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S05.E09: Christmas Special


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I miss Chummy but not as much as I did in the past.  The rollover of characters helps as I don't miss the earlier ones quite as much.  Although I will ALWAYS miss Sr. Evangelina.  She was one of a kind.

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23 hours ago, marceline said:

I enjoyed the episode a lot but it won't be among my favorites for the simple reason of eliminating half the cast. I'd love it if they'd made this a two-part special with the next episode showing us what Patsy, Delia, Cynthia, Violet, and Timothy were doing in Poplar while the others were away.

I kept hoping they would show a few scenes so we could see how Nonnatus House was coping with a reduced staff. And what did Violet think when Fred was going to South Africa? She wasn't going to see her husband for a couple of months, and getting her reaction to that news was something I was interested in seeing.

The dam broke over Abel and Matthias, but as soon as Shelagh called asking for someone to go over to their house, I knew she was sending for Timothy's old leg braces. And how cute was Angela in her nurse's uniform?

I missed this show so much! I like my cable dramas and murder mysteries, but sometimes it's so lovely to have something that's positive and hopeful. I should have asked Santa for tissue boxes in bulk.

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I missed Patsy and Delia and Sr. Mary Cynthia (yes, saw the VERY brief glimpses, was not enough).  But for some reason, I lover the midwives and Fred getting sunburns/suntan as the show went.  That was very realistic, and I actually wondered if the actors were getting tan/burned. 

Loved the female doctor too. And how Sr. Julienne gently handled the neighbor.  Can't wait till April.

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I had guests here on Christmas and just got to watch the entire episode online last night.  Now that was a spectacular 90 minutes of television.  Loved, loved, loved the trip to South Africa!  The writers did an outstanding job of showing the impact of apartheid on every day life.  I could not have been more shocked when the police broke up a simple chat around the campfire.  As always, the actors' performances were all compelling.  Do we really have to wait for April to see more of the best series on television? 

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I also did not like the Tom and Trixie scene. Although, I like Trixie and I like Tom and I had hoped they would get back together I started rooting for him and Barbara too. Tom is a good guy and I'm happy with whoever he ends up with, and while I think they were just try to show that Trixie was in a good place now, had moved on in her life, and was being a good friend to both Tom and Trixie.....it didn't FEEL like that with me. 

It felt like Trixie was either giving Tom her blessing to marry Barbara, or that she turning the light bulb on over his head that he did, and a part of me feels like it makes me wonder if I should anticipate something happening that rekindles Trixie and Tom and breaks Barbara and Tom up. In which....I'm kinda tired of undo drama....

 

I also wonder about Trixie potentially going to to medical school to be an Obgyn. In season 5 she talked about being jealous about not knowing where she belongs but knowing that you don't need a man to belong. I think in stepping up to perform that c-section she may have found her calling.

Edited by LadyChaos
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On December 26, 2016 at 0:38 PM, anna0852 said:

I don't think Trixie is headed for med school. For starters, nursing and midwifery did not require a college degree at that time. Trixie would have done a direct 3 year training course in a nursing school that attached to a hospital, with a further course for midwifery. She would have to go back and get a university degree before med school was an option. 

Plus, can you see Trixie being able or willing to function in an environment where she can't speak her mind or advocate for her patients as she sees fit? The rigid 60's medical school system would drive her crazy in short order.

The British educational system did not/ does not require a bachelors degree to be admitted to med school. Their medical degree is their university degree, I think they have additional training/ residency requirements. 

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1 hour ago, evilmindatwork said:

The British educational system did not/ does not require a bachelors degree to be admitted to med school. Their medical degree is their university degree, I think they have additional training/ residency requirements. 

The Canadian system is sort of a hybrid.  When you apply to university, you apply to whatever program you are interested in - most people will major in biology/Life Sciences/something-sciency and in two years, you an take the MCAT and apply to medical school.  Most med programs won't take anyone that isn't about to graduate with a bachelor's degree, however.  Med school is, like the US, an additional four years.  In other words, for the most part, school will take a total of eight years.  How long is the British system?

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On 12/28/2016 at 3:51 PM, Popples said:

The dam broke over Abel and Matthias, but as soon as Shelagh called asking for someone to go over to their house, I knew she was sending for Timothy's old leg braces.

I'm jealous because I couldn't figure out what she was getting, and it would have made my life easier had I known.

I was scared when I saw that the episode was going to be in South Africa.  I thought, "Great.  There's not enough poverty and misery where they are--they have to go find some more?"  I considered not even watching it.

But I did, and at one point, actually said to Mr. Outlier (who was half watching), "This isn't as bad as I thought it was going to be."  And right after that?  Up comes a boy who'd carried his polio-stricken brother on his back for miles to trade his coin for a cure for his brother's polio.  Gah.

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I'm still digesting this episode a few weeks later and what still gnaws at me is discomfort at the old trope of white people coming in to rescue minorities. That said, given the apartheid state, and the time, the women at the clinic were systematically up against the wall, between their race, their economic status, and their gender. And our friends from Poplar were helping by making the clinic self-sufficient rather than just doing a temporary feel-good mission. Eh. It's complicated.

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On 12/28/2016 at 8:16 AM, allonsyalice said:

She was supposed to be in this special, and in season six, but her schedule hasn't allowed it. Its a shame, honestly.  

I've heard that before about her scheduling conflicts and I must say that I'm rather annoyed by it.  Granted, the actress has other priorities, but this show doesn't seem to be one of them.  Wasn't it her first claim to fame?  I'm about ready for them to move on.  Write a divorce for her and dear hubby and then bring him back in to find a new love interest in the regular cast.  I'm pretty much over her now. And she used to be my favorite character.  Sigh.

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Miranda Hart had a  career as writer/comedian/actress before 'Call the Midwife'. She had guest parts in 'Absolutely Fabulous', 'French & Sanders', 'The Vicar of Dibley' and many others before  her sitcom 'Miranda' became quite a success. She won several awards for 'Miranda' and she also won an award for her unconventional autobiography written before 'Call the Midwife' came along.

IIRC she was cast as 'Chummy' because Jennifer Worth herself had thought she would be perfect for the part. She probably did not expect the show to be such a huge success that would last for several seasons and become quite a time-consuming endeavor. She's been pretty busy over the last few years (she's been on tour, had minor parts in movies and has written two more books) so I can see why getting back on a production like 'Call the Midwife' could be problematic.

I loved Chummy but I thought there was a tendency to give her arc too much room compared to the others so I'm not that upset about Hart's decision.

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I loved Chummy from her first episode where she informed a mom that her breech baby was entering the world "ass first." And of course her references to "Young Sir." But yeah I've gotten used to her not being there. And I've warmed to Nurse Crane as the designated Nurse Cheerful Oddball role.

 I *do* think Chummy should have made an appearance at Sister Evangelina's funeral though.

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Quote

 

I loved Chummy from her first episode where she informed a mom that her breech baby was entering the world "ass first." And of course her references to "Young Sir." But yeah I've gotten used to her not being there. And I've warmed to Nurse Crane as the designated Nurse Cheerful Oddball role.

 I *do* think Chummy should have made an appearance at Sister Evangelina's funeral though.

 

Totally agree with everything you said, Mumbles  At first I missed her a lot but Phyllis has filled her spot very nicely and it's also a treat to see an older actor (other than the nuns) in with the group.  Life gives us people of all generations, not just young pretty/handsome faces.  I miss Sister E for all of her world experiences and Phyllis add that dimension with her stories of WWII.

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Much as I love Chummy, and I really do - I love all things Miranda Hart, I haven't actually missed her in a while. Only on those instances when her absence is noteworthy - Sister Evangalina's funeral, and whenever her cop husband appears on the show. They have a really well rounded set of characters, each with distinct strengths and personalities, so I'm pretty happy with the show as it is. I would prefer a little less weeping though...I go through too many tissues.

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On ‎1‎/‎6‎/‎2017 at 7:32 AM, Clanstarling said:

Much as I love Chummy, and I really do - I love all things Miranda Hart, I haven't actually missed her in a while. Only on those instances when her absence is noteworthy - Sister Evangalina's funeral, and whenever her cop husband appears on the show. They have a really well rounded set of characters, each with distinct strengths and personalities, so I'm pretty happy with the show as it is. I would prefer a little less weeping though...I go through too many tissues.

I really like Chummy, but I don't really miss her.  I honestly, think they should have written the character out since her absence is at times very glaring.  Like you said Sister Evangalina's funeral, and whenever her cop husband appears on the show.

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On 12/27/2016 at 5:11 PM, allonsyalice said:

oIt was a really well done episode. They spooned out all the honey nut feelios, like I thought they would, and I really enjoyed it  

Owning my love for the honey nut feelios.

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  • 2 months later...

I am alone in my corner here, but I found much of this episode rather tedious.

The scenery was wonderful, but I would've like to see them facing their first Christmas in London without Sister Evangelina.

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  • 5 weeks later...

FYI: Netflix has finally made this episode available to stream. Yay!! If there are any like me who blinked and missed it when it aired on PBS, go and watch it! I really liked it and especially loved Sinead Cusack as Dr. Myra.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Just rewatched this episode - and my Trixie love  is still growing.  How simple and easy it would have been to have made her the fashion maven, the "unsubstantial one", the one who provided the comic relief - but instead she has grown and matured into Trixie the total, absolute badass.  Well done show!

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  • 5 weeks later...

I was a bit dubious at the whole "I've seen a zillion c-sections so I think I can do one" angle, even though it was definitely presented as "they'll both die if I do nothing so why not?" That said, the "what the fuck did I just do" look on Trixie's face afterward, made it for me. So in the end it was satisfying even though the initial moment I was giving the show side-eye. However, I do think the whole thing was extremely in-character for Trixie. So on the whole it was emotionally sound.

I could use a whole lot less Tom+Barbara and a whole lot more Patsy in general. Barbara nursing is interesting enough, but I'm a bit bored of their relationship plot. Not that I want them broken up or anything I just don't need as many scenes devoted to it. The scene with Trixie didn't bug me that much because I thought it was in-character for her as well, but at the same time, I felt like it was moreso that they wanted us to know both that she and Tom had more respect for Barbara and saw more depth to her than just the newbie reverend's daughter, and instead of finding a way to show that both of them had those feelings, they had us watch them chat about it to each other.

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(edited)
On ‎6‎/‎28‎/‎2017 at 6:16 PM, theatremouse said:

I was a bit dubious at the whole "I've seen a zillion c-sections so I think I can do one" angle, even though it was definitely presented as "they'll both die if I do nothing so why not?" That said, the "what the fuck did I just do" look on Trixie's face afterward, made it for me. So in the end it was satisfying even though the initial moment I was giving the show side-eye. However, I do think the whole thing was extremely in-character for Trixie. So on the whole it was emotionally sound.

I was totally side-eying the show for having Trixie perform a miracle live saving C-section. Because you know seeing something is exactly the same thing as performing it. I get that if they didn't do anything both would die, so they had to try something. But idk I really wish someone else besides Trixie got to have that big moment. It feels to me like Trixie is always the one who gets to tell people off or give big long speeches and while I get that doing both of those things are in character or her; I find that I'm getting tired of the writers always giving these big moments to Trixie instead of Patsy or someone else.

On ‎6‎/‎28‎/‎2017 at 6:16 PM, theatremouse said:

The scene with Trixie didn't bug me that much because I thought it was in-character for her as well, but at the same time, I felt like it was moreso that they wanted us to know both that she and Tom had more respect for Barbara and saw more depth to her than just the newbie reverend's daughter, and instead of finding a way to show that both of them had those feelings, they had us watch them chat about it to each other.

I really dislike when shows resort to telling us stuff instead of showing us. The whole Tom & Barbara relationship imo has been a lot of telling us instead of showing us.

Edited by Fireball
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  • 1 year later...

I've been rewatching and just finished this episode.  That scene with Trixie and Tom......this time, watching it, It felt like Tom was still holding out hope that he would be with Trixie, and that by hearing Trixie say that he would be with Barbara, he was finally accepting that he wouldn't ever be with her again......

Or maybe it just felt that way bc, according to Helen George, that was when she and Jack started to realize they were in love with each other.

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2 hours ago, LadyChaos said:

I've been rewatching and just finished this episode.  That scene with Trixie and Tom......this time, watching it, It felt like Tom was still holding out hope that he would be with Trixie, and that by hearing Trixie say that he would be with Barbara, he was finally accepting that he wouldn't ever be with her again......

Or maybe it just felt that way bc, according to Helen George, that was when she and Jack started to realize they were in love with each other.

I watched the Trixie/Tom episodes a while ago but didn't they make it seem like she didn't want to move with him, go to a poorer neighborhood etc and then Tom stays with Barbara anyway?

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4 hours ago, debraran said:

I watched the Trixie/Tom episodes a while ago but didn't they make it seem like she didn't want to move with him, go to a poorer neighborhood etc and then Tom stays with Barbara anyway?

The Tom/Trixie scenes where she talks about not wanting to live in a poorer neighborhood and beaks the engagement happened in Season 4.  This episode (& its discussion) took place over a year later (maybe more like 18 months).  Tom & Barbara didn't even start dating until a year after Tom & Trixie split.  IDK about Tom, but I never felt like Trixie was closing a door because that door had been closed for some time.

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(edited)
On 5/22/2019 at 4:59 AM, debraran said:

I watched the Trixie/Tom episodes a while ago but didn't they make it seem like she didn't want to move with him, go to a poorer neighborhood etc and then Tom stays with Barbara anyway?

On 5/22/2019 at 9:34 AM, OnceSane said:

The Tom/Trixie scenes where she talks about not wanting to live in a poorer neighborhood and beaks the engagement happened in Season 4.  This episode (& its discussion) took place over a year later (maybe more like 18 months).  Tom & Barbara didn't even start dating until a year after Tom & Trixie split.  IDK about Tom, but I never felt like Trixie was closing a door because that door had been closed for some time.

Tom and Trixie broke up, because she realized that once she married Tom she was at the mercy of the church and that she would likely have to give up midwifery.  The argument started because she spoke up when she and Tom were hosting his 'boss' (the person in the church he would answer to and had the authority to place him else where).  Trixie was unaware of the move, and was angry because Tom told her she shouldn't have spoken up against the man, and that as his wife she would be expected to go where the church told them to go.  Somehow in her head, I think she just thought they would stay in East End, in their community.

Their break up was in part both their faults.  Tom should have made a better effort to make sure Trixie was aware of what would be expected of her, and Trixie should have been honest with Tom about how much Midwifery meant to her.  As we later saw, though she loved Tom alot, ultimately it was Midwifery that gave her life meaning, worth, and helped cope with her past.  The thought of being pulled away from that, and being made to be nothing more than a Curate's wife and homemaker, is what sent her out of control. 

The thing with Tom and Barbara started nearly 6 months later, and even in the beginning they kept it a secret because Barbara knew that Trixie still loved Tom, and though he did say it, later it became clear that Tom was still hoping to patch things up with Trixie.  By the time this episode happens, its about 18 months since the break up, and Tom and Barbara were dating for a year. Since Barbara's father was a Vicor, she went into her relationship with Tom already aware of what would be expected of her if they were to marry.

Edited by LadyChaos
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  • 1 year later...
  • 1 year later...

I just re-watched this episode on DVD and was disappointed that the wonderful song 'Pata Pata' by Miriam Makeba was missing.  I think it should have been in the scenes where they went to the villages to distribute the polio vaccine. There was just some generic-type music.  I know I remember hearing it when I originally watched it on PBS here in the U.S., because as soon as the episode was over I had to do some googling to identify the song.  Maybe it was a licensing issue with the DVDs?

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