Deprived of her medication, Merle nearly kills herself.

First broadcast ... 1986 (Melbourne)
Broadcast on Channel 5 Saturday 12 August 2000 04:40
DVD release: volume 38 disc 4 (AUS)
Duration: 0:43:30

Ann ~ Gerda Nicolson
Joan ~ Maggie Kirkpatrick
Meg ~ Elspeth Ballantyne
Joyce ~ Joy Westmore
Mervin ~ Ernie Bourne
Marty ~ Michael Winchester
Delia ~ Desiree Smith
Rodney ~ Philip Hyde
Rita ~ Glenda Linscott
Lexie ~ Pepe Trevor
Alice ~ Lois Collinder
Nancy ~ Julia Blake
Kath ~ Kate Hood
Lorelei ~ Paula Duncan
Roach ~ Linda Hartley
Merle ~ Rosanne Hull-Brown
Janet ~ Christine Earle
Sister Hall ~ Gael Andrews
Vicki ~ Rebecca Dines
Micky ~ Nick Carrafa
Captain Muldern ~ Keith Eden

  • Written by Ian Coughlan
  • Directed by Alister Smart
  • Janet pushes Merle along the corridor, but she is unwilling to fight until she is told that Kath is going to Blackmoor. Nancy tells Rita that the work experience scheme has been cancelled. When Merle confronts Rita in the rec room, Rita refuses to fight Merle, who becomes confused and runs away. Roach and Kath are returned to Wentworth: Roach hears Kath's sentence (life for manslaughter) for the first time and is stunned. Merle starts to bash her head against the wall of her cell and Nancy sends Lorelei to fetch Rita. Rita is just about to bash Janet in the laundry and has to break off when Lorelei arrives. Kath tells Ann she's not interested in an appeal and has no money left to pay for a solicitor. Ann receives a phone call about Merle and takes Kath with her to the infirmary to talk to her. Sister Hall tells Ann she thinks Merle hasn't been taking her medication. Nancy tries to convince Rita that with Kath back in Wentworth they will have a hold over Joan again. Janet asks Joan for help and tells her she's been keeping Merle's pills. Kath finds out from Merle's rambling that Janet has been keeping Merle's drugs and searches her cell. Joan catches Kath with the capsules and takes them from her: instead of taking Kath to the Governor to expose Janet's manipulation of Merle, Joan leads her to the cell where she has hidden Janet. Kath starts to beat Janet, but Janet runs to the rec room for protection, where the other women stand aside to let Kath finish her off . Joan has told Ann of the disturbance, and she arrives to find Kath to take the blame alone. Kath is taken to solitary by Joan, who tells her that Janet has been taken to isolation. Janet is transferred to A block with Joan warning her that the next stop will be Blackmoor . Joyce and Mervin give a slide show for the women in the rec room. Kath has to be taken out of solitary to calm Merle down so that she doesn't have to be sedated. The officers and trainees go for a drink in a bar, and Marty meets a man he knows from the Navy, along with his Uncle who owns his own boat. Rodney's sarcastic remark that the Captain should take the women on in his boat yard inspires him to issue a challenge to Marty: if he wins a drinking contest Captain Muldern will take some of the women on work release. Roach sounds out Vicki about the possibility of arranging an escape. Mervin and Joyce arrive at the bar to find the drinking contest in full swing and Mervin persuades Joyce to stay to avoid having to go back to their flat. Joyce gets home drunk and tells Joan the work experience is on after all. Delia has to help Marty home, but not before he's landed a drunken punch on Rodney's chin.


    The utterly incompetent second half of this episode - particularly the scenes in the bar - marks some sort of low point in Prisoner's history, and fittingly introduces the feeblest plot ever: the work release on the boat. Even the credits fail to notice any of the new characters introduced in the episode. Thanks to Mark Caffrey for the information that the pianist was really a woman (her name was Mary Anne Steele) despite her androgynous appearance and her obsession with playing "Fur Elise" (just like Visconti's film of "Death in Venice"). He also says the barman was Bill Manderson.

    Story Editor: Gwenda Marsh
    Script Editor: Neil Luxmoore (636)-(639); Neil Luxmoore and Pauline Clayton (640)
    Storyliners: Tony McDonald, John Coulter, Bob Greenberg

    ITV regional broadcast dates:-