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Within These Walls: Nemesis (ITV 15 Apr 1978, with Lillias Rawlings)



In Nemesis Jennifer Rawlins arrives back at Stone Park, she has been sentenced to five years for killing Aileen Crudley (who had killed Jennifer’s son). In the season four episode The Mystery Rawlins had turned up at Stone Park incognito as a woman called Jenny Rowe, all part of her bid to kill Crudley.

The inmates see her as something of a hero but Peter is concerned that she is too withdrawn into herself. Reverend Prentice and Liz both feel no small amount of guilt at her arrival back in the prison, they were responsible for alerting the police about Jennifer’s real identity. When Jennifer’s ex-husband is killed in a car accident the real facts of her son’s death also come out. Aileen was having an affair with Jennifer’s husband and had kidnapped Jennifer’s son telling Jennifer that she wanted both her husband and the business – Jennifer refused to sign over the business not believing Aileen’s threats….

Meanwhile Rawlin’s cellmate Sarah collects letters but is unable to read, Prison Officer Spencer arranges for her son, who teaches literacy, to give Sarah lessons. It leads to a major argument between Mrs Spencer and Liz Clarke (who feels Mrs Spencer is interfering in her domain.)

There is a subplot involving elderly inmate (and very difficult to get along with) Tottie, played to her usual perfection by Liz Smith. She has a bad habit of pulling people’s noses and generally creating a bad atmosphere.

Another strong script from series mainstay Mona Bruce (who doesn’t appear in the episode) and her real life husband Robert James. The episode ends very much on the downbeat as Jennifer kills herself (using the stash of sleeping pills that her cell mate had been hoarding).

production details
UK / ITV – London Weekend Television / 1×50 minute episode / Broadcast Saturday 15 April1978 at 11.15pm

Writer: Mona Bruce, Robert James / Production Design: Andrew Gardner / Director: Christopher Hodson

Sarah Lawson as Susan Marshall
Jerome Willis as Charles Radley
Denys Hawthorne as Dr Peter Mayes
Beth Harris as Liz Clarke
Lillias Walker as Jennifer Rawlings
Liz Smith as Tottie
Miranda Forbes as Officer Parsons
Ann Tirard as Officer Wakely
Elaine Wells as Prison Officer Spencer
Ann Davies as Sarah Davidson
David Butler as Reverend Prentice
Jill Spurrier as Nurse Thompson



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