Within These Walls 2:
Futura, London, 1975
The blurb on the back:
Faye Boswell, the Governor of Stone Park Prison has begun to see her reforms take effect. But prison is still; prison, and Faye finds herself confronted with a multitude of problems, from the girl who practised euthanasia on her own father, to the old recidivist who has no friends except in prison. And then Faye, defying the wishes of all her staff, takes a decision which leads to a double tragedy within the prison walls...
Long before Prisoner - Cell Block H, let alone Bad Girls, we got our TV chicks-in-cells thrills from Within These Walls, an LWT series that ran from 1973 to 1978. It's still remembered by some with a degree of nostalgic fondness, but I have my doubts - seems unlikely to me that it would stand up to modern scrutiny, but then I haven't seen it for quarter-of-a-century, so I could be wrong.
The problem really was that its focus was on the staff rather than the cons. With veteran star Googie Withers appearing as the governor of the prison, there was no way it could be otherwise, but really screws are only going to make an interesting subject for drama if it's a warts-and-all treatment. This wasn't.
And - in case there was going to be any doubt - the novel's not up to much either. It was written by Felicity Douglas, who - together with David Butler - wrote the original screenplays.
Frances Cuka and Googie Withers
ENTERTAINMENT VALUE: 1/5
HIPNESS QUOTIENT: 3/5