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Time Served | The Australian Women’s Weekly

When Pamela Rabe landed an audition for the role of Joan “The Freak” Ferguson on a re-envisioned take on classic Aussie drama Prisoner, she squealed. Not the reaction you’d expect from the acclaimed actress, but given Wentworth would go on to run for nine seasons, win multiple awards and air in 173 countries, perhaps it’s understandable.

This month, the series ends its run. And while fans are bereft – cast too – Pamela promises the final scenes will prove the pay-off viewers have come to expect from the show.

“I couldn’t envision any better ending that what the writers’ produced,” she tells The Weekly.

Those final scenes were shot during lockdown in Melbourne earlier this year.

“There were so many protocols that had to be adhered to while all hell was breaking loose in terms of the storyline,” Pamela recalls. “Everybody pulled out all the stops. There was a lot of emotion that couldn’t be released because we couldn’t even hug. I feel like we haven’t had a chance to say goodbye.”

Plans are afoot to remedy that soon. Until then, she hopes another generation of women will one day pay tribute to Prisoner. And if not, she’d be happy to reprise The Freak again. “My only regret is that I had very little to do with Leah Purcell [who plays Rita] … there’s got to be a spin-off there,” she chuckles.

Wentworth The Final Sentence premieres on Tuesday August 24 at 8.30pm on FOX SHOWCASE.

Pamela Rabe in the Australian Women's Week August 2021

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