Doreen tells Judy about her feelings for Peter and is humiliated by Vera; Meg gives a positive report about Chrissie and Mick to Child Welfare; and the officers are angered by the proposed project for Bea and the Braille machine.

First broadcast ... 1981 (Melbourne)
Broadcast on Channel 5 Saturday 24 January 1998 04:40
DVD release: volume 13 disc 1 (AUS)
Duration: 00:44:32

Meg ~ Elspeth Ballantyne
Judy ~ Betty Bobbitt
Lizzie ~ Sheila Florance
Erica ~ Patsy King
Bea ~ Val Lehman
Jim ~ Gerard Maguire
Doreen ~ Colette Mann
Vera ~ Fiona Spence
Chrissie ~ Amanda Muggleton
David ~ Serge Lazareff
Mick ~ Michael Long
Officer Powell ~ Judith McGrath
Mouse ~ Jentah Sobott
Hazel ~ Belinda Davey
Mr Muirhead ~ Denzil Howson
Peter Hope ~ Ernie Bourne
Matron Swartz ~ Valma Pratt

  • Written by Margaret McClusky
  • Directed by Geoffrey Nottage
  • I haven't corrected it, but surely the matron's surname ought to be spelt "Schwartz"?

    Bea and the others are keen to know how Doreen's day out went. She tells them Peter wasn't what she expected, and that Erica had taken away her phone privileges, but not the rest of it. Judy suggests Doreen carries on writing to Peter, just as a friend. Meg's boss Mr Muirhead asks for a report for Child Welfare on Chrissie and Mick as parents, and she says she can give them a positive recommendation. Vera sets to with a will censoring the mail and finds a "pornographic" magazine addressed to Angie Dobbs . She hands over the letters to the women with a thumbnail sketch of the contents of each one. When they protest and ask why the mail has been censored, she suggests they ask Doreen. Doreen has to explain the bit she left out before. Erica explains to David the reason for her apparently harsh decision to make an example of Doreen. Bea tells the women that they will have to double output in the laundry when she's away studying so the officers aren't given any excuse for saying the laundry can't operate without her. She taunts Vera that her boyfriend will get the benefit from the Braille project (as he must be blind) but has to explain the joke as it's obvious Vera knows nothing about it. Vera passes on the information to Colleen who knows nothing about it either and wants to know who's supposed to be supervising Bea. Doreen is officially "forgiven", by Bea at least. Mr Muirhead tells Meg that Chrissie will probably be granted one day a week unsupervised visiting with Elizabeth. Vera taunts Doreen for writing to a man old enough to be her father, so Doreen tears up her latest letter from him. Meg fails to turn up for the classification meeting on time, so the Braille project is ripped apart by everyone present. Jim suggests that it might be possible to run the scheme for three half days instead of five full days, and this proposal is carried. Erica convinces Jim later that Bea could work full time after all if Judy could be persuaded to take over the laundry. David tells Bea the bad news, and he suggests that she might be able to put pressure on by bringing the women out on strike. Unfortunately, this is overheard by Colleen. Jim tells Vera and Colleen of Erica's new decision: Colleen responds by saying she'll call a Union meeting to discuss the matter. The matron of the children's home allows Chrissie to take Elizabeth out for the afternoon. Doreen is horrified when Peter turns up during an exercise period to visit her, as all the other women have already seen him and had a good laugh. In the visitors' room she tells him he looks pathetic dressing younger than his age. Chrissie agrees to Mick's suggestion to take Elizabeth to the zoo, but the sight of the animals in cages is too much for her. Colleen leads a delegation to Erica to tell her that the officers refuse to take compulsory overtime and therefore they won't supervise Bea. As Mick arrives outside the children's home, Chrissie gets out saying she won't give Elizabeth back and walks away. Mick follows in the car and they drive away. The matron phones Meg to say that Chrissie hasn't returned and she will have to phone the police in two hour's time. David tells Bea he could supervise her himself to make sure the project goes ahead, but then all the other women would lose their classes. She tells him he gives up too easily and returns to the laundry to tell the women they are now on strike.


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