‘Call the Midwife’, Series 1, Episode 2 (TV)


Please feel free to comment on my review.

It’s time for the second episode of ‘Call the Midwife’ in Series 2. Having got into the ‘Call the Midwife’ series through its latest seasons, it’s intriguing to see how it had humble beginnings here. 🙂

In the second episode, we’re introduced to Miranda Hart as Chummy Browne, who is a new midwife to the ‘Call the Midwife’ team after Jenny. She’s a clumsy, gawky woman who has recently qualified.

She came to the convent in Poplar in order to gain experience as a midwife before leaving for Africa as a missionary. Chummy however doesn’t do a good impression on Pam Ferris as Sister Evangelina.

Miranda Hart is a well-known comedienne, having done her own BBC sitcom series ‘Miranda’. Now there’s always an element of risk to occur once casting a comedy actress in a period drama TV show.

But surprisingly, Miranda Hart does well playing Chummy Browne who is a dedicated albeit clumsy nurse. She does have moments of awkwardness, but once she does the job as a nurse, she does it. 🙂

There is a moment where she does comfort and reassure an expectant mother whilst Stephen McGann as Dr. Turner attends to her. It gets ruined once she gets clumsy, but it was a nice moment.

And there’s Chummy helping out a mother during a difficult breach birth in her first solo job. The mother is Victoria Alcock (who was in the ‘Doctor Who’ episode ‘Planet of the Dead’) as Betty Smith.

Chummy, through all the stress and pressure, copes very well in supporting Betty when trying to get the baby out of her. Amazing she succeeded well with Sister Evangelina and Dr. Turner as witnesses.

I also liked it when Chummy uses her faith to brave through the challenging solo job she has with the breach birth. This adds an intriguing layer to her character than being just a clumsy clod throughout.

There’s also the situation where Chummy has to learn how to ride a bike instead of a horse when going out on midwife calls. Helen George as Trixie and Bryony Hannah as Cynthia help Chummy out.

It’s amusing when Chummy keeps falling over the bike just when she’s getting the hang of it. But thankfully she overcomes her problems by the end and is able to cycle the bike quite swimmingly. 😀

Chummy does have challenges in trying to keep up with her studies whilst being a midwife. She might be late on time for midwife calls, much to Sister Evangelina’s annoyance, but comes out good.

Whilst all this is happening, Jessica Raine as Jenny Lee befriends a pregnant Irish runaway – Amy McAllister as Mary – who happens to be a prostitute. First, Jenny helps Amy getting a meal at a cafe.

Jenny later lets Mary be put up for one night at Nonnatus House. This is before Jenny Agutter as Sister Julienne decides what to do with her. I liked how Mary wished Jenny to be her moral support.

It’s eventually decided to have Mary be placed in a Catholic home for unmarried mothers. The man who’s in charge of the special Catholic home for unmarried mums is Stanley Townsend as Father Joe.

Jenny chats with Father Joe about Mary’s situation. It’s something that doesn’t go very well by the time the episode concludes, especially once Father Joe and Jenny’s opinions clash with each other. 😦

Mary eventually has her baby and it’s a little girl. Jenny visits Mary when she’s cradling her daughter. It’s clear that Mary loves her daughter very much. It’s saddening when Mary’s baby gets taken away.

Yes! Mary is denied having the baby since she’s only fifteen and the child was given away for adoption without her consent. Things were so different how they handled babies and their mothers.

It’s also interesting to see Jenny observe the poverty-stricken streets of Poplar filled with prostitutes who want to be taken by men. They even smoke away whilst trying to be alluring. Very disturbing! 😐

The episode also features Judy Parfitt as Sister Monica Joan and Laura Main as Sister Bernadette. Cliff Parisi as Fred Buckles gives Chummy moral support and there’s Ben Caplan as PC Peter Noakes.

The second Series 1 episode ‘Call the Midwife’ is a pretty good introduction to Miranda Hart as Chummy and has a nice story featuring Jenny who befriends a young prostitute girl having her child.

‘Series 1, Episode 2’ rating – 8/10

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