A blog about my favourite movies, music, and TV.

20 February 2009

The Best of Prisoner Cell Block H (DVD)

I grew up watching trashy Australian soaps on cable, I don't think there was much on in the early 90's during the mornings except kids TV, so we'd have 1985 episodes of Neighbours and Sons and Daughters and god knows what else on in our house. However, I have to confess I had never seen Prisoner until two weeks ago when I fancied a new show to watch in bed - I obviously have nothing better to do! As much as I like 80's Prime Time serials like Dallas and Dynasty, I thought Prisoner would make a nice change.

First of all I was amazed at how many episodes there were, 697! It took my 9 months to get through all 9 seasons of Falcon Crest, so I thought I would start with this great little compilation, featuring 9 complete episodes accross 3 discs. We begin with an escape that introduces us to most of the main characters, Top Dog - Bea Smith, mad old Lizzie, and a few others. This storyline is a pretty good start, there's a death, the nice thing about this set is that they have gone to the trouble of producing some fun links so we know what's going on. The other episodes introduce Joan 'The Freak' Ferguson, perhaps my new favourite TV baddie ever. There's a fire, and the Freak gets rid of Bea once and for all.

On Disc 2 we find new Top Dog, Myra Desmond in the midst of a terrorist seige, which I think were my favourite episodes, especilly the Joan Collins look-a-like child slave trader whose mob boss husband is tring to spring her from Wentworth. It was bloody brilliant, and pretty violent for the time too!

The final episodes on disc three are some of the last of the series, there's a very useful flashback episode which makes up for the big gaps on disc one, we get to see a lot more of Vinegar Tits, Ferguson's predecessor, and many memorable characters that it would be impossible to give adequate time to on a small set like this. But the main attraction on this particular disc are the very last two episodes where The Freak gets set-up for a bank robbery by the latest Top Dog - Rita Connors. Poor Joan, she didn't deserve it, I for one wanted her to get away with it and go and find herself another old bull dyke to live happily ever after with, but alas it wasn't to be.

A complete box set (well trunk!) has been available, but is now deleted and is currently selling on Amazon for over £1000! Although it can be got cheaper, and of course there's always vastly cheaper bootlegs, not that I'd ever suggest anyone would ever buy such things... The first 30 or so episodes were released at the very end of last year in the UK in a box set.

I also have to acknowledge that theme tune too! On The Inside performed by Lynne Hamilton, a UK Top 10 hit no less! Watch her TOTP performance from 1989...


Mike said...

My favourite TV show ever! I'm still working my way through the boxset and it's truly amazing. The show was so far ahead of its time it's not even funny. The writing, acting - everything - is just so perfect.

Anonymous said...

(This is guaranteed laughs in the Chinese classroom. It was from the beginning a particle in a Pink Panther flick picture show).

A servant walks into a boutique and sees a beautiful little dog. He asks the shopkeeper, "Does your dog bite?"
The shopkeeper says, "No, my dog does not bite."
The man tries to darling the dog and the dog bites him.
"Ouch!" He says, "I brainstorm you said your dog does not snack!"
The shopkeeper replies, "That is not my dog!"
Submitted at near Rick Bell

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Anonymous said...

this is very good for you, ybg :)