Lexie's escape plan is foiled, the hunger strike is in full swing, and Rita is sentenced to 3 years' gaol.

First broadcast ... 1986 (Melbourne)
Broadcast on Channel 5 Saturday 18 March 2000 04:40
DVD release: volume 36 disc 6 (AUS), volume 18 disc 12 [UK]
Duration: 0:45:24

Meg ~ Elspeth Ballantyne
Joan ~ Maggie Kirkpatrick
Ann ~ Gerda Nicolson
Eve ~ Lynda Stoner
Jessie ~ Pat Evison
Nancy ~ Julia Blake
Rita ~ Glenda Linscott
Julie ~ Jackie Woodburne
Lou ~ Louise Siversen
Lexie ~ Pepe Trevor
Barbie ~ Jayne Healey
Bob ~ Peter Adams
Ettie ~ Lois Ramsay
Mervin ~ Ernie Bourne
Alice ~ Lois Collinder
Steve ~ Peter Hayes
Dan ~ Sean Scully
Pat Slattery ~ Dorothy Cutts
Max Purvis ~ Tony Mac
Fay Donelly ~ Maud Clark
Wendy Stone ~ Vivien Davies
Off. Hagen ~ Christine Andrew
Pocco the dog ~ Pocco

  • Written by Kit Oldfield
  • Directed by Tony Osicka
  • Lexie and Julie bump into Joan on their way to the laundry, but pretend they need to go the toilet so Joan leaves them alone. Joan challenges Lou about her failure to warn her about Rita having the CB radio. Lou tells her she didn't know herself until the officers found it, and passes on some information she thinks Joan won't know. Joan however just scoffs at the news that Lexie is pregnant. Lexie gets into the air conditioning duct in the laundry with Julie's help. Jessie is forced to tell Eve all the details of Lexie's escape and then Eve blackmails them that she will reveal what she knows unless Jessie and Julie support her in her attempt to make trouble for Bob. Lexie gets as far as the kitchen, but Pat spoils the plan by locking the back door before Mervin leaves, so she has to go back. Joan tells Lou that she's spoken to Sister Hall, who has told her that Lexie isn't pregnant, so Lou comes looking for Lexie. Lexie gets out through the Governor's office: fortunately the door has been left unlocked so she is able to get in to the corridor and then to reception, where she knocks out Pat in reception with a handy Sellotape dispenser. [Incidentally, the roll of Sellotape comes loose and sticks to Officer Slattery's uniform]. Lexie has already climbed over one perimeter fence when Pat comes to and raises the alarm, but Lexie gets away. Bob decides to deliver the women's meals to their cells starting immediately. Next morning Lexie makes friends with a stray dog and steals a pink track suit off a washing line to try to blend in more with her surroundings [*1]. Rita comes out of solitary and tells Nancy that she fully intends to eat her meals - as do half the other women. Eve tells Jessie and Julie to discredit Lou with the other women. Dan is worried that Slasher, Roach and Bongo have disappeared. Rita's lawyer tells her to wear a dress for her court appearance, as it will possibly mean a longer sentence if she doesn't: the judge is notorious for his prejudice against bikies. Jessie talks to Fay in the laundry to try to persuade her to turn against Lou. Lou demands that Joan tell her who is breaking the hunger strike. Dan phones Ann to tell her that Slasher has been killed in a gang fight and Bongo is injured. Alice tries to seduce Steve and warns Barbie to keep off him, as she seems to have a giggling fit whenever Steve walks past her. Dan tells Rita about Slasher's death: she changes out of her dress and goes to court in bikie gear. Meg warns Joan to stay away from Rita, especially after Slasher's death. Steve goes to fix Alice's bed and tries to talk to Julie who is sitting on her bed reading, but she reacts sharply to his patronising attitude. Rita is brought back to Wentworth on a three-year sentence. Joan inducts her and tells her to forget the minimum non-parole period of eighteen months: she will make sure that Rita serves every day of her sentence. Barbie gets a magazine from her mother showing Steve as a nude centre-fold and shows it to Alice and Julie [*2]. Nancy tries to commiserate with Rita , but she tells her she doesn't need her sympathy. Rita goes to the laundry, switches on one of the dryers and rides it like a motorbike in memory of Slasher.

    The magazine containing Steve's centrefold seems to be called "Body Play".

    A large part of the responsibility of allowing Lexie's escape must be down to Bob "Mr Security" Moran for leaving his office unlocked.


    Thanks are due to Mark C ("chicken") for spotting and reporting in Digest 1211 on two brief but significant cuts in the version shown on Channel 5, compared to the versions seen previously in the ITV regions. Both cuts seem to have been made with Victorian ideas of "decency" in mind. This hardly squares with Channel 5's notoriety for showing soft porn in the small hours, but it can't be ruled out that they originated the cuts... unless the same cuts have been seen in any other broadcast...?

    [*1] Twenty seconds were cut from the end of the scene where Lexie steals a pink tracksuit from a washing line and puts it on. The start of the cut coincides with the moment where Pepe Trevor takes off her skirt and exposes her knickers and pallid legs, and takes with it the dialogue in italics: "Makes you feel like a trip into town. You can go and see Mabel: she's pretty good. We've come this far together, eh? Come here, boy, come here. [Probably improvised by Pepe Trevor as Pocco seems about to wander out of shot!] Hey, we might even be able to get some brekkie. I could eat the leg off a rag doll. Come on boy, come on."
    [*2] When Alice gets her first look at Steve's centrefold, the shot of it over Alice's shoulder was deftly cut out along with one of her lines (in italics); "Oh bloody hell. It's him! Hey Chuck come and get an eyeful of this. It's him! It's Steve, naked as the day he was born" (though in fact we can see it's someone else naked as the day he was born, with Steve's head rather unconvincingly stuck on top).
    I suppose it is too much of a coincidence that both cuts have spared us the sight of exposed flesh. Whatever censorship process was in place wasn't working at the highest level of efficiency as the shot of Steve's centrefold was left in the "previously on" of the following episode! However, if you assume that for once a much higher level of quality control was operating, there might be other reasons for the cuts: in the first case, the mockup of the centrefold is laughably incompetent and in the second, Pocco jumps up at Pepe Trevor just as she starts get undressed, which results in a semi-blooper where the dog appears to have pulled her skirt down.

    Story Editor: Bevan Lee
    Script Editor: Ian Smith & Alister Webb (596); Kit Oldfield (597); Alister Webb (598); Kit Oldfield & Ian Smith (599); Kit Oldfield (600)
    Storyliners: Bevan Lee, Tony McDonald, John Coulter, Kelly Bermingham

    ITV regional broadcast dates:-
    Broadcast on Carlton/LWT Thursday 20 August 1998 23:40

    The original run in the Carlton/LWT region in the UK ended with episode (598) in August 1998: a curiously unsatisfying place to stop..