The lives of women behind bars in a female prison.
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Complete series cast summary:
Elspeth Ballantyne ...
 Meg Morris / ... 669 episodes, 1979-1986
Betty Bobbitt ...
Sheila Florance ...
Maggie Kirkpatrick ...
Patsy King ...
 Erica Davidson 354 episodes, 1979-1985
Gerda Nicolson ...
 Ann Reynolds / ... 319 episodes, 1981-1986
Colette Mann ...


This Australian series has, after 692 episodes, received cult status all over the world. The series takes place in Wentworth, a prison in Australia. Wentworth is a high-security female prison. The women are there for all sorts of crimes. We get to follow how they got there, their life in the prison and what becomes of them afterwards. We also get to follow the staff, their work in the prison and their personal relationships. Written by Jens Andersson

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The cult phenomenon from down under.


Crime | Drama


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Official Sites:



Release Date:

8 August 1979 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Caged Women  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


(692 episodes)

Sound Mix:


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Did You Know?


The oft-mentioned Department, the staff's employers, was fully The Department of Corrective Services. See more »


When she first enters the series Governor Ann Reynolds makes several references to her daughter Julie. The character eventually appears in episode 540 but has been renamed Pippa. This was presumably to avoid the fact that by this point there was already a Julie (Egbert) in the current cast. See more »


[first lines]
Franky Doyle: She bumped into me.
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Referenced in TV Hell (1992) See more »


On the Inside
(Prisoner theme)
Written by Allan Caswell
Conducted by William Motzing
Performed by Lynne Hamilton
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Camp Classic
24 January 2001 | by See all my reviews

Being a fan ever since I used to sneak out of bed as a kid to watch it, I guess I'm pretty fortunate to be living in the city where Prisoner was made! This means I've been able to go and visit the site where Prisoner was filmed (the old Channel 10 building, which still looks exactly the same, but without the stuck-on windows), and have also bumped into the woman who played Meg Jackson/Morris in a bike shop! (She is exactly the same in real life as in the show). Friends of mine have also stood behind Val Lehman in a social security line, and have met the late Sheila Florence, who was dead posh in real life - the total opposite to her character Lizzie. It was also great to see some characters, including Joan Ferguson, resurrected in the Aussie comedy 'Pizza' (look up 'Pizza (2000)' on IMDb). A definite cult favourite, Prisoner was not always known for its great acting and quality storylines, but has endless camp/cult value with some classic characters, hilarious one-liners and some fantastic bitchy scenes. It was also very daring for its time: a soap containing almost all female cast and many lesbian characters was a big thing for Australian mainstream TV in 1979. In fact, I doubt you'd see a soap like that today at all. So check it out on cable if you can, and relive one of the trashiest, exciting and bitchy dramas to ever hit TV! "Miss Bennet, send Smith to solitary!" "With pleasure, Mrs Davidson!

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