Added 39 Behind the Scenes photos to the Wentworth Season 3 section.
WARNING: This article contains spoilers for Season 7 of Wentworth…
Wentworth fans will be sad to hear the iconic prison drama is coming to an end, with filming for the final 20 episodes set to commence soon. Foxtel Executive Director of TV Brian Walsh confirmed the upcoming episodes will be the show’s final batch, in a recent interview with TV Tonight.
However, the show won’t be wrapping up in a hurry. Those episodes will be spread over two seasons, expected to conclude in 2021. The additional episodes, which will make up season eight and nine, will officially cement Wentworth’s status as Australia’s longest-running one hour drama series.
“Foxtel is proud and delighted to confirm a further 20 episodes of Wentworth. The renewal of this much loved drama is testament to Foxtel’s unwavering commitment to Australian story-telling,” Brian told TV WEEK earlier this year when the series was renenwed.
“Wentworth has captivated audiences in Australia and all over the world with its gritty nailbiting storylines, remarkable performances by an extensive ensemble cast and high production values. The commissioning of these additional episodes will see it reach an extraordinary 100 episodes”.
The Freak sat by a fire pit, staring ominously at the flames.
The announcement follows on from a jaw-dropping finale to the seventh season, which ended with a number of bombshells. First and foremost, Joan “The Freak” Ferguson was revealed to be ALIVE.
The final episode picked up with Sean Brody (Rick Donald) and prisoner Marie Winter (Susie Porter) keeping several inmates, along with pregnant Governor Vera Bennett (Kate Atkinson), hostage. In the siege, Brody killed Vicky Kosta (Artemis Ioannides) and Boomer’s mum May Jenkins (Anni Finsterer).
We also found out it was Brody who killed the prison’s top dog Kaz Proctor (Tammy MacIntosh), after he discovered she knew about the blackmail file Marie had on the Attorney General Michael Heston (David Downer).
As this played out, the corrupt Attorney General arrived to make sure his operation to get Marie to safety was going according to plan. He “agreed to Brody’s demands” and ordered a chopper to the prison. Read More
There’s a new interview with Kate Atkinson about the Wentworth season finale on NT News. Here’s the part about Pam:
Apparently there is no coffin that can hold Joan ‘The Freak’ Ferguson. She is alive and well and living rough on the streets of Melbourne.
That’s how season seven of Wentworth ended, with The Freak surfacing just before the end credits, lurking around in a hoodie, keeping warm around a fire, no doubt plotting her revenge.
Fans of the show had closure on one of Australian TV’s most iconic characters of all time when what was believed to be Ferguson’s corpse was shown in this series.
Ferguson, played to perfection by Pamela Rabe (she joined the show in 2014), was being buried alive by prison guard Will Jackson (Robbie J Magasiva) in last season’s cliffhanger.
However Rabe will return to Wentworth for series eight, which starts filming in Melbourne in October.
Kate Atkinson, who plays The Freak’s one-time mentoree and full-time nemesis — prison governor Vera Bennett — is delighted.
She’s also delighted Vera, who spent the last episode of season seven pregnant and at gunpoint in a siege, made it out alive, with a daughter (born, of course, in the prison’s boiler room).
“I knew quite early on the writers had been strategizing to somehow work The Freak back into the story,” Atkinson says.
Pamela Rabe returns as Joan Ferguson for Wentworth Season 8 | Photo: Foxtel
“Pam Rabe and I have a very happy collaborative relationship. I don’t quite know what’s in store for us, but the Vera and Ferguson story is not finished. We’ve stayed in contact since she left the show but to have her back in the prison is beyond exciting. I can’t say anything but the writers pull off the most implausible things. How do you literally bring someone back from the dead? But they will. They’ve got some cunning and clever storylines for The Freak. It’s fascinating stuff.”
While there’s been some fan backlash to The Freak’s return, Atkinson says viewers should wait until the new episodes air next year to judge.
“The Freak brought a different dimension to the show. Wentworth has never pretended to be a documentary or social realism, it’s heightened, heightened drama. She just brought a whole other kind of theatrical height to this show. The writers loved playing with it. They’re teetering on the edge of the logic of how you make these things work but it works because they’ve told me how they’re doing it. And I think people want to go for the ride. If that means having Pamela Rabe back on your screens we should all be very happy.”
Atkinson says that final scene, with The Freak’s return, was kept deliberately top secret.
“There’s a few other people in that scene, but they’re all crew or writers or staff, so that no one would know The Freak was coming back. All it takes is one loose cannon. That was a very closed set.”
The full interview is available at ntnews.com.au
Almost had a heart attack after seeing the last few seconds of season 7! Best news 2019 so far! Check out this nowtolove.com.au article for everything about this fantastic Wentworth season finale + a short video of Joan’s return!
Jo Porter about the episode:
Wentworth season 7 finale bombshells revealed!
Deaths, shock returns and LOTS of tears… Everything that happened in that heartbreaking finale.
It’s shock, after shock, after shock in Wentworth’s explosive season finale!
And before you continue reading, we have to warn you:
MAJOR, MAJOR, MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD
Fans have been left reeling after the death of two inmates… and the shock return of The Freak!
That’s right. The Wentworth season seven finale has just aired, and it ended with the mother of all cliffhangers: the return of The Freak!
Just when we thought we couldn’t be any more flabbergasted, along came a final scene, which showed Joan Ferguson (Pamela Rabe) alive and well, seemingly living rough and presumably quietly scheming her revenge.
We’ve got ACTUAL chills!
What this means for Will (Robbie Magasiva), Vera (Kate Atkinson) and Jake (Bernard Curry) is anyone’s guess. But all we can say is thank goodness this show got a last-minute reprieve and was picked up for another 20 episodes, because now we’ll actually get to find out!
It’s been more than two years since Pamela Rabe’s Wentworth character, Joan “The Freak” Ferguson was buried alive in the season-five finale. That’s a long time to come to terms with The Freak’s death.
And yet even the most cynical Wentworth fan will admit that every time the lights get low and the music drops, they’re half-expecting the character to come back from the dead.
So haunting was Pamela’s portrayal of the governor-turned-prisoner that Wentworth fans remain convinced The Freak is unkillable. Turns out, maybe they’re right.
“Well, is she gone?” Pamela asks with a laugh on the phone to TV WEEK, her voice still carrying hints of the menace that made Joan so unforgettable.
“I have no idea. If I did, I wouldn’t be able to say anything about it or I’d have to kill you.”
Pamela is joking – we hope – but for now, secrets around the future of Wentworth remain tightly guarded. But if the acclaimed show has taught us anything, it’s never say never.
“She was buried alive in the box, and who knows what will become of her? Who knows if she’s really gone?” the 60-year-old teases.
It’s clear, just listening to the actress talk about Wentworth, that the TV WEEK Logie Award-winning show still holds a special place in her heart.
Pamela Rabe in “The Hunting”, Video by sbs.com.au
“It’s a once-in-a-lifetime job,” she says. “I know that – I think we all knew that.”
So even if The Freak is no more, she’s still very much alive in Pamela’s head, and the women she left behind remain in her thoughts.
“I have such admiration for the producers, directors and actors,” the actress says. “Particularly the writers for crafting with such care. And delivering narratives that place women front and centre – women of all shapes and sizes and moralities.”
With the season-seven finale having just aired, and another batch of episodes on the way next year, Pamela is tipping some familiar faces might bid farewell.
“People come, people go, people die, people get released – Wentworth is great because there’s a constant refreshing of characters and stories,” she explains.
“But there’s also a threat of constant danger for the few who’ve been there from the beginning.”
Wentworth is to be renewed for 20 new episodes! And that means: Joan Ferguson could be back! A fan met Pamela Rabe last week after “The Dance of Death” and when they were talking about Wentworth Pam asked what we thought about it and said “just hang in there a bit longer” 😉 She also said that we should write to the creators and let them know we’re sad because they do listen! So, if you have a Twitter, Instagram or Facebook account: you know what to do! #BringBackJoanFerguson
Hit Foxtel drama Wentworth is to be renewed for 20 new episodes, delighting thousands of fans who had feared the show was ending.
Shooting will recommence next September for screening in 2020 – 2021.
The renewal comes on top of Season 7 already completed earlier this year, taking the series to a total of 100 episodes.
The vote of confidence comes after the rare feat of winning Logies as both Most Outstanding and Most Popular Drama.
Several months ago there was speculation the series was concluding, but Foxtel indicated discussions were ongoing.
That led to a fan campaign to “Save Wentworth” and an early priority for incoming Fremantle CEO Chris Oliver-Taylor.
TV Tonight understands discussions to continue the show took place between Oliver-Taylor, Fremantle Director of Scripted Jo Porter, Foxtel CEO Patrick Delany, Foxtel Executive Director of Television Brian Walsh, and Foxtel Head of Drama Penny Win.
Foxtel is expected to formally announce the renewal in early December.
The series, based on Reg Watson-created Prisoner, is currently Australia’s longest-running one hour drama, sold to 141 international territories, plus German, Dutch & Turkish remakes.
Season 7 is due to screen on FOX Showcase in 2019.