Stephen McGann plays Dr. Turner
How would you describe Dr. Turner?
He is a deeply good man. He is a vocational doctor who works desperately hard. He is always tired. He works incessantly for the people on his watch. However, he’s also a man of his time. In the 50s nurses had to defer to the doctor in a way they don’t quite so much now. Doctors did have a habit of swanning in and taking all the credit, at the time when the groundwork had been done by women. The suit he wears has a small darn on the knee that seems to say so much about this dedicated doctor. He works among the poor and isn’t that well off himself. He is literally kneeling at his patient’s bedsides wearing himself to a thread in their service.
Ben Caplan plays PC Peter Noakes
How would you describe PC Peter Noakes?
There's a real sense of chivalry about him, he’s very straight but always very respectful. I really warm to him as a character.
What is the relationship like between PC Noakes and Chummy?
They come together because there are similarities between them. Neither is particularly comfortable in their own skin. We had a rehearsal before we started filming and it felt very easy. And Miranda and I got on well together when we were just hanging out. I identified with him, and I think she identified with Chummy. I love PC Noakes’ simplicity – he loves Chummy for who she is, and he’s not worried by appearances. She is very authentic.
Cliff Parisi plays Fred
What is Fred’s relationship like with the nuns and midwives?
Fred lost his wife and several of his children in the Blitz. Now, he sees the nuns and the girls as his family. They are pretty much all he has got. At the same time, he sees opportunities to make a few quid presenting themselves. He is still looking to make his fortune. He hasn’t given up on life at all.
Weren’t your own beginnings in the East End quite tough?
When my mum came back from hospital with me she wouldn’t give me or my sister up so the landlady threw us all out. My parents came from big families but they were all cramped up in one room. No one physically had the space for them or they would have taken them in. Mum and dad jumped on a bus with us but it was chased by a police car and stopped. Me and my sister were ripped from their arms and they were left sobbing at the side of the road. We were put into care but they both found jobs and worked tirelessly towards reclaiming us and we were reunited.