BBC (ended 1977)
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  • Episode Guide
  • S 3 : Ep 8

    Final Stretch

    Aired 3/25/77

  • S 3 : Ep 7

    A Test of Character

    Aired 3/18/77

  • S 3 : Ep 6

    Pardon Me

    Aired 3/11/77

  • S 3 : Ep 5

    Rough Justice

    Aired 3/4/77

  • S 3 : Ep 4

    Poetic Justice

    Aired 2/25/77

  • Cast & Crew
  • Ronnie Barker


  • Fulton Mackay

    Mr. Mackay

  • Brian Wilde

    Mr. Barrowclough

  • Richard Beckinsale


  • John Bennett

    Medical Officer

  • show Description
  • Series about Norman Stanley Fletcher, a criminal who is convicted of robbery and sent to Slade Prison for 5 years. He has been in prison many times before and knows the ins and outs of it. He becomes a father figure to most of the men inside and can easily get one over on the screws. The pilot episode aired on April 1, 1973.

  • Trivia & Quotes
  • Quotes (59)

    • Mackay: So, whose good behaviour last night made him one of the Governor's blue-eyed boys, ey? Fletcher: Yeah I must be the first man ever to have earned remission fore I even got here.

    • Godber: I'm only here due to tragic circumstances. Fletcher: Which were? Godber: I got caught.

    • Medical Officer: Ever had crabs? Fletcher: No, no I don't eat seafood.

    • Mackay: Tell him how the average day begins. Fletcher: It starts off at 7 am. You'll be awoken by a persistent and deafening bell. Then all the screws come round... Mackay: I beg you pardon! Fletcher: All the prisoner officers come round, offering such advice as "Wakey, wakey! Get your socks on. Move, you horrible creatures!" We reply to this badinage with such remarks as "Good gracious, is that the time?", "Good morning sir!" and "Who's been having your old lady while you were on night duty?"

    • Heslop: I read a book once...Green it was.

    • Medical Officer: Suffer from any illness? Fletcher: Bad feet. Medical Officer: Suffer from any illness? Fletcher: Bad feet! Medical Officer: Paid a recent visit to a doctor or hospital? Fletcher: Only with my bad feet! Medical Officer: Are you now or have you at any time been a practicing homosexual? Fletcher: What, with these feet? Who'd have me?

    • Fletch: I said to her, Isobel, I shall never get over you. I'll have to get up and go 'round.

    • Fletcher: You know what we had going in Maidstone? Only had roulette going. That's all, only roulette. Only with a dartboard see, now you could be on the evens or the odds, or the red or the black, or single numbers or groups of numbers. And the croupier, he was a bloke we just blindfolded and he threw the dart. We used to play it in association hour. We'd bribe the screw to turn a blind eye and we had a great game we did. Mammoth. Heslop: Nasty that, roulette. Fletcher: Pretty it had to end so tragic. Heslop: What happened? Fletcher: Well one night the croupier got a bit careless, you know. Now the screw turns a blind eye to everything.

    Show More Quotes

    Notes (9)

    • This pilot episode was part of the series Seven of One. Richard Beckinsale doesn't appear in this episode.

    • The opening narration for each episode, in which Fletcher is sentenced to five years imprisonment by a Judge, is voiced by Ronnie Barker.

    • The opening narration to each episode states: Norman Stanley Fletcher. You have pleaded guilty to the charges brought by this court and it is now my duty to pass sentence. You are an habitual criminal who accepts arrest as an occupational hazard and presumably accepts imprisonment in the same, casual manner. We therefore feel constrained to commit you to the maximum term allowed for these offences. You will go to prison for five years.

    • The character of Naffer Wainwright, mentioned by Fletcher in his talk about illegitimacy (see quotes), actually turns up in an episode of season two: Disturbing The Peace.

    • Richard Beckinsale doesn't appear in this episode

    • Richard Beckinsale doesn't appear in this episode

    • This special Christmas episode of Porridge ran for 45 minutes.

    • This episode ran for 40 minutes. It was taped on the 12th of December, 1976 between 8 and 10 PM.

    Show More Notes

    Trivia (5)

    • Goof Whilst conducting a conversation with Godber, Fletcher repeatedly refers to Muslims as Muslins.

    • Footage of the main gate of 'Slade Prison' - shown in the opening titles of each episode - was actually filmed at The Gate House, St Albans in Hertfordshire.

    • The registration plate on the prison van reads HMD 247K making the vehicle 4 years old at the time the episode aired.

    • Warren is unable to read, yet he read from his hymn book in this episode.

    • In episode 3/5, Rough Justice, a newspaper in the background has headlines "McKay sacked." McKay was a well known football manager.

    Allusions (4)

    • Dylan: The Magic Roundabout? Fletcher: Alright...that's given a lot of innocent people a lot of pleasure that has. It's even given us guilty people a lot of pleasure. The Magic Roundabout was a childrens television show which aired between 1965 and 1977, 5 minutes per episode, in England and France.

    • Godber: Trees, walking on grass, the sounds of birds in the branches. Fletcher: All right, don't get so flaming lyrical Wordsworth. Wordsworth was an English romantic poet born in 1770 who was Poet Laureate between 1843 and his death in 1850.

    • Godber: Your Ingrid's got nicer knockers. Knockers is an old-fashioned word for breasts. Hugely popular in the 70s but not now, unlike breasts which maintain their popularity to this day.

    • Fletcher: How dare you accuse us of being bicycle thieves? Godber: Here, I saw that film. It was a wonderful example of neo-Italian realism. Godber makes a reference to the classic film "Ladri di bicicletti" (1948), the first example of Italian neorealism. He does mix up the name of the style, or was that a goof by Richard Beckinsale?

  • Fan Reviews (8)
  • best comedy of all time

    By suzi789, Jun 16, 2013

  • One of the all time best

    By Grumpyclown, Jan 17, 2013

  • What a prison to stay in!

    By HNTV, Sep 06, 2005

  • Ronnie Barker stars in this classic English sitcom!

    By GreenLion1993, Jan 25, 2007

  • I've seen some great sitcoms in my time - and some not so great. But this is definitely one of the great ones.

    By D-LinkUK, Nov 29, 2006

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