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
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