News is listed in order of most recent first. If you have something to share please contact us.
17th January 2013
Where have we been?
Welcome to 2013 and we start with an apology - we're so sorry that the site hasn't been maintained a great deal over the last year. The reason why: we've been working SO hard on the forthcoming Prisoner Book that we just haven't had the manpower to keep updating this site.
However, that is about to change! The book is now written and is with the publishers for the first initial proof reading and subsequent edits. This means that we can now get back to updating OTI so please expect some changes over the next few weeks.
Bear with us a little longer and normal service will be resumed. In the meantime, why not head over to our Facebook page where there is plenty of discussion going on - you can find it at facebook.com/prisonercellblockh.
Thanks for your support and stay tuned!
4th March 2012
Prisoner to be 're-imaged' for 2012 as a new series is announced
After years of speculation and rumour, it has been confirmed that a new female prison drama series is to be made this year by FremantleMedia Australia and Foxtel.
In a bold move, the series will be called Wentworth and set in the current day with its main focus on a new prisoner called Bea Smith who arrives at the prison and works her way up to the famous Top Dog position.
Foxtel Executive Director of Television, Brian Walsh, said: "Wentworth will be a dynamic and very confronting drama series, developed and stylised specifically for subscription television audiences. We have told producers to push all boundaries and honestly depict life on the inside as it is in 2012."
One thing which is clear though is that this isn't a remake of Prisoner as such. The writers and producers are using the original inspiration of the Prisoner legacy to create a brand new series. It isn't a prequel and it isn't clear on how many character names from Prisoner will be featured although some of the original inmates and staff of WDC will be used in addition to some new characters written especially for the series. It is unlikely that we will see a great deal of the original cast involved but time will tell.
We understand that the first couple of episodes have already been written and at the moment it is too early to say whether the series will reach television channels outside of Australia, so keep checking this site for further news on that.
Filming is scheduled to begin in Melbourne within the next few months.
21st January 2012
UK visit for Val Lehman updated 21st February 2012
HURRY - BOOK NOW FOR
HIGH TEA WITH QUEEN BEA
***ONLY 9 PLACES LEFT***
St Patrick's day March 17th
All bookings through email@example.com
Details of the venue will only be released to confirmed guests.
Please see below for Val's message:
Prisoner's Val Lehman (Bea Smith) has announced her plans to return to the UK for some promotional appearances and is asking for your ideas. She has sent us the following message:
March 2012 I am making, what just might be my last "Prisoner Pilgrimage" to the UK! On the 15th of that month it is my 69th birthday and I'm hoping to celebrate it with some of the most loyal fans in the world, those of you who have stuck by the show, and watched three full screenings for over 30 years.
I haven't chosen a venue as yet and I would like to invite suggestions.. What I am planning is "High Tea with Bea".. afternoon tea with me in a beautiful venue, the chance to really get to know me, and chat. I am looking at a very limited number of people somewhere I have not been before... and I will also be offering the opportunity to purchase some amazing memorabilia ..actual original proof sheets of stills taken on set.. these will be offered for auction.. but where.. Wales? Scotland? Yorkshire? Brighton? Sweden?? From which ever location I get the largest reaction, that is the location I will choose, and as time is running out you only have two weeks to let me know because I have to book somewhere quickly. . So please pass the word on.
I will also be entertaining at the Old Joint Stock Theatre Birmingham, (bookings will open very soon) and attending Memorabilia at the NEC March 31st / April 1st. Further details re booking for events, cost, dates etc will be available on my website: www.val-lehman.com.
Spurred on by the amazing reaction to the re launch of Prisoner on Foxtel in Australia, and the fact it is beating everything in the ratings I have a feeling there may be an Australian event later this year, and you may be very surprised by the source..but that's another story...
For further details and to keep up to date with Val please visit her website at www.val-lehman.com.
7th January 2012
Val Lehman's website back online
Val Lehman (Prisoner's Bea Smith) is happy to announce that her website is now back online again after a short period of downtime.
Val tells us that there will be an update to her site very soon, including some news which will be of interest to all Prisoner fans so be sure to check it out!
The website can be visited at www.val-lehman.com.
2nd January 2012
UK DVD Release Schedule for 2012
2012 welcomes in a new year as well as a new confirmed release schedule for the first few months. Good news for Prisoner fans who are collecting the release which will see us pass the half way mark of the whole series.
Although the schedule is subject to change, here is the current info:
Volume 11 - 6th February 2012
Volume 12 - 12th March 2012
Volume 13 - 2nd April 2012
We understand that releases may become more frequent as long as fans continue to stay interested and buy them. It is looking increasing likely that the whole series will eventually be released in the UK which is brilliant news.
We don't know what will happen with the Edna Pearson episodes although it seems that the heavily edited episodes will be released as normal because the special unedited edition has already been made available.
For details on the release just visit our DVD page using this link and don't forget to drop by the official DVD Forum to share with other fans your thoughts on the UK release here.
2nd January 2012
Maggie Kirkpatrick Official Archive now online
Star of Prisoner Maggie Kirkpatrick, known to thousands as "The Freak", finally has an online presence again.
While the Australian actress has taken a break from touring with the highly successful theatre production Wicked, an official and authorised archive of her career is now available to view.
The site covers Maggie's varied career in detail and has a selection of images and interviews to find out more about this talented lady who loves to work.
Visit Maggie Kirkpatrick - The Official Archive via this link.
26th December 2011
Global Studios to stay for a while longer
One of the questions we get asked very often is 'when is Wentworth being knocked down?'. There have been various stories on the internet over the last few years about the Global TV Studios (ex-Channel 10) being demolished very soon to make way for new housing.
We're pleased to say that the studios where Prisoner was filmed will be around for quite a few more years to come!!
We were in touch with the Neighbours team last month, which is filmed in the very same studio complex. The good news for us and any Neighbours fans is that a long term lease was signed on the building which means that we have many more years left in the old Wentworth prison!
Although a lot of the land AROUND the studio has been sold off and already developed on, there are NO PLANS for Neighbours to move out soon although this was talked about in the past. The old Channel 10 studios are still going to be standing for the next few years at least and Neighbours will continue to be filmed there too.
Anyone living in the new housing development has a great view of the old Wentworth wall every time they step outside, and might even see a few of the Neighbours cast in the local area too - so it's all good!
Now, can we finally put that rumour to bed?
26th June 2011
Death of Denise Morgan
We're very sad to announce the death of Denise Morgan.
You may not know the name, but Denise was one of Prisoner's writers and one of those who helped shape the series and 'create' characters such as Bea Smith, Doreen Anderson and Lizzie Birdsworth.
She was one of the strongest members of the writing crew during her time on the series, with cast often commenting on how much they loved to play the scenes that she had written. Fans also hold her in very high regard for many of the scenes and characters featured throughout the show that she was involved in.
Prisoner star Val Lehman (Bea Smith) contacted us today with a personal message which we would like to share with you:
I am very sorry to have to bring you sad news..
Denise Morgan passed away last weekend.
Denise was I think, easily the best writer Prisoner ever had, contributing to more than 40 episodes. However her contribution to the profession didn't stop there, her work was evident and acclaimed all through the Australian Film and Television industry.
One of the nicest people I ever met, Denise will be sorely missed by everyone who knew her.
The funeral will be held in Sydney Friday July 1st.
Later in July there is to be a memorial held in Melbourne.
On behalf of everyone at On The Inside, we would like to take this opportunity to send our condolences to the friends and family of Denise, one of the best writers Prisoner ever had. She leaves behind a legacy that will never be forgotten and her work will live on for years to come.
Denise was a hugely popular member of the Prisoner crew, and we would like to do something special in tribute to her. We would like to suggest that all Prisoner fans around the world who are collecting the DVDs, have a special Denise Day, on Saturday 2nd July. On the same day, wherever you are around the world, pick out an episode written by Denise, sit back and really focus on the dialogue and the sheer brilliance of her work.
Rest in peace, Denise.
25th April 2011
Important DVD Information
It has come to our attention via various sources that websites such as iOffer and eBay have sales of Prisoner Cell Block H on DVD which have not been officially licensed. These include copies of the official DVDs burned to disc, taped episodes from the television and 'specials' such as Prisoner in Concert.
As the official site we have a duty to protect the current Prisoner DVD release in the UK and in Australia where it is being re-released. If you order one of these un-licensed products you are damaging the releases which everyone has worked so hard in making happen.
The series owners FremantleMedia are already aware of the situation and any illegal sales/auctions will be dealt with directly by them. They have asked us to point out that fans should only be purchasing the series DVDs from the following approved suppliers: HMV, Play, DVD.co.uk, The Hut, Love Film, Choices Direct and Amazon.
While auction sites are generally excellent for purchasing bargains, we recommend you use caution to ensure that what you are buying is official.
FremantleMedia home entertainment website.
17th April 2011
New Site - Phase 1 online!
Welcome to our brand new website!
The very first phase of our new look is here at last. We'd like to thank you all for staying with us while this mammoth task of updating each and every page has taken place. As you can see, there's still bits and pieces to get online which is why we have launched as phase 1.
We hope you like the new design and find it easier to navigate. Please feel free to contact us with any comments or suggestions as this is very much a work in progress project.
Further pages will return online over the coming months so don't worry if something you're looking for isn't there yet - it will be in due course!
We promise that this will be the last redesign for a long long time so we hope you can understand why it has taken such a while to complete. It will probably never be finished because Prisoner is still current, even after 30 years since the original episodes were made! What we are certain of is we will continue to help preserve the memory of this brilliant series that so many people love.
Thanks again for your support - enjoy!!!
17th April 2011
New Prisoner Book
We're excited to announce that a brand new book about the series is currently being written.
Behind The Bars is set to be an indepth look at Prisoner from conception to where we are today. The trio of OTI Founders Scott Anderson and Barry Campbell with author Rob Cope is due for release in 2012.
There has never been an accurate book about the series and we plan to make this the ultimate guide to Prisoner and already have a number of cast and crew members making contributions to it - we'll be able to reveal some interesting facts about the show that you won't already know, along with a large number of photographs never seen before. All in all it will be a brilliant collector's piece.
We'd love to get some of the fans involved, so if you are able to share with us some rare photos that you may have in the attic from when the series was being made, please get in touch.
Fans are also encouraged to register their interest via the publisher who will contact everyone direct with more information closer to the launch date. Please visit this link and click on the book's image for details!
17th April 2011
UK DVD Release Schedule
The UK DVDs are now in full swing, with half the series being released this year alone! We know that there have been a number of fans complaining about the time between each release so it looks like 2011 is making up for lost time with the releases last year.
The current schedule is always subject to change, but is as follows:
Volume 7 - 18th April 2011
Volume 8 - 26th June 2011
Volume 9 - 28th August 2011
Volume 10 - 30th October 2011
We'd like to thank you all for getting behind this release and showing everyone how popular the series is - don't stop now though! We understand that the whole series will eventually come out on DVD over the next couple of years as long as we all keep buying it!.
If you'd like to get involved in discussion about the DVD, help shape future volumes or just have a chat with other fans, please check out the new Official Forum!
Top of page
17th April 2011
Important Message from Val Lehman
Val Lehman has asked us to display the following message on our website. It can also be viewed on her official website via the link at the bottom of this article.
Opportunists, endeavouring to exploit members of the Prisoner cast, for personal gain, by selling DVDs featuring recorded work of cast members, are breaking the law. Steps are now being taken to prosecute these opportunists.
All public websites advertising these products are being warned to withdraw them from sale immediately, or risk being party to offence.
The DVDs in question are Prisoner in Concert, and The Great Escape. Both of these productions were recorded before DVDs were invented and no negotiation has taken place to compensate the actors for selling their work in this manner.
Those members of the general public, aware of this, but who still go ahead and purchase these illegal DVDs, will be regarded as complicit in this deceitful attempt to cheat the Prisoner cast.
THE ONLY LEGAL DVDS CURRENTLY FOR SALE, FEATURING THE WORK OF THE PRISONER CAST, ARE THOSE RELEASED WITH THE PERMISSION OF FREMANTLEMEDIA AND PRODUCED BY SHOCK RECORDS.