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Within These Walls: The Slap (ITV 31 Jan 1975, with Lynda Bellingham)

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In The Slap there is a tense time in Stone Park when child killer Aileen Cruddley arrives to serve her sentence. Cruddley, who had kidnapped the child as part of an extortion plot, shows absolutely no remorse whatsoever and is very quickly making herself a target in the prison. Aileen manages to badly antagonise Officer Troy, so much so that Troy ends up slapping Aileen across the face. Aileen goes to see the Governor accusing Troy of assault. There were two witnesses, Mrs Spencer and Miss Martin, but Miss Troy claims Aileen is lying. Faye does not believe Aileen and Mrs Spencer and Miss Martin both lie and say there was no slap. In the fall out it becomes obvious that Miss Troy needs an extended break from her job and makes arrangements to visit her sister overseas.

Meanwhile there is a subplot involving a pair of elderly long term prisoners from other prisons who save up their visits to take them at Stone Park so it is not so far for their family to travel to see them. One of them, Molly Pepper, is insistent about being allowed to clean the chapel – it’s really only so she can get access to the cupboard where the communion wine is kept.

As Miss Troy leaves Stone Park for an extended trip to visit her sister in New Zealand there’s a nicely melancholic arrangement of the theme tune that plays out.

A very tense episode with an excellent performance from Geraldine Moffatt as the despicable Aileen Cruddley. She pulls off the incredibly difficult job of making you sympathetic towards her when the prison officers cover up the incident. But she is probably one of the vilest prisoners yet seen in Stone Park. Lynda Bellingham is the most familiar face amongst the guest cast, she plays easy going inmate Yvonne Melton who allows Molly Pepper to take over her job of cleaning the chapel.

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Aileen does her best to goad Miss Troy into hitting her. Miss Troy has slapped Aileen across the face. The look of shock on the face of Mrs Spencer says it all.

production details
UK / ITV – London Weekend Television / 1×50 minute episode / Broadcast Friday 31 January 1975 at 9.00pm

Writer: Kathleen J. Smith / Production Design: Rodney Cammish / Director: Malcolm Taylor

Series: Within These Walls Season 2 Episode 4

cast
Googie Withers as Faye Boswell
Mona Bruce as Mrs Armitage
Geraldine Moffatt as Aileen Cruddley
Lynda Bellingham as Yvonne Melton
Floella Benjamin as Barbara
Antonia Pemberton as Officer Troy
Anne Rutter as Officer Martin
Christopher Gilbert as Bus Conductor
Sonia Graham as Martha Parrish
Doreen Andrew as Matron Baxter
Ella Milne as Lizzie Bromborough
Barbara New as Molly Pepper
Christine Ozanne as Eunice
Dervla Molloy as Officer Black
Peggy Sinclair as Mrs Swales
Liz Goulding as Miss Truebridge
Jennifer Hill as Avril
Elaine Wells as Officer Spencer

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Alastair James is the editor in chief for Memorable TV. He has been involved in media since his university days. Alastair is passionate about television, and some of his favourite shows include Line of Duty, Luther and Traitors. He is always on the lookout for hot new shows, and is always keen to share his knowledge with others.

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