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Angels (1975-83)


Warning: screenonline full synopses contain 'spoilers' which give away key plot points. Don't read on if you don't want to know the ending!

'Arrival' originally transmitted on BBC1, 1 September 1975
Written by Adele Rose, directed by Julia Smith

Maureen Morahan prepares to leave Ireland to train as a nurse at St Angela's Hospital in London. Meanwhile, in Bath city centre, Pat Rutherford is shopping with her friend Lucy. Pat tries on nurse's shoes, but Lucy is unimpressed and compares them to corrective boots. Maureen's mother tries to persuade her to train in Ireland, because English life is too permissive. Maureen promises her mother she will return home when she is fully qualified. Pat's father believes his daughter lacks commitment and offers to help find her other employment. Maureen takes the ferry across the Irish Sea and arrives in England. Pat says goodbye to her father and gets on the same London-bound train that Maureen is travelling on.

At Paddington Station, Maureen tries to ask a woman for directions, but is ignored. A rail guard points her towards the Circle Line, but does not speak to her. Pat takes a taxi to St Angela's. Maureen arrives later on foot. The trainees gather together and the formidable-looking Sister Broomstock takes a roll call. Pat and Maureen have been given rooms next to each other. Maureen enters her room and stares for a moment at the nurse's uniform laid out on the bed then smiles. Pat turns up, already dressed in her nurse's gown and complaining about how it makes her look. She also fears that Sister Broomstock, to whom she refers as 'the broomstick,' has taken an instant dislike to her. Maureen relates how her mother came to London to train as a nurse, but had to return home for family reasons. Pat promises to call on Maureen later so they can attend a coffee evening together.

An unkempt elderly man is brought into the ward from casualty. Nurse Jo Longhurst is unhappy that they did not clean him properly. At the coffee evening, Miss Windrup greets the trainees and explains about the hospital. As they head back to their rooms, Pat asks Maureen if she would like to visit the local pub. Maureen politely declines, but agrees to share the bottle of sherry Mr Rutherford gave Pat as a leaving present. Pat admits she has doubts about nursing. Previously, she has tried secretarial college, reception work and teacher training. The two discuss how they got here and realise they were on the same train, which they take to be a good omen.