Rita is caught in the middle of a theft and returned to Wentworth. Joan receives the shock of her life when confronted by a living corpse.

First broadcast ... 1986 (Melbourne)
Broadcast on Channel 5 Sunday 11 February 2001 04:40
DVD release: volume 40 disc 5 (AUS)
Duration: 0:52:36

Meg ~ Elspeth Ballantyne
Joan ~ Maggie Kirkpatrick
Ann ~ Gerda Nicolson
Joyce ~ Joy Westmore
Rita ~ Glenda Linscott
Alice ~ Lois Collinder
Kath ~ Kate Hood
Merle ~ Rosanne Hull-Brown
Rodney ~ Philip Hyde
Marty ~ Michael Winchester
Lisa ~ Terrie Waddell
Brumby ~ Sheryl Munks
Vicki ~ Rebecca Dines
Tom Lucas ~ John McTernan
Dr Lunn ~ Denzil Howson
Mr Hudson ~ Charles Tingwell
Harry Grosvenor ~ Mike Bishop
Det Thorn ~ Peter Curtin
Det Jones ~ Alan Knoepfler
Off. Radcliffe ~ Marion Dimmick
Watch out for the driver of the police car into which Joan is put after her arrest - it has been suggested that it's Ian Smith doing a Hitchcock...
Also uncredited: Man holding up door for Joan, Woman working in the finance company
Helen Stephens

Officer Radcliffe does not appear in this episode

  • Written by Ian Smith & Marie Trevor
  • Directed by Sean Nash
  • Rita drives to the insurance offices. Meanwhile, Joan does the lockup as normal, but checks her watch every now and again. Rita scales a wire fence outside the insurance building. Joan pretends to have discovered that Rita is missing and raises the alarm. Rita climbs a roof ladder to the top of the building and forces open a hatch. The alarm goes off immediately, so she dashes to the safe and opens it, and throws a chair through a window to make it look as though the loot has been thrown out to an accomplice. The police arrive within a few minutes and catch Rita inside the building. Joan sits in on Rita's interrogation back at Wentworth: the police tell her they will be checking up on her known associates, but the interview has to be suspended until the following day when Rita collapses. Joan sneaks into the infirmary and wakes Rita to check that she hid the money as arranged. Dr Lunn tells Ann that Rita is very ill and refuses to let the police question her further. When Ann finds out that the police found fingerprints on the car other than Rita's, she asks the doctor to leave as she has "something to explain" to the police. Marty tells the women about Rita's escape and recapture. Mr Hudson arrives and tells Ann the reforms may have to be postponed. Joan checks up on Rita again to make sure she didn't say anything to give the plan away. Joan leaves work and makes it as far as the door of the insurance offices, but is scared off when two strange men hold the door open for her. Merle makes a card for Rita's birthday. Kath tries to raise the women's spirits for Rita's sake: Alice suggests they might be able to persuade Tom to bring in his motorbike for Rita to ride. Joan admits to Rita that she didn't pick the money up, so Rita threatens to get someone else to collect it if she won't. Alice takes Rita outside in a wheelchair to see her birthday surprise . Tom drives up on his Harley and takes Rita for a ride around. Ann tells Meg that her reform report has been accepted by the Deaprtment and that Mr Dwyer will henceforward be sidelined. Rita feels faint at her party and tells the women she's standing down as top dog. they are all amaze when she says she wants Kath to succeed her. Alice is brought to the Governor's office to be told that Harry is to be transferred to Barnhurst and that she could be transferred too, but she refuses to leave Rita behind. Harry gives Alice a rose and tells her that he loves her. [*] Kath stands up to Rodney when he brings a new prisoner to the rec room and is voted in as top dog. Alice takes the rose to Rita in sickbay. Joan arrives at work and freezes when she sees a police car waiting outside the gates. Inspector Thorn approaches her and asks her if anyone spoke to Rita in the night. When she says that no-one did, he tells her that Rita died at 2 o'clock in the morning. The women weep for Rita at breakfast. Kath leads the other women in standing up to Joan, when Joan rips a sheet in the laundry to try to blame it on one of the women. Joan tries to find out whether Rita said anything before she died, and reassured goes to the finance company to collect the money from the ladies toilet . As she leaves, she is stopped by Detective Thorn and arrested . Joan is taken by police car to the station and finger printed. She is appalled to realise she is being taken to Wentworth on remand and inducted by Meg. Ann demands Joan is removed from the prison as soon as possible. Joan is taken to solitary and realises the cell has been made ready for her. The women want to know why they are locked in: Kath tells them Joan is inside as a prisoner, and they begin a chant. Joan gloats that she is the one they are chanting for, but is stopped in her tracks when her meal is brought in by Rita . Joan is taken away next morning as the women are on exercise period. Rita declares that she's "going to be the oldest biker in the world".

    As the police car approaches Wentworth it seems to go through an imposing set of gates we have never seen before.


    Other dates for showing of the final episode:

  • Sydney Channel O-TEN: Monday 28 September 1987 (the last two hours were shown as one episode)
  • UK Central: Monday December 16th 1991 (or in that week)
  • UK Granada: Thursday 9th February 1995
  • UK Grampian: Monday March 11th 1996 23.35 (thanks to Steve McGhee on the Digest)
  • UK HTV: Thursday 25th April 1996 (thanks to Peter Schofield)
  • UK STV: Tuesday 19th November 1996 (from PCBH Digest 24 - message from Patrick Sturt dated 22 Nov 1996)
  • UK Yorkshire and Tyne Tees: Monday 7th April 1997 (only a few days after Channel 5 started its repeat run) - various messages in Digest 145.
  • Sweden TV4: Thursday 3rd February 2000 01:40

    The version of this episode shown on Westcountry did not include the scenes indicated by italics above. Thanks to Vicky for spotting this and for sending me her tape of the episode so I could check. The last segment (from the point marked [*]) timed at 17 minutes 42 secs on Westcountry but 22 minutes and 9 seconds for the version shown on Granada. I have no idea why there should be different versions of this crucial episode, but it may have been made (by Grundy?) to bring it down to the standard length for an episode.

    And it seems that was not the only time the final episode was cut. Thanks to Steve McGhee for emailing with more details:

    "...the version Grampian ran in '96 actually ends with the meal being brought in and the women chanting. We don't get to see her taken away again or hear Rita's comment. I didn't realise this till now! Can't understand why they would edit out the very last minute or two of the very last show. It did, however, show the scenes you have italicised which weren't shown on WestCountry. Perhaps Grampian edited the episode to fit in the telephone interview with Maggie K?"
    More than likely I'd say: if a TV station were to cut for reasons of time, something blunt and crude like this would be the most likely approach, not snipping little bits out here and there.

    ITV regional broadcast dates:-
    Broadcast on Westcountry Thursday 30th October 1997 23:45