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Within These Walls: The Inquest (ITV 4 Mar 1978, with Dee Anderson)

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In The Inquest it’s another story dealing with terrorism as Carol Dalton begins a 15 year sentence for her role in several attacks as part of the terrorist group known as the PLF. She claims to have not been involved in the bombings but very quickly finds herself getting a hard time from fellow inmates.

Meanwhile the night staff are in trouble from both Mrs Armitage and Susan Marshall over how long it is taking them to answer the bell on the observation wing. The night staff know that 99% of the bell rings are trivial. Officer Black also claims that the bell is not working properly and doesn’t always ring through. This has dire consequence when, having been given a match (matches are not allowed in the cells on the observation wing) Carol accidentally sets her bedding on fire. The fire quickly gets out of control but Carol dies from smoke inhalation.

There has to be an inquest and police involvement of course and there is a strong scene as the Governor and her staff arrive at the Coroner’s Court. The inquest is covered in large detail and all of those questions don’t find it easy to explain exactly what happened. Demonstrators also interrupt the proceedings and have to escorted out. An open verdict is returned. This could lead to another inquiry.

production details
UK / ITV – London Weekend Television / 1×50 minute episode / Broadcast Saturday 4 March 1978 at 11.15pm

Writer: Tony Hoare / Production Design: Bryan Bagge / Director: Bryan Izzard

cast
Sarah Lawson as Susan Marshall
Denys Hawthorne as Dr Peter Mayes
Mona Bruce as Mrs Armitage
Jerome Willis as Charles Radley
Beth Harris as Liz Clarke
Catherine Terris as Officer Black
Dee Anderson as Carol Dalton
Elaine Wells as P.O. Spencer
Gillian Cally as Officer Davis
Sally Lahee as Officer Preston
Carole Harrison as Denise Brown
Avril Marsh as Greta Gregory
Lesley Clare O’Neill as Jo Francis
Wendy Shutler as Hilary Noakes
Ray Armstrong as Inspector John Worth
Peter Aubrey as First Demonstrator
Joolia Cappleman as Second Demonstrator
Michael Turner as Coroner
Noel Collins as Mr Lawton
Peter Baldwin as Mr Simms
Valerie Georgeson as Miss Jones