Wentworth 2013 - BEA SMITH

The ‘re-imaging’ of Prisoner Cell Block H launched with strong ratings in the UK on Channel 5.

The Australian drama is titled Wentworth Prison in the UK though airs simply as Wentworth in its native country. The hard-hitting drama is a “re-imaged” version of the classic soap opera Prisoner Cell Block H which was created by Reg Watson.

According to overnight figures the UK premier of Wentworth, on Channel 5, pulled in 1.7 million viewers on Wednesday evening. The drama stars Danielle Cormack as Bea Smith who enters Wentworth while on remand.

Prisoner: Cell Block HThe original Prisoner (as it was known in Australia) ran for 692 episodes between 1979 and 1986. The drama served as inspiration for the British drama series Bad Girls which ran between 1999 and 2006.

In the UK Prisoner Cell Block H was first shown on ITV but aired at different times across the various regional franchises. It wasn’t until it was repeated on Channel 5 – starting in 1997 – that the soap was networked across the UK. Despite a late-night slot Prisoner was a hit for Channel 5 which is perhaps why the broadcaster was quick to snap up the remake.

The original series is available to buy on DVD. 

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