Barbara is terrorised.

First broadcast 15th May 1979 (Melbourne);
ITV broadcasts: Yorkshire Mon 17 Jun 1985 23:00 ; TVS/Channel Fri 9 May 1986 22:30 ; Central Mon 15 Jun 1987 23:20 ; other regions
Broadcast on Channel 5 (UK) 24 April 1997 Thurs 4:40 a.m.
DVD release: volume 2 disc 2 (AUS) volume 1 disc 6
Duration: 00:46:43 [UK=00:46:40]

Jean ~ Christine Amor
Lynn ~ Kerry Armstrong
Meg ~ Elspeth Ballantyne
Lizzie ~ Sheila Florance
Erica ~ Patsy King
Bea ~ Val Lehman
Doreen ~ Colette Mann
Greg ~ Barry Quin
Steve ~ Jim Smillie
Vera ~ Fiona Spence
Karen ~ Peita Toppano
Sarah ~ Andrea Butcher
Barbara ~ Sally Cahill
Ken Roberts ~ Tim Elliott
Ted Warner ~ Ben Gabriel
Catherine ~ Margo McLennan
Syd ~ Alan Rowe
Dr Barrett ~ Ivor Bowyer
Judge ~ Keith Eden
Mr Proudfoot ~ John Heywood
Clerk of Court ~ Travis Keyes
Bailiff V/O ~ Adam Joseph

  • Written by Ron McLean
  • Directed by Julian Pringle
  • The actor playing the prosecutor has a rather individual style of delivery which could easily be mistaken for atrociously bad acting.

    The courtroom building features in several early episodes.

    There was never a jury in "Prisoner" with more than six members.

    Barbara is still holed up in her cell next morning at the wakeup call. Karen and Bea are sceptical about Barbara's prospects of lasting much longer, and set Catherine straight over her simplistic view that Vera is responsible, pointing out that right and wrong don't make any difference - it's still Barbara who will get the blame. Lynn's father politely turns down Jean's job options for Lynn and tells her he's arranged a placement himself in a friend's nursery ("about a mile away" he claims). Jean grudgingly agrees to go and see if the placement is "suitable". Catherine sees Jean about work: she claims she has never had to do in her life and doesn't see why she should begin now, and tells her she'd be better advised to talk to Barbara and Vera's harassment of her. When Catherine refuses to repeat her remarks in front of the Governor, Jean goes to talk to Erica but she blames Doreen principally but admits Vera is actively encouraging her. Doreen herself confrims that this is true. Karen's court appearance arrives: Steve urges her not to worry, even though the cross examination will be rough on her. Erica tells Vera she intends to report her to the authorities for standing by while one prisoner bashed another. Erica speaks to Barbara and promises to protect her from both Doreen and Vera: she eventually agrees to come out of her cell. Erica decides the only solution is to transfer Barbara to another prison. Steve presents his opening arguments: he says that he will present evidence of mitigating circumstances not heard at the original trial. Ken tells Catherine that people are already gossiping that Sarah was having an affair: he then says he has sold his share in the business and intends to take up a job in Sydney and send Sarah to live with her aunt. However, Catherine seems far more upset by the idea of the house being let and "tenants? using my things?" Dr Barrett gives evidence that Karen was pregnant when he last examined her seven months ago and had a black eye when she came to collect her test results. Erica says goodybe to Barbara as she leaves: Doreen manages to find her way to reception (minus the black eye makeup and with her hair back in its old style) and apologises to Barbara. She admits to Erica she's not cut out to take Franky's place. Jean goes to see Syd's nursery and attends Karen's trial. Greg is cross examined by the prosecutor about his previous knowledge of Karen and accused of manufaturing testimony to help her: he responds that he is not in love with Karen and never was. Jean takes Lynn to meet Syd. Karen gives evidence about her pleasure at the news of her pregnancy and her husband's angry reaction leading to her deciding to have an abortion. The judge agrees to an adjournment when Karen becomes too upset to continue, but the prosecutor indicates to Steve that he thinks it is all an act to play for the jury's sympathy.


    ITV regional broadcast dates:-
    YTV Mon 17 Jun 1985 23.00; TVS ... ; Channel ... ; TSW Thu 26 Nov 1987 22.32; Central Mon 15 Jun 1987 23.20; Thames Thu 03 Dec 1987 23.35; STV Mon 09 May 1988 23.05; Anglia Fri 25 Mar 1988 00.05; Granada Sun 08 May 1988 23.30; Tyne Tees Thu 29 Sep 1988 23.05; Border Sun 23 Oct 1988 23.30; HTV ... ; Grampian Sun 04 Dec 1988 23.30; Ulster ...