Prisoner: Cell Block H

Network Ten (ended 1986)


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Prisoner: Cell Block H Fan Reviews (9)

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  • Women in prison....

    Running for 692 episodes, from 1978 - 1986 Prisoner (branded Prisoner Cell Block H) external to Australia, concentrated on the lives of the inmates and staff at Wentworth Detention Centre. These women were from all walks of life, the school teacher who murdered her husband for having an affair, the scorned mother who killed her ex husband for letting down her children whilst she was in prison for murdering his mistress, the petty larcenist opportunist, the drug dealer, the innocent, and the guilty. Some of the officers were as bent as the criminals, the most memorable being Joan "The Freak" Ferguson, who got her come-uppance in the final episode....
  • One for the history books.

    Prisoner made quite a few mistakes, some of the actors weren't great, and the sets could have been better. Yet what it got right was all that any shows needs to get right and thats good stories with memorable charecters.

    Bea, Lizzie, Vinegar Vera, The Freak amongsts others are for those who watched it, if only casually, are charecters that you never forget. PCBH has some of the best charecters ever made, and are largly unique. DIspite its obvious flaws this shows stongest point, is the compelling chrecters it creates.

    Prisoner remains a very controversial show, the issues its delt with over 20 years ago have often not been delt with as poiniantly as in this show. Furthermore new controveries arise. It dealing of homosexuality, is bound to be seen as politically incorect in todays world. Gay watchdogs if you believe the cynics would want it censored. Nevertheless homosexuality was delt with excellently, and from a historical viewpoint is now fascinating to watch.

    Prisoner will proabably be always remember for its flaws and cheap look, fast is forgotton is its huge international success and longevity, as well as how new and different it was for the time.

    Theres more to this show than meets the eye, its suprising how easy it is to enjoy.
  • This show was the best. Qween Bea was the best top dog Wentworth had ever seen.Seris finale was great but thought could have been more dramatic with the women managing to get to the freak in solitary.

    great seris from start to finish. This show always had you on the edge of your seat.With Qween Bea rulling the roost it was fantastic she always had the womens best interest at heart. lizzie was great always trying to make her brew"birdsworths brew". Meg Jackson/Morris was great glad she got the deputy govenors ship when she did. The FREAK was great too. This show should be brought back. You can still see today that PCBH was a hit as all the new prison dramas now like bad girls has similar story lines as prisoner did.
  • Loved it!

    This show was maligned for bad acting & wobbly sets, but hey thats what made it enduring. The characters were hilariously good with tragic undertones e.g.Frankie Doyle or Vera Bennett. Inmate Bea Smith was too matriarchal as the original top dog, her well intentioned anti-drugs stance didn't ring true in place where drugs or the effects of drugs are a reality. Those in authority at Wentworth were ineffectual types such as Meg Jackson(annoyingly upbeat) & Erica Davidson(someone who should be doing coffee mornings or charity work), until the arrival of Joan Ferguson. Joan was a corrupt lesbian officer who terrorised the inmates & undermined her superiors wherever possible, when most if the original characters left this uniformed monster carried the show til the end of it's run.
  • One of the best shows ever made in Australia.

    I think I was about 7 or 8 when I first watched Prisoner. Then never again until 10 years later. Gee I loved this show.. My favourites would have to be Lizzie, Bea, Rita and Meg Morris although I sometimes couldn't stand her whiny voice. "Are you satisfied? Have you got what you wanted" became a catch phrase with me and my mate Dougie. Although I know the series off by heart, I still miss it being on Tele on a regualar basis. Just one question though what did ever happen to Sandy Edwards. Did she die or was she killed by Kate Peterson. I know there are theories, but was there any actual proof she was murdered? And another thing did Rita die in the last episode or was everyone crying for nothing.
  • One of the best Australian drama series ever made

    Prisoner (or Prisoner: Cell Block H as it was known outside of Australia) remains to many people one of the most popular Australian drama series ever made.

    The show had great characters, none better than prisoner officer Joan Ferguson or 'The Freak' as she was nicknamed by the inmates.

    Fergusons' battle with inmate Bea Smith provided one of the best storylines ever seen in the series, which led to a great cliffhanger at the end of the 1982 season.

    The show was at it's best from 1980-1984 (1981-1982 were brilliant) however the departure of some favourite characters did take it's toll on the show.

    The level of acting has been maligned by some people, however when you look back at some of the actors / actresses who appeared in the series, many of them went on to have very successful careers.

    During the last season of Prisoner, the storylines
    weren't of the same quality, however the series finale storyline was brilliant and really did redeem some of the weaker storylines from earlier in the season.

    The series finale episode was a great way for the show to end, and most viewers would have been well satisfied with it.

    Hopefully subscription tv will re-screen the series soon
  • One of my favorites!

    This is really one of the best shows of all times! It has great characters played by great actors: Patsy King, Jude Kuring, Jane Clifton, Fiona Spence Sheila Florance, Val Lehman to name a few. It also had many wonderful gueststars such as Pat Bishop, Betty Lucas and Jeanie Drynan. In the middle of the 5th season a lot of the stars were dropped or left by their own free will: Patsy, Sheila, Jane and Val etc. The show never recovered after that. The 6th and the 7th seasons were actually really bad! But the show got better the last year with the arrival of the "The last two Top Dogs": Kath Maxwell and Rita Connors.
  • Something for everyone behind the bars of Wentworth Detention Centre!

    When the show first started it was only meant to be on for 16 episodes and was extended and extended and eventually ran for 692.

    There was something for everyone in the show but one of the main things was that this wasn't a show full of pretty woman running around looking pretty for petty crimes, when these actresses went into Make-Up it was to get it removed rather than get it applied.

    In the first episodes we had a murder, drug abuse, lesbianisim and much more

    The show progressed into a proper serial and we got to know more about the prisoners and their lives outside the prison and also the warders.

    The characters in the show were fantastically written and the storylines with them.

    On the whole the series ended when it should have, while it was at the top and although I have seen it many times I can watch it over and over and over again and would recommend the same to everyone else, you won't regret it!
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