The women support Bea's stand on the strike. Meg talks to Chrissie and Mick about getting legal aid to fight for custody of Elizabeth

First broadcast ... 1981 (Melbourne)
Broadcast on Channel 5 Sunday 25 January 1998 04:40
DVD release: volume 13 disc 1 (AUS)
Duration: 00:46:34

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
Mick ~ Michael Long
Officer Powell ~ Judith McGrath
Peter Hope ~ Ernie Bourne
Det Sgt Price ~ Stuart Finch
Matron Swartz ~ Valma Pratt
Tony Morton ~ Chris Milne
Registrar's clerk ~ James Wright

  • Written by Bryon Williams
  • Directed by Geoffrey Nottage
  • Judy urges the women to stick together and support the strike: only Doreen mutters grumpily that she can't why they should put themselves out when it seems to be largely for one person's benefit. Jim finds out about the strike when he finds the laundry at a standstill and the women refuse to obey his direct order to return to work. Chrissie starts packing and tells Mick not to answer the phone when it rings. But he does and it's Meg, who tells him there's only an hour to go before the police are called in. The women amuse themselves by chucking wet sheets around in the laundry. Meg calls round at the flat and manages to persuade Chrissie to take Elizabeth back. Erica refuses to give in to the strikers and tells Jim to have the women locked in their cells. The police are already waiting when Meg, Chrissie and Mick arrive outside the home, but the matron decides not to take the matter any further. However, one of the detectives thinks he's seen Mick somewhere before. Doreen looks through her letters from Peter "No-Hope". Judy reminds her she'd have hurt his feelings by rejecting him and suggests she writes to apologise. Colleen gets a glint in her eye when she hears about the strike, and goes to Erica to accuse David of deliberately organising it. Chrissie and Mick go to the registrar's to get married, not realising that there is a waiting period of a month and a day. Erica puts Colleen's accusation to David: he denies it but Erica tells him if it proves to be true he will be asked to resign. Meg gets advice about a Legal Aid application for custody of Elizabeth. Colleen catches David talking to Bea and orders him out of the dormitory area. Chrissie is now determined to go through the proper channels to get Elizabeth back. Vera and Colleen both have a go at David, calling the education centre a failure and a security risk. David goes to Erica and says that his relationship with the rest of the staff has deteriorated to the point where he can no longer carry out his work, and offers his resignation so that someone else can carry on with the education centre. Bea is considering calling off the strike until Vera's head pops up at the security hatch making snide remarks about Braille machines usually behind operated by little old ladies. Tony Morton advises Chrissie and Mick about the custody claim. Peter Hope arrives at Wentworth dressed in a sober dark suit asking to see the Governor. He tells Erica he wants to say thanks to Doreen for her honesty, as no-one had ever told him before that he looked a fool... David goes to say goodbye to Bea, and advises her to call off the strike, as it's unlikely to achieve anything now. Doreen is reluctantly brought to Erica's office to talk to Peter: she accepts his thanks but says she can't see the point of carrying on their correspondence. Bea shouts to the other women that the strike is over. As he leaves, David pleads with Colleen to try to see how important education is to the inmates: she hints that the Union may well try to block any future schemes as well. Erica tells the women the education centre will be unavailable until a replacement teacher can be found. Colleen and Vera are amazed that Erica has effectively not punished the women for going on strike. Mick and Chrissie take a break from decorating their flat when there is a knock on the door. It is two police officers, who have come to arrest Mick (alias Mark Brendan) for escaping from prison in 1971 . A happy family shot of Chrissie, Mick and Elizabeth is shown on screen , shrinking to a pinpoint and then vanishing.


    Script Editor: Patrick Amer
    Storyliners: Dave Worthington, Alastair Sharp, Peter Brennan