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Within These Walls: Vacuum (ITV 6 Nov 1976, with Joanna David)



In Vacuum new inmate Marian Pearce has taken a vow of silence and it is infuriating most of the prison staff. Peter Mayes thinks that she is just trying to play them for fools but Charles Radley thinks there may be more of a psychological reason.

Despite being somewhat low key (no other prisoners have speaking roles in the episode) it’s still quite powerful, by mid way point Charles has persuaded Peter to take the situation seriously and he does in fact make a tiny breakthrough and it proved to be the key to discovering what has made Marian unable to speak.

The answer lies in a brief sequence from the very opening of the episode when we see Marian being driven to Stone Park from another prison with her hands tied together. Prison Officer Royal who had accompanied Marian had humiliated her repeatedly on the trip and continued to be less than nice to her once at Stone Park.

UK / ITV – London Weekend Television / 1×50 minute episode / Broadcast Saturday 6 November 1976

Writer: P.J. Hammond / Production Design: Bryan Bagge / Director: Paul Annett

Series: Within These Walls Season 4 Episode 10

Katharine Blake as Helen Forrester
Jerome Willis as Charles Radley
Mona Bruce as Mrs Armitage
Denys Hawthorne as Dr Mayes
Sonia Graham as Martha Parrish
Beth Harris as Miss Clarke
Elaine Wells as Officer Spencer
Joanna David as Marian Pearce
Amanda Royal as Officer Royal