Gail goes in on remand. Erica tells her not to reveal her crime.

First broadcast ... 1980 (Melbourne)
Broadcast on Channel 5 (UK) 26 August 1997 Tue 11:35 p.m.
DVD release: volume 8 disc 4 (AUS)
Duration: 00:48:05

Meg ~ Elspeth Ballantyne
Judy ~ Betty Bobbitt
Lizzie ~ Sheila Florance
Erica ~ Patsy King
Jim ~ Gerard Maguire
Paul ~ George Mallaby
Doreen ~ Colette Mann
Vera ~ Fiona Spence
Noeline ~ Jude Kuring
Margo ~ Jane Clifton
Gail ~ Susanne Haworth
Tim ~ Jeremy Higgins
Andrew ~ John Lee
Kay White ~ Sandy Gore
Vince Talbot ~ John Larking
Officer Barry ~ Joy Westmore
Noeline's sister(-in-law?) ~ Joan Millar
Gary Burke ~ David Page (see below)
Wayne and Norelle Burke
Irene Nagel
Magistrate (at Gail's committal hearing)

  • Written by Bryon Williams
  • Directed by Marcus Cole
  • There is a nice visual joke as the camera shot pans down from a poster of James Dean on the wall to Noeline sitting under it .

    Thanks to David Page for emailing me to identify himself as the actor who played Gary Burke. He modestly claims that "a massive 15 or so lines was my offering, along with speaking in a disgustingly nasally voice" but at least the PIC here allowed him to prove his involvement in Prisoner to a sceptical friend.

    The women are searched before their first day at the factory and Erica warns them yet again not to abuse this privilege. Margo has a perve at some workmen from the window of the minibus on the way. Vera asks to take charge of the keys to the yard, but Mr Reynolds refuses, saying he is quite capable of looking after the security. The foreman Vince Talbot shows the women around the section of the factory where they will be working. Paul speaks up for Gail Summers at her committal hearing, but the magistrate remands her to Wentworth until her trial. Meg is surprised to see Gail brought in as a prisoner. Gail is advised not to tell the women what she's really inside for, and Meg suggests she says she's been charged with shoplifting and can't pay her bail. Jim is less sympathetic to Gail's plight than Meg or Paul. Andrew further infuriates Vera by going behind her back to Erica to ask permission for the women to have lunch outside. Doreen realises that Judy is taking advantage of the break outside to check it out for possible escape routes and tries to talk some sense into her, pointing out that she will need some money. Judy wonders if she can cultivate the factory accountant Kay White, as she seems "sympathetic". Noeline's sister arrives to visit her, but won't stay and leaves a message that the youngest children, Wayne and Norelle are going to be put in a home. Erica calls in at the factory to check how the women's first day has gone. Andrew invites Erica for dinner, but she huffily declines, saying that their relationship must stay on a "professional" level. Noeline asks Paul if the sum of $250 would help keep her kids out of a home, and when he says it would delay the decision, she asks if her kids can be brought in to see her. Gail meets the women for the first time and they are all sorry for her when they hear her burst into whining when she tells her cover story as suggested by Meg. Vera tells Meg her "sympathy" for Gail is just a way of refusing to admit her responsibility for Gail being in prison at all. On the women's second day at the factory, Kay White notices Judy placing a bet with Margo and asks if she can place a bet too. Noeline is released from solitary and sees Gary, Wayne and Norelle in the garden, but she can't get close enough to pass them the money, so she tells Gary about the work release scheme at the factory, so he can try to pick it up from there. Kay brings in her own radio into the workroom to listen to the racing results, and Vera is unable to do anything to stop it . Judy gives her winnings back to Kay to pay for a "street dress" (size 16) to wear for her escape and Kay promptly gives it back to margo to double her bet on the next race. Tim visits Gail and tells her he has been given custody of the children and is starting divorce proceedings. Noeline asks Judy to get the money out to her kids. Gail is upset after Tim's visit and a passing remark by Jim about "under the circumstances" it is all for the best makes her tell Lizzie and Doreen why she is really in prison. They are taken aback, but are called away by Jim before they can say anything. Judy hides the money in her hair and tells Doreen she is going to keep it for her escape. However, when the minibus arrives at the factory Wayne and Norelle are waiting at the gate, so Judy changes her mind and throws the money to them from the bus window.


    This episode is one of the few where the closing credits don't show an officer locking up. Instead there is a close-up shot of the chain link fence outside Andrew Reynolds' Apparel Factory, whose sign we see earlier in the episode . The lettering of the credits is yellow rather than the usual white.

    As if to prepare us for cutting Prisoner back to three episodes per week, Channel 5 postponed episode (128) from Wednesday to Thursday, using the excuse that "the football went into extra time".

    Storyliners: Dave Worthington, Margaret McClusky
    Script Editors: Ian Smith

    ITV regional broadcast dates:-
    YTV Mon 24 Oct 1988 23.05; TVS Thu 15 Jun 1989 23.05; Channel Thu 15 Jun 1989 23.05; TSW ... ; Central Sun 21 Feb 1988 23.30; Thames Thu 22 Feb 90 23.40; STV Mon 02 Oct 1989 23.05; Anglia ... ; Granada Mon 03 Apr 1989 00.00; Tyne Tees ... ; Border ... ; HTV ... ; Grampian ... ; Ulster ...