Wentworth (TV series)
|Country of origin||Australia|
|No. of seasons||2|
|No. of episodes||22 (List of episodes)|
|Executive producer(s)||Jo Porter|
|Producer(s)||Amanda Crittenden (series producer)|
|Running time||60 minutes|
|Production company(s)||FremantleMedia Australia|
|Picture format||576i (SDTV)
|Audio format||Dolby Digital 5.1|
|Original run||1 May 2013– present|
Wentworth is an Australian television drama series. It was first broadcast on SoHo on 1 May 2013. The series serves as a contemporary reimagining of Prisoner, which ran on Network Ten from 1979 to 1986. Lara Radulovich and David Hannam developed Wentworth from Reg Watson's original concept. The series is set in the modern day and centres on Bea Smith (Danielle Cormack)'s early days in prison. Wentworth is filmed on a purpose built set in the suburb of Clayton. It has received a mostly positive reception from critics, and the first episode became the most watched Australian drama series premiere in Foxtel history. The series was picked up by several countries, including New Zealand and the UK, where it has been retitled Wentworth Prison. The third season will begin on 7 April 2015, with a fourth season being announced on 26 February 2015.
Wentworth is set in modern-day Australia and focuses on Bea Smith (Danielle Cormack) when she first enters prison after being charged with the attempted murder of her husband. Bea is separated from her daughter and sent to Wentworth on remand, where she lives in "an uncertain limbo" until she is sentenced. Bea is then forced to learn how the prison works.
- Regular cast
- Danielle Cormack as Bea Smith
- Nicole da Silva as Franky Doyle
- Kate Atkinson as Vera Bennett
- Celia Ireland as Liz Birdsworth
- Shareena Clanton as Doreen Anderson
- Aaron Jeffery as Matthew Fletcher
- Robbie Magasiva as Will Jackson
- Katrina Milosevic as Sue "Boomer" Jenkins
- Jacqueline Brennan as Linda Miles
- Pamela Rabe as Joan Ferguson (Season 2–)
- Recurring cast
- Ra Chapman as Kim Chang
- Jake Ryan as Harry Smith
- Martin Sacks as Derek Channing
- Benne Harrison as Rosalind "Roz" Jago
- Cassandra Magrath as Hayley Jovanka
- Annie Jones as Rachel Singer
- Kathryn Beck as Sky Pierson (Season 2–)
- Luke McKenzie as Nash Taylor (Season 2–)
- Socratis Otto as Maxine Conway (Season 2–)
- Georgia Chara as Jess Warner (Season 2–)
- Maggie Naouri as Rose Atkins (Season 2–)
- Former Cast
- Kris McQuade as Jacs Holt (Season 1)
- Leeanna Walsman as Erica Davidson (Season 1)
- Catherine McClements as Meg Jackson (Season 1)
- John Bach as Vinnie Holt (Season 1)
- Reef Ireland as Brayden Holt (Season 1–2)
- Ally Fowler as Simone "Simmo" Slater (Season 1–2)
- Georgia Flood as Debbie Smith (Season 1–2)
- Lynette Curran as Rita Bennett (Season 1–2)
- Steve Le Marquand as Colin Bates (Season 2)
In March 2012, it was announced that a contemporary re-imagining of Prisoner had been commissioned by Foxtel. Brian Walsh, the executive director of television at Foxtel, stated that Wentworth would not be a remake of Prisoner, which ran for 692 episodes on Network Ten from 1979 to 1986. He continued: "Wentworth will be a dynamic and very confronting drama series, developed and stylised specifically for subscription television audiences. We have told producers to push all boundaries and honestly depict life on the inside as it is in 2012." Lara Radulovich and David Hannam have developed Wentworth from Reg Watson's original concept. FremantleMedia and director of drama Jo Porter will produce Wentworth. The first episode, and several subsequent episodes, were written by Pete McTighe. Television critic Michael Idato acted as series consultant and Kerry Tucker acted as consultant on authenticity.
Porter commented that the series would explore "the politics of women in a world with few men, and how the experience both challenges and changes them, sometimes for the better." Wentworth is set in the modern-day and centres on Bea Smith's early days in prison. The storylines include a mix of original inmates and staff from Prisoner with characters developed especially for Wentworth. Foxtel told a reporter from The Sydney Morning Herald that the original characters from Prisoner would be a contemporary interpretation in the new series. It was initially reported that none of the original cast from Prisoner would appear in the first season of Wentworth, however Anne Charleston, who had a number of small roles in the original series, made a cameo appearance as Liz Birdsworth's mother-in-law, also Alex Menglet and Gloria Ajenstat who played Ray Proctor and Tammy Fisher in the original series will have guest roles in the new series. Foxtel revealed that the producers were looking at how they might incorporate the Prisoner theme tune, "On The Inside", into the new series.
On 5 June 2013, it was confirmed that Wentworth had been renewed for a second season. A reporter for the Australian Associated Press said production would begin later in the year, and the season would air in 2014. Porter stated: "We have assembled an extraordinary team of writers who can't wait to get started on series two. We have so many more stories to tell." In January 2014, it was announced that a third season of Wentworth had been ordered, before the second had aired. In a similar manner, a 12-episode fourth season was announced before the airing of the third season. It will air in 2016.
On 4 October 2012, a reporter for The West Australian revealed that Celia Ireland and Kate Atkinson had joined the cast of Wentworth, while Shareena Clanton would make her acting debut as Doreen Anderson. Danielle Cormack was cast in the role of Beatrice "Queen Bea" Smith and she stated "I am absolutely rapt to be part of the reboot of such an iconic drama. Prisoner left an indelible mark on fans and I really hope that the re-imagining of this series will be just as popular with viewers now as it was back then." Actors Robbie Magasiva and Aaron Jeffery play corrections officers in the detention centre. David Knox from TV Tonight revealed that Nicole da Silva, Kris McQuade, Catherine McClements and Leeanna Walsman had also joined the cast.
Following the end of the first season, it was revealed that iconic Prisoner character Joan "The Freak" Ferguson, a sadistic, lesbian prison officer, would be introduced in the second season. Porter commented "Prisoner offered up a very rich well of amazing characters to draw upon and the Wentworth writers are very excited about revisiting the character of prison officer Joan 'The Freak' Ferguson in our second season." Erin McWhirter from TV Week reported that former All Saints actress Tammy MacIntosh was one actress rumoured to have been offered the role. On 21 September 2013, it was confirmed that Pamela Rabe had been cast as "The Freak".
McQuade, McClements and Walsman will not be reprising their respective roles of Jacs Holt, Meg Jackson and Erica Davidson for the second season. Katrina Milosevic, who portrays Boomer Jones will be upgraded to the main cast, as will Rabe.
Foxtel confirmed that Wentworth would not be shot at the studios in Nunawading, Victoria where Prisoner was filmed. Wentworth was instead filmed on a purpose built set in the suburb of Clayton. The shoot employed 300 cast and crew. The ten-part season began filming for four months from 10 October 2012. Wentworth began airing on Foxtel's SoHo channel from 1 May 2013. Filming for the second season began on 23 September 2013 and wrapped on 13 February 2014. The second season began airing on 20 May 2014. Production for the third season resumed in March and filming was completed in late July. In the same month, it was announced that the property in which Wentworth was filmed had been sold, and the set would be knocked down. A new alternative was being sought and a TV Week reporter commented that it was unclear if the loss of the set would be written into future storylines. The third season will begin airing on 7 April 2015. Production on the fourth season will being in the second half of 2015.
Following a screening of the pilot episode for the media in February 2013, Ben Pobjie from The Age called Wentworth "a triumph". He praised the writing and the cast, saying "So rarely in Australian TV do we see well-written characters collide with dead-on casting and tense, atmospheric direction as they have here." He added that Wentworth is "a powerful, almost cinematic drama" with its own identity, that incorporates "echoes" of the original Prisoner series. Holly Byrnes, writing for the Herald Sun, quipped "this brilliant retelling picks up where the pioneering series left off and then takes the kind of shocking plot detours contemporary TV viewers would expect from award-winning US dramas like Breaking Bad or Sons of Anarchy." Byrnes also praised the cast's performances, particularly Cormack.
The first episode of Wentworth attracted 244,000 viewers, making it the most watched Australian drama series premiere in Foxtel history. The UK premiere of the show attracted 1.67 million viewers, a 10.3% share of the audience for the 10pm time slot.
|Year||Award||Category||Recipients and nominees||Result|
|2013||Australian Screen Editors||Best Editing in a Television Drama||Philip Watts||Nominated|
|2014||AACTA Awards||Best Guest or Supporting Actress in a Television Drama||Kris McQuade||Nominated|
|Best Television Drama Series||Wentworth – Jo Porter, Amanda Crittenden||Nominated|
|ASTRA Awards||Most Outstanding Drama||Wentworth||Won|
|Most Outstanding New Talent||Shareena Clanton||Nominated|
|Most Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor||Danielle Cormack||Nominated|
|Nicole da Silva||Won|
|Most Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor||Aaron Jeffery||Nominated|
|Logie Awards||Most Outstanding Drama Series||Wentworth||Nominated|
|Most Outstanding Actress||Danielle Cormack||Nominated|
|Most Outstanding Newcomer||Shareena Clanton||Nominated|
|Equity Awards||Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series||Cast||Nominated|
Wentworth has been sold to more than 20 countries. On 2 April 2013, it was confirmed that TVNZ had signed a deal to broadcast Wentworth in New Zealand. Later that month, it was announced that Wentworth would be broadcast on Channel 5 in the UK. The head of acquisitions for the channel, Kate Keenan, commented "Wentworth will be a great addition to Channel 5's drama output this autumn. This compelling cast of female characters packs an emotional punch and will appeal to the Channel 5 viewers who love our range of crime output from dramas to factual series." A trailer for the series began airing on the channel and its website in August 2013. Channel 5 have also chosen to re-title the show, Wentworth Prison. The series aired in the Republic of Ireland broadcasting as Wentworth on TV3 from September 2013. A German version of the show is in pre-production. A Dutch version of the show, Celblok H (Cell unit H), aired the first two seasons during 2014 and 2015 and has plans for a third season. In December 2014, Netflix in the United States added seasons one and two to its streaming service.
In Australia, each set available has been released on both DVD and Blu-ray formats.
- Wentworth: The Complete Season One (18 November, 2013)
- Wentworth: The Complete Season Two (22 October 2014)
- Wentworth: The Complete Seasons One & Two (22 October 2014)
In the UK, each set available has only received a DVD release.
- Wentworth Prison: Season One (4 November 2013)
- Wentworth Prison: Season One (Deluxe 4-Disc Edition) (4 November 2013)
- Wentworth Prison: Season Two (Deluxe 4-Disc Edition) (24 November 2014)
- Wentworth Prison: Season One & Two (24 November 2014)
- There is a German remake in pre-production
- Celblok H, a Dutch remake of Wentworth, began production for Dutch TV Network, SBS 6. The remake, starring Isa Hoes, Eva van de Wijdeven, Bo Mearten, and Inge Ipenburg, began airing on 3 March 2014. A third season is scheduled in 2015.
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- Knox, David (5 March 2012). "Val Lehman wants to return to Wentworth". TV Tonight. Retrieved 9 May 2012.
- Leys, Nick (29 April 2013). "Ten questions for Jo Porter". The Australian. Retrieved 29 April 2013.
- "Kerry Tucker". Australian Speakers Bureau. Retrieved 29 April 2013.
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- Watkins, Mike (29 November 2012). "Neighbours' Anne Charleston to guest in Cell Block H remake". ATV Today. ATV Network Limited. Retrieved 11 August 2013.
- "Wentworth Cast Gets Another Year In Jail". Australian Associated Press (Local Today). 5 June 2013. Retrieved 5 June 2013.
- "Foxtel announces second stretch for Prisoner re-boot Wentworth". Herald Sun (The Herald and Weekly Times). 5 June 2013. Retrieved 5 June 2013.
- "Foxtel and FremantleMedia Australia lock in third season of the hit prison drama". FremantleMedia Australia. 28 January 2014. Retrieved 28 January 2014.
- Knox, David (27 February 2015). "Renewed: Wentworth". TV Tonight. Retrieved 27 February 2015.
- "Top cast locked in". The West Australian (Seven West Media). 4 October 2012. Retrieved 4 October 2012.
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- Knox, David (4 October 2012). "Wentworth cast on the inside". TV Tonight. Retrieved 6 October 2012.
- Knox, David (4 July 2013). "Who will play The Freak?". TV Tonight. Retrieved 15 July 2013.
- McWhirter, Erin (20–26 July 2013). "TV Insider". TV Week (Bauer Media Group) (29): 21.
- Knox, David (21 September 2013). "Pamela Rabe revives 'The Freak' on Wentworth". TV Tonight. Retrieved 21 September 2013.
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- Pobjie, Ben (28 February 2013). "Back on the inside: Prisoner reboot a no-holds-barred triumph". The Age (Fairfax Media). Retrieved 1 March 2013.
- "In production". Film Victoria. Retrieved 3 November 2013.
- Knox, David (21 March 2014). "Returning: Wentworth". TV Tonight. Retrieved 22 March 2014.
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- "Guerilla-style filming, Wentworth sets and 50th birthday celebrations". TV Week. 15 July 2014. Retrieved 21 July 2014.
- "Wentworth launch date and teaser". FremantleMedia Australia. 9 February 2015. Retrieved 10 February 2015.
- Byrnes, Holly (28 February 2013). "Foxtel's Prisoner remake Wentworth makes Underbelly look tame". Herald Sun (The Herald and Weekly Times). Retrieved 22 March 2013.
- Hardie, Giles (2 May 2013). "Wentworth breaks out with a bang as Arrow strikes for Nine". The Sydney Morning Herald (Fairfax Media). Retrieved 2 May 2013.
- Eames, Tom (29 August 2013). "'Celebrity MasterChef' tops Wednesday ratings with 4.40 million". Digital Spy (Hearst Magazines UK). Retrieved 4 September 2013.
- "The 2013 ASE Award Nominees and Winners were". Australian Screen Editors. Retrieved 20 March 2014.
- Knox, David (4 December 2013). "AACTA Awards 2014: nominations". TV Tonight. Retrieved 3 December 2013.
- "Wentworth dominates 2014 ASTRA Awards". FremantleMedia. 12 January 2014. Retrieved 20 March 2014.
- Ellis, Scott (21 March 2014). "ASTRA Awards honour Charlotte Dawson at Sydney ceremony". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 20 March 2014.
- Vickery, Colin (31 March 2014). "Nominees for the peer-reviewed categories in the Logie Awards announced". news.com.au. Retrieved 30 March 2014.
- "Equity Ensemble Awards 2014 - Voting Now Open!". Equity Foundation (Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance). 1 April 2014. Retrieved 3 June 2014.
- Waller, Ed (2 April 2013). "NZ sale for Prisoner reboot". C21Media.net. Retrieved 29 April 2013.
- Jeffery, Morgan (29 April 2013). "'Prisoner Cell Block H' remake 'Wentworth' to air on Channel 5 in UK". Digital Spy. Hearst Magazines UK. Retrieved 29 April 2013.
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- "Wentworth: Season 1 (DVD)".
- "Wentworth: Season 1 (Blu-ray)".
- "Wentworth Prison Season One: Deluxe 4-Disc Edition".
- "Australian Prison Drama Wentworth in German". Hollywood Reporter.
- "SBS 6 verslaat RTL 4 met Celblok H" [SBS 6 beats RTL 4 with Celblok H. Celblok H is an exact copy of the original Australian series Wentworth, some of the actresses are have the same name [Vera (guard), Erica (governor), Boomer, Liz, Kim, Sky, Toni, Doreen, Maxine (female prisoners) and Kaya (Toni's child)], and they wear the same prison outfits and colors as in Wentworth. The music and the leader are also the same. SBS 6 air a third season in 2015.]. Mediacourant (in Dutch). 4 March 2014. Retrieved 29 March 2014.