Call the Midwife creator hints at more trouble for beloved couple: ‘Story has just begun’

Call the Midwife: BBC teases Christmas Day special

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The first episode of Call the Midwife aired on BBC One last night and saw the return of Derek Fleming (played by Jack Colgrave) and Audrey’s (Kathryn Wilder) storyline as they begin to start a family. The couple has struggled to conceive for five years, with Derek becoming a father to baby Christopher. However, he was born with no legs and shortly died after birth. His death was linked to Derek, who served in Operation Grapple and had been exposed to radiation. 

Show creator Heidi Thomas has hinted at many more complications for the couple as she revealed their storyline is far from over.

As the first episode kicked off, viewers saw Dr Turner (Stephen McGann) fighting for Derek’s medical records after he had developed stomach ulcers.

He believed the ulcers may have been caused by radiation poisoning but was met with a wall of silence from the Ministry.

In the new series, a pregnant Audrey begins compiling stories of test veterans with cancers, radiation poisoning and deformities in their children, vowing: “We’re not going to let this rest.”

Heidi has revealed: “It’s 70 years now since this story started, yet Derek and Audrey’s story has only just begun.

“I find it so moving, personally, to think about all the obstacles this young couple have to face as they fight for acknowledgement and justice.

“As the Mirror campaign has shown, this is not over. There are still questions that need to be asked and answered.”

The programme paid a touching tribute to veteran families, who collected evidence on cigarette packets and the back of envelopes to build their case and argue in court.

Their evidence was used alongside fresh science, which supported their claims that many of the men who served in Operation Grapple are the reason for their children’s genetic damage.

Heidi continued to The Mirror: “They’ve become the heart of the story they’re still telling now. This is how change happens and how reparation takes place. There is no better reason to do a TV drama.

“Derek and Audrey aren’t just some old couple. They’re young, attractive, sexy people at the beginning of their lives, and seeing them then helps us understand what has happened to them since.”

As much as the programme brings awareness to the situation, the Ministry of Defence has in the past denied the allegations of deliberate exposure of radiation to servicemen.

However, in 2009 it was confirmed 10 per cent of men who served were more than likely at risk, including those who were ordered to sail, walk, or crawl through radioactive fallout.

Fans were also left in shock as the beginning of the episode saw Trixie Franklin (Helen George) and Matthew Aylward (Olly Rix) discovering the remains of a newborn baby in a building undergoing demolition.

As Detective Sergeant Virginia Barrow (Lu Corfield) investigated further into the revelation, it was revealed that the baby was connected to Mrs Nyall, an elderly lady suffering from dementia.

She traced Mrs Nyall and her daughter, Marigold, to the house where the baby was found and revealed the babies were buried underneath the floorboards and inside the chimney.

However, Nurse Phyllis Crane (Linda Bassett) remembered seeing a caesarean scar on Mrs Nyall’s abdomen during a previous appointment.

It was soon revealed that she had undergone a hysterectomy to save her life following the birth of Marigold and therefore couldn’t have given birth to the babies. 

During a devastating scene, Marigold confessed to mothering the two infants and explained that she’d “had an arrangement with a married man” who took advantage of her “for years”.

It was revealed that both babies had died in childbirth, and Marigold was released without charge. 

Call the Midwife airs Sunday at 9pm on BBC One. 

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