Nurse Jenny Lee arrives at Nonnatus House in 1957, at the age of 22, completely unaware of the world she is about to enter. Believing she’s accepted a job with a small private hospital, it comes as somewhat of a surprise to Jenny to find she’s moving into a convent.
The poverty of the East End is a huge culture shock for Jenny, as she has enjoyed a privileged upbringing and spent time in Paris before training as a nurse.
Although initially shocked by the conditions in which her patients live, Jenny comes to accept the material limitations of the world in which she works, and to love the people who must live there.
Jenny is played by Jessica Raine.
Mature Jenny (the show's narrator) is played by famed actress Vanessa Redgrave.
Q+A with Jessica Raine
How did it feel getting back into the uniform again?
It felt great putting the uniform back on, it feels like you are slipping back into character. Jenny Lee has experienced so much in that uniform so the memories feel sort of embedded.
How was it seeing the rest of the cast again?
We do a great deal of our stories with guest actors, so when we all come together at Nonnatus House it actually does feel a bit like coming home to all your buddies.
What are your favorite places to film on set?
My favorite places to film on set are at the dinner table, as we are all sat down with fabulously detailed 50's food in front of us. I also love it when we use the long corridors of the building with beautiful light streaming through the windows.
What are your favorite scenes to film?
I really like filming the scenes with Jimmy and Jenny, as it is a complicated relationship that never quite gets resolved. We often have long dialogue scenes where you can really get in to it without stopping and starting too much for camera angles etc. Also George Rainsford [who plays Jimmy] is very funny and makes us all giggle.
Do you have good camaraderie on set?
I can genuinely say that our cast get on very, very well, there is masses of respect and no one takes themselves too seriously, which makes it relaxed and allows good work.
What is different about this season compared to the first?
The first series concentrated on introducing this quite eccentric world through Jenny's eyes. In this season, that is all established which allows characters to develop and everyone gets their moment. I think some of the issues tackled in this series are more delicate and difficult too.
What is Jenny’s involvement in the Christmas special?
We are introduced to a character called Mrs Jenkins (Sheila Reid), a strong character I remember vividly from the books. A woman that had been broken by the harsh Victorian institution of the workhouse, and Jenny helps rehabilitate her. On a lighter note, Jenny plays the Piano at the community Nativity that Chummy directs at the Parish Hall!
How has Jenny changed since Season 1?
I think Jenny has become more confident in her nursing abilities, and a lot more forthright in dealing with difficult patients. She is still a dark horse when it comes to her personal life, preferring to throw herself in to work than address her own issues.