The Freak is here!
Last week the most popular Australian drama on Foxtel concluded its second season. Wentworth is a re-imagining of the classic 1970s drama Prisoner. Like its predecessor, the show focuses on the inmates and staff at the fictional Wentworth Correctional Centre. The creators marketed the second season rigorously in Australia, flaunting the addition of a villain audiences have always loved to hate, Joan Ferguson, otherwise known as “The Freak”.
Viewers were treated to a turbulent season. Bea Smith (Danielle Cormack) arose from the ashes of her daughters death. Liz Birdsworth (Celia Ireland) is up for parole. Franky Doyle (Nicole Da Silva) rules with an iron fist as top dog, and Doreen Anderson (Shareena Clanton) strikes up a romance with a male prisoner, visiting Wentworth to assist with a garden project. Additionally the private and professional lives of the staff fill a significant space in the plot, none more intriguing than Ferguson (Pamela Rabe), who is consistently plotting, planning and playing prisoners and staff against one another. The second season was a gripping entanglement of games, paced extremely well.
Rabe’s cold and calculating performance lives up to the Ferguson loved and hated by fans of Prisoner. An interesting twist is that this time, Joan is running things. She is the governor of Wentworth, ruling with a ruthless code of discipline. With the death of Jacs Holt last season, Ferguson has filled the shoes of the primary antagonist perfectly, a move I praise on the part of the creators. There is just one little issue that I find with Ferguson’s sudden appearance as governor. The removal of former governor Erica Davidson is glossed over and never explained. While I loved the introduction of Ferguson, I feel that Davidson’s dismissal should have been fleshed out more or featured in the opening moments of the first episode.
The second season was riveting and I eagerly await the third season which is set to air on SoHo in 2015. If you have not yet seen the show I encourage you to do so. Fans of Orange is the New Black may be particularly interested. This is a show you do not want to miss.