PROLOGUE to Wentworth Prison Series Two
So the excellent and seriously sinister series is back. Wentworth Prison is why I didn’t want to watch Orange is The New Black (OINB). Even though everybody kept recommending it to me. However I just knew that they would dance in OITNB. They did.
As I have mentioned in the preview for this series (see link below) Wentworth Prison is based on the original Australian Series Prisoner Cell Block H. (see my write-ups here)
Since I left out the shocking explosive finale episode of Series One: let’s just say there were some major changes in the power struggle between the women in the prison.
The cinematography of Wentworth Prison is enigmatic yet evocative in it’s painterly style and precise depiction of the monolithic blocks, walls and corridors of the prison. Every evening exercise is drenched in myriad shades of shadow, blues and whites.
In spite of the hugeness of the prison building as seen from outside in the light and air of the car park in front where the prison staff arrive: the inside space seems stifled, small claustrophobic. Well I guess it is a prison. You’re not meant to feel like running free, like there was enough space to.
The action and human drama unfolds in muted yet melodramatic proportions. The women, the staff and the visitors all seem larger than their surroundings. Indeed oversized.
In the same way the trials and tribulations and life stories of the inhabitants, both full time prisoners and staff are soap opera made magnified. More like full blown theatrical opera. Without the singing.
Tragedy, full blown, is fully included.
see also Preview posting about Wentworth Prison
Write-ups for Wentworth Prison Series One start on 28/8/2013 and carry through up to and including 27/1013 as being episode nine.
some explanatory notes to Series One:
Series One began with the first entry of new prisoner, Bea, to the long-term “lifer” part of the prison. The first series centres around Bea’s passage from innocent prison newbie to something else entirely: Bea has to evolve in order to survive.
The main characters of the lifer prisoners in Series One are Franky: the fearsome ruler of her particular gang of women and the equally sinister matriarch of the prison, Jacs.
We learn about the women surrounding these two unofficial rulers of the inside of the prison: their lives, back stories and daily struggles within the fight for power between Franky and Jacs.
Then there is the accompanying and alternate storyline of the prison staff, the Prison governor, Erica and her superior, Mr. Channing.
(The man in the suit in my write-ups)
We slowly learn the back stories and private lives of Erica and the two prison guards and there are flashbacks in time to Erica’s life along with several of the women prisoners. My guess is that each character’s story will be covered in turn.
Erica as the Prison governor is also engaged in her own power struggles: with the women in the prison and the man in the suit, Mr. Channing. He represents the political viewpoint focused on funding, good and bad press and the ramifications when things go wrong at the prison. Which they very frequently do..