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Within These Walls: Let The People See (ITV 7 Mar 1975, with Michael Culver)



Within These Walls Title

In Let The People See, when inmate Nita Mellish leaves Stone Park she talks to the press about how bad conditions are in Stone Park. It causes quite a lot of bad feeling, both inside and outside the prison. To try and redress the balance Faye allows a documentary film unit (for a TV show called In Focus) to show life in Stone Park. Some of the officers have their concerns but in the end it’s thought that it is worth the opportunity.

The film team quickly make a nuisance of themselves and more than few of the girls think the filming is an opportunity to lie about the conditions at the prison. Meanwhile apart from Mrs Boswell alll of the prison officers are keen not to be filmed. Eventually Mrs Armitage (after being persuaded by Faye) agrees to an interview but it seems the crew, led by director Robin Vestey, would prefer someone more photogenic. An incident in the kitchen allows Officer Budgen to take centre stage but her antiquated views are the last ones Faye want’s to see committed to film.

An interesting episode that is good fun at the same time as making a serious point. At the time the series was made the Prison system as a whole was undergoing a great deal of reform and the general populace really had no idea about the inner workings of an average prison. Especially a female one. So much so that the TV Times of the week had a short feature about the changing face of women’s prisons with special focus on Holloway (which was the model for Stone Park) which was gradually re-built at the time and where inmates were allowed to wear their own clothes and use make up. At the time there were around 1000 females in prison in comparison to 37,000 men.

production details
UK / ITV – London Weekend Television / 1×50 minute episode / Broadcast Friday 7 March 1975 at 9.00pm

Writer: Peter Wildeblood / Production Design: Rodney Cammish / Director: Philip Casson

Series: Within These Walls Season 2 Episode 9

Googie Withers as Faye Boswell
Mona Bruce as Mrs Armitage
Jerome Willis as Charles Radley
Denys Hawthorne as Dr Mayes
Janet Lees Price as Janet Harker
Sonia Graham as Martha Parrish
Audrey Muir as Principal Officer Flaxton
Richenda Carey as Officer Budgen
Maureen Sweeney as Nita Mellish
Deirdre Costello as Sharon Fuller
Elissa Derwent as Molly Ward
Christina Greatrex as Thelma Baker
Richard Steele as Mr Jackson
Michael Culver as Robin Vestey
Bernice Stegers as Sonia Grossman
Christopher Driscoll as Cliff Martin
Alec Wallis as Chalky White
Ian Mackenzie as Joe Parks
Ian Liston as Barry Wells
Pamela Obermeyer as Bernice