Lexie spots the headlines "Madman murders prison escapee", and the phantom lagger strikes again.

First broadcast ... 1986 (Melbourne)
Broadcast on Channel 5 Sunday 19 March 2000 04:45
DVD release: volume 36 disc 6 (AUS), volume 18 disc 12 [UK]
Duration: 0:45:45

Joan ~ Maggie Kirkpatrick
Ann ~ Gerda Nicolson
Joyce ~ Joy Westmore
Eve ~ Lynda Stoner
Jessie ~ Pat Evison
Nancy ~ Julia Blake
Rita ~ Glenda Linscott
Julie ~ Jackie Woodburne
Lou ~ Louise Siversen
Lexie ~ Pepe Trevor
Bob ~ Peter Adams
Ettie ~ Lois Ramsay
Alice ~ Lois Collinder
Mervin ~ Bruce Crowl
Steve ~ Peter Hayes
Dan ~ Sean Scully
Fay Donnelly ~ Maud Clark
Janet Williams ~ Christine Earle
Pat Slattery ~ Dorothy Cutts
Policeman ~ Geoff Staples
Mabel Morgan ~ Val Jellay

  • Written by Dave Worthington & Marie Trevor
  • Directed by Steve Mann
  • Lexie wakes up after a night sleeping rough in a wood to find her new canine friend is still by her side. She decides to call "him" (though observant Digest contributors spotted that the dog is female...) by the name "Pocco" after a pet rabbit she once had. Bob catches Rita in the laundry still sitting astride the dryer and is sympathetic about her loss but firmly tells her to get down and go back to her cell. Rita is disgusted that he still wants her to be searched before she leaves the laundry, and asks what she could possibly have stolen. Alice shows the photo of Steve around. Most of the women are too busy speculating on what Steve's strategically placed knee really conceals, but the eagle eyed Eve notes that he is described as a medical student and wonders what he is doing working as a handyman. Rita rejects Nancy's attempt to mother her and get her to talk about Slasher's death. Alice sees Steve doing a bit of DIY in the shower block and stages a faint in front of him. He dashes away hastily, claiming he can't respond to Alice's overtures because he wants to keep hold of his job (and his dinner, I guess). Lexie finds out about Nora from a newsstand ("MANIAC MURDERS ESCAPEE - FURTHER THREATS" ), and seeks refuge with Mabel . Steve is worried that he won't be able to do his research properly if the women only see him as a sexual object. Dan comes to see Bob and thanks him for letting him see Rita: Bob allows him to talk to her again as he hopes it will calm the situation. Joan finds the women fighting over the magazine, gets hold of the picture of Steve and takes it to Bob, but he doesn't take any action, despite her objections. Pat Slattery reports that the killer has phoned Wentworth and offered to track Lexie down. Bob realises that Nora's murderer must have contacts in the prison or the police to know that Lexie has escaped. Bob decides to tell Julie in confidence about the killer, but she still won't tell him where Lexie is. Jessie and Julie agree that they have to keep Lexie's whereabouts a secret. Joan refuses to tell Joan the names of the women who are breaking the hunger strike. Eve offers Joan a deal to bring down Lou so that she can take over as top dog. Bob welcomes Joyce back to duty, having tactfully ducked out of the way while she adjusts her awful wig. Bob tells the women that 70% of them are breaking the hunger strike, so the meals will be served in the dining room as normal from now on. After consideration, Julie still refuses to tell Bob where Lexie is. Bob threatens to send Lou to solitary id she causes any more trouble. Eve offers information to Joan, starting with Lexie's escape route. Eight of the women turn up for breakfast as usual: Eve takes their names. Alice tells Lou not to trust Eve, as she's seen her talking to Joan. Bob refuses to let Rita attend Slasher's funeral, as it's too big a security risk. Dan invites Ann to come away with him and Bongo and Roach for a weekend camping. She initially refuses, but accepts his challenge to ride pillion. Lou tells Rita she's taking over the prison by the end of the day, then in a shameless attempt to suck up to the women leads the singing of "Happy Birthday" for Julie's 21st. Ann enjoys her motorbike ride so much that she changes her mind and agrees to go on the weekend away with Dan. Eve admits to Joan that she was the Phantom Lagger. She also tells her she saved Joan's life when Lou and Alice put her in the drier and that Lou forced Lexie to give her an alibi. However, Alice is listening outside...

    Lou makes up for lost time by reading a book called "Logic puzzles"

    Eve gives Lou only five strike breakers' names: "Connors, Egbert, Windom, Simpson (?), Spencer"

    Lynda Stoner fluffs a line by calling Joan "Mrs" Ferguson.


    With this episode, the copyright date at the end of the final credits belatedly and briefly changes to 1985 - even though we are now well into the original 1986 season, which started with (589). As there was supposed to be a six month gap between the making of episodes and their transmission, the copyright date ought to have been 1985 since about (547)...

    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:-