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S09.E04: Episode 4


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Sister Julienne volunteers to put up four trainee doctors at Nonnatus House while they undertake the practical aspect of their obstetrics diploma, hoping the exercise will remind the council how vital the home is to the community and help remove the threat of demolition. There is a lot of excitement about the new arrivals and the doctors don't disappoint. On his CDC rounds, Fred comes across a street marked for demolition, with one house clearly showing signs of life.

Airs January 26, 2020.

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Well, an infusion of testosterone  thanks to Sister Julienne finally taking action. I guess we'll see Doctor McNulty again in Doctor Turner's surgery. He was capable and more importantly he and Valerie got along quite well. It doesn't hurt that he looks very much like a younger Matthew Goode. And speaking of looks: a bit shallow of the show to give only two of the actors speaking parts - well, one of the other was allowed to say 'down the hatch'. But I did appreciate the light class-war going on between Doctor McNulty and Doctor Walther.

Reading experiences of women working in the medical field in the 60's (and 70's and 80's) I was surprised there was not more male bristling at the idea of having to work under female supervision (and not even doctors *gasp*).

The pigeon plot left me confused. If the pigeons (or their droppings) are infected isn't there a risk that they can infect their future carers incl. Reggie? Or will they be alright once their removed from that particular site ? And if so could they not return to Mr Benson after his treatment was concluded? I'm probably overthinking this since the plot was clearly there to set up Doctor McNulty's rapport with Doctor Turner.

I loved Valerie's dressing gown and that she had the sash of the beauty pageant slung around her bedpost, he! Also great: Trixi's purple dress with the very 60's chest window.

 

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It was the pigeon droppings mixing with something in his yard that created the nasty spores that caused his infection. I guess taking them out of that location solves the problem for Reggie. That storyline ended up being much better than I first thought it would be. Fred really took his time and handled it well to make the guy more receptive.

I liked Doctor McNulty, with Valerie and with Doctor Turner.

I think Sister Julienne hasn't said anything to the others about the demolition because it is probably obvious to all, with the nearby streets being demolished one by one that their time will come. I thought it was an interesting idea to have the young doctors train with the midwives, but I too wondered about attitudes at the time from men about working under female supervision.

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I liked all the plots for this episode, though I did think the redhead was pregnant with twins.  I do wish we'd had just a little more with her & her husband.

The doctors were fine, even if we barely heard from two of them.  Perhaps because the two who had li'l arcs will be back in some way?  Maybe wishful thinking because I didn't mind either one too much.

IDK why Sister Julienne isn't telling anyone except Dr. Turner, but maybe they'll come up with some scheme.

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23 hours ago, MissLucas said:

I guess we'll see Doctor McNulty again in Doctor Turner's surgery. He was capable and more importantly he and Valerie got along quite well.

Yes, please! He was a great character and I'd love to see him become a regular.

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I certainly think that's an option. The show hasn't done romance in a while. That said I thought Doctor Walther the more interesting (even if less likeable) character. His silver-spoon conundrum had some nuance. He was barely inside Nonnatus House when his Dad's reputation caught up with him and he got yet another reminder about the big shoes he had to fill. That must suck. And yet he was not portrayed as a tool riding on the coattails of his father's success. Both Nurse Crane and Doctor McNulty attested to his skills - he was just not right for obstetrics. As he was very well aware of when he talked to Trixi. I would have liked to know if he ever managed to get away from under Dad's shadow.

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Anyone else thinking there will be a problem with Mei's adoption? It seemed to linger on the papers being put aside on the shelf, I wondered if they'll not file it in time or something, or I could be reading far too much into it!

I do think we'll see at least one of the doctor's back at some stage. I'd be happy to see both McNulty and Walther return.

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This show took me back to the great shows of the first few seasons, a good amount of time showing the midwives working with the mothers and delivering the babies!!  This was always my favourite part and it seemed that was becoming secondary. There was still some weird random scenes, I can not even guess what scenes were cut.  The way Phyliss kept eyeing the doctors, I couldn't figure out what that was about.

I would like to see some romance on this show, Val and Dr McNulty would be a nice pair.

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I said histoplasmosis as soon as I saw the pigeons and the guy coughing. In fact I drove my husband nuts saying histoplasmosis every time they showed the guy. Of course, I was right!

I've heard of people getting it from cleaning up old houses that birds have roosted in.  I would think this guy's birds would still be contaminated since it's in their poop.  Hope Archie is ok.

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I said histoplasmosis as soon as I saw the pigeons and the guy coughing.

Same.

The fungus actually inhabits soil, but it particularly flourishes when well nourished by bird or bat droppings.  So, the pigeons themselves aren't carriers, but they provide the fertilizer for the fungus to proliferate in the soil.  And the main way that the fungus causes infection is when spores in the soil are inhaled as part of the dust generated by things like cleaning chicken (or pigeon) coops or by soil disturbance caused by construction and demolition.  So, perfect storm for Mr Benson. 

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On 2/1/2020 at 2:02 PM, peace355 said:

Anyone else thinking there will be a problem with Mei's adoption? It seemed to linger on the papers being put aside on the shelf, I wondered if they'll not file it in time or something, or I could be reading far too much into it!

Can someone who saw the original broadcast describe the scene(s)? This was cut from the PBS showing. (Overall, this episode seemed less choppy than the previous ones this season, but obviously, we’re still missing a few details.)

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2 hours ago, caitmcg said:

Can someone who saw the original broadcast describe the scene(s)? This was cut from the PBS showing. (Overall, this episode seemed less choppy than the previous ones this season, but obviously, we’re still missing a few details.)

There is a scene where Shelagh tells Patrick they need to sign Mei's adoption papers but he is tired so she says that they can do it in the morning.

Other scenes that were cut:  In the scene where Sister Julienne scolds the doctors, Lucille tells them she hopes they are ashamed of themselves.

There is also a scene of Trixie at an AA meeting which is basically her telling how long it's been since she had a drink.

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5 hours ago, caitmcg said:

Can someone who saw the original broadcast describe the scene(s)? This was cut from the PBS showing. (Overall, this episode seemed less choppy than the previous ones this season, but obviously, we’re still missing a few details.)

Yes, that's so annoying, I sometimes think I missed something and watch again. I did see the Trixie part at AA but don't remember anything about adoption papers, I see him come home tired,  tells the girls not to run, they say sorry (although they haven't run) and they discuss getting a new doctor. Why does Miss. Higgins have to talk to them about the finances? He doesn't know?

I liked the 4 doctors but wish 2 weren't given any lines really. Why have 4? I met doctor's in the 70's that "had" to go into their dad's field and it wasn't always a fit but easier. You have a practice, you have the contacts, etc. They were never as happy but should have been "grateful" as they were told. I hope we see him again and saying he is now in another field or Valerie's Dr McNulty write about being nearby or visiting another episode. Could the extra doctor one day be him? How into training were they?

 

Edited by debraran
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8 hours ago, howiveaddict said:

In fact I drove my husband nuts saying histoplasmosis every time they showed the guy. Of course, I was right!

haha  I kept saying psittacosis!   And I expecting Reggie to stat coughing because that is something he could have contracted from the birds as well.  I was wrong (the symptoms are different now that I read about it, I was just going back to my microbiology courses > 30 years ago)

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40 minutes ago, Blackie said:

  I kept saying psittacosis!

Heh. So did I.

On 1/27/2020 at 8:29 AM, MissLucas said:

Reading experiences of women working in the medical field in the 60's (and 70's and 80's) I was surprised there was not more male bristling at the idea of having to work under female supervision (and not even doctors *gasp*).

And even today.

I love this show, but sometimes I'm surprised at its political correctness, given the time period--despite a few incidents, Lucille has dealt with far less racism than I thought she would have.

And even though it's only the early 60's, I still wish there had even been one female doctor among the group.

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1 hour ago, Blackie said:

I kept saying psittacosis!

That was my first thought.

1 hour ago, Camille said:

Lucille has dealt with far less racism than I thought she would have.

I think that Great Britain, at that time, was less racist than the US.  I know that they were anti-slavery way before we were in the US.

2 hours ago, debraran said:

I sometimes think I missed something and watch again.

I have to go back and watch twice because some things just don't seem to make sense.  For instance, Sr. Julienne gets the demolition letter and goes to Dr. Turner with her concerns.  Next scene she is cheerfully telling the group about the 4 young docs. Was that supposed to somehow help delay or cancel the demolition?  Sr. J seems so upbeat about it but I didn't see the connection between the two things.

And the young mother that's afraid her husband is going to get nicked and carried off to prison;  we see her crying and concerned and then she and hubby are all cuddly with the two babies.   Huh?

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12 hours ago, Bunnyette said:

At last Valerie showing some chemistry with someone rather than being portrayed as valiant Val.   4 doctors but only 2 had lines...

I like to Google people (especially on British shows) to see if I've seen them in something else.  According to IMDB, the heavier doctor has never been in anything on screen before or since this episode.

I wouldn't have been surprised to find he's related to Heidi Thomas / Steven McGann . . . but apparently he just graduated from drama school and entering the world of acting.

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1 hour ago, AZChristian said:

I like to Google people (especially on British shows) to see if I've seen them in something else.  According to IMDB, the heavier doctor has never been in anything on screen before or since this episode.

I wouldn't have been surprised to find he's related to Heidi Thomas / Steven McGann . . . but apparently he just graduated from drama school and entering the world of acting.

I wonder if maybe he did have some lines but they ended up on the cutting room floor.  If so, not an auspicious start to his career!

ETA: I am probably the last to know, but I just learned that Heidi Thomas and Stephen McGann are married IRL.

Edited by TomGirl
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2 hours ago, Kohola3 said:

For instance, Sr. Julienne gets the demolition letter and goes to Dr. Turner with her concerns.  Next scene she is cheerfully telling the group about the 4 young docs. Was that supposed to somehow help delay or cancel the demolition?  Sr. J seems so upbeat about it but I didn't see the connection between the two things.

IIRC the reasoning was that she wanted to prove that Nonnatus House is still relevant by providing (literally) hands-on teaching opportunities for future OBGYNs.

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8 hours ago, Badger said:

There is a scene where Shelagh tells Patrick they need to sign Mei's adoption papers but he is tired so she says that they can do it in the morning.

Other scenes that were cut:  In the scene where Sister Julienne scolds the doctors, Lucille tells them she hopes they are ashamed of themselves.

There is also a scene of Trixie at an AA meeting which is basically her telling how long it's been since she had a drink.

Thank you, Badger. I recently downloaded the PBS app (via my Firestick) so that I could take advantage of Passport (available  if you donate $60 or more to PBS).  Perhaps someone has noted this before, but the version of CTM I watched on the app had the missing scenes intact. I hope this will be the case with future episodes.  It's maddening to have to rely on PBS for British shows, given the sloppy cuts they make: we're always losing important character moments, and how disappointing to have missed Sr. Julianne giving those dudes a good dressing-down.

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3 hours ago, Kohola3 said:

And the young mother that's afraid her husband is going to get nicked and carried off to prison;  we see her crying and concerned and then she and hubby are all cuddly with the two babies.   Huh?

Yep.  If they can't give us the whole story, then why not leave that segment out entirely?  We probably could have done with a bit less pigeon stuff -- like Mr. Benson speaking to the group. 

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2 minutes ago, AuntiePam said:

Yep.  If they can't give us the whole story, then why not leave that segment out entirely?  We probably could have done with a bit less pigeon stuff -- like Mr. Benson speaking to the group. 

"Mr. Benson, you have to give up these birds or you will die of lung disease."

"Well, that will break my heart, but okay.  Reggie . . . want a bird?"  

I personally don't give potentially life-threatening gifts to people.  LOL.

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On 1/27/2020 at 8:29 AM, MissLucas said:

I guess we'll see Doctor McNulty again in Doctor Turner's surgery. He was capable and more importantly he and Valerie got along quite well. It doesn't hurt that he looks very much like a younger Matthew Goode.

I thought the same thing and had to look him up to see if he was a younger brother or cousin of Matthew Goode.

I didn't like the look on Phyllis' face, I hope she isn't thinking about leaving.

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19 hours ago, Blackie said:

This show took me back to the great shows of the first few seasons, a good amount of time showing the midwives working with the mothers and delivering the babies!! 

That's not what I came away with.  At one point, I said out loud, "I don't watch this show to learn about pigeons."

In fact, how could an episode that brings four young doctors into the mix be so boring?  I had really high hopes.

Edited by StatisticalOutlier
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  QUOTE

I said histoplasmosis as soon as I saw the pigeons and the guy coughing.

Same.

The fungus actually inhabits soil, but it particularly flourishes when well nourished by bird or bat droppings.  

Count me as another who immediately thought of histoplasmosis. When I was in grade school we were living in a rented farmhouse, and my mother and brother both came down with it, since there had been a chicken coop in the past. (I would probably also show positive with the skin patch test, but didn't have symptoms). I later learned from a cardio-pulmonary physician friend when I mentioned it that they find it endemic in the Midwest, because of all the chicken raising.

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16 hours ago, debraran said:

Could the extra doctor one day be him? How into training were they?

 

I think Dr. McNulty would be a fantastic addition to Dr. Turner's practice. I think Dr. McNulty  and the other three doctors were done with medical school, so in the U.S they would be medical interns.

10 hours ago, AZChristian said:

"Mr. Benson, you have to give up these birds or you will die of lung disease."

"Well, that will break my heart, but okay.  Reggie . . . want a bird?"  

I personally don't give potentially life-threatening gifts to people.  LOL.

There is nothing wrong with the birds. They are all healthy. The problem was something in the soil, I think it was a fungus, that was reacting to the birds' droppings. 

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I liked Dr. McNulty and Valerie, they seemed to be getting along quite well, bonding over being medical professionals with humble roots, I would be happy to see him pop up again and for them to start a thing. 

We also see that Trixie is still in AA and hasn't drank in awhile. Good for her, but...random? Was something cut? I expected her to run into someone there, like Dr. McNulty who didn't want to drink with everyone else, but I guess we were just checking in?

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55 minutes ago, tennisgurl said:

I liked Dr. McNulty and Valerie, they seemed to be getting along quite well, bonding over being medical professionals with humble roots, I would be happy to see him pop up again and for them to start a thing. 

We also see that Trixie is still in AA and hasn't drank in awhile. Good for her, but...random? Was something cut? I expected her to run into someone there, like Dr. McNulty who didn't want to drink with everyone else, but I guess we were just checking in?

Sometimes I think as with the adoption paper talk that some heard and I didn't, that we miss a lot in the few minutes they cut out. I don't know how to ask except maybe on FB if any UK viewers saw that or if we just thought he'd be there. It might be brought up later if he returns.

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On 4/19/2020 at 6:53 PM, Blackie said:

 The way Phyliss kept eyeing the doctors, I couldn't figure out what that was about.

I think she was annoyed with them taking up all the space (and most of the food) at the dining table.

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25 minutes ago, DonnaMae said:

I think she was annoyed with them taking up all the space (and most of the food) at the dining table.

I agree.  She was gentle enough with them (well, in her usual way) when working with them.  As a retired nurse we pretty much gave the side-eye to the interns and residents when they started their rotations.  So many of them were just clueless when it came to working with actual people. 

Back then most of them had never set foot in a hospital until they started their internships. Now they are encouraged to do some volunteer work or other actual face-to-face work before they start their rotations.

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9 hours ago, tennisgurl said:

We also see that Trixie is still in AA and hasn't drank in awhile. Good for her, but...random? Was something cut? I expected her to run into someone there, like Dr. McNulty who didn't want to drink with everyone else, but I guess we were just checking in?

She suspected Dr. Walters had a drinking problem, so showing her at AA wasn't totally random.

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6 minutes ago, Sarah 103 said:

She suspected Dr. Walters had a drinking problem, so showing her at AA wasn't totally random.

Yep, that was the connection.  Not sure why, though.  He wasn't there to see her;  maybe it was to refresh our memory?

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1 hour ago, Kohola3 said:

Yep, that was the connection.  Not sure why, though.  He wasn't there to see her;  maybe it was to refresh our memory?

I think it was also to show how far her character had come. Dr. Walters didn't believe that he had a problem, while Trixie understands she has a problem and is taking steps to keep control over it. 

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On 4/20/2020 at 12:48 PM, AZChristian said:

"Mr. Benson, you have to give up these birds or you will die of lung disease."

"Well, that will break my heart, but okay.  Reggie . . . want a bird?"  

I personally don't give potentially life-threatening gifts to people.  LOL.

Yes, knowing that the droppings can cause the fungus and that some people view pigeons as the rats of the bird world, I was cringing over the "gift" to Reggie.  Violet already has to keep house, run a shop and do her civic job, now she has this going on.

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2 hours ago, JudyObscure said:

Yes, knowing that the droppings can cause the fungus and that some people view pigeons as the rats of the bird world, I was cringing over the "gift" to Reggie.  Violet already has to keep house, run a shop and do her civic job, now she has this going on.

Reggie doesn't live with Fred and Violet full time, so maybe he'll be allowed to keep the bird at the facility where he stays. If he is, hopefully one bird shouldn't be as troublesome as an entire flock.

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2 hours ago, JudyObscure said:

....that some people view pigeons as the rats of the bird world....

But these were not common street pigeons.  The Royal Pigeon Racing Association took the birds except for Dot so these were a special group.  

As long as Dot was kept like a household bird there wouldn't be any complications.

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5 hours ago, Popples said:

Reggie doesn't live with Fred and Violet full time, so maybe he'll be allowed to keep the bird at the facility where he stays.

I think Fred specifically said something about the group home he stays in (I can't remember the name) OK-ing it.

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Yes, knowing that the droppings can cause the fungus and that some people view pigeons as the rats of the bird world, I was cringing over the "gift" to Reggie. 

Reggie will be fine.

The fungus causing histoplasmosis can proliferate and produce massive amounts of spores in soils fertilized by  heavy additions of nitrogen from bird or bat droppings.  Think chicken coops  or guano deposits in caves or mass migrations of starlings; the droppings from a single bird aren't going to change the soil chemistry enough to cause an outbreak of histo.  And histo isn't very common in England anyway.  It's mainly a concern in the Ohio/Mississippi River valleys in the US and a few locations in Africa.  And most people that test positive for histo never show any symptoms.

Reggie will be fine.

 

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21 hours ago, Kohola3 said:

But these were not common street pigeons.  The Royal Pigeon Racing Association took the birds except for Dot so these were a special group.  

They may have been knighted by the Queen and coo with a posh accent but they still made their owner sick, but if  it's only one pigeon in a cage and Reggie's group home allows its members to have pets, I'll try to suspend disbelief on this episode. LOL

 

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  • 4 weeks later...
On 4/23/2020 at 7:10 AM, JudyObscure said:

They may have been knighted by the Queen and coo with a posh accent but they still made their owner sick, but if  it's only one pigeon in a cage and Reggie's group home allows its members to have pets, I'll try to suspend disbelief on this episode. LOL

 

The birds themselves won't make anyone sick. There is no belief to suspend.

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3 minutes ago, JudyObscure said:

Then I wonder why the owner of the birds had to get rid of them.

It was a reaction to something in the bird poop.  The only way to avoid bird poop is to get rid of the birds.

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2 hours ago, JudyObscure said:

Right. So are Reggie's birds too posh to poop?

The illness is caused by inhaling fungal spores that grow in LARGE quantities of bird droppings leaching into the soil and feeding the fungus.  One bird in a cage that is regularly cleaned wouldn't be any more of a problem than someone's parakeet in their home.

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(edited)

Okay, I get it.  I'm not really scared of bird poop.  We have a robin nesting in the little window over our front door right now, you should see our front porch.

 

Edited by JudyObscure
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