A blow of fate changes Nancy McCormack's life forever. A mysterious figure means the difference between life and death for Joan.

First broadcast ... 1986 (Melbourne)
Broadcast on Channel 5 Sunday 20 February 2000 04:40
DVD release: volume 36 disc 4 (AUS), volume 18 disc 10 [UK]
Duration: 0:46:20

Meg ~ Elspeth Ballantyne
Joan ~ Maggie Kirkpatrick
Eve ~ Lynda Stoner
Jessie ~ Pat Evison
Nancy ~ Julia Blake
Julie ~ Jackie Woodburne
Lou ~ Louise Siversen
Lexie ~ Pepe Trevor
Barbie ~ Jayne Healey
Joe McCormack ~ John Larking
Peter McCormack ~ Steve Bastoni
Bet Gowan ~ Rosalind Hill
Mrs Gibson ~ Patsy Martin
Sister Hall ~ Gael Andrews
Pat Slattery ~ Dorothy Cutts
Off. David ~ Cheryl Ballantyne


Rita ~ Glenda Linscott
Alice ~ Lois Collinder

  • Written by Thornton/Smallbone & Bevan Lee
  • Directed by Steve Mann
  • Lou and Alice drag Joan to the laundry and put her one of the driers. Rita defends Dan against Lexie's accusation that he must be a wimpy cleric: in fact he has been thrown out of the church for helping the less fortunate. Lexie notices Jessie is staring at her and suspects her of perving. Lou shuts Lexie up when she starts to complain when Eve comes into the rec room. Jessie goes to Lexie's cell pretending she wants to place a bet on the sweepstake to decide what Barbie is inside for. Instead Lexie and Jessie end up arguing when Jessie objects to Lexie's arrogant attitude and to being called a lesbian. Lou sends Eve away to clean her cell: just after she leaves Officer Slattery comes into the rec room to call the women into the garden to hear an address from Meg. Lurch is worried that they are going to have to leave Joan in the drier longer than they intended. Once the women are outside, Rita asks permission to go inside again for "an oil change". Lou shrugs off Lou's suggestion that she should do the same to go inside and get out of the drier. However, a mystery figure has already moved Joan out of the drier: we can see only the hands as she cuts Joan's bonds and hides a note under her collar. Meg addresses the women in the garden with an unconvincing "tough guy" routine, but then asks the women to observe a minute's silence in May's memory. When the women go inside again, Pat Slattery finds Joan on the floor just outside the laundry: she finds the note under Joan's collar which implicates Lou. Meg questions Lou but she claims she was with Alice or Lexie the whole time. Lexie demands the hundred dollars again from Lurch in return for confirming her and Lou's alibi. Joan is in the infirmary but is not seriously hurt. She wants to return to work, but Meg tells her she must rest. Joan scoffs at Meg's report of the note naming Lou and tells her it was Rita who attacked her. Meg points out that someone must have got her out of the drier, and whoever it was probably saved her life. Lou visits Joan in the infirmary and tells her it was Rita who did it: Joan agrees but tells Lou to leave it to her to her to settle accounts. Rita is interviewed by Meg and denies putting Joan in the drier, and even more vehemently denies taking her out. Nancy's husband Joe has a mistress: he promises her to tell Nancy about their affair so that they can be together. Rita returns to the rec room having been let off without charge. Jessie speaks to Julie to find out more about Lexie. Joe and Nancy have a row: their next door neighbour hears them and calls Peter. When he arrives the argument is over until Joe starts again. Peter challenges him and hits out at him: Joe falls knocking his head on a conveniently placed coffee table. Nancy sends Peter away and says she will sort it out: but she seems to know that Joe is dead not unconscious. Lexie tells Rita to taunt Lou by telling her to watch out for the Phantom Lagger. Meg warns Joan not to retaliate against Rita, so Joan of course goes straight to Rita's cell to issue a few threats before she goes home. Rita asks her if she enjoyed the "tumble" as much as the ones she used to have with Terri. As Joan hurries away, she pushes past Julie and Lexie, who notice a folded piece of paper on the floor. After dark, Nancy drags Joe's body into the back garden and digs a grave to bury him. The paper is a note signed by the Phantom Lagger: it was to have told the officers to check Julie's cell if they want to find out what happened to Nora. Julie reads the women parts of the note left by Nora the night she escaped then eats it to stop anyone reading the bit where Nora gives details of her whereabouts. Lou says that they have to catch the Lagger before she does any more damage.


    Story Editor: Bevan Lee
    Script Editor: Kit Oldfield (591); Alister Webb (592)-(593); Kit Oldfield (594); Alister Webb (595)
    Storyliners: Bevan Lee, Tony McDonald, John Coulter, Kelly Bermingham

    ITV regional broadcast dates:-
    Broadcast on Carlton/LWT Thursday 02 July 1998 23:40;