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Bad Girls is an award winning British television drama series that was broadcast on ITV from 1999 to 2006. It was produced by Shed Productions, the company which later produced Footballers' Wives and Waterloo Road . It was set in the fictional women's prison of Larkhall, and featured a mixture of serious and light storylines focusing on the prisoners and staff of G Wing.

Series

The first series of Bad Girls was shown on ITV1 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 axed Bad Girls after its eighth series and the 2006 Christmas Special was the final episode.

Shed recently closed a deal with US channel FX, for them to create their own version of Bad Girls. On 27 May 2008 it was announced that Ball, executive producer of Six Feet Under would adapt Bad Girls for an American audience. A pilot script is to be penned by Nancy Oliver and Raelle Tucker for HBO with Ball as executive producer. Film and TV actress Michelle Rodriguez has signed on with the series. It has been revealed that the American version will remake the UK version, featuring the same storylines and characters.

Episodes



Bad Girls around the world

Country Broadcaster Series shown
Seven Network Series 1-3. No plans to show Series 4-8.
UK.TV Series 1-4. No plans to show Series 5-8.
VTM Series 1-4
OUTtv Series 1-8
Kanal 2 Series 1-8
Nelonen Series 1-8
NT1 Series 1-6.
TV3 Series 1-8
TV Vijesti Series 1-8
TV ONE Series 1-8
TV4 Series 1-2
M-NET Series 1-8
rustavi 2 Series 1-8
ITV Series 1-8
ITV2 Series 1-8
ITV3 Series 1-3
Five Life Series 4
BBC America Series 1 and 10 episodes of Series 2.
LOGO Series 1-6. Series 7-8 to follow


Sets

An exterior shot of Oxford Prison, used in Bad Girls (Series 1-3)
Oxford prison was used for the exterior shots that featured in Series 1–3 of the show were shot at Oxford prison, and the set itself, used in the show, is a replica of the wing set-up at Oxford. For series 4–8, a replica set of the prison was constructed and built to look similar to Oxford. This was due to the prison in Oxford being reconstructed to become a new hotel complex.

Cast



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, another prisoner being viciously strip-searched by fellow inmates for concealed drugs, and another inmate committing suicide due to being bullied. The central story arc of the first three series revolved around the developing romantic relationship between Nikki Wade, a prisoner serving a life sentence for the murder of a policeman who attempted to rape her girlfriend, and Helen Stewart, 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 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 Plackett, the appeal of wrongly-imprisoned Monica Lindsay (frequently referred to as "posh bitch" by other characters), the tragic story of teenage prisoner Rachel Hicks and her bullying by the other inmates, and the illicit relationship between Jim Fenner, the male senior officer and Shell Dockley, the resident bully and drug dealer, serving life for murder. 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, 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. Produced by Brian Park.

Series 3 (2001)

This series picks up from where it left off at the end of Series 2. Jim and Shell are in bed together and Nikki, dressed in a nurse's uniform, is at Helen's house after escaping. Shell stabs Jim with a broken bottle that she had brought back from Sylvia's party, but she is dragged out of her cell before she can finish him off.

The third series saw a high turnover of short-term characters and storylines, but also chronicled the spectacular escape of Shell and Denny Blood to the Costa Del Sol in Spainmarker getting revenge on Sylvia and her husband along the way. Yvonne's top dog status being challenged by Maxi Purvis, the head of the "Peckham Boot Gang"; prison officer Di Barker's struggles as a home carer for her invalid 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. Produced by Brian Park.

Series 4 (2002)

Series 4 introduced new characters such as Neil Grayling, the gay Governing Governor of Larkhall, who developed an attraction to Jim Fenner. Also introduced were 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. Also Maxi and Shaz square up to each other in a fight, in which Shaz wins, so Maxi chokes herself to death by swallowing toilet paper. The series tackled domestic violence within the relationship of Di Barker and Barry Pearce and teenage junkie Buki Lester's battle for the right to see her disabled son, Lennox. The fourth series ended with the prison library being obliterated as part of an escape plan by the devious Snowball Merriman, resulting in a fire that left several inmates trapped and fighting for their lives. Produced by Claire Phillips.

Series 5 (2003)

The fifth series of Bad Girls saw the brief return of a recaptured and pregnant Shell Dockley to G-Wing. Jim 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, Jim 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 and Phyl Oswyn arrive. There is good news for Denny, who is transferred to an open prison. The ongoing feud between Jim Fenner and Wing Governor Karen Betts 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. Barbara Hunt marries the former prison chaplain, Henry - 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 and new inmate Kris Yates 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 as he kills Yvonne Atkins 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. 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 Oswyn is G-Wing "top dog" for a short time before being stopped in her tracks by new wing governor Frances Myers.

Frances Myers soon begins a feud with new inmate Natalie Buxton, in prison for organising a prostitution ring using underage girls. The other girls are disgusted with Natalie and Al plans to beat her up, but she 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 enduring a spell on G-Wing for three episodes. Where we see the death of Al McKenzie. Later Tanya is soon released.

Kris Yates's 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 Buxton 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.

Jim Fenner marries Neil's ex wife Di. As Neil and Karen are sure Jim has something to do with the hit and run Karen was accused of, they hire a private investigator to prove Karen's innocence. Jim is proven to be the person who drove the car that night. He is later arrested on his and Di's wedding day. 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. Di Fenner, Jim Fenner's wife, lies to ensure he is released from prison and Fenner returns, not only to G-Wing, but as G-Wing Governor. When the Costa Cons escape to Spain, Neil is demoted to G-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, a woman who is in jail for murdering her abusive boyfriend and is a recent transfer from Alberton prison. Kerrigan had already managed to develop a feud with Fenner over his treatment of Sheena Williams and her son, Dylan. The increasingly mentally unstable Julie Johnston 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 arrives and indicates she will instigate a tough regime at Larkhall.

Meanwhile, Natalie Buxton has taken over as G-Wing's new top dog. When Natalie and the other imates find out that new inmate Arun Parmar is a transsexual, Natalie makes her life hell until Pat Kerrigan, annoyed by Natalie's bullying of Arun, beats Buxton in a fight and demands she leave Arun be. Pat develops a romance with recovering drug addict and single mother Sheena Williams before managing to expose Natalie, despite her denials to the contrary, as having been involved in the prostitution of underage girls. Produced by Rachel Snell.


Series 8 (2006)

The series begins with the arrival of Emira Al Jahani, a Muslim whose husband is a suspected terrorist. When Neil Grayling and a prisoner 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, and 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 Natalie 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 beats Natalie in 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 Larkhall. Inmate Janine Nebeski and new prison officer Donny Kimber embark on a romance that leaves Janine pregnant. With help from Bev, Phyl and Tina, Janine gives birth in her cell who then names the baby after Bev. Longterm inmate Tina O'Kane is released for the second time but as before, struggles to adapt to life in the outside world and commits another crime as she takes a bank hostage with a toy gun where a man suffers a heart attack she is again reimprisoned. Joy Masterton's long-lost daughter Stella Gough turns up as an inmate at the prison. But then is shipped out after taking her mother hostage. Darlene Cake is tricked into killing a new inmate Catherine Earlham's husband and tries to commit suicide, but is saved by Donny. And Natalie Buxton's spirit returns in the last episode to haunt Sylvia and teach her the error of her ways. Produced by Sharon Houlihan.

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, and opened to mostly positive reviews. Despite the positive reviews it had on opening in the West End, it closed in October 2007 - some four months earlier than was supposed to due to a steep decline in ticket sales. A DVD version of the musical has since been released. A national tour of Bad Girls The Musical has been ruled out.

American Remake

HBO is developing a US remake, with the same characters and same story lines. Shed Productions have 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’s 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 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. ITV2, Five and Living are fighting for rights to show it in the UK.

DVD releases

Series 1-8 of Bad Girls are available on DVD in the UK (Region 2). Series 1-8 are also available on DVD in Australia (Region 4). Series 1 was released on DVD in the United States on 7 June 2005. A boxset of Series 1-4 was released in the UK on 9 October 2006. Series 5-8 was released on 22 October 2007.

Bad Girls: Series One Uncut
Set Details Special Features
  • 10 Episodes
  • 4-Disc Set
  • 4:3 Aspect Ratio
  • Subtitles: No
  • English (Stereo)
  • Documentary: Bad Girls in Oxfordmarker
  • Commentary Track: Episode 10
  • Cast Interviews:
    • Simone Lahbib (Helen)
    • Mandana Jones (Nikki)
    • Debra Stephenson (Shell)
    • Jack Ellis (Jim)
    • Alicya Eyo (Denny)
    • Helen Fraser (Sylvia)
    • Victoria Alcock (Julie S)
    • Kikia Mirylees (Julie J)
  • Outtakes
  • Fan Featurette: Bad Girls Book Signing
  • Photo Library
Release Dates
18 June 2001 24 March 2003 7 June 2005


Bad Girls: Series Two Uncut
Set Details Special Features
  • 13 Episodes
  • 4-Disc Set
  • 4:3 Aspect Ratio
  • Subtitles: No
  • English (Stereo)
  • Gallery 1: Behind The Scenes
  • Gallery 2: The National TV Awards
  • Bad Girls In South Africa: Documentary
  • Outtakes
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Cast Biographies
  • Producer Biographies
Release Dates
1 October 2001 26 May 2003


Bad Girls: Series Three Uncut
Set Details Special Features
  • 16 Episodes
  • 6-Disc Set
  • 4:3 Aspect ratio
  • Subtitles: No
  • English (Stereo)
  • Interactive Map Of Larkhall Prison
  • Outtakes
  • Prison File: Behind The Scenes, Subsidiary Character Profiles and Interviews:
    • Sharon Duncan-Brewster (Crystal)
    • Victoria Bush (Tina)
    • Pauline Campbell (Al)
    • Jack Ellis (Jim)
    • Claire King (Karen)
    • Simone Lahbib (Helen)
    • Nathan Constance (Josh)
    • Helen Fraser (Sylvia)
    • Lara Cazalet (Zandra)
    • Kiki Mirylees (Julie J)
    • Lindsey Fawcett (Shaz)
    • Mandana Jones (Nikki)
    • Tracey Wilkinson (Di)
    • Linda Henry (Yvonne)
  • Audio CD: features music from Series 3
Release Dates
25 March 2002 8 September 2003


Bad Girls: Series Four Uncut
Set Details Special Features
  • 16 Episodes
  • 5-Disc Set
  • 16:9 Aspect Ratio
  • Subtitles: No
  • English (Stereo)
  • Series One - Feature Length Version
  • Outtakes
  • Tour of The New Exterior Set - With Jack Ellis (Jim)
  • International Promo Trailer
  • Fan Event With Simone and Mandana (Helen and Nikki) (2000)
  • Gallery
  • PC Wallpapers
Release Dates
9 June 2003 22 April 2004


Bad Girls: Series Five Uncut
Set Details Special Features
  • 16 Episodes
  • 4-Disc Set
  • 16:9 Aspect Ratio
  • Subtitles: English
  • English (Stereo)
  • Outtakes
  • Photo Gallery
Release Dates
23 August 2004 7 March 2005


Bad Girls: Series Six Uncut
Set Details Special Features
  • 12 Episodes
  • 3-Disc Set
  • 16:9 Aspect Ratio
  • Subtitles: English
  • English (Stereo)
  • Outtakes
  • The King In Larkhall
  • Cast Interviews:
    • Tristan Sturrock (Colin)
    • Antonia Okonma (Darlene)
    • Amanda Barrie (Bev)
    • James Gaddas (Neil)
  • Tanya Turner - Ultimate Bad Girl
  • Bad Girls The Musical
Release Dates
25 June 2005 4 July 2005


Bad Girls: Series Seven
Set Details Special Features
  • 13 Episodes
  • 4-Disc Set
  • 16:9 Aspect Ratio
  • Subtitles: English
  • English (Stereo)
  • Photo Gallery
  • Christmas Special
Release Dates
7 August 2006 18 September 2006


Bad Girls: Series Eight
Set Details Special Features
  • 11 Episodes
  • 3-Disc Set
  • 16:9 Aspect Ratio
  • Subtitles: English
  • English (Stereo)
  • Photo Gallery
  • Christmas Special
Release Dates
26 December 2006 3 September 2007


Bad Girls: Series 1-4 Boxset
Set Details Special Features
  • 55 Episodes
  • 18-Disc Set
  • 4:3 Aspect Ratio (Series 1-3)
  • 16.9 Aspect Ratio (Series 4)
  • Subtitles: No
  • English (Stereo)
  • Special features from Series 1-4
Release Dates
9 October 2006


Bad Girls: Series 5-8 Boxset
Set Details Special Features
  • 52 Episodes
  • 14-Disc Set
  • 16.9 Aspect Ratio
  • Subtitles: No
  • English (Stereo)
  • Special features from Series 5-8
Release Dates
22 October 2007


Ratings

Episode Viewing figures from BARB

Series 1

Episode Date Total Viewers ITV Weekly Ranking
1
1 June 1999
7,990,000
17
2
8 June 1999
7,390,000
16
3
15 June 1999
6,360,000
18
4
22 June 1999
6,860,000
17
5
29 June 1999
7,050,000
19
6
6 July 1999
7,020,000
14
7
13 July 1999
7,670,000
12
8
20 July 1999
7,600,000
15
9
27 July 1999
7,320,000
12
10
3 August 1999
7,660,000
14


Series 2

Episode Date Total Viewers ITV Weekly Ranking
1
4 April 2000
9,440,000
14
2
11 April 2000
8,530,000
13
3
18 April 2000
8,210,000
11
4
25 April 2000
8,120,000
12
5
2 May 2000
8,260,000
16
6
9 May 2000
7,700,000
11
7
16 May 2000
9,300,000
11
8
23 May 2000
8,980,000
8
9
20 May 2000
9,490,000
9
10
6 June 2000
9,240,000
10
11
13 June 2000
9,130,000
8
12
27 June 2000
8,500,000
8
13
4 July 2000
8,810,000
10


Series 3

Episode Date Total Viewers ITV Weekly Ranking
1
20 March 2001
9,420,000
16
2
27 March 2001
8,490,000
17
3
3 April 2001
8,590,000
14
4
10 April 2001
9,100,000
12
5
17 April 2001
8,600,000
14
6
24 April 2001
8,840,000
13
7
1 May 2001
8,510,000
11
8
8 May 2001
9,140,000
6
9
15 May 2001
9,100,000
9
10
22 May 2001
8,400,000
6
11
29 May 2001
8,600,000
11
12
5 June 2001
8,410,000
9
13
12 June 2001
8,460,000
13
14
19 June 2001
8,180,000
10
15
26 June 2001
8,120,000
11
16
3 July 2001
8,150,000
10


Series 4

Episode Date Total Viewers ITV Weekly Ranking
1
28 February 2002
7,560,000
13
2
7 March 2002
6,830,000
17
3
14 March 2002
7,300,000
15
4
21 March 2002
7,330,000
12
5
28 March 2002
6,820,000
15
6
4 April 2002
6,990,000
16
7
11 April 2002
6,920,000
17
8
18 April 2002
7,100,000
18
9
25 April 2002
7,120,000
14
10
2 May 2002
6,900,000
11
11
9 May 2002
7,430,000
11
12
16 May 2002
7,120,000
12
13
23 May 2002
7,350,000
12
14
30 May 2002
6,590,000
14
15
6 June 2002
6,330,000
14
16
13 June 2002
7,130,000
13


Series 5

Episode Date Total Viewers ITV Weekly Ranking
1
8 May 2003
8,360,000
17
2
15 May 2003
7,880,000
15
3
22 May 2003
7,630,000
12
4
29 May 2003
6,920,000
11
5
5 June 2003
7,100,000
14
6
12 June 2003
6,620,000
12
7
19 June 2003
6,760,000
12
8
26 June 2003
6,360,000
14
9
3 July 2003
Unknown
?
10
10 July 2003
6,530,000
13
11
17 July 2003
6,570,000
13
12
24 July 2003
6,530,000
15
13
31 July 2003
6,560,000
15
14
7 August 2003
6,430,000
14
15
14 August 2003
6,540,000
14
16
21 August 2003
6,780,000
13


Series 6

Episode Date Total Viewers ITV Weekly Ranking
1
14 April 2004
7,940,000
14
2
21 April 2004
8,250,000
13
3
28 April 2004
7,510,000
15
4
5 May 2004
7,780,000
11
5
10 May 2004
7,750,000
13
6
17 May 2004
7,870,000
11
7
18 May 2004
6,220,000
19
8
19 May 2004
7,800,000
14
9
2 August 2004
6,270,000
15
10
9 August 2004
5,920,000
15
11
16 August 2004
5,570,000
15
12
23 August 2004
6,670,000
12


Series 7

Episode Date Total Viewers ITV Weekly Ranking
1
10 May 2005
5,710,000
14
2
17 May 2005
5,550,000
19
3
24 May 2005
5,140,000
17
4
31 May 2005
4,450,000
22
5
7 June 2005
4,340,000
23
6
14 June 2005
5,060,000
16
7
21 June 2005
4,680,000
17
8
28 June 2005
4,300,000
20
9
5 July 2005
5,010,000
18
10
12 July 2005
5,280,000
18
11
19 July 2005
5,080,000
17
12
26 July 2005
4,990,000
17
13
19 December 2005
6,660,000
13


Series 8

Episode Date Total Viewers ITV Weekly Ranking
1
13 July 2006
5,400,000
11
2
20 July 2006
4,470,000
14
3
27 July 2006
4,410,000
15
4
3 August 2006
4,180,000
16
5
10 August 2006
4,280,000
15
6
17 August 2006
4,870,000
15
7
24 August 2006
5,000,000
17
8
31 August 2006
4,560,000
17
9
7 September 2006
4,620,000
18
10
14 September 2006
4,980,000
22
11
20 December 2006
5,130,000
16


References

  1. http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/hr/content_display/news/e3if04d4af91afa116b47cae086fc3253a3
  2. http://www.afterellen.com/people/2008/6/eileengallagher
  3. " Bad Girls: HBO locks in deal for US version of ITV prison drama ", MediaGuardian.co.uk.
  4. " Interview With Eileen Gallagher ", AfterEllen.com.


External links

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