Trouble brews over the conjugal visiting suite

First broadcast ... 1981 (Melbourne)
Broadcast on Channel 5 Sunday 18 January 04:40
DVD release: volume 12 disc 4 (AUS)
Duration: 00:47:11

Meg ~ Elspeth Ballantyne
Judy ~ Betty Bobbitt
Lizzie ~ Sheila Florance
Erica ~ Patsy King
Bea ~ Val Lehman
Jim ~ Gerard Maguire
Doreen ~ Colette Mann
Vera ~ Fiona Spence
David ~ Serge Lazareff
Chrissie ~ Amanda Muggleton
Hazel ~ Belinda Davey
Ken ~ Tom Oliver
Bob ~ Anthony Hawkins
Mick ~ Michael Long
Mr Campbell ~ Robin Cuming
Bevan Taylor ~ Rob Hewett
Wendy ~ Helen Noonan
Mr Douglas ~ Ian Smith
Greg Guthrie ~ Graeme Anderson
June Guthrie ~ Yvonne Foley
Parole trainee (on the course with Meg)

  • Written by Dave Worthington
  • Directed by Juliana Focht
  • The (silent) photographer appears to be the same as the one taking the snaps at Bob and Meg's wedding .

    The building where Meg goes for parole training has a notice (hastily?) pasted on a pillar to identify it as part of The Department , but nothing on the front gate .

    Chrissie returns to the laundry sobbing and Bea makes veiled remarks to Vera to indicate that she holds her responsible. Doreen predicts Meg will be back soon as an officer, just like the last time she resigned. Meg finds Chrissie in her cell in tears, but can't do anything more for her than promise to speak to Erica about arranging another visit from Mick. Bea writes a letter to Ken to tell him he can visit again and seals it with sealing wax. Erica hopes the issue of the paternity of Chrissie's child won't be brought up again as she's due for parole in a few weeks. Meg convinces Erica that supervised visits from Mick can't do any harm. A reporter arrives to interview Erica about the visiting scheme: her optimistic description is heard over the reality - Vera inspecting a child's rag doll to check it for contraband. Ted Douglas phones Meg to make an appointment to discuss her application. When the reporter is shown around the visiting suite the couple in occupation protest that they are being treated like animals in a zoo. Bea advises the women to go along with the schemes for now, as the officers are obviously happy to bend the rules - for her and Ken as much as for Chrissie and Mick. Hazel is taken to the Governor's office to be interviewed, but Erica calls a halt to the interview when the journalist only seems interested in whether Hazel had sex during the visit. Ted agrees to let Meg go as an officer if she will take on all the casework from Wentworth. He adds that she will have to start on a course the following day or wait for three months for the next one. Erica is pleased by Ted Douglas's praise for the press coverage , but her face falls when he tells her that Meg is leaving immediately. Bea is not happy with the newspaper report at all as Erica is given all the credit for thinking up the scheme and it is made to sound much better than it really is. Chrissie goes to Erica to ask for an unsupervised visit as the newspaper claims they are available to all the women: Erica decides to let her be a test case. She returns to the library with the good news just after the others have all voted in favour of Bea's proposal to boycott the visiting scheme. David finds out about the boycott from Bea and goes to tell Erica, who seems unconcerned as she thinks Bea can't count on the support of all the women over this issue. Ken Pearce arrives to visit Bea and is searched, and Vera won't allow David to talk to him until he leaves. Meg goes to the rec room in civilian clothes to say goodbye to the women, and when she mentions she's seen Ken, Bea rushes off to her cell to make herself look gorgeous. Ken and Bea talk about Debbie's forthcoming marriage and his wife: he tells her he hardly sees her and that he couldn't live with her any more. Chrissie criticises Bea over her double standards as many of the other women have lost their visits but somehow it's alright for her to see Ken. Meg starts on her course. David has had enough of Vera's bitching and tells her he's not happy with her attitude and asks her what she's ever done to improve the women's conditions. Erica agrees to offer Bea a compromise suggested by David, but says she will wait and see first whether Chrissie takes up her forthcoming unsupervised visit. Chrissie is in the laundry when Jim comes to collect her for the visit so in front of the other women she is forced to refuse the visiting suite in favour of a supervised visit in the garden. Mick asks Chrissie again about having his name put on Elizabeth's birth certificate and seems concerned by how much Vera has checked up on him. Erica puts David's compromise suggestion to Bea - she can have unsupervised visits with Ken if the women's boycott is lifted. She agrees but when she announces this in the laundry, Lizzie tells her the officers have bought her off. Chrissie is furious that the decision to lift the boycott came after she had to turn down her visit. She say that Bea may think she's top dog but really she's "top suck". Bea seems about to slap her, but looks around the laundry and no-one will look her in the eye. Chrissie senses Bea has lost her support and insolently repeats the insult.


    Script Editor: Ian Smith
    Storyliners: Dave Worthington, Alastair Sharp, Peter Brennan