Call the Midwife returns to BBC One for a fifth season.
The year is 1961, and Poplar is beginning to feel the winds of social change – along with improvements in housing, sanitation and healthcare.
But for the midwives and nuns of Nonnatus House who care for the sick and bring new life into the world, it’s business as usual. The personal and professional worlds of the nurses remain entwined, as events in their work impact on their personal lives.
Friday 25 December 2015, 7.30pm
As celebrations swing into action, Poplar readies itself for Christmas 1960; a festive bus trip to see the Regent Street lights and a visit from a BBC film crew promise to make it a Christmas to remember.
But it’s a difficult time of year for grieving mother Iris, bringing back memories of her long departed baby daughter. And at Nonnatus, things are tense as Sister Monica Joan determines to bring the Christmas spirit early, despite Sister Evangelina’s disgust.
As the community pull together to prepare for the televised carol concert, Nonnatus is rocked when Sister Monica Joan goes missing.
Sunday 17 January 2016, 8pm
Easter is approaching, and for the nuns and midwives of Nonnatus House it’s as busy as ever, as babies are born to myriad families across the borough. One such delivery brings with it its own set of shocks, when Patsy helps experienced mother Rhoda Mullucks give birth to a baby with severe deformities.
As the mother refuses to reject her new-born child, the father struggles to come to terms with the harsh realities of his daughter’s problems. Support and intervention from those at Nonnatus House proves invaluable as they try to rebuild this loving family.
Meanwhile, the new exercise craze has reached Poplar, led by Nonnatus’ very own Trixie. But when she starts teaching a Keep Fit class, the exercises lead to a medical emergency for one of her group. The experience leads her to realise that women sometimes lack a basic understanding of their own bodies, and she aims to rectify it – one patient at a time.
Sunday 24 January 2016, 8pm
Life in Poplar is as busy as ever, and the docks are kept busy with a flow of newly-imported goods. But despite this opportunities for work are waning, and a struggling dockworker’s wife is forced into a difficult decision over the birth of her child, leading Barbara to the biggest test of her career.
Meanwhile, keen to improve her language skills, Nurse Crane joins a Spanish class, where she meets widower Tommy – a like-minded gentleman who shares her passion for all things Mediterranean.
Sister Evangelina deals with a young mother struggling to breastfeed, encouraging her to keep trying for the good of her newborn child. Her advice has serious consequences and Evangelina faces a difficult decision of her own.
Sunday 31 January 2016, 8pm
Summertime in the East End brings with it new challenges when an outbreak of a rare disease erupts on a Poplar street.
While Patsy and Dr Turner try to track down the source of the outbreak, suspicion over who the carrier could be threatens to break apart a close-knit family.
Sister Winifred is forced to reconsider her prejudices when dealing with a mother-to-be and Barbara inadvertently agrees to go to dinner with Tom – but is wracked with worry about how Trixie will react.
Sunday 7 February 2016, 8pm
As the modern world begins to encroach on traditional Poplar life, everyone is starting to notice the changes. On secondment at a busy local hospital, Sister Julienne is impressed by the medical advances that are saving the lives of mothers and babies. But a traumatic birth raises moral questions for her which she struggles to answer.
As the medical world is changing, so is society at large, with opportunities in education increasingly open to all. Despite his working-class background, Ian is overjoyed to be accepted into university and embraces his chance to escape Poplar, much to the disappointment of his more traditional mother Sadie.
But his plans appear to be in ruins when girlfriend Linda falls pregnant. Trixie and Tom help the family, who begin to break apart under the pressure of this unplanned pregnancy.
Sunday 14 February 2016, 8pm
With modern advances starting to change things for the better, will medical professionals like Dr Turner and Shelagh look again at their own lifestyles? As the couple fight for better respiratory health for their patients, Timothy realises that his parents are putting themselves at risk by continuing to smoke.
When a back injury forces Violet to put her beloved shop in Fred’s care, their relationship grows stronger – but with unforeseen consequences.
Across Poplar another family unit appears to be broken before it’s begun, as new mother Roseanne’s past wreaks havoc on her family life. Nurse Crane, concerned about Roseanne’s mental state, draws on her own experiences to help her.
Sunday 21 February 2016, 8pm
A spate of violent attacks on women leaves Poplar in a state of fear, yet prostitute Lizzie is too ashamed of what people will think to file a report – allowing a dangerous man to go free and impacting directly on the residents of Nonnatus House.
It’s shame that also makes mother Thora conceal her young daughter Diane’s pregnancy, afraid of the neighbourhood gossip and the impact on her future. But the secret pregnancy threatens Diane’s life after Thora takes matters into her own hands.
After an especially busy period, Shelagh and Timothy secretly organise to take Dr Turner on a long-overdue family camping holiday, but a freak summer thunderstorm threatens to dampen their enthusiasm.
Sunday 28 February 2016, 8pm
Autumn is on its way to Poplar, and with it comes change. As Dr Turner shares his excitement about the impending release of the contraceptive pill, not all of his counterparts at Nonnatus House are as keen for the social transformations it may bring.
Patsy realises that change isn’t always for the best when she struggles to help a transient Bargee woman, who is determined to give birth among her own community, rather than a modern maternity home.
As a huge storm threatens Poplar Nurse Crane is called upon to assist a new mother in a post-natal emergency; the danger bringing a once distant young couple closer as a result.
As the storm subsides, it brings with it the welcome return of Sister Evangelina, herself changed by the time she has spent away from Nonnatus House.
Sunday 6 March 2016, 8pm
As Poplar moves towards the season of goodwill, the time has come to accept the things that have passed, and look to the future. Dr Turner is forced to do just that when the cause of the recent spate of infant limb deformities is finally uncovered.
Realising that his own prescriptions could have exacerbated the tragedy, he jumps into action in an attempt to prevent further damage.
Meanwhile, Nonnatus House is thrown into disarray by a tragedy even closer to home. Although Sister Evangelina is back at work, it’s clear that her recent stroke has affected her badly, and that her health problems are not over.
Poplar matriarch Tessie is forced to accept that her grandchild has been conceived out of wedlock, but there’s joy all round when the baby is born at the couple’s wedding reception.
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