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Cherish all three seasons of this moving, intimate and sometimes humorous slice of life in poverty- ridden East London in the 1950s, as seen through the eyes of young, innocent midwife Jenny Lee. Fresh from nursing school, Jenny joins a team of midwives at Nonnatus House, a nursing convent, and makes friends with good-time Trixie, sensible Cynthia and fish-out-of- water Chummy. Join these caring women as they make their rounds on bikes, serving the needy. Based on the best- selling memoirs of Jennifer Worth. Seen on PBS.
In the spring of 1957 newly qualified midwife Jenny Lee arrives in the East End of London to begin her career. After overcoming the initial shock that her new home, Nonnatus House, is a convent rather than a private hospital she quickly becomes immersed in her new life. Living with Nuns and working in a community of colourful characters, such as Conchita Warren and her 25 pregnancies, is different from anything Jenny has encountered previously. Through her we experience the sorrows and joys which come with being a midwife.
As Jenny Lee settles into her role, there is a new arrival at Nonnatus House, Chummy. A welcome pair of extra hands, Chummy sets about showing her worth, but an overwhelming keenness to please and her inability to ride a bike prove obstacles in gaining the respect of Sister Evangelina. Meanwhile a chance encounter with Mary, a young pregnant runaway, forces Jenny to see an unfamiliar darker side of life.
Jenny is placed on the district nursing roster for a few weeks, to extend her experience of community practice. During her rounds she attends to Joe, a gentle old soldier, and a friendship forms. At the antenatal clinic Trixie and Cynthia enrol Winnie Lawson as new patient. In her forties Winnie had thought her days of nappies and babies were long gone, and seems upset by her pregnancy. By contrast her husband Ted is overjoyed by the news. However at the baby's birth everyone gets a bit of a surprise.
A baby girl, recently delivered by Jenny, is snatched from her pram, causing great anguish to her family and uniting the local community as they search for the missing child. Meanwhile Cynthia witnesses another type of loss as she assists in the case of soon-to-be parents David and Margaret. Newly married and excited about their future, everything is put in jeopardy when Margaret develops eclampsia.
Jenny finds herself for once not involved in the beginning of life, but at it's end. When Frank, the brother of Peggy the cleaner at Nonnatus House, is diagnosed with cancer Jenny and the nuns are called upon to provide him with care. In doing so Jenny comes to know the siblings better, learning of their upbringing in a workhouse and the profound effect it has had on their relationship. As Jenny tends to Frank, the other residents of Nonnatus House find themselves involved in helping Fred with his latest money making venture - a pig called "Evie". Fred's plan had been to make his fortune from bacon, this is scuppered when it's realised the pig is pregnant . The nuns and nurses help out Fred and Evie in the manner they know best.
Sister Monica Joan is found wandering near the docks, and returned to Nonnatus House by the police. Her adventure takes its toll on her health and she succumbs to pneumonia. When she eventually recovers she sails forth back into the community only to find herself in trouble with the law when she is accused of theft. As Sister Monica Joan's case progresses to trial the Nonnatus House community fear that the old nun could find herself going to jail. Chummy has further worries when her mother decides to make a trip to inspect her new "beau".
Episode 1 - Christmas Special
Christmas is coming, and in Poplar the midwives of Nonnatus House are busier than ever. When an abandoned baby is discovered on the steps of the convent, the whole community rallies round to provide food and clothing, and to try and trace his mother. Nurse Jenny Lee (Jessica Raine) meanwhile, gets caught up in the heartbreaking mystery that surrounds an elderly, semi-vagrant local woman, Mrs Jenkins (Sheila Reid). For newly married Chummy (Miranda Hart), other challenges await, as she pulls out all the stops to mount a truly memorable children's nativity play.
Its 1958 and returning from a long day of duties, Nurse Jenny Lee finds the Nonnatus House community gathered to wish her a happy birthday, before she, Chummy, Trixie and Cynthia head off to the cinema. However the midwifes good cheer is short lived when the next day she is assigned a new patient, Molly Brignall, who is trapped in an abusive marriage. Meanwhile, Trixie and Sister Evangelina find themselves in highly unusual circumstances, aboard a Swedish cargo ship looking after the captains daughter who is about to have her first baby.
The Nonnatus community is rocked when the Kelly family's new born son dies tragically in unexplained circumstances. Cynthia, who had attended the birth, comes under intense scrutiny from the police, and the pregnant women of Poplar. Now fully ensconced in married life with PC Noakes, Chummys decision to pursue her dream brings about a different sort of pressure as exciting changes lie ahead for the couple. Meanwhile, a chance encounter returns Jimmy to Jennys life with surprising results.
Jenny is seconded to a short staffed London Hospital to work on the male surgical ward and finds herself working under an intimidating surgeon, Mr Tracey. Back in Poplar the midwives have a new addition to the household, Jane, who lends a hand in Jenny's absence. In one of their most unusual cases, the nuns and midwives are introduced to a forthright pair of twins Meg and Mave Carter. The two women are identical in every way, they even share a husband; except one of them is now pregnant.
Returning from her stint at The London Hospital, Jenny needs all her skill as a midwife when she and Sister Evangelina assist at the birth of the Roberts baby, who is born with spina bifida. The parents, Doug and Ruby, struggle to understand and accept their sons life limiting condition. Nonnatus House meanwhile plays host to an acquaintance of Chummys the Reverend Applebee Thornton, an eccentric cleric who befriends Jane.
The whole Poplar community pull together to prepare for the annual Summer Fete. This year with the introduction of a Baby Show the Nonnatus House midwives will be more involved than ever; especially Trixie who assumes responsibility for securing a celebrity judge. For others though, life is a little less festive. At the ante-natal clinic Jenny meets Nora Harding an impoverished mother of eight, who is distraught that she may soon have another mouth to feed.
Crowded living conditions have always meant that Tuberculosis has been rife in Poplar. However, with the advent of the mass-Xray programme to diagnose the disease early, Dr Turner is determined that the community will no longer live under the threat of TB. While the nuns and nurses support the doctor in his campaign to bring proper screening facilities to the area, Jennys district nursing rounds lead her to a family who have suffered devastating misfortune from the disease.
Cynthias district nursing rounds find her administering daily insulin injections to diabetic John Lacey, a deplorable bully who consistently belittles his wife Annie. A visit from Annies beloved son Bob, and moral support from Cynthia, see Annie gaining confidence and start to turn her life around. Jennys work leads her to witness persecution of a different variety, when she looks after a black mother to be, Monique, who is subjected to racial prejudice from her neighbours.
Chummy and PC Noakes meet with new challenges as they settle back down to life in Poplar. Fred is in high spirits when his pregnant daughter, Dolly, and her young son Anthony arrive to stay with him. Jennys own jubilation comes in the form of potential love interest Alec, a friend and colleague of Jimmy's. However, in the outside world of Poplar, the winds of change are blowing with old buildings being demolished to make new way for new flats, a situation which reaches crisis point when the convent comes under threat.
As Jenny struggles to care for exhausted mother Merle Vickers and her two sickly sons, it is Sister Monica Joan who holds the key to the diagnosis of their mystery illness. Meanwhile, Chummy calls on her royal connections for the official opening of the new ante-natal and baby clinic, and Nonnatus House welcomes a new resident, Sister Winifred.
Jenny is delighted to be promoted to acting sister, but she soon finds herself dealing with her most challenging case yet. Elsewhere, Cynthia spearheads a new birthing practice for the expectant mothers of Poplar, Sister Winifred puts her green-fingered skills to good use, and Chummy continues to juggle her work and home lives.
Sister Julienne receives a phone call from Holloway Prison where the Salvation Army, who normally provide midwifery for female inmates, have been struck down with influenza. She is called to care for the women and asks Trixie to help her. Shelagh suffers heartbreak when a routine pregnancy check turns out to be something far more serious.
Jenny is concerned that a Jewish patient, Leah, is struggling to cope with her mothers sickness and agoraphobia, on top of her own pregnancy. But with the arrival of her granddaughter, Mrs Rubin makes her first steps in years. Jenny rushes to Alecs side when he is in a terrible accident and Shelagh tries to cope with her bad news.
A lady with Downs syndrome is brought to see the midwives and discovers she is pregnant, resulting in some difficult confessions and decisions. Nonnatus House sees the arrival of a no-nonsense new nurse and Shelagh takes over running the house. This includes organising the jubilee celebrations, which brings some unexpected trouble.
Shelagh makes some important decisions about her future, while Patsy is finding the chaotic working life of midwifery a struggle. She upsets a young mother in the clinic which sees her being taken off midwifery and put on to the district rota. During her work, she forms a bond with a docker, Maurice, and has to work tirelessly to find a diagnosis for his unusual symptoms which in turn reveals more about her own background.
Cynthia worries about an anxious new mother, Pamela, and when she is found with her baby on the edge of a pier it is up to Sister Julienne to talk her down. Chummy visits her mother but is upset to discover that Lady Browne has walked out on her father, rendering herself penniless. Despite being eager to help her mother, their relationship becomes fractious until the real reason for Lady Brownes damning behaviour comes to light.
As preparations are made for Chummy to nurse her dying mother at home, Jenny finds herself drawn to help. Whilst Shelagh and Dr Turner await news from the Adoption Society, Shelagh pulls out all the stops when she enters her choir into a competition.