Val Lehman in the title sequence for Prisoner (screen cap)
form y Prisoner series - publisher   film/TV  
Alternative title: Cell Block H; Prisoner: Cell Block H
Issue Details: First known date: 1979 1979
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

Television series.

Prisoner told stories of the inmates of Wentworth Detention Centre, a women's prison. The show had its roots in the similar UK drama series Within These Walls, but presented storylines with a much harder and sometimes controversial edge, including themes such as lesbianism, murder, and drugs.

Key characters in the series included Bea Smith (aka Queen Bea), who ran things from the prisoners' side, and prison guards Joan 'The Freak' Ferguson and Vera 'Vinegar Tits' Bennett. Other inmates included the elderly Lizzie Birdsworth and lesbian Franky Doyle.

Notes

  • The series is known as Prisoner: Cell Block H outside Australia, due to the similarity of the title to that of Patrick McGoohan's television series The Prisoner.

  • Award-winning and individually published episodes in this series will be included on AustLit.

    Content indexing in process.

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

First known date: 1979

Works about this Work

Prisoner Reborn Locks in a Stylised Vision Graeme Blundell , 2016 single work column
— Appears in: The Australian , 15 April 2016; (p. 17)
New Faces Doing Time on Inside Holly Byrnes , 2013 single work column
— Appears in: The Courier-Mail , 1 March 2013; (p. 10)
Top-Dog Bea's Back in the Clink Greg Hassall , 2012 single work column
— Appears in: The Sun-Herald , 4 March 2012; (p. 3)
A Hard Cell as Actors Make a Bea-Line to be Top Dog Geoff Shearer , 2012 single work column
— Appears in: The Courier-Mail , 6 March 2012; (p. 7)
Originals Shine on the Inside Geoff Shearer , 2012 single work column
— Appears in: The Courier-Mail , 12 March 2012; (p. 44)
New Queen Bea is Back on the Inside Matt Buchanan , Scott Ellis , 2012 single work column
— Appears in: The Sydney Morning Herald , 4 October 2012; (p. 20)
Bad Girls Broke the Shackles Michael Idato , 2009 single work column
— Appears in: The Sydney Morning Herald , 16 February 2009;
y Super Aussie Soaps : Behind the Scenes of Australia's Best Loved TV Shows Andrew Mercado , North Melbourne : Pluto Press , 2004 Z1511282 2004 single work criticism

The definitive history of Australian TV soaps, Super Aussie Soaps examines Australian television serials, in chronological order from 1958 to the early 2000s. Among the series presented are Bellbird, Number 96, The Sullivans, Prisoner, Sons and Daughters, Neighbours and Home and Away.

form y Prisoner Queen Timothy Spanos , Melbourne : Star Baby Productions , 2003 7234018 2003 single work film/TV

'An intriguing satirical 'soap opera-within-a-soap opera', PRISONER QUEEN is about a number of lonely and desperate characters living on the fringes of society who are all linked through the bizarre odyssey of Alex, a dumb waiter who lives his life through his favourite Australian cult television show, Prisoner: Cell Block H. Whilst nursing his eccentric mother through a bone marrow transplant, Alex escapes by stalking the streets at night dressed as a sadistic prison officer. It is during these offbeat midnight strolls that he becomes captivated by a mysterious and wise old drag queen Miss Chrissy who is obsessed with Chrissy Amphlett. Together their parallel lives collide in a mixed bag of fantasy and reality.'

Source: Screen Australia. (Sighted: 10/4/2014)

y Australian Television : A Geneology of Great Moments Alan McKee , South Melbourne : Oxford University Press , 2001 Z1632922 2001 single work criticism (taught in 1 units)

Alan McKee examines some key moments in Australian television history, drawing on extensive contemporary evidence as well as presenting detailed analysis of the programs themselves.


form y Prisoner Queen Timothy Spanos , Melbourne : Star Baby Productions , 1996 7234159 1996 single work film/TV

'The story of a lonely and twisted man who is obsessed with the cult Australian drama series 'Prisoner'.'

Source: Screen Australia. (Sighted: 10/4/2014)

y Moran's Guide to Australian TV Series Albert Moran , Peter Pinne , North Ryde : Australian Film Television and Radio School , 1993 Z1511317 1993 single work criticism An in-depth history of Australian television series from 1956-1993.
y Super Aussie Soaps : Behind the Scenes of Australia's Best Loved TV Shows Andrew Mercado , North Melbourne : Pluto Press , 2004 Z1511282 2004 single work criticism

The definitive history of Australian TV soaps, Super Aussie Soaps examines Australian television serials, in chronological order from 1958 to the early 2000s. Among the series presented are Bellbird, Number 96, The Sullivans, Prisoner, Sons and Daughters, Neighbours and Home and Away.

y Moran's Guide to Australian TV Series Albert Moran , Peter Pinne , North Ryde : Australian Film Television and Radio School , 1993 Z1511317 1993 single work criticism An in-depth history of Australian television series from 1956-1993.
y Australian Television : A Geneology of Great Moments Alan McKee , South Melbourne : Oxford University Press , 2001 Z1632922 2001 single work criticism (taught in 1 units)

Alan McKee examines some key moments in Australian television history, drawing on extensive contemporary evidence as well as presenting detailed analysis of the programs themselves.


Bad Girls Broke the Shackles Michael Idato , 2009 single work column
— Appears in: The Sydney Morning Herald , 16 February 2009;
Top-Dog Bea's Back in the Clink Greg Hassall , 2012 single work column
— Appears in: The Sun-Herald , 4 March 2012; (p. 3)
A Hard Cell as Actors Make a Bea-Line to be Top Dog Geoff Shearer , 2012 single work column
— Appears in: The Courier-Mail , 6 March 2012; (p. 7)
Originals Shine on the Inside Geoff Shearer , 2012 single work column
— Appears in: The Courier-Mail , 12 March 2012; (p. 44)
New Queen Bea is Back on the Inside Matt Buchanan , Scott Ellis , 2012 single work column
— Appears in: The Sydney Morning Herald , 4 October 2012; (p. 20)
New Faces Doing Time on Inside Holly Byrnes , 2013 single work column
— Appears in: The Courier-Mail , 1 March 2013; (p. 10)
form y Prisoner Queen Timothy Spanos , Melbourne : Star Baby Productions , 2003 7234018 2003 single work film/TV

'An intriguing satirical 'soap opera-within-a-soap opera', PRISONER QUEEN is about a number of lonely and desperate characters living on the fringes of society who are all linked through the bizarre odyssey of Alex, a dumb waiter who lives his life through his favourite Australian cult television show, Prisoner: Cell Block H. Whilst nursing his eccentric mother through a bone marrow transplant, Alex escapes by stalking the streets at night dressed as a sadistic prison officer. It is during these offbeat midnight strolls that he becomes captivated by a mysterious and wise old drag queen Miss Chrissy who is obsessed with Chrissy Amphlett. Together their parallel lives collide in a mixed bag of fantasy and reality.'

Source: Screen Australia. (Sighted: 10/4/2014)

form y Prisoner Queen Timothy Spanos , Melbourne : Star Baby Productions , 1996 7234159 1996 single work film/TV

'The story of a lonely and twisted man who is obsessed with the cult Australian drama series 'Prisoner'.'

Source: Screen Australia. (Sighted: 10/4/2014)

Prisoner Reborn Locks in a Stylised Vision Graeme Blundell , 2016 single work column
— Appears in: The Australian , 15 April 2016; (p. 17)
Last amended 4 Apr 2014 09:37:12
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