sure that's hygienic.
It all gets pasteurised.
It's perfectly hygienic.
And what's more, it's generous.
God only knows,
she's got little enough in her life
to share with anybody.
Talk about share all, share small!
You said she was a bully.
She's a woman now. And so am I.
Women help each other, Mum.
Women are family,
even when they're not related.
After the war, did it never
occur to you to go home?
My, er, given name means
..pride of the community.
My mother selected my name
even before I was born.
At kindergarten,
I proved it was the proper choice.
At university,
I proved it was the proper choice.
And when I got
into the Indian Air Force,
she said she wished she had chosen
something even grander.
And when I volunteered
for the RAF
..she didn't say anything at all.
She couldonly cry
..and kiss my hands. How could
I go back to her afterwards?
How could I tell her the truth?
Because a mother will always love
her son, no matter what he does!
Because she loves me,
she would die of shame.
I was discharged for cowardice.
No! No, there's no such offence.
There hasn't been any such offence
since World War I!
The doctors called it by a new name.
They called it
a lack of moral fibre.
And what sort of doctors were they?
The ones who needed me back in the
air because too many men were dying.
What was it that broke you, Kulvir?
I was in a plane
..that limped home on one engine,
trailing smoke.
It crashed on the runway. Above
all the sound of hell and fury,
I heard the pilot's neck break
when we hit the ground.
He did not get out.
I did.
After they extinguished the fire,
I saw his body in a barrow.
It was reduced to coal bigger than a dog.
He could never go home.
I could never go home.
I knew then I would never get
in a plane again
..not even
if I was court-martialled,
not even if they put a gun
to my head.
That's why they diagnosed me
with a lack of moral fibre.
And that's why
you don't like doctors.
I would have diagnosed you
as having common sense.
Mr Sharma, I've been talking
to someone at the British Legion.
It exists to help ex-servicemen.
But I am not British.
You fought for this country.
You were in the RAF.
And if, by doing that,
you lost everything,
they can give you something back.
I can find someone to talk to you
about your state of mind.
Believe me, I know where to look.
You do?
I do.
Your diabetes can be managed,
and the British Legion
can provide you with a home.
This is my home.
And for too long is not where I lived
..but where I hid.
There's no need to hide any more,
Mr Sharma.
Oh! I heard a car.
I thought it was Nurse Crane.
She's expected back this evening.
Unless she's taken
to travelling round the country
in a wicker costume hamper,
I'm afraid you're going to be
sorely disappointed.
"Ealing Studios?" What's all this?
Capes, bonnets, crinolines
and a selection of Eastern robes.
How on earth did you manage this?
Contacts. Er, contacts, perseverance
and a very high figure
on the meter of a taxi cab.
Come on, sis, roll your sleeves up.
I've got four more outside!
I've brought you some cottage pie
with carrots,
a piece of chocolate sponge.
Oh, and a coconut. We got one
in our Christmas Club box,
and no-one in our house
can stand them.
This is very kind, Mrs Dorrins.
You're feeding my grandchildren.
The least I can do is feed you.
Got yourself a right little
bobby-dazzler there.
He's going to be baby Jesus
in a Nativity tomorrow.
Sister Julienne picked him.
I don't suppose anyone really knows
WHAT he looked like.
Either way, this little lad's
going to have a full diary,
because I want the two of you
round at ours
every Sunday for your dinner.
These go out
into the boot of the car.
So we catch the last pick-up
by the North Pole delivery service.
Then bring that tortoise in.
And we'll work out how to wrap it!
I've remade it completely.
The same collar, the same buttons,
the same belt,
even quite a lot of the same fabric.
Just a completely different size.
Once it's back in the wrapping
with the Hong Kong stamps,
no-one will ever know.
May will know she's loved.
And that's because of you
and what you've done.
Mum! Dad! Sh!
You'll wake the children!
It's not moving! It's either
hibernating or it's dead.
I am not giving that animal
to Teddy on Christmas morning
unless you are both 100% certain
that it is alive.
It'll be Genevieve all over again.
Dead in her hutch,
all three of them hysterical.
I've always said
the great value of pets
is they teach children
the rhythms of life and death.
There's a time and a place, Dad.
It got too cold
in the boot of the car.
I'm going to the maternity home
to fetch the heat lamp.
It's moving!
He's been! He's been!
Father Christmas has come early!
Woohoo! Er, only animals
get delivered early.
Nothing else is going to come
till Christmas Day.
Help! Oh.
Others have gone to their beds at
my insistence, but I could not rest!
I can't move, Sister Monica Joan.
II shall summon aid
from those more nimble.
I have prayed for your return
..and you.
I'll give you eight out of ten.
Halsey House sounds very nice.
And it is by the sea.
You can come and visit
with your cat.
There are other RAF men there,
the chap from the Legion said.
I hope I will be good at belonging.
I am no longer accustomed
of doing things with other people.
Do you want to get
a bit of practice in?
We're short of a learned man
for our Nativity play.
I think a Nativity play
is a Christian undertaking.
These men weren't Christian.
But they knew about the stars.
Any improvements? Any loosening?
I think I'm in with a chance
of getting off this bed.
Christmas miracle!
He looks the part, doesn't he?
He certainly does! Yeah.
I have a visitor
for Miss Douglas, Sister.
We docked in Liverpool.
I had to hitchhike down.
Is that
It's our son.
A little boy.
Would you like to hold him?
Is this his Sunday best?
Are you ready?
Baby A.
Andrew Robin Shelby.
Baby B?
Belinda Carol.
Baby C.
Christina Holly.
And Baby D.
David Noel.
Happy Christmas, Mum.
Happy Christmas, Dad.
You are myself, I think,
the child I once was,
whose journey through life was
..barely commenced.
You have to come with me now.
There's such a lot for you to see.
CHOIR: # It came
upon the midnight clear
# That glorious song of old
# From angels bending #
MATURE JENNIFER: Sometimes, we only
need a single star to follow -
one point of light
to unite and guide us,
showing us in the darkness
something greater than ourselves.
No-one was lost that Christmas,
for no-one was alone.
And when the children knelt
before the crib,
each one offered up the thing
that meant the most to them
..just like the children
from a different time.
A scrapbook.
A photograph.
And the key to home.
need not be costly or elaborate.
But it must be done with joy
and from an open soul,
for that is the way
our hearts expand and sing.
Sister Monica Joan
dismissed all her talk
of this being her last Christmas
and embraced it
as one of her happiest and best,
observing that the greatest gift
we can receive
is to be loved and be with others
..hand in hand,
year after year
..until the rockets
cease circling the moon.
Previous EpisodeNext Episode