Series 7, Episode 13
Written by Paul Mousley
Produced by Rachel Snell
Directed by Martin Hutchings
Air Date: 19th December, 2005
It’s Christmas Eve on G-Wing and as a chilling wind whips around Larkhall and the worried POs gather around to watch the TV weather forecast, a disturbing new inmate, Miranda Miles, steps off the van. As the snow begins to fall, Hollamby is looking forward to the end of her shift and can’t believe her bad luck when she sees a steady flow of new arrivals walking through the reception door, one of whom is a now supposedly cured Julie J. Things get worse for Hollamby when she discovers that Miranda has arrived without paperwork, but with the bad weather closing in and the phone lines and mobile networks down, it looks like she’s at Larkhall to stay. Without a warrant or anything to say who Miranda is and which crime she has committed, Neil decides to keep her on the reception wing until her identity can be confirmed. When Neil informs Joy of his decision, she takes it upon herself to overrule him and insists that Miranda be given a cell on G-Wing.
Joy loves Christmas and is determined to get everyone, staff and inmates alike, involved in the festivities whether they like it or not. Prison Chaplain, Christy MacKay, is delighted to assist in Joy’s quest to bring a bit of Christmas cheer to Larkhall and looks on proudly as the Governing Governor dons her fancy dress outfit. Meanwhile, Neil is already in a bad mood because it looks like the weather is going to prevent him from joining Bobby Darren Hollamby on their Christmas holiday in the sun and it is with great reluctance that he changes into his own Sherlock Holmes outfit. Hollamby is also in a ‘bah humbug’ type of mood, but given as her outfit is a completely unflattering Dickensian combo, it’s hardly surprising.
Elsewhere on the wing, Sheena is struggling to talk a cynical Pat into attending the upcoming Carol Service while Janine, Tina, Arun and Darlene assemble for a last minute rehearsal of the G-Wing panto, ‘Snow Black’! Desperately missing her best friend, Julie S puts a brave face on and is temporarily cheered by the arrival of a vast Christmas tree. Phyl and Bev are also full of good spirits – brandy, gin and vodka that is – smuggled into them inside a Christmas hamper from their good friend Oliver.
Julie S is thrilled when she discovers that Julie J has been allowed to return to Larkhall. But as she soon discovers, her best friend is still haunted by the memory of Fenner and is convinced that she can see him lurking around the landings. Terrified that Julie J’s visions will see her carted off to the loony bin again, Julie S manages to calm her down. But are Julie J’s sightings of Fenner a product of bipolar disorder, or has Larkhall’s evillest screw decided to return to G-Wing in order to settle a few scores from beyond the grave?
Di is also delighted when she learns of Julie J’s return. Now that she’s been deemed mentally fit to be returned to the general prison population, she is also fit enough to make a statement confessing to Fenner’s murder. However, Di’s dreams of being released before New Year are scuppered when it becomes evident that Julie J has no recollection of her previous confession. Determined not to allow her best friend go down for murder, Julie S finally dashes Di’s hopes by refusing to entertain the idea that Julie J was the one responsible for Fenner’s death.
After being firmly rebuffed by Arun, Janine and Darlene when she tried to interfere with the artistic direction of the pantomime, Natalie finds herself at a loose end. After seeing Miranda being led to the vacant cell next door, she decides to bolster her self-esteem with a bit of bullying and demands to know if the new girl has brought her a ‘present’. Seemingly totally unfazed by Natalie, Miranda calmly introduces herself as ‘Satan’s daughter’ and then uncrutches the secret stash she has managed to smuggle past reception. Natalie is disappointed and more than a little disturbed when she sees that Miranda’s stash consists of a set of Russian Matrioshka dolls. Any further bullying is put on hold by the arrival of Spiers. In the mood for some Christmas kinkiness, he takes Natalie to the chapel, blindfolds her and then forces her to kneel down on the altar. In search of the Carol sheets, Christy is horrified when she discovers Spiers and Natalie in flagrante. She sees straight through Spiers’s panicked attempt at a logical explanation and tells him that she’ll be informing Joy of what she has witnessed as soon as she is able.
Realising that not everyone is as imbued with the spirit of Christmas as she is, Joy decides that a bit of bribery is in order and informs the inmates that there will be mulled wine for everyone who attends the Carol Service. But just as all of the guards and inmates begin to sing, a vicious gust of icy wind blows an exterior door open and sends pots, pans and the knife cupboard crashing around the servery. Then, the lights go out and the whole wing goes into immediate panic – all except Miranda – she rather likes the dark.
With the electricity off and the generator broken, Joy is at a complete loss for what to do, especially as it seems that she’s got no chance of getting hold of an electrician before the New Year. Luckily, Neil has a plan and informs her about Phyl’s talent with all things mechanical and electrical. Of course, Phyl is more than reluctant to save the Governor’s bacon, but is persuaded otherwise when Joy threatens to distribute the contents of Oliver’s hamper around the wing. Soon, Phyl and Hollamby are inching their way down into the dark cellars in an attempt to get the generator working. But when squeamish Hollamby discovers a rat crawling up her bloomers, she faints and falls against the generator room door, trapping Phyl inside.
Now held by the light of hurricane lamps, the Carol Service goes ahead. Feeling the cold, Julie J returns to her cell for a cardigan and finds Fenner sitting on her bunk and expelling lungfuls of icy breath. When he stands and begins to walk towards her, Julie J begins to scream. Alerted by the screams, G-Wing’s inmates and POs sprint up to G2. Despite Julie S’s attempts to shut Julie J up, everyone hears her claiming to have seen Fenner. Meanwhile, Miranda walks into the cell and confirms Julie J’s story – she saw Fenner too!
Despite Neil and Joy’s attempts to convince the inmates that there is no such thing as ghosts, the dark and spooky atmosphere on the wing combined with Julie J’s claims that Fenner is still alive soon works all of the inmates up into a state of hysteria. Even Christy is sure that she can sense “something evil and unnatural” on the wing and desperately tries to persuade Joy to allow her to perform an exorcism. Meanwhile, something more serious may be on the verge of happening on G-Wing – more than one knife has disappeared from the broken knife cupboard.
Thanks to Phyl, the generator is working and the lights are back on, but even so, Joy is finding it difficult to quell the sense of panic on the wing. In desperation and despite Neil’s incredulous objections, she allows Christy to go ahead with the exorcism. As Christy performs the ritual and sprinkles holy water around the wing, Miranda steps forward. Recognising her as the evil influence in their midst, Christy douses Miranda in holy water. Miranda responds by cursing and bleeding from the mouth. Grabbing the cup of holy water from Christy, she drinks from it and then spits a mixture of blood and water in the Chaplain’s face. Still refusing to allow Joy to intervene, Christy grabs a crucifix and manages to calm Miranda down, seemingly banishing the evil spirit in the process.
Facing the prospect of his career going down the toilet, Spiers has no choice but to give Natalie the go-ahead to put Christy out of action. Witnessing the exorcism has given her an idea for how to get rid of the troublesome Chaplain and all she asks for in return for saving Spiers’s career is Pat’s transfer out of Larkhall. After Spiers agrees, Natalie goes to speak to Miranda. With the screws busy watching the inmates involved in a mass snowball fight outside, there’s no one to witness her giving Miranda a knife stolen from the cupboard. As Natalie joins the other inmates outside, Miranda enters the staff showers and stabs Christy to death with the wooden crucifix that the Chaplain left in her cell.
As a terrified Hollamby discovers Christy’s body, Julie J sees Fenner appear in her cell again. She reaches for a knife that she stole from the servery and tries to defend herself from him. Julie S looks on in horror as Julie J turns the knife on herself and, after a struggle, plunges it into her own stomach. As the doctor works on Julie J in the hospital wing, Miranda is discovered covered in Christy’s blood and surrounded by wood shavings and the knife she used to sharpen the crucifix.
Julie J is very lucky, despite the depth of the wound in her stomach, the injury isn’t life threatening. Initially relieved when she discovers that her best friend’s condition is stable, Julie S is furious when she finds out that her visions of Fenner were caused because she hadn’t been taking the pills that had been prescribed to combat her bipolar disorder. The new SMO is sympathetic when Julie J confesses that she stopped taking the pills when she realised that they were causing her to put on weight. She and Julie S make Julie J promise that she’ll resume taking her medication, even if her bottom does swell up to the “size of Clapham”.
It’s Christmas Day and the weather has improved enough for the police to take Miranda away. Now that they have access to her paperwork, Neil and Joy discover that she was in the process of being transferred to a secure mental hospital after killing a PO and was left at Larkhall by mistake. It is clear that Joy blames herself for Christy’s death.
On the wing, Sheena wakes Pat with a Christmas present – a letter from the Registry Office. Sheena has asked someone to visit the prison so that they can initiate proceedings to officially register their relationship. Pat is over the moon, especially when Sheena asks her if she’s prepared to become Dylan’s legal guardian and his second mum.
The traumatic events of Christmas Eve are put aside as the staff and inmates gather on the wing to enjoy the World Premiere of ‘Snow Black’. Now that Julie J is back on her medication, has Fenner’s evil spirit been banished from G-Wing for good?
Natalie – “I tell you what Arun, why don’t you just make me Snow White? You don’t want Darlene putting your audience off, do you?”
Arun – “Yeah, I might have a part for you, you can play Dwarf Noncey if you like.”
Darlene (on seeing the screws in fancy dress) – “Lord God Almighty! Me usually have to smoke a whole heap of ganja to see something like that!”
Hollamby – “The flaming Union are going to hear about this! (Hears Phyl laughing) What is it now?”
Phyl – “I truly don’t mean to be rude but it’s just like being with Mrs Tiggywinkle!”
Phyl – “What’s that?”
Hollamby – “What?”
Phyl – “Something scurried.”
Hollamby – “Well I can’t see anything.”
Phyl – “Oh it’s okay. I think the sight of you in that outfit must’ve scared em off.”
Di – “Tell me honestly, I know you’re mates. Do you think there’s any chance she could’ve killed Jim? The truth Julie.”
Julie S – “None. And Fenner wouldn’t have shat on us so much if you hadn’t kept propping him up.”
Christy – “I want your permission to perform an exorcism.”
Joy – “An exorcism? Are you feeling alright?”
Christy – “I’m serious. There’s something very wrong in this place at the moment, I’ve never known anything like it.”