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Episode 2

Episode 2 of 6

Drama about a newly-trained midwife in 1950s London. As Jenny Lee settles into her role, there is a new arrival at Nonnatus House. Meanwhile, Jenny sees a darker side of life.

As the nuns and nurses go about their duties, Nonnatus House gains a new resident, Chummy, a welcome pair of hands to help with the busy caseload. Sister Evangelina, in a case of inverted snobbery, has little patience with her or with her passionate and somewhat lofty desire to become a missionary.

Meanwhile, Jenny has a chance late-night encounter with Mary, a young Irish girl aged 15. She is heavily pregnant and reveals that she ran away from an abusive home life in rural Ireland and made her way to London. She is unwilling to give away many details of her current situation. Mary is desperate and terrified, and eventually Jenny discovers the full, horrific details of the young girl's plight.

Destitute upon arrival in London, Mary was "taken in" by Zakir, the owner of an all-night cafe in the notorious Cable Street area. It transpired that the cafe was in fact a brothel, and Mary was forced into prostitution almost immediately. Her suffering has been extreme, but in the tough world of the criminal East End, this is far from unusual.

Sister Julienne arranges for Mary to be helped by a religious charity, but sadly it is not to be the end of her tragic story.

Chummy makes great efforts to settle in, but nerves and a keenness to please almost overwhelm her, and she makes slow progress. A particular obstacle is her inability to ride a bike, and although Jenny, Trixie and Cynthia struggle to teach her, their efforts are hampered by catcalling and jeering from local children. Her initial attempts to learn end in a spectacular collision between the three midwives and a policeman, PC Noakes.

Chummy's future at Nonnatus House hangs in the balance, and she soon finds herself out of her depth.

1 hour

Last on

Thu 14 Jun 2012 21:00

Clip

Credits

Role Contributor
Voice of Mature Jenny Vanessa Redgrave
Jenny Lee Jessica Raine
Sister Julienne Jenny Agutter
Sister Evangelina Pam Ferris
Chummy Browne Miranda Hart
Sister Monica Joan Judy Parfitt
Trixie Franklin Helen George
Cynthia Miller Bryony Hannah
Sister Bernadette Laura Main
Fred Cliff Parisi
Dr Turner Stephen McGann
PC Peter Noakes Ben Caplan
Mary Amy McAllister
Clifford Mason Liam Reilly
Ingrid Mason Sophie Cosson
Zakir Darwin Shaw
Charmaine Jessica Jones
Jack Smith Jake Bailey
Cafe Proprietor Terry Bird
Father Joe Stanley Townsend
Betty Smith Victoria Allcock
Brena McEntee Penny Layden
Mrs Fraser Amelda Brown
Mr Smith Nick Bartlett
Sailor Mitchell Hunt
Director Philippa Lowthorpe
Producer Hugh Warren
Writer Heidi Thomas

Broadcasts