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Friday 4 March 2011

Prisoner: returns to TV, on 111 Hits

Prisoner is returning to the Australian small screen from Monday March 7.

That's right, people. Vinegar Tits and all your fave twisted inmates are again up against The Freak and all the other screws in this cult Aussie television series.

Prisoner was part of the regular viewing schedule at our house. Which I found very unusual, yet completely normal.

Unusual, because I'd heard from some school buddies that they weren't allowed to watch it.

I was a bit baffled by that - we had free rein... although when my Italian-born folks cottoned on that rudie Australian words were spoken on the show, they tried to limit/banish Prisoner-watching. Didn't really work - they loved it too. My theory is that we - and plenty of other European families in the 1980s - lifted the ratings somewhat because the olds had no clue how cheeky the series was... bless.

Based around the lives of the staff and inmates at a high security all female prison, Wentworth Detention Centre, Prisoner was an instant hit among viewers with its winning formula of power struggles for ‘Top Dog’ status (that was usually Bea Smith), escape attempts, drug taking, alcohol-making and murder.

Prisoner also tackled the big issues: suicide, homosexuality, domestic violence and social reform.

Alex Ristevski, Channel Manager 111 HITS said, “This show is as iconically Australian as Vegemite, but with greater export success. I hope a new generation will get to enjoy and appreciate it as much as we did.”

The 692 episode series cemented a place in history with characters such as inmates “Queen Bea” Smith, Doreen Anderson, Franky Doyle, Chrissie Latham, Margot Gaffney, Gladys “Marilyn” Mason and the much loved Lizzie Birdsworth along with prison guards aka ‘screws’, Meg Jackson, Vera “Vinegar Tits” Bennett, Joan “The Freak” Ferguson and Jim “Fletch the Letch” Fletcher.

Someone who can definitely distinguish between Bea Smith and Chrissie Latham - and likely name every single guest star - is Australia's TV guru Andrew Mercado. See him talk about the return of Prisoner here: http://theplaylist.com.au/

And you can catch The Playlist on Foxtel's Showcase channel regurlarly - 'Series Link' it like I have so you never miss an episode.

The cast gathered in Melbourne earlier this week to celebrate the return of Prisoner to television (MC'ed by Andrew), and you can see the photos here: http://josiesjuice.blogspot.com/2011/03/prisoner-returns-to-tv-launch-photos.html

Singer songwriter Ella Hooper from The Verses has re-recorded a version of the theme song “On The Inside” to celebrate the return of Prisoner. “On The Inside” by Ella Hooper can be seen on www.facebook.com/111HITS or www.youtube.com/111Hits.

Prisoner will screen nightly on 111 Hits from Monday March 7, 2011 at 6.30pm.

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