Powell is promoted, the women revolt and Erica finds herself losing control.

First broadcast ... 1981 (Melbourne)
Broadcast on Channel 5 Tuesday 27 January 1998 04:40
DVD release: volume 13 disc 1 (AUS)
Duration: 00:45:07

Meg ~ Elspeth Ballantyne
Judy ~ Betty Bobbitt
Lizzie ~ Sheila Florance
Erica ~ Patsy King
Bea ~ Val Lehman
Jim ~ Gerard Maguire
Doreen ~ Colette Mann
Vera ~ Fiona Spence
Officer Powell ~ Judith McGrath
Chrissie ~ Amanda Muggleton
Mick ~ Michael Long
Officer Barry ~ Joy Westmore
Mouse ~ Jentah Sobott
Phyllis ~ Reylene Pearce
Det. Sgt. Gordon ~ Peter Whitford
Magistrate ~ Neil Thompson (voiceover)

  • Written by Denise Morgan
  • Directed by Marcus Cole
  • Chrissie phones Meg at work to tell her about Mick's arrest and that she is in danger herself of being charged with harbouring a fugitive. Colleen (whose hairstyle has now settled down into something like its final form) tells the women that none of the officers are opposed to projects for the women in principle - only if they are going to cause more work. Erica accuses Vera of hypocrisy for spouting the Union line, but has it thrown back at her when she isn't willing to promote Colleen on the grounds that she isn't ready for the responsibility: Vera accuses her of really being worried by Colleen's Union position. Phyllis brings some dirty washing from the workshop, and is sent off to get some tools for Bea, who reckons the best way to undermine the officers is to create a lot more unnecessary work for them. Meg manages to convince the detective that Chrissie didn't know Mick was an escapee, so she is allowed to go without being charged. She says goodbye to Mick, who is confident he won't get a long sentence as he only had two months left before parole when he escaped. Erica tells Colleen she is to be promoted to senior officer, but warns her to be more flexible about the rules as in the current climate officers abusing their authority will cause serious trouble. Bea organises sabotage of all the machines in the laundry. Vera predicts that she and Colleen will work well together as they have similar ideas on prison discipline: Colleen can only manage an uneasy smile in reply. Mick is extradited to Southern Australia for sentencing. Vera and Colleen are suspicious when all the machines break down at once, and search the women and their cells for tools. Vera confiscates extra goods not bought through the buyup. Erica is unhappy with the way the incident has been handled and makes the officers continue the search for the tools on overtime. Erica addresses the women while they are still locked in their cells: the tools were eventually found in an officer's locker but had been planted there. Mick's sentence is three years, adding one year to the whole amount left on his original sentence. The women are given cleaning materials and set to scrubbing the corridors . Mouse fakes a fall and passes on a handful of nails to one of the women. Bea and Judy bait Colleen by talking about a "hanging" (of a picture). As soon as Vera leaves them alone, Doreen and Lizzie punch holes in their buckets with the nails and vandalise the other cleaning equipment. Erica is again displeased and insists the officers must ease up on the women. Officer Barry takes flight at Bea's threats disguised as concern for her "safety" and tells the others she won't supervise the women on her own any more. After a scuffle in the dining room, two knives go missing and the women are searched one by one, until the knives are found in the scrap bucket. Colleen requests permission from Erica for the officers to be able to do spot checks. All kinds of innocent personal items are removed from the women's cells. Erica lays down the law and tells the women they will be confined to their cells for the rest of the day , but the women shout back at her that they don't trust her any more. Vera is happy that Erica seems to have lost control, and Colleen and Joyce Barry are in favour of drafting in temporary male officers from Pentridge. Colleen warns Erica that unless extra officers are provided there will be a strike. After lights out, the women set up a rhythmic clanging to torment the officers - and we see the empty corridors with the racket getting louder.


    Script Editor: Patrick Amer (191); Ian Smith (192)-(193); Patrick Amer (194)-(195)
    Storyliners: Dave Worthington, Alastair Sharp, Peter Brennan