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The Christmas Special 2018 aired on December 25th, 2018 in the UK.

Plot[]

Trixie returns to Poplar just as Sister Julienne receives a call from Sister Hilda at the Mother House: Mother Jesu Emmanuel, the Mother Superior of the Order, is terminally ill, and has asked Sister Julienne to return to the Mother House at once with Sister Winifred and Sister Monica Joan, yet Sister Monica Joan conveniently falls ill on the day they're due to leave and they have to leave her behind - it is implied that Sister Monica Joan faked her illness to avoid going to the Mother House.

Sister Julienne and Sister Winifred are joined by Sister Mildred (Miriam Margolyes), who turns up at Nonnatus House with four Chinese orphans. When they arrive at the Mother House, Sister Julienne is told she is the most likely to be elected the new Superior, but the thought of it fills Sister Julienne with dread. Also, Mother Jesu's office is in disarray, so Sister Julienne asks Shelagh to help her clean it up.

Meanwhile, back in Poplar, Trixie is surprised to learn that expectant mothers are increasingly deserting the services of Nonnatus House in favour of hospital births, but she, Lucille, and Valerie, are called to the aid of an expectant mother who goes into labour in the street.

A heavily pregnant young woman named Lena arrives at the orphanage. She reveals she lived at the orphanage as a child after her parents died, and was later sent to Australia on the children's farm school scheme. Sister Winifred feels a strong desire to remain at the Mother House and work with the children at the orphanage. When Sister Mildred is elected the new Mother Superior, she requests Sister Winifred remain at the Mother House, much to her delight.

Lena goes into labour and gives birth to a baby boy, whom she names Billy after her brother, who was not sent to the orphanage with her as he had a club foot. Shelagh and Patrick agree to foster May, a Chinese orphan whose adoptive family are unable to take her at present as the father of the family is suffering with tuberculosis, and Lena is reunited with her brother Billy.

Trivia[]

  • First appearances of Sister Hilda, Sister Frances, Mother Mildred, May Tang, and the Turners' new secretary, Miss Higgins.
  • Last episode for Sister Winifred as actress Victoria Yeates decided to leave the show (however she does make a cameo in the next episode).
  • This is also one of only two episodes where the original Mother Superior of the Order of St Raymond Nonnatus, Mother Jesu Emmanuel, appears in person in an episode (The other is the S01E06).
  • The term "all present and correct" is used three times in this episode and by three different characters: Sister Winifred, Lucille, and Patrick.

Quotes[]

Sister Frances: Is there any sign of the minibus, Sister Hilda? I'm supposed to be helping when the Chinese babies arrive, but I've also been told to do my spiritual reading.

Sister Hilda: By whom?

Sister Frances: By you, Sister.

Sister Hilda: Well, heads will obviously roll if I'm disobeyed!

(both laugh)


Shelagh: Is it self-indulgent to say I hardly recognize myself? It's as though that woman was erased as completely as the old Nonnatus House. Not a wall or a window left standing.

- Shelagh looking at an old photograph in Mother Jesu's office of herself as Sister Bernadette alongside Sisters Evangelina, Julienne, and Monica Joan.


Mavis: You'll have to go to Nonnatus House and get a midwife.

Bobby: I don't know where it is, I'm not a woman, Mavis!

Mavis: It's next door to the school, you stupid article!

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