It seems longer than a year since the first series of Call the Midwife appeared on our screens. The BBCs adaptation of the memoirs of 50’s East-End midwife Jennifer Worth was a surprise hit, becoming the most successful new BBC1 drama since 2001. Series 2 will expand on the first series’ format, by containing 8 hour-long episodes, rather than just six.
Episode 1 focussed mainly on the plight of young mother, Molly, as she prepares for the birth of her second child under the controlling eye of her abusive husband. Midwife Jenny, desperately tries to convince Molly that she needs to leave, but to no avail.
Meanwhile Poplar is busy with news of ‘gas’, wonder drug of the time – nitrogen oxide, which relieves the pains of childbirth astoundingly well. Sister Evangelina disapproves, but it doesn’t stop the ever-increasing demand.
Aboard a Swedish cargo ship, the daughter of the Captain is in labour, Sister Evangelina and Nurse Franklin must scale the side of the ship to get on board. When Sister Evangelina dislocates her shoulder, it’s up to Trixie to deliver the baby, but not everything is as it seems, and the pair are horrified when the girl reveals her purpose as the only woman on board.
Back at the birthing centre – Jenny delivers Molly’s baby. Molly has finally left her husband and sought help form her mother, a healthy boy is delivered, but it’s not long before she sneaks out into the night. The episode ends in tragedy, when Molly and her husband leave the children at home, drugged with alcohol and a cigarette butt sets their home alight.
Call the Midwife is on Sunday evenings at 9pm on BBC1 – the first episode in this series attracted 9.3 million viewers.
Jenny Lee – Jessica Raine
Trixie Franklin – Helen George
Chummy Browne – Miranda Hart
Sister Evangelina – Pam Ferris
Sister Monica Joan – Judy Parfitt
Cynthia Miller – Bryony Hannah