Call the Midwife Wiki

Magdalena 'Magda' Kovacs is a young Hungarian woman who for a short time lived with the Turner family as their au pair. She is a very confident and attractive young woman causing Shelagh Turner to worry, however dark secrets lie behind her sunny disposition.  


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Magdalena Kovacs was asked over to England to work as an au pair to the Turner family, an au pair being a woman from a foreign country living with a host family in exchange for help with childcare and housework. Patrick Turner went to pick her up from the train station and at the Turner home Shelagh has the three children welcome her, the photo she sent wasn’t at all accurate to what she was really like, being much more attractive than in her picture. Magda as she prefers to be called says to Shelagh that her home is very pleasing, and so is her husband, this makes Shelagh uncomfortable. Timothy who was unhappy at having a stranger in their home is much happier when he sees her and offers to take her bags to which Magda says she is in a house so full of gentlemen.  

When sitting down to tea with the older three Turners she tells them of her time travelling the continent working as a mothers help in Brussels, Amsterdam, Madrid and then to Paris where she cared for a family of a Sorbonne University professor. Patrick comments they must seem very unsophisticated but Magda insists not at all, that her father is a doctor and she liked medical men which made Shelagh look as though she regretted her decision, not helped when Patrick unwittingly insults her when saying Magdas coffee was better than the stuff he was used to.  

Shelagh is shocked to find Magda wandering the house half dressed though in reality she just wasn’t wearing a cardigan. When looking after baby Teddy, Timothy returned home from school and helped her peel potatoes, do the washing and clean the windows. Magda adjusts well to life with the Turners and Shelagh comes round when Patrick assured her he only had eyes for her and decide it wasn’t a bad thing that Magda had Timothy doing the dishes.  

After a while of living with the Turners both Patrick and Shelagh worry that she has no social life outside the home. They persuade her to go to Nurse Trixie Franklins keep fit class where Valerie Dyer introduces herself, when getting ready for the class Violet Buckle tells the girls about the Miss Poplar Beauty Contest and both Valerie and Magda agree to enter. Magda goes to Nonnatus House and accidentally walks into the clinical room where Valerie was eating her secret chocolates she kept in the fridge underneath the ergometrine and offers her some of the chocolate

When getting her dress fitted for the pageant in the bedroom of Valerie and Trixie she gets them cocktails, Trixie declines citing her nail polish as an excuse. Magda says at school she was taught nail polish was the worst of western decadence to which Trixie says it’s the best. Madga then reveals her story is not as bright as she first let on to the Turners, at that time Europe was split in two by the metaphorical iron curtain dividing western and eastern Europe. Magda and her family had to escape at great risk and spent six weeks in an Austrian refugee camp before getting onwards to France. When in France she met a student at Sorbonne and got engaged to him but after he thought she was flirting with a friend and beat her, she left him and joked it left her free to meet James Bond actor Sean Connery.  

Magda obviously intended to meet men when in London as she went to the contraceptive clinic. The doctor running explained that the pill could only be accessed by married women so Magda pretended she was getting married soon, during an internal exam Dr Eastwell found her to be two months pregnant and suggested she get a move on with her wedding plans. Magda requests an abortion but Dr Eastwell informs her that abortions could only be given in the gravest threat to the mothers life, Magda is confused as abortions were legal in Hungary up to 12 weeks but Dr Eastwell tells her she was in England not the communist block. Magda was in disbelief as she was in no position to have a baby with no family or friends or even money.  

Magda kept her head up when rehearsing for the Miss Poplar contest and led the girls across the stage. Magda and Valerie become fast friends and Magda asked about Valerie's boyfriends, she asked if she took precautions which surprises Valerie. Magda asks Valerie if there was a way she could find a woman running a backstreet abortion business but Valerie tells her in no uncertain terms that was not a road she wanted to go down. Valerie tells Magda to tell the Turners and Magda breaks down in tears. Magda does not tell the Turners however and acts normally, teaching Timothy how to make traditional Hungarian porklot stew with paprika and caraway seeds. When they sit down to the meal Magda tells Shelagh once she is done working for the turners she wanted to train as a nurse and asks to borrow her nursing books.  

When taking Teddy out for a walk in the pram she tells Valerie she was bleeding in the night and hoped the problem was solving itself but Valerie tells her some blood could be normal and tells her to tell Mrs Turner again. Instead Magda read the books hoping to find a way to abort the baby on her own, she began searching through Patricks medical bag and found ergometrine which is used to make the uterine muscle contract. Magda took some but it didn’t work and just made her unwell.  

On the day of the show Magda pretended to have a bad headache but went to Nonnatus House for a stronger dose of ergometrine, she readied a syringe her hands trembling and shaking. She stole the ergometrine and injected herself, she then hastily ran out blood visible from her dress, Sister Monica Joan saw her go into the allotment. Shelagh and Valerie are called from the show and find her passed out in the allotment and an ambulance is called. Shelagh is guilt ridden for giving her the books that could have killed her, however Magda was discharged and Nonnatus House agreed to not press charges for her theft.  

Nevertheless Magda leaves Poplar to return to France to train as a nurse, she says goodbye to Angela, and Timothy gives her the books for her training. She leaves but agrees to write to the Turners, she is last seen going into the London underground to begin her new life all over again.