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


Please feel free to comment on my review.

It’s time for Series 2 of ‘Call the Midwife’. Clearly the first series was a huge success on BBC TV, so of course a second series had to be made. Since then, there are more episodes of ‘Call the Midwife’! 😀

The year is now 1958. It’s interesting how the series develops from going into the late 1950s into the 1960s. With the Christmas Specials, it helps that the series happens annually in an historical context.

The episode opens with Jessica Raine as Jenny Lee returning from a long day of duties. It’s clearly the rush hour with so many people on bicycles in Poplar. Didn’t they have enough cars in those days? 😀

Jenny returns to Nonnatus House to find the community gathered there to wish her a happy birthday. Aww, isn’t that nice? She’s even given a cake where she gets to blow all the candles out. 🙂

Mind you, Judy Parfitt as Sister Monica Joan did take a dab of icing from the cake. I saw that! 😀 Soon, Jenny, Chummy, Trixie and Cynthia go on a cinema outing to see the 1958 film ‘South Pacific’!

So that means we’re in March of that year and its Jenny’s birthday in March. It was nice to see Jenny with Miranda Hart as Chummy, Helen George as Trixie and Bryony Hannah as Cynthia at the cinema.

The song ‘Younger Than Springtime’ is heard whilst Jenny, Chummy, Trixie and Cynthia are watching ‘South Pacific’ at the cinema. I imagine cinemas back in those days were pretty quaint for their time.

After those joyful birthday celebrations, the good cheer gets short-lived when the midwives have to attend to their patients. That wouldn’t be a bad thing, except Jenny is given a difficult case to tackle.

Jenny is assigned to new patient Scarlett Archer as Molly Brignall. Molly is due for her baby to be born but she’s involved in an abusive marriage with her husband Alexander Cobb as Ritchie Brignall.

I’m not an expert on domestic abuse in family households between husbands and wives, but I imagine how difficult they must be. Jenny sees the bruises Molly has, put there by her own husband.

Jenny is worried about the harm that could come to Molly and her children with her abusive husband there. She enlists the help of Molly’s mother – Tilly Vosburgh as Mrs. Majorie Gray – in this.

Majorie helps with cleaning the place up for Molly who isn’t able to. Ritchie however doesn’t make Majorie feel welcome. He’s really aggressive when threatening Molly in front of her mum and Jenny.

I don’t understand why Ritchie would be harbouring such aggression in his family household and the episode doesn’t do much explaining either. It’s something that sadly reflects how real life can be in this.

Despite Ritchie’s aggressive nature, Molly doesn’t lay charges and is submissive to her husband, believing that he loves her. It’s ironic how Molly’s in love with Ritchie despite getting beaten by him.

Molly soon has the baby in hospital with Jenny helping her. However, Molly discharges herself early at her husband’s command. Jenny and Majorie try to see Molly, but Ritchie refuses them to see her.

Eventually, Molly and Ritchie get imprisoned for negligence for their children when a fire breaks out at their house. Majorie is given the chance to look after Molly and Ritchie’s children as a result here.

It’s saddening how that happens with the children being neglected and Molly and Ritchie being unfit for parenthood. There are many issues of mental health and domestic abuse revolving this storyline.

Elsewhere, Trixie and Pam Ferris as Sister Evangelina work to help the captain’s daughter aboard a Swedish cargo ship. It was so interesting to see how Trixie and Sister Evangelina work together here.

Sister Evangelina dislocates her shoulder when coming aboard the ship. But she still helps Trixie with delivering the baby of Zandra Andersson as Kristen Bjorgsen, who happens to be a prostitute in this.

There is the issue raised of Chummy considering mission work in Africa again here. There’s also Laura Main as Sister Bernadette who gets to fix the buttons of Stephen McGann as Dr. Turner’s coat.

The first episode of Series 2 is very well-written and crafted. It was interesting how Jenny tackled the Molly pregnancy issue and it was very intriguing to see Trixie and Sister Evagenlina working together.

‘Series 2, Episode 1’ rating – 8/10

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