Series 7, Episode 1
Written by Phil Ford
Produced by Rachel Snell
Directed by Julian Holmes
Air Date: 10th May, 2005
After waking from a nightmare, Fenner is shivering in his prison bunk when a PO opens his cell door and orders him to get out of bed. The officer is totally unsympathetic to Fenner’s plight and certainly isn’t going to treat him any better than the other inmates just because he used to be a screw. Fenner’s fellow inmates are delighted with the prospect of getting one over on an ex-PO and don’t waste any time in cornering him in the shower. Beaten, bruised and most probably violated, Fenner is soon begging to be put on Rule 43 and placed in the segregation block.
On the other side of the bars, Fenner’s newly betrothed wife Di has made it very clear to an apologetic Hollamby that she holds her directly responsible for her husband’s predicament. Further riled by the news that Frances Myers, G-Wing’s former Wing Governor has been promoted and given her very own prison, she nearly goes into orbit when Neil Grayling announces that, instead of appointing a new Wing Governor, he’ll be taking over direct control of G-Wing. As Neil outlines his plans for the wing and a new era of mutual respect between officers and inmates, Colin is the only one to voice his support. After the meeting, Neil offers to put Colin up for the now vacant job of Principal Officer.
Darlene is still worrying about the voodoo doll she found in her cell, but Natalie puts her mind at ease when she looks at the doll and points out that it looks more like Bev than her. Darlene doesn’t waste any time in passing the doll onto Bev who, although too canny to fall for such superstitious nonsense, is wounded when Phyl points out that she and the doll look similarly rough. Phyl later relents when she realises how upset Bev is and goes to find the Julies to cajole them into giving Bev a makeover.
The Julies see Ben walking onto the wing and stop him to ask how Tina is; totally unaware of the fact that he cruelly stood her up at the prison gates. Not wanting to face the Julies wrath, he lies and informs them that they’re both happy together and that the Julies shouldn’t bother writing to Tina because she wants to forget all about her time in Larkhall. The Julies are crushed, but their dismay soon turns to fury when they later spot a very happy looking Ben emerging from Natalie’s cell. After failing in their attempt to confront Natalie, the Julies return to work where they once again spot Ben, this time emerging from the toilets and wearing white overalls. Intrigued, they follow him outside and watch him climb into a laundry van. Realising that something sinister is going on, they take their suspicions to Neil.
On the outside, Tina is having a hard time adjusting to freedom and life on the outside and is soon looking for ways to get back behind bars and to the safety of G-Wing. Her first attempt – being caught shoplifting and then demanding for the owner of the shop to prosecute – is a failure. In desperation, she later returns to the shop and starts setting fire to the stock. Just as she hoped, she’s arrested, charged with arson and then sent straight back to Larkhall on remand.
Fenner quickly finds that life on the VPU is even worse than being amongst the general prison population. He may be safe from beatings and other forms of victimisation, but even that seems like a preferable alternative to having to mix with paedophiles and rapists…especially when the longer he spends in their company, the more he begins to believe that he’s one too. Things only get worse when Di visits, after hearing that she’s been contacted by the landlord of the lock-up in which he kept his shrine to Karen, he’s forced to tell her the truth – that he is guilty of the hit and run. Di is upset and angry, not only with Fenner, but with herself for believing his stories. Maybe it’s the fact that she’s desperate for a man, or maybe it’s the fact that she has Fenner vulnerable and frightened and dependent on her, but Di stupidly decides to give him another chance, and to burn everything she finds in the lock-up.
Having discovered that no-one under the name ‘Benjamin Phillips’ is on the prison staff, Neil sets about following Ben the next time he turns up at Larkhall in his laundry van. After finding the white overall that Ben has stashed in the gents toilets, Neil follows him onto G-Wing and then up to G3 where he finds him enjoying a close encounter with Natalie Buxton. Neil doesn’t believe Natalie’s claims that Ben was trying to rape her and makes it clear from now on that he’ll be keeping a very close eye on her.
Phyl and the newly made over Bev decide to recycle the voodoo doll and plant it for Hollamby to find. Despite Colin’s assertion that there’s no such thing as black magic, Hollamby can’t argue with the fact that her ‘gyppy’ neck started acting up again when she discovered the doll with a pin stuck into its neck. Phyl and Bev continue to have fun with the doll, scaring Hollamby witless in the process. Arriving into work with a bad leg on the day that she discovers the doll again, this time with one of its legs ripped off is the final straw. She goes straight to see Dr Nicholson for a check-up and is hurt when he is terribly unsympathetic.
Di does as Fenner asked; she visits the lock-up and collects the photographs of Karen, the blonde wig and all of the other evidence that proves his involvement in the hit-and-run. However, instead of destroying the evidence, Di places it all in a suitcase and hides it.
Newcomers Janine Nebeski and Arun Parmar are led onto the wing accompanied by Tina who is delighted to see her old friends. Janine is less delighted when she is told that she and Arun have been allocated beds in the four-bed dorm. She’s furious that Arun confessed to their credit scam, earning her a longer sentence in the process and makes it very clear that she’ll get her revenge sooner rather than later. Natalie is unimpressed with the newcomers, telling Janine to get lost when she offers the hand of friendship; she’s more concerned with her attempt to recruit Darlene as her second-in-command.
As an accused rapist on remand, Ben, now under his real name, Benjamin Hennessy, has been put under Rule 43. Fenner is surprised to encounter a familiar face on the VPU, but when he hears Ben grumbling about his failed attempts to seduce Karen, his ears prick up. Could this be his chance to pin the hit-and-run on someone else who’s also got a grudge on Karen? With a plan forming, Fenner chooses a moment when Ben’s regaling the rest of the wing with tales of his exploits before sneaking into his cell and stealing his hairbrush and one of the insoles from his trainers. Next visiting time, he talks Di into buying a blonde-wig, covering it in DNA from the brush and the insole and then planting it in Ben’s van before tipping off the police. Aware that she’ll be committing a serious crime, Di is reluctant, but after Fenner threatens to commit suicide, she’s like putty in his hands.
Natalie has another go at trying to recruit Darlene. She’s decided that she’s going to start up a protection racket and needs the other inmate’s help in order to start ‘taxing’ the other women. Not wanting to be ‘mean’ to her friends, Darlene is reluctant, but faced with Natalie’s veiled threats, she eventually realises that if she wants an easy life, she’d better allow herself to be recruited. Once onboard, Darlene starts off by outlining Natalie’s ‘tax’ to her cellmates. Janine is vocal in her refusal to jump to Natalie’s tune – she can take what she likes from the other inmates but she’d better not go near anything of Arun’s – her co-defendant owes her big time and if anyone’s entitled to her gear, its Janine.
For Janine’s benefit, Natalie dumps a bowl of porridge all over Arun’s expensive, designer skirt. Realising that Natalie is a lot more intimidating than she previously thought, Janine rolls over, meekly agreeing to pay her dues before begging to be allowed onto Natalie’s payroll. Natalie invites Janine up to her cell later that morning to discuss it. However, Janine soon discovers that Natalie has no intention of allowing her in on her scheme; she is there purely to be made an example of. Before long, she’s writhing on the floor in agony after Natalie jabs her in the eyeball with a wickedly long and sharp looking pin.
After receiving a tip-off from Di, the police arrive and discover the blonde wig and the hairbrush in Ben’s van. Later at the prison, he is stunned when the police arrive to arrest him for the hit-and-run. Meanwhile, in the face of the new evidence exonerating his client, Fenner’s solicitor has applied for a discharge order, meaning that he is now free to go.
Neil – “It’s not going to be easy to change the way that things are done around here. It’s going to take the right sort of Principal Officer. How would you feel if I put your name up for the job?”
Colin – “What, step into Jim Fenner’s shoes?”
Neil – “Be a better fit on you than they ever were on him. I’d make sure you disinfected them first of course.”
Phyl – (Spotting Neil) “By your beds, here’s Gaylord.”
Darlene – (Throwing the voodoo doll at Bev) “Say hello to your new cellmate – Mini Bev!”
Bev – “Dry skin, split ends, circles around my eyes a panda would grieve for…I mean, no wonder they think I look like a sodding voodoo doll.”
Phyl – “You don’t have to be so melodramatic.”
Bev – “I’m not! It looks like something that could’ve crawled out from under my own tombstone.”
Hollamby – “What’s going on here? Get to work Oswyn!”
Phyl – “She’s upset, can’t you see?”
Hollamby – “Good! If this lot reduced you lot to tears more often, it would make the rest of us a lot happier.”
Tina – “Hiya Mrs Hollamby! Bet you didn’t expect to see me again so soon eh?”
Hollamby – “I’m surprised it’s taken you as long O’Kane, your sort always get vertigo on the straight and narrow.”
Di – “I thought finally I was going to have some kind of life. I thought you loved me.”
Fenner – “I do love you! That’s why I did everything I could to keep you out of it.”
Di – “How can I know that? How can I know that anything you ever tell me, anything you have ever told me is true? I always stood up for you Jim, when you were ill, against Stewart, against Myers and Neil, and for what? So that I could marry you only to find out that everything they ever said about you was true? You’re a filthy, rotten bastard!”
Hollamby – “I don’t know, some of the people we get coming back in here. I said we’d rue the day we allowed TV sets into cells. I bet Ruth Ellis would come back for another stretch now if she could.”
Neil – “We’re sweeping all of the bad apples off G-Wing Di, speaking of which, how’s Jim getting on?”
Di – “How do you think?”
Neil – “If you want my advice Di, take advantage of the situation – he got arrested on your wedding day – get an annulment.”
Darlene – “What you doing back in here girl?”
Tina – “I’m an arsonist now.”
Darlene – “Arsonist? What you set fire to, your dinner?”
Tina – “Oh no, no…clothes shop.”
Darlene – “How many more years me have to spend with you, with your snorting in the night? Welcome home girl.”
Tina – “Ooooh! There ain’t nothing like your own bed is there?”
Janine – “You’re a friggin’ freak you are. I mean, you’re actually glad to be here aren’t you?”
Tina – “Yeah…of course, it’s where me mates are.”
Janine – “Sad cow!”
Hollamby – “Well that’s it then, I’ve been cursed. Like Tull said, its probably only a matter of time.”
Dr Nicholson – “Oh rubbish Sylvia! How can anyone nowadays believe such superstitious nonsense? Unless they’re born halfway up the Amazon or they’re feeble-minded…”
Hollamby – “It doesn’t look like medical science has any explanation.”
Dr Nicholson – “There are a number of possible explanations – medical, psychological, but absolutely not supernatural. In your case Sylvia I suggest you lose maybe two stone and then see how you feel.”
Hollamby – “I came to see you for advice, not insults thank you very much! I can see I’d get more sympathy talking to a doctor with a bone through his nose than one the NHS churned out!”
Bev – “I don’t think I’ve enjoyed myself so much since that American bought our entire Picasso collection.”
Phyl – “The one you turned out on an ‘Etch-a-Sketch’?”
Natalie – “Now Myers is off my back, I run this place…I’m governor of G-Wing.”