Bad Girls (TV series)
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Bad Girls logo
|Also known as||Bakom Järngaller (Sweden)
Les condamnées (France)
Pahad tüdrukud (Estonia)
Jail Birds (UK working title)
|Created by||Maureen Chadwick
|Country of origin||United Kingdom|
|No. of series||8|
|No. of episodes||107 (list of episodes)|
|Executive producer(s)||Brian Park|
|Running time||60–90 Minutes|
|Production company(s)||Shed Productions|
|Picture format||16:9 (576i SDTV)|
|Original release||1 June 1999– 20 December 2006|
|Related shows||Footballers' Wives (2002–2006)
Bad Girls: The Musical (2006–2007)
Bad Girls is a British television drama series that was broadcast on ITV from 1 June 1999 to 20 December 2006. The drama starred Simone Lahbib (Helen Stewart), Mandana Jones (Nikki Wade), Debra Stephenson (Shell Dockley), Linda Henry (Yvonne Atkins), Jack Ellis (Jim Fenner) and many more throughout the eight-year run. Bad Girls was produced by Shed Productions, the company that later produced Footballers' Wives and Waterloo Road. It is set in the fictional women's prison of Larkhall, and features a mixture of serious and light storylines focusing on the prisoners and staff of G Wing. Bad Girls consisted of eight series, a crossover with Footballers' Wives and two Christmas specials.
The show featured a large ensemble cast of characters, with only three of the original cast remaining by the series conclusion in 2006. The first series received high critical acclaim and successful ratings, averaging over 7 million per episode, with 9 million tuning in for series 2. Due to a decline in viewers for series 8, ITV cancelled Bad Girls, and the 2006 Christmas special was officially the final episode.
- 1 Series
- 2 Setting
- 3 Cast
- 4 Episodes
- 5 Broadcast history
- 6 Bad Girls around the world
- 7 Home Media
- 8 Reception
- 9 Other media
- 10 References
- 11 External links
The first series of Bad Girls was shown on ITV in 1999, lasting 10 episodes. There have been eight series in total, ranging from 10 to 16 episodes. Christmas specials were produced in 2005 and 2006 and are now established as the final episodes of Series 7 and Series 8, respectively. All series have been shown on ITV, at 9 pm, on varying days but primarily Tuesdays and Thursdays. The 100th episode, part of Series 8, was shown on Thursday 3 August 2006 at 9 pm.
ITV cancelled Bad Girls after Series 8 and the 2006 Christmas Special was the final episode.
The exact location of the fictional HMP Larkhall was never revealed, although in Series One, Episode Four character Shell Dockley mentioned it was 'not far' from Clapham. There were several other references through the series that alluded to it being in the South London region, but no specific location was given. Several districts of the London area were referenced throughout the series run, these include: Peckham, Clapham, Acton, Catford, Streatham, Sydenham, Tooting, Stratford, Balham, and Bethnal Green.
HM Prison Oxford was used for the exterior shots that featured in Series 1–3, and for the interior shots, the set was a replica of the prison's real wing set-up. For series 4–8, a replica exterior set of the prison was constructed, built to look similar to HM Prison Oxford, because the prison had been redeveloped into a hotel complex.
Many scenes outside of Larkhall, were filmed on location, usually around London, with numerous London landmarks being visible in shots. Real houses were used for prison officers houses, rather than sets. Four episodes included scenes filmed outside of the UK, two episodes in series 3 had scenes that were filmed in Spain, the first episode of series 5 opened with a scene in Amsterdam, series 7 featured scenes filmed in Peru, but set in Costa del Sol.
|Character||Portrayed by||Episode Count||Series|
|Helen Stewart||Simone Lahbib||
|Nikki Wade||Mandana Jones||
|Shell Dockley||Debra Stephenson||
|Jim Fenner||Jack Ellis||
|Denny Blood||Alicya Eyo||
|Rachel Hicks||Joanne Froggatt||
|Lorna Rose||Luisa Bradshaw-White||
|Dominic McAllister||Joe Shaw||
|Sylvia Hollamby||Helen Fraser||
|Julie Johnston||Kika Mirylees||
|Julie Saunders||Victoria Alcock||
|Zandra Plackett||Lara Cazalet||
|Monica Lindsay||Jane Lowe||
|Crystal Gordon||Sharon Duncan-Brewster||
|Yvonne Atkins||Linda Henry||
|Karen Betts||Claire King||
|Josh Mitchell||Nathan Constance||
|Di Barker||Tracey Wilkinson||
|Malcolm Nicholson||Philip McGough||
|Barbara "Babs" Hunt||Isabelle Amyes||
|Shaz Wiley||Lindsey Fawcett||
|Gina Rossi||Lisa Turner||
|Mark Waddle||Paul Opacic||
|Buki Lester||Kim Oliver||
|Maxi Purvis||Kerry Norton||
|Tina O'Kane||Victoria Bush||
|Al McKenzie||Pauline Campbell||
|Neil Grayling||James Gaddas||
|Cassie Tyler||Kellie Bright||
|Roisin Connor||Siobhan McCarthy||
|Snowball Merriman||Nicole Faraday||
|Colin Hedges||Tristan Sturrock||
|Phyl Oswyn||Stephanie Beacham||
|Bev Tull||Amanda Barrie||
|Selena Geeson||Charlotte Lucas||
|Kris Yates||Jennifer Ness||
|Frances Myers||Eva Pope||
|Natalie Buxton||Dannielle Brent||
|Darlene Cake||Antonia Okonma||
|Janine Nebeski||Nicola Stapleton||
|Arun Parmar||Rebecca Hazlewood||
|Kevin Spiers||Andrew Scarborough||
|Pat Kerrigan||Liz May Brice||
|Sheena Williams||Laura Rogers||
|Joy Masterton||Ellie Haddington||
|Lou Stoke||Amanda Donohoe||
|Donny Kimber||Sid Owen||
|Rowan Dunlop||Colin Salmon||
|Mandy Goodhue||Angela Bruce||
- No appearance
Recurring and guest cast
|Simon Stubberfield||Roland Oliver||Series 1–3|
|Sean Parr||Oliver Fox||Series 1|
|Spencer Lindsey||Timmy Lang||Series 1|
|Trisha||Victoria Pritchard||Series 1 & 3|
|Robin Dunstan||Gideon Turner||Series 1–2|
|Jessie Devlin||Denise Black||Series 1–2|
|Marilyn Fenner||Kim Taylforth||Series 2–3|
|Charlie Atkins||Ivan Kaye||Series 2–3|
|Lauren Atkins||Danielle King||Series 2–3 & 5|
|Rhiannon Dawson||Jade Williams||Series 2 & 4|
|"Mad" Tessa Spall||Helen Schlesinger||Series 2–3|
|Renee Williams||Alison Newman||Series 2|
|Bobby Hollamby||Geoffrey Hutchings||Series 2–3 & 5|
|"Podger" Pam Jolly||Wendi Peters||Series 3|
|Dr. Thomas Waugh||Michael Higgs||Series 3|
|David Saunders||Steven Webb||Series 3 & 8|
|Charlotte Myddleton||Kate Steavenson-Payne||Series 3|
|Caroline Lewis||Helen Grace||Series 3|
|Prison Officer MacFarlane||Mark Pegg||Series 3|
|Virginia O'Kane||Kate O'Mara||Series 3|
|Noreen Biggs||Maria Charles||Series 4–5|
|Spike||Sarah Hadland||Series 4|
|Ritchie Atkins||Alex King||Series 4–5|
|Tony Verrall||Jamie King||Series 5|
|Himself||Christopher Biggins||Series 5|
|Milly Yates||Holly Palmer||Series 5–6|
|Ben Phillips/Hennessy||Richard Mylan||Series 6–7|
|Tanya Turner||Zöe Lucker||Series 6|
|Vicky Floyd||Orlessa Altass||Series 7|
|Laura Canning||Francesca Fowler||Series 7|
|Frank||Paul Henry||Series 7|
|Bobby Darren Hollamby||Louis Waymouth||Series 7–8|
|Christie Mackay||Gaynor Howe||Series 7|
|Security Agent||Ross O'Hennessy||Series 7|
|Miranda Miles||Nicola Redmond||Series 7|
|Emira Al Jahani||Laura Dos Santos||Series 8|
|Angela Robbins||Annette Badland||Series 8|
|Vicky Stoke||Melanie Cameron||Series 8|
Series 1 (1999)
From the beginning, Bad Girls dealt with controversial subject matter. Early episodes of the first series included particularly shocking moments such as a pregnant prisoner miscarrying in her cell, Zandra Plackett (Lara Cazalet) being viciously strip-searched by fellow inmates for concealed drugs, and Rachel Hicks (Joanne Froggatt) committing suicide due to being bullied. The central story arc of the first three series revolved around the developing romantic relationship between Nikki Wade (Mandana Jones), a prisoner serving a life sentence for the murder of a policeman who attempted to rape her girlfriend, and Helen Stewart (Simone Lahbib), the Wing Governor who spent much of series one engaged to her boyfriend. Furthermore, the script, unwilling to compromise the realism of the programme, contained much strong language (for example, the reference to Nikki Wade as a "rug-muncher" and Denny Blood's (Alicya Eyo) gloating over the likelihood of Rachel Hicks having "singed her minge"). Other storylines to feature prominently in series one included the pregnancy of a young drug addict Zandra, who decides to use an abortion as means to be sent to an outside clinic only for her to escape and make contact with her ex-boyfriend who has no interest in her or the baby, therefore she has no choice but to return to the clinic. In fear of losing her job over Zandra's escape, officer Lorna Rose (Luisa Bradshaw-White) asks fellow officer Dominic (Joe Shaw) to keep quite about the escape which leads to Zandra blackmailing Lorna to bring drugs into the prison, when Shell discovers what Zandra is up to she deceides to set Lorna up; the appeal of wrongly-imprisoned Monica Lindsay (Jane Lowe) (frequently referred to as "posh bitch" by other characters) and the illicit relationship between Jim Fenner (Jack Ellis), the male senior officer and Shell Dockley (Debra Stephenson), the resident bully and drug dealer, serving life for murder. Series 1 was produced by Brian Park.
Series 2 (2000)
Nikki and Helen's relationship deepens with Helen resigning from the Wing Governor's post and working as a new liaison officer for prisoners sentenced to life imprisonment, encouraging Nikki to continue her education and appeal against her sentence. Shell's background was examined in some detail, with harrowing scenes describing childhood abuse. Zandra's tragic story finally comes to a close when she dies from a brain tumour. For light relief, Yvonne Atkins (Linda Henry), the gangster's moll, set up "Babes Behind Bars", a sex-hotline staffed by the prisoners with smuggled in mobile phones, playing such characters as "Whiplash Wanda", "Saucy Sonia" and "Vicky the virgin bride". Series two ended on a double cliffhanger, with Nikki escaping from Larkhall to be with Helen, leaving Helen to agonise over whether to contact the police, and Shell luring Fenner to her cell for sex, where she reaches under her bed for a broken bottle. Series 2 was produced by Brian Park.
Series 3 (2001)
Series 3 picks up where Series 2 left off. Fenner and Shell are in bed together and Nikki, dressed in a nurse's uniform, is at Helen's house after escaping. Shell stabs Fenner with a broken bottle that she had brought back from Sylvia Hollamby's (Helen Fraser) party, with Fenner bleeding to death, Shell is in demand and soon finds herself back on top as Top Dog. New officer, the flirtatious and vivacious Gina Rossi arrives on G-Wing and soon locks horns with several inmates and staff alike. Young crack addicted prostitute, Buki Lester (Kim Oliver), arrives and lands Denny in danger when a piercing goes wrong. Nikki also suffers from heartbreak when her on and off relationship with Helen comes to an end, while she is staring her appeal in the face.
The third series saw a high turnover of short-term characters and storylines, but also chronicled the spectacular escape of Shell and Denny to the Costa Del Sol in Spain getting revenge on Sylvia and her husband along the way; Yvonne's Top Dog status being challenged by Maxi Purvis (Kerry Norton), the head of the "Peckham Boot Gang"; prison officer Di Barker's (Tracey Wilkinson) struggles as a home carer for her disabled mother and an upbeat finale of Helen and Nikki finally committing to their relationship when Nikki's appeal is successful and she is released from prison. Series 3 was produced by Brian Park.
Note: Series 3 was the first series to use the opening titles which remained the same until Series 8.
Series 4 (2002)
Following on from one of the several cliffhangers from series three, Yvonne in the frame for Virginia O'Kane's (Kate O'Mara) murder there is a game of cat and mouse between her and Fenner while the real culprits continue their reign over G-Wing. But it's not long before Yvonne is ruling the roost again, when Denny returns in the nick of time and aids Yvonne is her bid to prove her innocence. She arrives with Roisin Connor and Cassie Tyler, imprisoned for fraud and in a lesbian relationship complicated not only by their being behind bars, but by Roisin's being a married mother-of-two. The stress of G-Wing mounts for Karen Betts (Claire King), especially when she and Fenner split, but the stress is no longer her problem when she is demoted to basic officer and he is promoted to Wing Governor by Neil Grayling (James Gaddas), the new Governing Governor of Larkhall, who developed an attraction to Fenner. The series tackled domestic violence within the relationship of Di and Barry Pearce and teenage junkie Buki's battle for the right to see her disabled son, Lennox. The bitter hatred between Maxi and Shaz Wiley (Lindsey Fawcett) grows and ends in tragedy following a brutal fight. Crystal Gordon (Sharon Duncan Brewster) gives birth in the four bed dorm to a daughter but soon loses her faith in religion when another baby in the prison dies. Rhiannon Dawson, Julie Johnston's (Kika Mirylees) daughter arrives on the wing and the Julies are soon facing an additional sentence when the truth about Rhiannon's relationship with her boyfriend, Damion, is revealed. Yvonne and Karen find themselves at war when Yvonne's son, Ritchie, is revealed to be having a relationship with Karen. This is later revealed as a decoy, as his real girlfriend is new devious inmate, Snowball Merriman (Nicole Faraday), whom Ritchie is helping to escape from Larkhall. The fourth series ended with the prison library being obliterated as part of an escape plan by Snowball, resulting in a fire that left several inmates trapped and fighting for their lives.
Series 4 was produced by Claire Phillips.
Series 5 (2003)
The fifth series of Bad Girls saw the brief return of a recaptured and pregnant Shell to G-Wing. Fenner pimps Shell by offering her money to give the male officers a handjob. After the baby's birth, a screw tries to force her to have sex, when she violently refuses, Fenner makes it seem as if she tried to smother her baby. Shell is carted of to a mental home and her baby is taken into care. The "Costa Cons", Bev Tull (Amanda Barrie) and Phyl Oswyn (Stephanie Beacham) arrive. There is good news for Denny, who is transferred to an open prison. The ongoing feud between Fenner and Wing Governor Karen reaches its climax as Fenner ruthlessly frames Karen for a hit-and-run accident in which a man dies. Julie Saunders is diagnosed with breast cancer and takes the decision to take her chances without chemotherapy treatment. Babs Hunt (Isabelle Amyes) marries the former prison chaplain, Henry Mills – bad news for Sylvia, who had set her sights on Henry after she was widowed when her husband committed suicide. New prison officer Selena Geeson (Charlotte Lucas) and new inmate Kris Yates (Jennifer Ness) are in a relationship. Kris is taking the rap for killing her abusive father in order to spare her younger sister, the real culprit. Fenner's nefarious ways continue when he kills Yvonne as she tries to escape Larkhall, by ensuring that she will be trapped in the "hanging cell", a small room beneath the main prison that is blocked off from the outside world. Series 5 was produced by David Crean.
Series 6 (2004)
With G-Wing thinking their ex top dog has escaped HMP Larkhall Kris finds Yvonne's corpse after she tries to follow the same way out. But as it is all blocked off she tells Selena who she found. Selena then tells Neil she found Yvonne. Yvonne's death shocks G-Wing. In her absence, Phyl is G-Wing Top Dog for a short time before being stopped in her tracks by new Wing Governor Frances Myers (Eva Pope).
Frances soon begins a feud with new inmate Natalie Buxton (Dannielle Brent), in prison for organising a prostitution ring using underage girls. The other girls are disgusted with Natalie and Al McKenzie (Pauline Campbell) plans to beat her up, but Natalie turns the tables and beats Al up. Natalie soon makes the other girls believe she is innocent.
The series features a crossover with Shed Productions' other hit series, Footballers' Wives, with the glamorous character of Tanya Turner (Zöe Lucker) enduring a spell on G-Wing for three special episodes that aired over consecutive nights in May 2004. Later Tanya is soon released, after striking a deal with Frances. During her time on G-Wing, Tanya was accused of poisoning her fellow inmates with rhubarb, with Al dying from her illness, however it was soon uncovered that Bev and Phyl were actually responsible.
Kris' sister, Milly, commits suicide after Selena puts her under pressure to confess to her father's killing (in self-defence) in order to free her sister. Kris and Selena split and Kris sleeps with Natalie but the couple are reconciled and the series ends with the cliffhanger of Kris and Selena protesting in London about the injustice of Kris being behind bars.
Fenner marries Neil's ex-wife Di. As Neil and Karen are sure Fenner has something to do with the hit and run Karen was accused of, they hire a private investigator to prove Karen's innocence. Fenner is proven to have been the person who was running away from where Karen's car was dumped that night. Fenner is later arrested on his and Di's wedding day. Series 6 was produced by Cameron Roach.
Series 7 (2005)
This series does not follow up on the Series 6 cliffhanger and Kris and Selena neither feature nor are mentioned in this series. Series 7 sees a big cast upheaval with original officer Fenner leaving along with two other long standing characters, Di and Dr. Malcolm Nicholson.
Di, now Fenner's wife, lies to ensure he is released from prison and Fenner returns, not only to G-Wing, but as Wing Governor. When Bev and Phyl escape to Spain, Neil is demoted to Wing Governor and Fenner promoted to Governing Governor. Before Fenner can start his new job, he is murdered in the "hanging cell" during a memorial service for Yvonne Atkins. The police have a host of suspects to choose from, including new bisexual lifer, Pat Kerrigan (Liz May Brice), a woman who is in jail for murdering her abusive boyfriend and is a recent transfer from Alberton prison. Pat had already managed to develop a feud with Fenner over his treatment of Sheena Williams (Laura Rogers) and her son, Dylan. The increasingly mentally unstable Julie J later reveals that she committed the crime to exact vengeance against Fenner for all his past crimes, in particular, the death of Yvonne. However, it is Fenner's widow Di who is arrested, charged and remanded in custody for the offence. New Governing Governor Joy Masterton (Ellie Haddington) arrives and indicates she will instigate a tough regime at Larkhall.
Meanwhile, Natalie has taken over as G-Wing's new Top Dog. When Natalie and the other inmates find out that new inmate Arun Parmar (Rebecca Hazlewood) is transgender, Natalie makes her life hell until Pat, annoyed by Natalie's bullying of Arun, beats her in a fight and demands she leave Arun alone. Pat develops a romance with recovering drug addict and single mother Sheena before managing to expose Natalie, despite her denials to the contrary, as having been involved in the prostitution of underage girls. Series 7 was produced by Rachel Snell.
Series 8 (2006)
The series begins with the arrival of Emira Al Jahani (Laura Dos Santos), a Muslim whose husband is a suspected terrorist. When Neil and new prisoner Ashley Wilcox (Sandra De Sousa) die and other prisoners fall ill, Emira is accused of biological terrorism. However, it is later established that Neil has died of a previously undiscovered heart condition and the sickness on the wing has been caused by an outbreak of Legionnaire's Disease caused by a faulty air-conditioning unit. New G-Wing Governor Lou Stoke (Amanda Donohoe) develops a romance with the prison doctor Rowan Dunlop (Colin Salmon), not knowing he is married; she also tries to find her missing sister. Meanwhile, Pat is sickened by Natalie's use of a child in smuggling drugs into the prison and plans to get rid of her for good. Pat devises a plan in which she will trick Natalie into trying to escape, but Natalie realises she is being tricked and a fight ensues, which ends when Pat hits Natalie over the head with a rock. With the help of the two Julies, Pat disposes of Natalie's body in the sewers beneath the prison, making it seem as if Natalie has indeed escaped from Larkhall. Inmate Janine Nebeski (Nicola Stapleton) and new prison officer Donny Kimber (Sid Owen) embark on a romance which leaves her pregnant. With help from Bev, Phyl and Tina O'Kane (Victoria Bush), Janine gives birth in her cell and names the baby after Bev. Long-term inmate Tina is released for the second time but, as before, she struggles to adapt to life in the outside world and commits another crime. She takes a bank hostage with a toy gun where a man suffers a heart attack; she is re-imprisoned again. Joy's long-lost daughter Stella Gough (Helen Modern) turns up as an inmate at the prison, but is shipped out after taking her mother hostage. Darlene Cake (Antonia Okonma) is tricked into killing new inmate Catherine Earlham's husband and tries to commit suicide, but is saved by Donny. Natalie's spirit returns in the last episode to haunt Sylvia and teach her the error of her ways. Series 8 was produced by Sharon Houlihan.
|Series||Episodes||Original broadcast||Time slot|
|Series premiere||Series finale|
|1||10||1 June 1999||3 August 1999||Tuesday 9:00 pm–10:00 pm|
|2||13||4 April 2000||4 July 2000||Tuesday 9:00 pm–10:00 pm|
|3||16||20 March 2001||3 July 2001||Tuesday 9:00 pm–10:10 pm (episode 1)/
Tuesday 9:00 pm–10.00 pm (episodes 2–16)
|4||16||28 February 2002||13 June 2002||Thursday 9:00 pm–10:00 pm|
|5||16||8 May 2003||21 August 2003||Thursday 9:00 pm–10:00 pm|
|6||12||14 April 2004||23 August 2004||Wednesday 9:00 pm–10:30 pm (episode 1)
Wednesday 9:00 pm–10:00pm (episode 2–4 & 8)/
Monday 9:00 pm–10:00 pm (episode 5–6 & 9–11)/
Tuesday 9:00 pm–10:00 pm (episode 7)/
Monday 9:00 pm–10:30 pm (episode 12)
|7||13||10 May 2005||19 December 2005||Tuesday 9:00 pm–10:30 pm (episode 1 & 9–12)/
Tuesday 9:00 pm–10:00 pm (episode 2–8)
Monday 9:00 pm–10:30 pm
|8||11||13 July 2006||20 December 2006||Tuesday 9:00 pm–10:00 pm (episode 1–10)/
Wednesday 9:00 pm–10:00 pm (episode 11)
Bad Girls was one of the more earlier television series to be produced in widescreen format 1.78:1. Although most of Britain were still viewing standard screen televisions, the early years of the series were seen in a format of 14:9 on analog television and cropped to pan and scan for the DVD releases of the first three series. These series' of the show are now available in their original widescreen format, as they have been re-screened on ITV3 and CBS Drama, and the DVD re-releases.
Following the conclusion of the series in 2006, the series was re-screened on ITV3 for the first three series. Once ITV's contract of the series expired, series four was broadcast on Five Life and from 2010-2014, the UK broadcast rights were held by CBS Drama, which screened a complete run of the series. It was broadcast in 17 countries including the United States, Australia and Ireland.
The UK Digital channel CBS Drama began showing re-runs of the series from October 2010 to February 2011 broadcasting all the episodes of series 1 through to 7; however, for licensing reasons, series 8 could not be broadcast by the channel until July 2011, after which, ITV's contracted broadcast rights of Bad Girls expired. After a re-run of series 1–7 from 7 March 2011, series 8 was finally aired. A popular staple of the channel's schedule, as of August 2012, CBS Drama are once again re-running the entire series. On 21 September 2012, Series 3 was being aired. The channel began running the series again from the beginning on 5 July 2013 in a new 12.10 am time slot. As of July 2014, CBS Drama announced, via their Facebook page, that they no longer have the rights to show Bad Girls.
It is unknown when the series will return to television, however, there is high demand for the series to be re-screened.
Bad Girls around the world
|Australia||Seven Network||Series 1–3. (No plans to show Series 4–8)|
|UK.TV||Series 1–4. (No plans to show Series 5–8)|
|Bosnia and Herzegovina||TVSA||Series 1–8|
|Montenegro||TV Vijesti||Series 1–8|
|New Zealand||TV ONE|
|Sweden||TV4 (Sweden)||Series 1–2|
|South Africa||M-NET||Series 1–8|
|Five Life||Series 4|
|CBS Drama||Series 1–8 (No longer viewing)|
|USA||BBC America||Series 1 and 10 episodes of Series 2|
Contender & 2entertain releases:
Bad Girls was originally released in the United Kingdom on VHS format by home entertainment group, Contender. The first series consisted of three volumes, which began releasing on 5 June 2000 to coincide with series two's television airings. Series two, three and four all consisted of four volumes. In addition to this, they all received complete boxsets. Series five was the final series to be released on VHS, which again consisted of four volumes, and later as a complete boxset. Several of the VHS sets did contain special features.
On 18 June 2001, Contender began releasing Bad Girls on DVD format for the first time. Series one was released in a four disc DVD set, comprising all ten episodes and a number of special features including the Documentary, Bad Girls in Oxford, Cast Interviews with Simone Lahbib, Mandana Jones, Debra Stephenson, Jack Ellis, Alicya Eyo, Victoria Alcock and Kika Mirylees, an Outtakes reel, a Fan Featurette, Bad Girls Book Signing, a Photo Library and a Commentary Track on Episode 10.
Series two was released on 1 October 2001, with all 13 episodes on a four disc set and special features including two photo galleries; a Behind the Scenes gallery and pictures from The National TV Awards, the Documentary, Bad Girls in South Africa, with Simone Lahbib, Mandana Jones, Lara Cazalet and Joe Shaw, Deleted Scenes and Cast and Producer Biographies.
Series three was released on 25 March 2002, consisting of a 16 episodes over 4 discs, and a fifth disc containing several special features; an Interactive Map of Larkhall Prison, an Outtakes reel, and a "Prison File" which contains Behind the Scenes footage, Subsidiary Character Profiles (guest characters) and Cast Interviews with Sharon Duncan Brewster, Victoria Bush, Pauline Campbell, Jack Ellis, Claire King, Simone Lahbib, Nathan Constance, Helen Fraser, Lara Cazalet, Kika Mirylees, Lindsey Fawcett, Mandana Jones, Tracey Wilkinson and Linda Henry. In addition to this, an audio CD was included as a sixth disc containing the soundtrack (incidental music) of the series.
The first three series from Contender were not released in their original formats. Each contained the cropped 4:3 full frame versions, transferred from the VHS formats, and not their original 16:9 (1.78:1) formats, from which they were produced. Additionally, all three series had their recaps at the start of each episodes removed, which the exception of the first and fifth episodes of series three, which did contain recaps, also, the "Next Time on Bad Girls" scenes were removed from series three (they were not produced for the first and second series).
Series four was the final series to be released by Contender as home entertainment company 2entertain acquired the rights to release further series. Series four was released on 9 June 2003 and contained all 16 episodes on four discs, and for the first time remained unedited, unlike the previous series; it contained its original 16:9 format and the recaps and "Next Time on Bad Girls" scenes remained intact. A fifth disc contained the special features which included, Series One: Feature Length Version, an Outtakes reel, Tour of the New Exterior Set – hosted by Jack Ellis, an International Promo Trailer, Fan Event with Simone and Mandana, Photo Gallery and PC Wallpapers.
2entertain began releasing the series in 2004, bringing a new style of artwork. Series five was released on 23 August 2004 in a four DVD set containing all 16 episodes. Unfortunately it was not very big on special features, which only contained an Outtakes reel and a Photo Gallery, but for the first time did contain a subtitle track.
Series six was released on 25 June 2005 in a 3 DVD set Containing all 12 episodes and a number of special features including, an Outtakes reel, The King of Larkhall (a scene for an episode with Colin Hedges performing as Elvis), Cast Interviews with Tristan Sturrock, Antonia Okonma, Amanda Barrie and James Gaddas, Tanya Turner – The Ultimate Bad Girl (an interview with Zöe Lucker), and Bad Girls The Musical. The special features did not contain Bad Girls Most Wanted, a behind the scenes show, hosted by Jack Ellis, which counted down the top 10 Bad Girls, it originally aired after the series six finale in 2004. This also marked the final time that a Bad Girls release saw multiple special features.
Series seven was released on 7 August 2006 and contained all 13 episodes on a 4 DVD set. Special features include a Photo Gallery, and the 2005 Christmas Special (episode 13), which is now established as the series seven finale.
Series eight was released on 26 December 2006, not long following the final episode, since the release meant it was not going to coincide with a new series on television, it was decided that it should have an early release. It contains all 11 episodes on a 3 DVD set. The special features include a Photo Gallery and the 2006 Christmas Special (episode 11), which is now established as the series eight finale.
In 9 October 2006, a DVD boxset from v comprising the first four series were released in an 18 DVD set and the CD which was included with series three. The Series five to eight boxset was released by 2entertain in a 14 DVD set on 22 October 2007. A complete boxset could not be commissioned due to both distribution companies owing rights to different Bad Girls series.
In addition, a title had been inserted at the beginning of each episode, something which did not exist on screen in television airings, but only in TV guide listings. On DVD, from series one to four, each episode contained a title and was included in the first scene when the titles appeared. Series five to eight did not contain titles, but did have its series number and episode number included below the Bad Girls title for those episodes.
Each of these releases are out of print, as home entertainment company Acorn Media has acquired the rights to all eight series.
Acorn Media releases:
In 2011 Acorn Media began releasing Bad Girls on DVD from the very beginning. Each series contains newly commissioned artwork, some of the series also contain less discs than in the previously releases. Series one has been given new certificate by the BBFC, previously given an '18' for disturbing scenes of violence, it has now been reduced to a '15' certificate. Also for the first time, series one to three has been released in their original widescreen format, and they contain subtitles, as does series four, which were previously not included. In 2012, Bad Girls: The Complete Collection was released on 2 July, for the first time all eight series are included in a complete boxset.
UK DVD overview
|Format||Year||Title||Release date||No. of tapes/discs||Contents||Aspect ratio|
|VHS||2000||Series 1||5 June 2000||3||Episodes 1–10||4:3|
|VHS||2000||Series 2||2 October 2000||4||Episode 1–13||4:3|
|DVD||2001||Series One||18 June 2001||4||Episodes 1–10||4:3|
|DVD||2001||Series Two||1 October 2001||4||Episodes 1–13||4:3|
|VHS||2002||Series 3||25 March 2002||4||Episode 1–16||4:3|
|DVD||2002||Series Three||25 March 2002||5||Episodes 1–16 (includes CD)||4:3|
|VHS||2003||Series 4||9 June 2003||4||Episodes 1–16||4:3|
|DVD||2003||Series Four||9 June 2003||5||Episodes 1–16||16:9|
|VHS||2004||Series Five||23 August 2004||4||Episodes 1–16||4:3|
|DVD||2004||Series Five||23 August 2004||4||Episodes 1–16||16:9|
|DVD||2005||Series Six||25 June 2005||3||Episodes 1–12||16:9|
|DVD||2006||Series Seven||7 August 2006||4||Episodes 1–13||16:9|
|DVD||2006||Complete Series 1-4||9 October 2006||18||Episodes 1–55 (includes CD)||4:3/16:9|
|DVD||2006||Series Eight||26 December 2006||3||Episodes 1–11||16:9|
|DVD||2007||Series Five to Eight||22 October 2007||14||Episodes 56–107||16:9|
|DVD||2011||The Complete Series One||7 February 2011||3||Episodes 1–10||16:9|
|DVD||2011||The Complete Series Two||18 April 2011||4||Episodes 1–13||16:9|
|DVD||2011||The Complete Series One and Two||2011||7||Episodes 1–23||16:9|
|DVD||2011||The Complete Series Three||4 July 2011||4||Episodes 1–16||16:9|
|DVD||2011||The Complete Series Four||5 September 2011||4||Episodes 1–16||16:9|
|DVD||2011||The Complete Series Five||3 October 2011||4||Episodes 1–16||16:9|
|DVD||2011||The Complete Series Six||26 December 2011||3||Episodes 1–12||16:9|
|DVD||2012||The Complete Series Seven||20 February 2012||3||Episodes 1–13||16:9|
|DVD||2012||The Complete Series Eight||2 April 2012||3||Episodes 1–11||19:9|
|DVD||2012||The Complete Collection||2 July 2012||28||Episodes 1–107||16:9|
In Australia, each series has been released by distribution company Shock Records. All eight series have been released twice by Shock. The first releases contain the same artwork as Contender and 2Entertain's artwork in the UK, with the exception of series seven and eight which contain their own style of artwork. The New releases contain brand new artwork on all eight series.
|Year||Title||Release date||No. of discs||Contents||Rating|
|2003||Series One||24 March 2003||4||Episodes 1–10||MA 15+|
|2003||Series Two||19 May 2003||4||Episode 1–13||MA 15+|
|2003||Series Three||8 September 2003||5||Episodes 1–16||MA 15+|
|2004||Series Four||22 April 2004||5||Episodes 1–16||MA 15+|
|2005||Series Five||7 March 2005||4||Episodes 1–16||MA 15+|
|2005||Series Six||4 July 2005||3||Episodes 1–12||MA 15+|
|2006||Series Seven||18 September 2006||4||Episodes 1–13||MA 15+|
|2007||Series Eight||1 September 2007||3||Episodes 1–11||M|
|2010||The Complete Collection||10 November 2010||32||Episodes 1–107||MA 15+|
|2011||Series One (re-release)||12 January 2011||4||Episodes 1–10||MA 15+|
|2011||Series Two (re-release)||12 January 2011||4||Episodes 1–13||M|
|2011||Series Three (re-release)||9 March 2011||4||Episodes 1–16||M|
|2011||Series Four (re-release)||9 March 2011||5||Episodes 1–16||M|
|2011||Series Five (re-release)||11 May 2011||4||Episodes 1–16||MA 15+|
|2011||Series Six (re-release)||11 May 2011||3||Episodes 1–12||MA 15+|
|2011||Series Seven (re-release)||1 June 2011||4||Episodes 1–13||MA 15+|
|2011||Series Eight (re-release)||1 June 2011||3||Episodes 1–11||M|
Bad Girls: The Complete First Season was release in the United States on 9 May 2006 via CAPITAL ENTERTAINMENT ENTERPRISES in a 3 DVD set. It was released in its original widescreen aspect ratio of 1.78:1 with the recaps intact. The set also contains a 'Slang Dictionary' so that American viewers can understand the British slang in which the character of the series use.
Early reviews of the series were generally positive. The Daily Telegraph stated that the series is "One of the biggest television drama hits of recent years" and that it was "Almost embarrassingly gripping", while The Observer said that it is a "Jewel in the Crown of prime time ITV" and that "Network executives must be thankful they have a rare, if unexpected success in Bad Girls." They also said that it is "Less cosy than other dramas... no sick animals or people are healed." DVD Monthly reviewed the series and cited that "Bad Girls is a brilliant drama about life in a ladies prison. It's gritty, well written and fully merits the phrase 'hard hitting'" and that it "Makes compulsive viewing and does so with a level of intelligence and honesty".
Awards and nominations
Bad Girls: The Musical
A musical comedy adaptation, based on the characters and storylines of series 1, including the events of the death of inmate, Rachel Hicks, and the relationship between Wing Governor Helen Stewart and lifer, Nikki Wade. The musical originates with the same creative staff which worked on the television program. Maureen Chadwick and Ann McManus, of Shed Productions, are the book writers of the musical, and Kath Gotts, composer for Bad Girls series 2 – 4, is the composer-lyricist. The first full production of the musical premiered at the West Yorkshire Playhouse in May – June 2006. A West End production began a run at the Garrick Theatre in August 2007, closing in November 2007 (four months earlier than intended). A DVD version of the musical has since been released. A national tour of Bad Girls The Musical has been ruled out.
Bad Girls Most Wanted
In 2004, following the Series Six finale of Bad Girls on ITV1, a special was broadcast on ITV2 - Bad Girls Most Wanted, which was hosted by Jack Ellis. It counted down the top ten 'most wanted' prisoners from the first six series as voted for by viewers in the UK.
The list included:
Bad Girls: The Inside Story, a companion book to the show was written by Jodi Reynolds and Jamie McCallum and published on 8 May, 2001 and was to coincide with the third series of Bad girls, which was currently being broadcast at the time, and at its peak of popularity. The text is a guide to Larkhall prison's G-wing and its most notorious inmates, with additional information on the show. The book is currently out-of-print as of 6 February, 2002. ISBN 978-00-0711-548-8
Proposed American version
HBO is developing a U.S. remake, with the same characters and same storylines. Shed Productions has been involved in talks since as early as 2002 regarding a US version of Bad Girls. In 2006 it was announced that FX would be bringing an American version of Bad Girls to US screens, but Shed subsequently vetoed FX's original pilot script after the show was given a "really gritty and unpleasant" feel like that of Oz.
In 2008, Eileen Gallagher, CEO of Shed Productions’ parent company Shed Media, announced that HBO bought the rights to the show from FX. HBO's version of Bad Girls is being developed with creative input from Six Feet Under writer Alan Ball, and it will be written by Nancy Oliver and Raelle Tucker. According to Gallagher, the HBO team will be sticking very closely to the characters and story lines from the original show.
In February 2012, it was confirmed that NBC would be developing an American remake version of Bad Girls. The pilot episode is expected to be aired in either 2014 or 2015. As of 2015, no release date has been confirmed.
- "Sky 149 Freesat 134". CBS Drama. Retrieved 2013-05-27.
- "bad girls series 5 vhs: Film & TV". Amazon.co.uk. Retrieved 2013-05-27.
- "Bad Girls Most Wanted - #1 Yvonne Atkins". YouTube. 28 June 2008. Retrieved 2 December 2014.
- "Bad Girls: HBO locks in deal for US version of ITV prison drama ", MediaGuardian.co.uk.
- "Interview With Eileen Gallagher", AfterEllen.com.
- Published Wednesday, 1 February 2012, 16:34 GMT (2012-02-01). "'Bad Girls' remake picked up to pilot by NBC - US TV News". Digital Spy. Retrieved 2013-05-27.
Please do not add any links to fanfiction sites or commercial ventures to this article. These links will be removed.
- Bad Girls Official website
- Bad Girls page on Logo
- Shed Insider, fan-site of Shed Productions' programs.
- Bad Girls Annex Media studies site on Bad Girls
- The Soap Show, information on Bad Girls The Musical and cast interviews.
- Bad Girls at the Internet Movie Database
- Bad Girls at TV.com