Within These Walls: The Complete Series 4
Within These Walls remains a high point of British television drama. A huge success for LWT, the series offered an authentic portrayal of day-to-day life for the inmates and staff of a women’s prison, reflecting the progress of penal system reform and the shift from a Victorian ethos of punishment to an emphasis upon rehabilitation. Within These Walls focussed particularly on the challenges facing the female governor – not least, the conflict between adherence to rules and sensitivity to individual needs. Setting the template for later series such as Prisoner: Cell Block H and Bad Girls, this outstanding drama is still fondly remembered more than 30 years after its original screening.
In this fourth series, originally aired in 1976, compassionate reformer Faye Boswell is replaced by Helen Forrester (Katharine Blake), an attractive widow who leads a solitary life in a fl at adjoining the prison. Helen’s methods differ radically from Faye’s; gone is the easy informality that characterised her predecessor’s regime. But Helen has an inner warmth, a sense of humour, and an equal dedication to the women who find themselves within the closed world of Stone Park.