Prisoners Wives (2012– )
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Episode #1.1 

Pregnant Gemma's world collapses when her husband Steve is remanded in custody on suspicion of murder, having been seen in a pub car park where a man was shot. Overwhelmed by her first ... See full summary »




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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Female Police Officer
DS David Hunter
Pippa Haywood ...
Oliver Hannam ...
Dystin Johnson ...
Juliet Ellis ...
Penny Capper ...
Security Officer
Chris Brailsford ...
Senior Security Officer
Tom Tunstall ...
Visits Hall Guard
Reuben Johnson ...


Pregnant Gemma's world collapses when her husband Steve is remanded in custody on suspicion of murder, having been seen in a pub car park where a man was shot. Overwhelmed by her first prison visit she is befriended by wealthy,brassy Francesca,whose husband Ian is serving sixteen years for international drug-running. Further down the social ladder is tenement-dwelling,soft drug peddling Lou,who is taking her seven year old son Mason on his first visit to his father Sean. Gemma is determined to believe in Steve's innocence but her faith is jolted when she discovers a gun hidden in his mother's caravan and he admits to knowing the dead man. Written by don @ minifie-1

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Release Date:

31 January 2012 (UK)  »

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Heartfelt narrative with admirable characters
7 February 2012 | by See all my reviews

Prisoners' Wives Episode 1 (Dir. Damon Thomas, Writ. Julie Gearey, 31.1.2012) follows three women, whose husbands are all in prison, and how they handle their spouses' absence.

The episode begins with various extreme long-shots setting the location, followed by swooping boom and steady-cam shots. These swaying camera angles make the world seem idyllic and dream-like; which, could be argued that it is. As after the first 2 or 3 minutes the police come and Steve (Jonas Armstrong) is arrested. Reality then settles in, after the realisation that everything isn't perfect between him Gemma (Emma Rigby).

All actors in this first episode appeared talented, which wasn't expected as its star, Emma Rigby is known for her position in Hollyoaks, and Jonas Armstrong hasn't been seen on television since his role as Robin Hood in the BBC adaptation in 2006. But after watching the first episode of Prisoners' Wives I have to say that all actors were pleasant and enjoyable to watch, especially the brief appearance of Iain Glen, who is popularly known for his roles in Game of Thrones and Downton Abbey.

But the real appeal Prisoners' Wives is the storyline. It is fascinating to see how the characters have completely different experiences when visiting jail. In this episode we are shown four different responses to wives visiting their husbands in jail. Gemma visits Steve after he wasn't granted bail, and we see the trauma and difficulty she has when she first speaks to him in visiting hour. Another wife is seeing her husband who has been in prison for years. Their connection seems relaxed and playful, as it has become the norm for their marriage. The third character is a mother bringing her son along for the first time to visit his father in jail. Her dilemma is having to lie to her son so as to convince him his dad, who has seemingly been in prison for a few months, isn't in fact in jail. The final woman doesn't even gather the bravery to enter the visitors centre.

Experiencing how families cope with their loved ones being in jail is only part of the spectacle; we also get to see how friends, colleagues and strangers act around those who have family in prison. This insight is, again, interesting to observe, even though it is fiction. This series covers all areas of the spectrum and allows us to experience first hand how peoples lives are bettered or destroyed by having husbands in prison.

I am looking forward to see how this heartfelt and gripping narrative plays out over the six episodes planned. Will the other characters stories become evaluated at a greater depth, and did Steve actually commit the crime he has been imprisoned for?

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