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More classic Aussie drama coming your way


More classic Aussie drama coming your way

Via Vision Entertainment will be re-releasing the seventh and eighth seasons of Prisoner: Cell Block H on DVD on the 7th of September.

In these concluding episodes of the series romance blossoms between top dog Myra Desmond (Anne Phelan) and convicted murderer Geoff Macrae (Les Dayman), and Matt Delaney (Peter Bensley) ties the knot with fellow convict Marlene Warren (Genevieve Lemon) in the prison garden. Rapist Frank Burke (Trevor Kent) strikes again, this time he molests Pixie Mason (Judy McBurney) and poor Pixie ends up being sent to a psychiatric institution after suffering a nervous breakdown. Burke later escapes from custody and whilst on the run he shoots prison officer Dennis Cruikshank (Nigel Bradshaw) leaving his victim paralysed.

Officer Meg Jackson (Elspeth Ballantyne) learns that she has fallen pregnant to her rapist, and heavily armed terrorists decide to spring Ruth Ballinger (Lindy Davis) from jail. When the police surround the prison, the terrorists begin bumping off their hostages one by one and they decide to shoot Myra Desmond in the head.

The final two seasons of Prisoner are coming back to DVD.

The inmates learn that the sadistic warder Joan ‘The Freak’ Ferguson (Maggie Kirkpatrick) has started a lesbian relationship with another officer, but The Freak is devastated to catch her new lover in bed with a man! Eve Wilder (Lynda Stoner) is brought into the prison on remand for murder but she continues to protest her innocence. Eve’s mask gradually begins to slip when she bashes officer Joyce Barry (Joy Westmore) senseless, and when she’s exposed as being a lagger the inmates decide to exact their revenge by hanging Eve in the dining room. Meanwhile Kath Maxwell (Kate Hood) is incarcerated after killing her handicapped daughter and begins smuggling cocaine into Wentworth.

After his prison is torched during a riot, the brutal Ernest Craven (Ray Meagher) is transferred to Wentworth where he continues his reign of terror by making the lives of the inmates a living hell. Craven allows two hooded male convicts to enter one of the cells in solitary so that they can rape the thief and con artist Lorelei Wilkinson (Paula Duncan).

Open warfare breaks out when bikie Rita Connors (Glenda Linscott) is appointed top dog. When Rita is diagnosed with cancer, she is determined to put a stop to the evil screw Joan Ferguson once and for all. As the series draws to its dramatic conclusion Joan finds herself on the wrong side of the bars as an inmate in her own prison.

Right: Officer Joyce Barry (Joy Westmore) is bashed in Prisoner. Left: The inmates of the Wentworth Detention Centre live in fear of sadistic screws like Ernest Craven (played by Ray Meagher from Home & Away) and Joan ‘The Freak’ Ferguson (Maggie Kirkpatrick).

This release includes an interview with casting director Jan Russ, and has an audio commentary by Glenda Linscott and Lois Collinder (Alice ‘Lurch’ Jenkins). Familiar faces appearing in these episodes include Robyn Gibbes, Christine Harris, James Condon, John O’Brien, and Ross Thompson from The Young Doctors; Pat Evison, Val Jellay and Terry Gill from The Flying Doctors; Sean Scully from Sons & Daughters; Peter Adams, Gregory Ross and John McTernan from Cop Shop; Brian James from Skyways; Jackie Woodburne, Terence Donovan, Linda Hartley, Ernie Bourne, Lucinda Cowden and Fiona Corke from Neighbours; Alex Papps from Home & Away; Lois Ramsay from The Box; Gerard Kennedy from Division 4; Vic Gordon from Matlock Police; Nadine Garner from The Henderson Kids; Nicki Paull from Return To Eden; and Maureen Edwards from A Country Practice. Others cropping up in the action include Aileen Britton, Charles ‘Bud’ Tingwell, and Keith Eden.

You can pre-order Prisoner: Collection 4 from the Via Vision website.

Fans of classic Australian radio comedy are in for a treat. Yes What? (aka Greenbottle) followed the rollicking adventures of the naughty schoolboys in the fourth form of St Percy’s and was an instant hit when it first hit the airwaves in 1936.

520 episodes were produced but only the last 312 editions survived in the archives, all of which have already been released by Grace Gibson Productions across sixteen volumes. It was feared that the rest of the series had been lost to the mists of time but in an exciting development, 53 of the missing episodes have now been discovered in the hands of private collectors. In volume one of Yes What? Missing Episodes diehard fans can enjoy the first twenty recovered editions.

This time around there’s a riot when schoolmaster Dr Percival Archibald Pym (Rex ‘Waca’ Dawe) appears in court, Greenbottle (Jack Craig-Gardiner) has to endure his grandmother’s funeral, and chaos reigns when larrikin Bottomly (Ralph Peterson) brings his cow to school.

You can order volume one of Yes What? Missing Episodes on CD, USB or as a digital download from the Grace Gibson website.

Long lost episodes of Yes What? can now be heard for the first time in decades.

Photo’s copyright Via Vision Entertainment/Grundy Organization/Fremantle Australia. IRS Grace Gibson Productions.

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