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S10.E08: Special Delivery

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I really enjoyed this. Getting to see the moments when all the midwives arrived at NH again. I’d forgotten that Chummy “barely squeaked through” when qualifying. They touched on many monumental moments and could have gone on for another hour!

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13 minutes ago, Daff said:

I really enjoyed this. Getting to see the moments when all the midwives arrived at NH again. I’d forgotten that Chummy “barely squeaked through” when qualifying. They touched on many monumental moments and could have gone on for another hour!

The entire show last night . . . pure bliss.

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I really, really loved this retrospective. SO great to see so many of our favorite characters and some of the truly heart rendering moments.  Well done!

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3 hours ago, Daff said:

I really enjoyed this. Getting to see the moments when all the midwives arrived at NH again. I’d forgotten that Chummy “barely squeaked through” when qualifying. They touched on many monumental moments and could have gone on for another hour!

I totally agree...Therefore, at some point you will find me binge watching the series from the beginning...sooner rather than later. And be done hopefully before the Christmas special...

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Oh how I loved this special, the tears flowed. I need to tell some fans I know not to miss it.  I have the book on pre-order for January but this was wonderful.

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The whole Sister Bernadette/Shelagh and Dr. Turner romance could be an episode in itself. The memory scene last week of her sewing his button and then this retrospective this week were beautiful.

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I loved this special. I’ve watched from season one, episode one. It was nice to see the midwives from the past like Chumley and Cynthia again. Enjoyed the interviews with the actresses, actors, and crew members and a look at the ‘behind the scenes’. 

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7 hours ago, CrazyMoon said:

I totally agree...Therefore, at some point you will find me binge watching the series from the beginning...sooner rather than later. And be done hopefully before the Christmas special...

Me too! Can't believe it's been 10 years.

6 hours ago, debraran said:

Oh how I loved this special, the tears flowed. I need to tell some fans I know not to miss it.  I have the book on pre-order for January but this was wonderful.

There are several books. All are really good.

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It was great seeing all the people who have gone again. I also forgot how heartbreaking the thalidomide were.

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4 hours ago, GaT said:

It was great seeing all the people who have gone again. I also forgot how heartbreaking the thalidomide were.

That was so well done, how could you not cry when the mom welcomed that baby with such love. 😥

7 hours ago, howiveaddict said:

Me too! Can't believe it's been 10 years.

There are several books. All are really good.

I meant the one coming out on CTM, not the ones based on it. https://www.amazon.com/Call-Midwife-Official-Behind-Scenes/dp/1681888033/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=call+the+midwife+book&qid=1637664460&qsid=144-0553487-1713260&sr=8-1&sres=1681888033%2C1780224923%2CB008MFVH0C%2C1474619428%2C9766705097%2C0062270044%2CB00H4H8BQM%2C1407228048%2C0297859641%2C1497484774%2C0062250035%2CB09LGNVBSN%2CB00MZOR1EM%2C1407209175%2CB07KTJ8DSV%2CB08W51RL7D

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As soon as the theme song kicks in, I'm gone. I think when they went to South Africa was my favourite. I've spent more time there than anywhere, and the cases were interesting. 

But I can re-watch every episode and be touched all over again. 

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17 hours ago, GaT said:

It was great seeing all the people who have gone again. I also forgot how heartbreaking the thalidomide were.

I thought the actor who plays Dr. Turner talking about growing up with and playing with children slightly older than than him impacted by thalidomide really put things into perspective for me. (I was born decades after the events in this series). In other interviews he's talked about remembering some of the other events depicted on the show from his own childhood too. 

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On 11/23/2021 at 12:24 AM, GaT said:

It was great seeing all the people who have gone again. I also forgot how heartbreaking the thalidomide were.

Although there are too many Kleenex moments for me to count since season 1, the scene that always has me crying Niagara Falls (and they didn’t show it in the special) is when Sister Julienne finds the thalidomide baby left alone next to an open window on a chilly evening to die alone. This was at a medical facility! She is appalled, closes the window, tenderly holds the baby and prays over it. The look on her face as she tended to the baby was so raw and real. 😭

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25 minutes ago, Spunkygal said:

Although there are too many Kleenex moments for me to count since season 1, the scene that always has me crying Niagara Falls (and they didn’t show it in the special) is when Sister Julienne finds the thalidomide baby left alone next to an open window on a chilly evening to die alone. This was at a medical facility! She is appalled, closes the window, tenderly holds the baby and prays over it. The look on her face as she tended to the baby was so raw and real. 😭

I loved that too! I also loved how they showed the mom accepting the baby and "they'd figure it out". I still want to yell "Stop!" when I see Dr Turner talking about thalidomide like a miracle drug. Some things we learn the hard way.

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It was wrong to blame the drug for the deformities in babies. I remember the Turners calling it a "vile" drug. What was not known at first was the danger of drugs on developing babies. That was the mistake, not the drug itself.

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I really enjoyed the special. It was so good seeing those characters from earlier seasons. Made me realize how much I miss some of them.  Like many here I've watched from season 1 episode 1, but didn't cry until the episode where Cynthia is attacked and Sister Monica Joan cleans her up in the tub. I was just a puddle.  I wish more people appreciated this show, I'd rather watch this than Downton Abbey.

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35 minutes ago, jah1986 said:

I really enjoyed the special. It was so good seeing those characters from earlier seasons. Made me realize how much I miss some of them.  Like many here I've watched from season 1 episode 1, but didn't cry until the episode where Cynthia is attacked and Sister Monica Joan cleans her up in the tub. I was just a puddle.  I wish more people appreciated this show, I'd rather watch this than Downton Abbey.

I so miss Patsy, Chummy, Sr Evangelina, and Barbara. Except for Barbara, maybe, who was just a really nice, humble young woman, all of these others had interesting layers to them. I can't really say the same for Lucille, Val or the new nuns, though Sr Frances is growing. The show touched on social ills it had addressed but I wish they had given a tiny bit more time to the societal culture of female oppression and misogny, and not just with the more extreme cases of Cynthia's attack or FGM or the woman's brutal husband. We saw it as a way of life in so many episodes, where the guy and the Spanish woman had 25 kids, starting when she was a child, and he not lifting a finger to care for any of them, the one where the husband was insisting she give him a son, actually two shows addressed that, one of which the woman died, the woman afraid for her life when she had a biracial baby, the schoolteacher whose married lover was legally able to scorn her and leave her to face the consequences alone, all the "suits" who knew what was "best" for pregnant women, the appalling conditions at the mother and baby home, etc, etc.

Speaking of remembrances, someone mentioned the early episode a while back of the brother and sister who lived together as a couple. I think it is possible that their relationship was not physical, even though they shared a bed. Their background was so traumatic, and they were so broken by it, that it is possible that they slept together for comfort and security, rather than sex.

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16 minutes ago, Gizkok said:

O often think about that couple too. Sometimes closeness is better than sex, as far as showing love and care is concerned.

Right. Also, from what I remember, the woman was so emotionally damaged that I wonder whether she could have had normal adult sexual feelings. She just saw her brother as security.

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5 hours ago, susannah said:

I can't really say the same for Lucille, Val or the new nuns, though Sr Frances is growing.

I tend to agree. Lucille is just so... super perfect. She never has a bad day or gets cross, or cries herself to sleep or leaves her stuff all over her bedroom.... It's just understood if someone is racist to her, she is going to be cool and calm and the bigot WILL get their comeuppance and Lucille will primly go on with her day. 

Val just... I think they were trying too hard to make her "from Poplar" where everyone knows Val and Val knows everyone and of course she's related to the head abortionist in Poplar and I was kinda rolling my eyes on how she never knew Grandma's secret role with the wire hanger.

I like Sister Francis. The other one, Sister Hilda? I would like more if she was more consistently in stories. I think honestly this season was too many new faces, too much Lucille (I would have kept Val) and not all that much in the way of stories. Oh look, Nonnatus House is likely to be closed again!

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38 minutes ago, EllaWycliffe said:

I tend to agree. Lucille is just so... super perfect. She never has a bad day or gets cross, or cries herself to sleep or leaves her stuff all over her bedroom.... It's just understood if someone is racist to her, she is going to be cool and calm and the bigot WILL get their comeuppance and Lucille will primly go on with her day. 

I like Sister Francis. The other one, Sister Hilda? I would like more if she was more consistently in stories. I think honestly this season was too many new faces, too much Lucille (I would have kept Val) and not all that much in the way of stories. Oh look, Nonnatus House is likely to be closed again!

Lucille is just bland and boring in her perfection.  I would have much preferred someone else, like Sister Hilda, get the time spent on her this season.  I really like Sister Francis who is growing and maturing in an interesting way.  She is pushing to get out of her innocent bubble and understand the world around her.

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1 hour ago, EllaWycliffe said:

I tend to agree. Lucille is just so... super perfect. She never has a bad day or gets cross, or cries herself to sleep or leaves her stuff all over her bedroom.... It's just understood if someone is racist to her, she is going to be cool and calm and the bigot WILL get their comeuppance and Lucille will primly go on with her day. 

Val just... I think they were trying too hard to make her "from Poplar" where everyone knows Val and Val knows everyone and of course she's related to the head abortionist in Poplar and I was kinda rolling my eyes on how she never knew Grandma's secret role with the wire hanger.

I like Sister Francis. The other one, Sister Hilda? I would like more if she was more consistently in stories. I think honestly this season was too many new faces, too much Lucille (I would have kept Val) and not all that much in the way of stories. Oh look, Nonnatus House is likely to be closed again!

Well said! I so agree about perfect Lucille. It didn't occur to me, but you are right about "Val from Poplar." Since she knew everyone and everyone knew her, how is it that no one EVER let slip to her what Grandma? Auntie" did on the side? But if I had to choose between her and Lucille, it would be Val. I have seen store mannequins more animated than Lucille. I have a hard time seeing Sr Hilda as a nun since she was on Home Fires, a great show that they cancelled right in the middle of a huge cliffhanger, in which she played an accountant who, because she couldn't afford her vet bill, made one stupid choice after another until she ended up causing soldiers' deaths and half the people in the village losing their jobs. Talented, that one!

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1 hour ago, susannah said:

 I have a hard time seeing Sr Hilda as a nun since she was on Home Fires, a great show that they cancelled right in the middle of a huge cliffhanger, in which she played an accountant who, because she couldn't afford her vet bill, made one stupid choice after another until she ended up causing soldiers' deaths and half the people in the village losing their jobs. Talented, that one!

I loved Home Fires, and was so shocked they didn't get a second season. I ended up buying the followup books that continued the stories - not quite the same as seeing it acted out but I could picture all the people. So fun seeing Fenella Woolgar show up on Call the Midwife.

 

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1 hour ago, jpgr said:

I loved Home Fires, and was so shocked they didn't get a second season. I ended up buying the followup books that continued the stories - not quite the same as seeing it acted out but I could picture all the people. So fun seeing Fenella Woolgar show up on Call the Midwife.

 

They did get two seasons, and the huge cliffhanger happened at the end of the second season. I have gotten one of the followup books, it's not the same, as you said. Are there more than one followup books? Fenella Woolgar has such a distinctive look, I just see her as Alison, and where is her dog Boris! I think she can add to Call the Midwife, if she is consistently on. I liked her being temporarily in charge of NH, and making compassionate decisions about Nancy.

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7 hours ago, susannah said:

Since she knew everyone and everyone knew her, how is it that no one EVER let slip to her what Grandma? Auntie" did on the side?

It was a very different time. In the vein of “children should be seen and not heard”, kids remained much more innocent for much longer. Moreover, that particular unspoken secret would have been conspiratorially guarded. There were many topics which were never discussed with children present, mostly because adults were ill-equipped to speak intelligibly on the subject. Best just not to talk about it. It wasn’t until the 80s that authors of kids’ books started writing simply about difficult subjects. I’m thinking topics such as: death, divorce, disease, natural disasters, etc. If you had questions, you were summarily dismissed and redirected. Perhaps not as bluntly as the WC Field’s quote, “Go away, kid, you bother me!”, but as effectively. 

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4 hours ago, Daff said:

It was a very different time. In the vein of “children should be seen and not heard”, kids remained much more innocent for much longer. Moreover, that particular unspoken secret would have been conspiratorially guarded. There were many topics which were never discussed with children present, mostly because adults were ill-equipped to speak intelligibly on the subject. Best just not to talk about it. It wasn’t until the 80s that authors of kids’ books started writing simply about difficult subjects. I’m thinking topics such as: death, divorce, disease, natural disasters, etc. If you had questions, you were summarily dismissed and redirected. Perhaps not as bluntly as the WC Field’s quote, “Go away, kid, you bother me!”, but as effectively. 

Except that Val wasn't always a child, and apparently other family members did know about it. For a place as small as Poplar, I just don't buy that no one ever spoke or whispered of the woman that would do it, or any person seeking her out, or anyone experiencing complications, for Val to hear of.  People did have to talk about it for the auntie to have the business.

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Watching the special made me realize that I haven’t seen every season.  I’m re watching season one now.  I just love Chummy so much.  And Sister Evangelina.  Funnily enough, I don’t really miss the original main character, Jenny.  She was good, just not as much of a character, I guess.  And amazing to see how much Trixie has changed in her appearance.

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Chummy and Sr. E are my two favorites with Sr. J being the calming bridge between all of the characters.  SO may great stories and performances.

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Finally got to see it and loved every minute.  Those beautiful moments of the Turner's story were my favorites.  I never admired Judy Parfitt's acting so much as I did while hearing the real actress talk.  In real life she is almost the opposite of Sister Monica Joan, down to earth and modern instead of fey and magical.  I loved seeing the white deer scene again.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

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2 hours ago, susannah said:

Except that Val wasn't always a child, and apparently other family members did know about it. For a place as small as Poplar, I just don't buy that no one ever spoke or whispered of the woman that would do it, or any person seeking her out, or anyone experiencing complications, for Val to hear of. 

Especially considering that Val is a midwife and therefore in that circle of women that would be aware of abortions. I do assign some willful blindness to Val on the issue but really, Val wasn't even especially young for an adult, was in the Army and all that but this just was kept secret from her?

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2 hours ago, susannah said:

Except that Val wasn't always a child, and apparently other family members did know about it. For a place as small as Poplar, I just don't buy that no one ever spoke or whispered of the woman that would do it, or any person seeking her out, or anyone experiencing complications, for Val to hear of.  People did have to talk about it for the auntie to have the business.

And when she was no longer a child, she wasn’t there. She was off training to be a nurse, then, an army nurse. When she returned to run the bar, I would imagine everyone who knew in Poplar went out of their way NOT to talk about it if she was within earshot. 

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1 hour ago, Tiggertoo said:

Watching the special made me realize that I haven’t seen every season.  I’m re watching season one now.  I just love Chummy so much.  And Sister Evangelina.  Funnily enough, I don’t really miss the original main character, Jenny.  She was good, just not as much of a character, I guess.  And amazing to see how much Trixie has changed in her appearance.

I loved and miss Chummy and Sr Evangelina so much too! I also did not like Jenny.

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29 minutes ago, EllaWycliffe said:

Especially considering that Val is a midwife and therefore in that circle of women that would be aware of abortions. I do assign some willful blindness to Val on the issue but really, Val wasn't even especially young for an adult, was in the Army and all that but this just was kept secret from her?

Yeah, it doesn't make sense to me either. Daff is of the opinion that it was purposely kept from Val, but I don't understand why. She was very close to her auntie and people might have thought she would go along, if she knew, as other members of the family did. I don't know if people would automatically think that Val would call the police on a family member.

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Too bad I wasn't home on Sunday when they played this special as a fundraiser, I would have phoned in and told them how much we all hate the PBS edits and how it takes away from the show!!!

I watched the first half today. It was so great to see Chummy and Sister Ev (my favs) and of course I cried again at the mere mention of Sister Ev's death. I had to take a break before they got to Barbara's death. So many great memories and outfits!!!  It definitely was my weekly cry! The past few seasons haven't hit me so hard, I think they try to mash too many stories in (no matter how many times they tell us how great the writing is) and the PBS edits, it just isn't as emotional as it used to be.

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On 11/24/2021 at 7:53 PM, susannah said:

They did get two seasons, and the huge cliffhanger happened at the end of the second season. I have gotten one of the followup books, it's not the same, as you said. Are there more than one followup books? Fenella Woolgar has such a distinctive look, I just see her as Alison, and where is her dog Boris! I think she can add to Call the Midwife, if she is consistently on. I liked her being temporarily in charge of NH, and making compassionate decisions about Nancy.

Oops you are right of course, they had two seasons. There are four books in the series, and I enjoyed reading them all. I do hope they give Fenella more to do on CtM in the next season!

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2 hours ago, jpgr said:

Oops you are right of course, they had two seasons. There are four books in the series, and I enjoyed reading them all. I do hope they give Fenella more to do on CtM in the next season!

I have both seasons on dvd and bought three of the books. I hope they give her more to do also. She has a Sr Julienne quality about her, a wise calmness.

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On 11/26/2021 at 7:34 PM, jpgr said:

Oops you are right of course, they had two seasons. There are four books in the series, and I enjoyed reading them all. I do hope they give Fenella more to do on CtM in the next season!

Here's a link to the books thread for Home Fires: https://forums.primetimer.com/topic/120175-home-fires-a-woman’s-war-and-a-woman’s-courage/?tab=comments#comment-6923416

I did not recognize the actress from Home Fires as Sr Hilda! It will be good if we get to see more of her on CtM.

I love Lucille, I think because she is quiet and more of an introvert than some of the others, I relate to her more.

Love watching the Turner family grow. Some of the Case of the Week families could have interesting follow-ups, even just a few words of how they're getting on.

On 11/24/2021 at 11:54 AM, susannah said:

not just with the more extreme cases of Cynthia's attack or FGM or the woman's brutal husband.

What was FGM? 

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1 hour ago, dubbel zout said:

Female genital mutilation, aka a clitorectomy. It's barbaric.

Completely, also that it is done solely to control women. Doubly barbaric.

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1 hour ago, zoey1996 said:

I did not recognize the actress from Home Fires as Sr Hilda! It will be good if we get to see more of her on CtM.

I love Lucille, I think because she is quiet and more of an introvert than some of the others, I relate to her more.

 

I had not recognized her either and I loved her in Home Fires, as I do on this show.  That was a show that ended all too soon. 

And, I too Love Lucille, for the same reason, I am also quiet and introverted, not one to show my emotions, doesn't mean they aren't there!

I also love Phyllis because she's a strong and dominant figure who is so much like my best friend.  Even looks like her!

This was just a wonderful episode that I will keep to watch again.

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On 11/25/2021 at 9:17 AM, Cetacean said:

Chummy and Sr. E are my two favorites with Sr. J being the calming bridge between all of the characters. 

Hear, hear. Though Miss Higgins and Nurse Crane have become total stalwarts.

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On 11/25/2021 at 10:36 AM, susannah said:

Yeah, it doesn't make sense to me either. Daff is of the opinion that it was purposely kept from Val, but I don't understand why. She was very close to her auntie and people might have thought she would go along, if she knew, as other members of the family did. I don't know if people would automatically think that Val would call the police on a family member.

They wouldn't have talked about it around her precisely because it was illegal, and as a midwife, she'd pretty much be duty bound to report it.  Plus, her having been away so long made her a bit of an outsider to the locals.

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13 minutes ago, proserpina65 said:

They wouldn't have talked about it around her precisely because it was illegal, and as a midwife, she'd pretty much be duty bound to report it.  Plus, her having been away so long made her a bit of an outsider to the locals.

I guess one person's conjecture is as good as another, since no one knows for certain what the dynamic was, or how long Val was away, or where she was. All she said was that she was a nurse. I don't agree though that Val was an "outsider" to the locals.

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40 minutes ago, susannah said:

I guess one person's conjecture is as good as another, since no one knows for certain what the dynamic was, or how long Val was away, or where she was. All she said was that she was a nurse. I don't agree though that Val was an "outsider" to the locals.

I'd have to go back and watch, but I remember some of the regulars in the pub being a bit stand-offish with her.  It's been awhile since I've seen those episodes though.

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2 hours ago, proserpina65 said:

I'd have to go back and watch, but I remember some of the regulars in the pub being a bit stand-offish with her.  It's been awhile since I've seen those episodes though.

Yeah, that was the one with the explosion in the factory. Alas, pre-regulation workplace safety measures. I also remember Sheilagh giving inoculations beforehand without first cleaning the injection sites! I recall Val said she was helping her aunt with the pub but I would have to rewatch too.

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