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Maggie Kirkpatrick and Val Lehman both appeared on the Kelly Show on occasions, such was the popularity of the show airing after "Kelly" every Friday night. Each ITV region decided when and how often Prisoner would be broadcast. Central Television screened three episodes weekly, finishing on 16 December before rerunning the first 95 episodes from to Some UK regions did not see the entire series; Channel Television began the series on 16 January with episode 10, when it aligned its schedule with TVS; it was previously aligned with TSW, which did not broadcast the series in its own region until Regional alignment meant that around the end of , some episodes were skipped; Tyne Tees skipped and and Border Television omitted 71 episodes, to Furthermore, in some regions, the series was discontinued prior to its final episode in later runs: in Ulster , Prisoner ended on Ulster Television with episode on 15 December In London , where the series ran on Thames and Carlton Television , viewers were told after episode on 20 August that the series would resume after a summer break however the series was then discontinued from screening in London.
Early on 31 March Channel 5 , which had begun broadcasting at 6pm the previous evening, began a full run of Prisoner  while later episodes were still appearing in many ITV regions. Although the schedule varied during the Channel 5 run, episodes were typically shown about five times a week in the am slot. The Channel 5 run ended on 11 February , with a double bill of the penultimate and final episodes. Channel 5 have no plans to re-run the series, despite viewer requests.
For most of the Channel 5 run the programme was sponsored by Pot Noodle , with humorous Prisoner -esque sequences set in a prison cell and playing on the series' wobbly scenery and props played before and after the episodes and in the leads into and out of commercial breaks. The Channel 5 broadcasts included commentary over the closing credits, usually from chief continuity announcer Bill Buckley  but sometimes from deputy announcers such as Stuart McWilliam. This began in the earlys episodes when Prisoner briefly moved to the late-night slot , when Buckley would deliver a quip about the episode before making continuity announcements.
This developed into humorous observations about the episode just shown, and the reading of letters and depicting of trivia sent in by viewers which Buckley called "snippets".
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Due to its early-morning slot, when most viewers relied on VCRs to follow the series,  upcoming schedule changes were announced as part of the commentary. The series would later be repackaged into a daily half-hour format, as Prisoner: Cell Block H ,  syndicated directly to local stations during the early s particularly to ' Under the half-hour format, the original episodes were broadcast in two parts, though some scenes were censored or removed for the US telecast. During the spring and summer of , the series was screened nationally on USA Network ,  weekdays at 11am ET , also in a half-hour format.
It was unknown which episodes were televised. In Canada, Prisoner began on 10 September  as Caged Women on Global Television Network , at the time a small television network serving southern and eastern Ontario;  the program was seen weekly on Monday nights at 9pm . The show would move to Tuesdays at 9 p. In South Africa , public television network SABC 1 began airing the series in , screening Thursday nights at 9pm and a repeat showing Fridays at ;  it was cancelled on 2 October , after episode Network Ten began rerunning Prisoner on 8 May ; the series was cancelled, despite promises that it would return after the Christmas break.
A repeat was broadcast at 2pm on Monday. The channel began the series at pm AEDT on 7 March , moving to pm AEDT on 10 December ; each episode was repeated the following afternoon, and the final episode aired on 11 November Foxtel held unlimited screening rights to the series until , and the series' popularity on inspired plans for a modern-day remake. Believing that Prisoner would resonate with new audiences, in group programming director Darren Chau planned to replay the series against the introduction of digital channel Eleven and Network Ten's plan to move Neighbours to Eleven.
Prisoner (TV series)
The channel ran a promotional campaign highlighting the rerun, with a new version of the theme song by Ella Hooper and a cast reunion. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Not to be confused with The Prisoner or The Prisoner miniseries. Australian television drama series. This article needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources.
Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. Main article: List of Prisoner cast members. Main article: List of Prisoner episodes. Main article: Wentworth TV series. Main article: List of Prisoner home media. Both "Peta" and "Peita" are used in other television programs, movies, and magazine articles.
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One example is in Sydney , in which TEN did not screen the final two episodes until 29 September , where they aired in a late-night slot at p. Retrieved 10 April Aussie Soap Archive. Retrieved 7 December Lesbians in Television and Text after the Millennium.
Retrieved 13 November Boxtree Ltd 15 Nov. Campbell, Barry. Cope, Rob. Tomahawk Press; UK ed. Retrieved 11 April Most of our subscribers receive their discs within two business days. Start your free trial today. Rent this show. This long-running melodrama follows the vicious power struggles, nasty fights and illicit sex among the female inmates incarcerated in the notorious Block H maximum-security wing of Australia's Wentworth Detention Centre.
As the revolving cast of convicts continually tests their place in the volatile prison hierarchy, they also contend with blood feuds, corrupt guards, failed jailbreaks and other vagaries of imprisonment. Moods Dark. Summary of Season 1 - 3 discs The plots of this Aussie television series which has reached cult status are as serpentine, elaborate and tongue-in-cheek as you can get as the show chronicles the unruly female inmates at Wentworth Detention Centre.
The women in Cell Block H see it all -- lesbianism, drug dealing, catfights and nearly everything else you can imagine. Most significantly, the series' production schedule increased from making one hour-long episode per week to two episodes per week. This led to the departure of Franky Doyle the show's first break-out popular character, after just 20 episodes, when actress Carol Burns chose to leave the series, feeling that she could not continue her portrayal with the increased production rate.
Introduced as a borderline psychotic given to bouts of furniture-throwing violent rage, Franky's character was explored through her unrequited love for fellow inmate Karen Travers, who warmed to her and tried to teach her to read, finally emerging as an unloved, illiterate, deeply frustrated social misfit and a tragic anti-heroine. Franky's exit saw her escaping from Wentworth accompanied by Doreen Anderson, and shot dead by a policeman after being on the run for three weeks. As the series began to gather momentum, new story arcs were introduced.
Karen Travers decided to appeal against her sentence and was eventually released from prison, resuming her romantic relationship with Dr. Greg Miller and becoming involved in prison reform.
As original characters began to leave the series Mum Brooks, Lynn Warner, Karen and Greg all appeared beyond the initial sixteen episodes, but had made their exits by the end of the season, with Greg leaving early , new characters arrived: hulking husband-basher Monica Ferguson Lesley Baker , sneering career criminal Noeline Burke Jude Kuring , idealistic murderess Roslyn Coulson Sigrid Thornton and imprisoned mother Pat O'Connell Monica Maughan , as well as many shorter term inmates with briefer storylines.
Prostitute Chrissie Latham, a minor character seen briefly in the early episodes, returned in a more central antagonistic role, and a new male Deputy governor, Jim Fletcher Gerard Maguire , added a touch of testosterone to a female-dominated series. As Prisoner entered into production for a second year in , the long-term format and structure to the series established the previous year was firmly in place. The characters were made up of a recognisable set of archetypes. The prison population comprised a core group of sympathetic prisoners — a top dog who was developed from the tough, intimidating character of early episodes into a more sympathetic, reasonable if hot headed "leader" , an elderly inmate, a wayward youngster — and other characters, such as an antagonist who threatens the top dog's control, a middle-class prisoner out of her depth in the prison, remand prisoners waiting for their trial and hired heavies used for "muscle".
Bea was the tough, ambivalent yet maternal leader, softened after being a mostly unsympathetic character in the episodes. The death of Bea's teenage daughter Debbie Cassandra Lehman from a heroin overdose not only explained her motivation for killing her husband on her release early in the series, but also explained Bea's uncompromising hatred of drug offenders and clouded judgement whenever children were involved.
Doreen was a well-meaning but inept tragi-comic figure, who was often easily influenced by others, and Lizzie was a mischievous elderly rascal with a "dicky ticker" [cardiac weeakness] and unquenchable taste for alcohol that saw her employed in comedy storylines, whilst also maintaining a more serious dimension, sometimes contemplating dying in prison.
The Bea-Lizzie-Doreen dynamic was joined early in the run by Judy Bryant Betty Bobbitt , an American ex-pat lesbian who deliberately gets herself imprisoned to be with her girlfriend, scheming drug dealer Sharon Gilmour Margot Knight. Initially introduced solely for the storyline concerning Sharon and serving as an opponent for Bea during her stay , Judy was received well enough by viewers for her to remain in the series as a regular, and stayed as part of the core group of prisoners and becoming Bea's unofficial "second in command" in the process , and eventually became the show's longest serving inmate with a few spells on the outside , and the second longest running character behind Elspeth Ballantyne's portrayal of Meg Jackson, later Morris.
The mix of officers also established a template of character types. The progressive governor Erica Davidson, whose approach to the job was to the right of warm-hearted warder Meg Jackson, but to the left of the acidic Vera Bennett, with firm but fair Deputy governor Jim Fletcher often switching sides between Vera and Meg.
Erica herself would face an uphill struggle with untenable directives from her superiors at the Department of Corrective Services, represented by bigwig Ted Douglas Ian Smith ; who was also the show's script editor for most of its run and often contributed scripts. As such, the storylines dealing with the prisoners' everyday lives were somewhat cyclical — depicting harsh treatment leading to organised prisoner resistance remedied by concessions and greater freedom which the women would take advantage of, thus requiring a tightening of the prison regime. As well as capitalising on the obvious voyeuristic appeal of showcasing life in prison, the storylines which drove the series used familiar elements — smuggling, personality clashes between the prisoners, staff politics between the officers, organised prisoner resistance such as strikes and riots, a range of issue-based storylines, court cases and police investigations and escape plots.
The series also made good use of cliffhangers, often involving dramatic escapes, crimes, and catastrophes befalling the prison and its inhabitants. The stories also ventured outside Wentworth with episodes featuring the private lives of the officers and the struggles of newly released prisoners to adjust to life on the outside, including the forces that unfortunately led to recidivism.
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Bea Smith is released during the opening episodes, and with nothing and no-one on the outside since the drug-related death of her daughter Debbie, shoots her estranged husband dead to get revenge, thus ensuring her imprisonment for life. Elderly Lizzie Birdsworth is released when new evidence in her case reveals that she is in fact innocent of the poisoning charge she had already served twenty years for. However, realising that there is no place for her on the outside, the institutionalised Lizzie deliberately commits a petty offence in order to return to Wentworth which, as with many long-serving inmates for whom the prison environment and rules turns into a way of life, had become home.
Whilst the series did offer upbeat storylines, where some characters, such as Karen Travers during the run, made it, it also made clear that for some, like Bea and Lizzie, prison life was the only option. Notable storylines during the "Bea, Lizzie and Doreen" era of the show late — late included the cliffhanger involving a terrorist raid on the prison in which governor Erica Davidson was shot and wounded. A long-running story arc involved Judy Bryant's vendetta against corrupt male warder Jock Stewart Tommy Dysart after he had murdered her lover Sharon Gilmour by pushing her down a prison staircase.
Angry at the way the incident had been covered up by the authorities a verdict of accidental death was recorded and Jock was suspended , the women rioted and held a rooftop protest in which Leanne Bourke Tracey-Jo Riley , the daughter of Noeline Bourke, fell to her death from the roof. The subsequent efforts of Judy to avenge Sharon's death and exact vengeance against Jock involved her escaping and working as a prostitute to track down Jock and kill him, and a final confrontation when Judy was out on parole that ended with the poetic justice of Jock falling down the stairs and being left permanently paralysed.
Incidentally, just before Bryant begins work as a prostitute, she admits to Helen Smart that she is a something virgin having also told Tracey Morris in episode that she has NEVER slept with a man — towards the end of the same season, her adult daughter arrives searching for her birth mother.
The cliffhanger saw Bea, Lizzie and Doreen trapped in an underground tunnel after a mass escape plan staged during a performance of the pantomime Cinderella went somewhat awry. As Prisoner reached its th episode, Bea Smith suffered amnesia , with no memory of ever having been imprisoned, after a car crash during a prison transfer from Barnhurst.
Leading to Bea tracking down "Mum", after going from house to house in search of her at her old addresses.
List of Prisoner cast members - WikiVisually
Eventually, Bea found Mum and who offered assistance to her "sick friend". Parole Officer Meg was informed by Mum that Bea had sought her help the night before. Meg was obliged to inform the police of this as Mum was still on parole. The police busted in on Mum, Meg and Bea, who only just had reappeared asking for help again and Mum was passing her money. Bea and Mum were re-arrested and returned to Wentworth. After a lengthy break over the festive period, Prisoner was then moved to an earlier slot in the Melbourne area of on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
With a recap of the events of on Tuesday, 3 February , the series resumed with episode in its new slot the following evening. From episode onwards, the series continued in its original slot. During the latter half of the season, Prisoner seemed to be moving into its next phase. Central to this shift was the exit of original character Vera "Vinegar Tits" Bennett, the unpleasant yet tragic warder whom viewers loved to hate, in the most high profile cast departure since the death of Franky Doyle. Vera resigned from Wentworth, having won the job of governor of Barnhurst. It is at this point in the show that the steady stream of supporting characters, written into the series to complement the leading ensemble, gained in importance.
The officers' ranks were augmented by the sarcastic, militant union representative Colleen Powell Judith McGrath , and the bespectacled and somewhat ineffectual Joyce Barry Joy Westmore. The character of Colleen was poised to gain from the departure of Vera and then of Jim Fletcher a few months later, eventually taking over as Deputy governor when Meg Morris turned down the offer.