‘Call the Midwife’, Series 5, Episode 1 (TV)


Please feel free to comment on my review.

It’s the start of another season of ‘Call the Midwife’! At this point, I’m likely to see all of Series 5 of ‘Call the Midwife’ on DVD before 2020’s Christmas Special and Series 10 of the show begins in 2021.

In the first episode of Series 5, Easter 1961 approaches. All have to give something up for Lent and that includes cake. It’s something Judy Parfitt as Sister Monica Joan isn’t happy about as she loves cake. 🙂

The nuns and the midwives of Nonnatus House are getting busy as ever with new babes being born to myriad families across the borough of Poplar. However, one delivery brings it own set of shocks. 😦

When Emerald Fennell as Patsy and Laura Main as Shelagh help Liz White as experienced mother Rhoda Mullucks to give birth to her latest baby, there’s a problem. The baby has severe deformities.

Patsy and Shelagh are shocked to see the new baby girl of Rhoda’s having severely malformed arms. This is the result of Rhoda taking the pain killer thalidomide a lot, though nobody realises this factor.

Even Stephen McGann as Dr. Turner is baffled. I’m surprised that nobody considered Rhoda taking thalidomide as a contributor to her baby having deformed arms even when her little son came for it.

Or there could be another explanation for it. It’s not very clear. Chris Reilly as Bernie, Rhoda’s husband, rejects the child as a monster once going in, when he shouldn’t, to see the baby deformed.

Rhoda however has a different reaction. She refuses to reject her new-born child, putting her at odds with her husband. She clearly wants to keep the child, despite those deformities that she has. 🙂

I like how the story develops with Rhoda finding ways to look after her new baby Susan in a delicate way with providing suitable clothes for her. Bernie meanwhile struggles in coming to terms with it. 😦

It’s an understandable reaction on Bernie’s part. He’s unfamiliar with the harsh realities of his daughter’s problems. Bryony Hannah’s Sister Mary Cynthia works hard making him change his mind.

She tries to support Bernie’s difficulties in accepting the matter and it’s interesting to hear her backstory about a similar thing that happened to her brother once. It was pretty shocking to hear. 😐

Dr. Turner and Shelagh also prove invaluable in trying to rebuild this loving family. It works out in the end as Bernie comes round to accepting his new baby daughter which warms Rhoda’s heart greatly.

Meanwhile, a new exercise craze reaches Poplar and it’s led by Nonnatus’ very own Helen George as Trixie. She begins teaching a keep-fit class, something that’s helped her overcome her depression. 🙂

Trixie becomes surprised when she finds the exercises lead to a medical emergency for one of her group. This happens to be Maggie McCarthy as Olive Nattrass and she’s a rather kind-hearted soul. 🙂

But she doesn’t know how to look after her own body, which makes Trixie realise that women sometimes lack a basic understanding of their own bodies. She hopes to rectify it in her profession. 🙂

I like how Trixie stands up to Jenny Agutter as Sister Julienne in her office when her keep fit classes cause a controversy. It’s due to a newspaper photographer who promotes Trixie’s keep fit classes. 😐

Sister Julienne comes round to seeing Trixie’s point of view and accepts her reasons for doing the keep fit classes. Trixie is also pretty passionate about her keep fit classes during her recovery stages.

Patsy also becomes overjoyed when Kate Lamb as Delia comes to stay at the convent. This is against Maxine Evans as Mrs. Busby’s wishes since she wished her daughter to not return to work in London.

I wonder how Patsy and Delia’s relationship will continue whilst Delia’s living in Nonnatus House. Things might become difficult later on in the episode. There’s also another romance blooming here.

Charlotte Ritchie as Barbara and Jack Ashton as Tom the vicar seem to like each other when they’re working on the upcoming Easter parade. Trixie seems to be noticing this too. Will she approve here?

Series 5, Episode 1 is a good opening to a new season. I like how the baby with the deformed arms subplot got resolved happily. I wonder how things will develop for certain characters in the series. 😐

‘Series 5, Episode 1’ rating – 8/10

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