1 9 7 4 – 1 9 7 8 (UK)
44 x 60 minute episodes
Set in HM Prison Stone Park, Within These Walls focused on its newly installed governor, Faye Boswell, as she set out to liberalise the firmly run institution.
Played by former British cinema ‘bad girl’ Googie (Georgette) Withers, Boswell quickly realised that all would not be plain sailing and she met resentment not only from the inmates but from the staff too. The impact on her personal life was also scrutinised.
Among the scowling unhappy inmates in their drab clothes and the big butch wardens bellowing “Yes Mum”, “No Mum”, Faye looked like the winner of a glamorous granny competition on whom the Avon Lady had just called – something critics chose to mock.
Googie argued back that she had visited Holloway and other institutions for her research and had found the governors to be extremely well-groomed.
Viewers loved the idea of a nice prison boss and in what became a two-year stretch for the Australian actress, she became a national symbol of law and order.
Boswell eventually made way for a new governor, Helen Forrester (Katharine Blake), who was in turn succeeded by Susan Marshall (Sarah Lawson, pictured at right) in 1978.
Depressing, with support acting of solid teak, the series was only ever a moderate success despite providing the inspiration for the Australian soap opera Prisoner (Cell Block H) which proved much more durable.
Chief Officer Armitage