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Porridge (film): Wikis


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The last "episode" of the TV series Porridge was made in 1979 as a feature film, shot entirely on location (Chelmsford Prison, Essex, UK). All the regular sitcom warders and inmates were involved, with the exception of Lukewarm, Heslop, and Harris. There was also a new governor, played by Geoffrey Bayldon.


In the film, Fletcher and Godber are forced by another inmate to escape from prison and then have to try to break back in before they're found by the police. Because Godber had been released in the final series episode, and yet was back in the same prison and in the same cell with the same cellmate again, the film fits into the original run of the show, and not after. At one point Fletcher explains to Oakes that he only has a year to go, Godber even less.

Three one-off characters made an impact in the film. Rudge, played by Daniel Peacock, was a young, timid prisoner in the Godber mould, seen arriving for his three-year stretch for shoplifting at the beginning of the film. He came into his own when he showed his outstanding football skills during the game which led to the breakout. Oakes, played by Barrie Rutter, was the violent armed robber who arrived in the same van as Rudge and was sprung for the breakout, unwittingly taking Fletcher and Godber with him. Beale, played by Christopher Godwin, was a new prison officer who subscribed to the firm approach to the job, but proved easy to manipulate into recommending a celebrity football match.

Unlike the television episodes, the film is not a BBC production, with no references to the corporation on the DVD release (2003).

The opening credits of the film feature the hit "Without You" by Nilsson, and the closing credits contain a more upbeat song by the British singer Joe Brown, entitled "Free Inside".

The film represented the last finished work by Richard Beckinsale, the actor who played Godber. He died in March 1979, mere weeks after its completion.


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