1 Christmas special + 8 episodes
Trixie Franklin = Helen George
Barbara Gilbert = Charlotte Ritchie
Phyllis Crane = Linda Bassett
Patsy Mount = Emerald Fennell
Sister Mary Cynthia (Miller) = Bryony Hannah
Sister Monica Joan = Judy Parfitt
Sister Evangelina = Pam Ferris
Sister Winifred = Victoria Yeates
Shelagh Turner = Laura Main
Dr. Patrick Turner = Stephen McGann
Timothy Turner = Max Macmillan
Chummy (Camilla Fortescue-Cholmondeley-Browne) = Miranda Hart
Sister Julienne = Jenny Agutter
PC Peter Noakes = Ben Caplan
Fred Buckle = Cliff Parisi
Violet Gee = Annabelle Apsion
Tom Hereward = Jack Ashton
Delia Busby = Kate Lamb
Is this a transitional season? Yes and no. It doesn't really feel less than to me. It is dramatic, compelling, emotional, heartbreaking, wonderful.
Christmas Special -- Cynthia decides something life-changing, something that will keep her out of most of this season's episodes. She feels called to become a SISTER. Trixie and Patsy try to persuade her out of her decision, but they eventually stop trying to compete. Chummy and Patsy spend some time at a home for unmarried expectant mothers....
Episode one -- Nurse Gilbert joins Nonnatus House. And what an ENTRY she makes. Poor thing. With her clothes being scattered and the dogs running off with things. Trixie has highs and lows in this episode. At her happiest, she's just agreed to marry Tom. At her lowest, she's reliving some of the more difficult aspects of her childhood. This will be a roller coaster season for Trixie's emotions.
Chummy becomes head of the home for unmarried expectant mothers.
Episode two -- Nurse Crane joins Nonnatus House. (You'll recognize her from Lark Rise to Candleford perhaps). She clashes instantly with Sister Evangelina. She has a lot of great ideas. But she demands respect for sure!!! Barbara and Patsy work together in this episode. And it's memorable, I think--not their working together. But the mother and father and the delivery itself. Trixie becomes OBSESSED with her upcoming wedding. And Tom does not care even a little about planning the wedding.
Episode three -- This is a dramatic episode with several stories. A husband, soon to be father, is caught in a homosexual act--though it was a trap set by police--and the community comes together to shame the wife--who is just a few weeks away from delivery. Poverty is also at the forefront of this one--as is a spread of dysentery. This episode is all about standing up for what is right. Nurse Crane excels in this episode, as does Nurse Mount. (I'm not sure which episode it is when viewers learn her secret--that she's a lesbian and in love with a fellow nurse, Delia).
Episode four -- This episode is a ROUGH one. Trixie hits rock bottom, essentially, and comes to a BIG, BIG, BIG decision. Sister Winifred reaches out to prostitutes and wants to start a safe-sex education program of sorts. SISTER MONICA JOAN has a triumphant moment or two--as does Shelagh--when an emergency comes up.
Episode five -- Shelagh starts dressing as a nurse--she is a nurse though mainly acting as an administrative assistant--and becomes a true support to her husband when he has an emotional breakdown. The community comes together to show how much he is LOVED AND RESPECTED AND MISSED. Sister Mary Cynthia returns to Nonnatus House. Barbara starts proving herself in this episode.
Episode six -- Sister Mary Cynthia works closely with Irish Travellers (gypsies). And Nurse Crane works with a young diabetic who is pregnant. Her mother wants to force her daughter to have an abortion. The pregnancy would be very high risk. The young girl is in love and wants her baby. Her boyfriend ultimately has to decide what is the right thing to do--even if it's the hard thing to do.
Episode seven -- And Fred begins courting Violet!!!! Sister Evangelina feels horribly guilty when she makes a mistake concerning the identity of two babies. There is a fire in the maternity home. And she picks up two babies--newly born--and escapes the burning building. That's the good news. The bad news, she thinks she remembers which baby is which...but she doesn't. And that's where the guilt sets in.
Episode eight -- Trixie seeks help in this episode. Nurse Mount is (naturally) upset when her girlfriend is in a serious accident. She must receive permission from Delia's mother to visit her in the hospital. And also for permission to write. Her happily ever after seems even more unlikely now. Fred's other daughter visits and is HORRIBLE to Violet. Can Chummy--who makes an appearance at last--get these two back on track and heading to the altar?
© 2016 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews