List of Porridge episodes

The following is a list of episodes for the British sitcom Porridge and sequel series, Going Straight, which aired on BBC 1 from 5 September 1974 to 25 March 1977 and 24 February to 7 April 1978 respectively. A further sequel series following the grandson of Fletcher, Porridge, aired in 2016 and 2017.

Series overview

Series Episodes Originally aired Ave. Viewership
(millions)
Series premiere Series finale
Porridge
1 7 1 April 1973 10 October 1974 N/A
2 8 24 October 1975 24 December 1976 N/A
3 6 18 February 1977 25 March 1977 N/A
Going Straight
1 6 24 February 1978 7 April 1978 N/A
Porridge feature film
S 12 August 1979 12 August 1979 N/A
Life Beyond the Box: Norman Stanley Fletcher
S 1 29 December 2003 N/A
Porridge (2016)
1 7 28 August 2016 10 November 2017 N/A

Porridge

Series 1 (1973–74)

No.TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air dateUK viewers
(millions)[1]
Pilot
1"Prisoner and Escort"James GilbertDick Clement and Ian La Frenais1 April 1973 (1973-04-01)TBA
Norman Stanley Fletcher, a career criminal, and his escorts – soft-hearted Mr Barrowclough and authoritarian Mr Mackay – make the journey on New Year's Eve from London up to Slade Prison in Cumberland.
Regular Series
2"New Faces, Old Hands"Sydney LotterbyDick Clement and Ian La Frenais5 September 1974 (1974-09-05)TBA
It is Lennie Godber's first time in prison, and Fletcher shows him the ropes, as the two go through the checking-in process along with the rather dim-witted Heslop. Mackay explains that Heslop is not too much of a threat, as he is "thick as two short planks"; Godber is young and naive, but Mackay comments that he may be corrupted by the older Fletcher, who has been in and out of jail. Upon meeting the new arrivals, Mackay gets Fletcher to tell Godber and Heslop about prison routine.
3"The Hustler"Sydney LotterbyDick Clement and Ian La Frenais12 September 1974 (1974-09-12)TBA
Fletch starts an illicit gambling enterprise that soon runs into trouble. Fletcher along with Lukewarm, Evans and Heslop are in the boiler house for their game of snakes and ladders; however, Mr Mackay and Mr Barrowclough are aware of the game taking place. Barrowclough tries to reason with Mackay that the men would gamble regardless, but Mackay's principles are that "gambling leads to debts, debts lead to antagonism, ill-feeling and lack of discipline" - so Mackay arranges for a special delivery.
4"A Night In"Sydney LotterbyDick Clement and Ian La Frenais19 September 1974 (1974-09-19)TBA
Largely set in relative darkness one evening, with 698 nights left for Godber, within the confines of their cell, Fletcher and Godber ponder life in prison and many other aspects of their lives. Fletcher has been informed that Godber is to become his new cellmate. Understandably, Fletcher is not too happy because he had just been given a single cell. Godber soon finds out that Fletcher has rather strict rules about his cell.
5"A Day Out"Sydney LotterbyDick Clement and Ian La Frenais26 September 1974 (1974-09-26)TBA
Fletch, Godber, Ives and some other prisoners go out on a work party. Fletcher is even less pleased with the prospect of the day ahead when he finds out that Ives is part of the work party and that Mr Mackay is in charge. However, Mr Barrowclough is coming with them, so this partly reassures Fletcher. After Ives gets stung by a bee, Fletch is able to escape for a pint at the local pub, on the pretext of getting first aid.
6"Ways and Means"Sydney LotterbyDick Clement and Ian La Frenais3 October 1974 (1974-10-03)TBA
New prisoner McLaren proves troublesome, and Barrowclough also expresses shock at new prisoner McLaren's prison infraction of assaulting a prison officer by dunking his head in a pot of soup. McLaren says the officer insulted him by calling him a "black bastard", which Fletcher points out is not exactly wrong as McLaren is black and of illegitimate birth. Fletch decides to help out with McLaren, but they both end up on the roof.
7"Men Without Women"Sydney LotterbyDick Clement and Ian La Frenais10 October 1974 (1974-10-10)TBA
Fletch fancies himself as a bit of an agony aunt and is called upon by his fellow inmates to help out, before his daughter, Ingrid informs him that his own marriage is in trouble. Prisoner Warren asks Fletcher if he could read him his love letter from his wife, as Warren is unable to read. Fletcher composes a response to this letter and also offers his services to his fellow prisoners, including the homosexual Lukewarm and the dim-witted Heslop.

Series 2 (1975–76)

No.TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air dateUK viewers
(millions)[1]
Regular Series
8"Just Desserts"Sydney LotterbyDick Clement and Ian La Frenais24 October 1975 (1975-10-24)TBA
Fletch is appalled when someone steals his tin of pineapple chunks and is determined to catch the culprit. This comes as no surprise, as there are 600 men in Slade Prison, and two-thirds are in for stealing something. Fletcher means there is a thief on the inside, as his tin of pineapple chunks has been stolen. Other prisoners comment that they have had things stolen, such as a jar of gooseberry preserve. This suggests that the thief has a sweet tooth.
9"Heartbreak Hotel"Sydney LotterbyDick Clement and Ian La Frenais31 October 1975 (1975-10-31)TBA
After his girlfriend, Denise, breaks up with him via a Dear John letter, Godber assaults a fellow inmate. At the same time, Fletch starts questioning his daughter, Ingrid, over her personal life. Godber asks Fletcher why the BBC never plays prisoners' requests on the radio. Fletcher explains it's because the system is open to abuse, where songs may be a message for someone to help with an escape.
10"Disturbing the Peace"Sydney LotterbyDick Clement and Ian La Frenais7 November 1975 (1975-11-07)TBA
The prisoners are overjoyed when Mackay leaves on a promotion course, until they meet his replacement, Mr Wainwright, whom Fletcher remembers from a previous stretch in Brixton. He's a harsh prison officer who soon recognises Fletcher and starts bullying the prisoners. His antics included punishing Godber for accidentally dropping mashed potatoes on his shoe and purposely treading on Fletcher's hand.
11"No Peace for the Wicked"Sydney LotterbyDick Clement and Ian La Frenais14 November 1975 (1975-11-14)TBA
With everyone watching a football match, Fletch attempts to snatch a few precious minutes of peace and quiet, only to suffer constant interruptions, among whom are Mackay and visiting members of the Home Office, who then insist on questioning Fletch about his views on the penal system.
12"Happy Release"Sydney LotterbyDick Clement and Ian La Frenais21 November 1975 (1975-11-21)TBA
Mackay is appalled to discover that Fletch has been severely injured and is in the hospital wing, and Blanco devises a plan for revenge on Norris, who had stolen his possessions some time before Fletch arrived.
13"The Harder They Fall"Sydney LotterbyDick Clement and Ian La Frenais28 November 1975 (1975-11-28)TBA
Fletch, under Genial Harry Grout's orders, tries to rig a boxing match so that Godber, who is favourite to win, loses, only to discover Godber is taking orders from one of Grouty's rivals.
Specials
14"No Way Out"Sydney LotterbyDick Clement and Ian La Frenais24 December 1975 (1975-12-24)TBA
A planned escape causes all kinds of trouble just before Christmas, and Fletch attempts to spend some valuable time in the infirmary.
15"The Desperate Hours"Sydney LotterbyDick Clement and Ian La Frenais24 December 1976 (1976-12-24)TBA
Fletcher, Godber, Barrowclough and the governor's secretary are held hostage by a mad prisoner with a homemade gun attempting to escape.

Series 3 (1977)

No.TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air dateUK viewers
(millions)[1]
Regular Series
16"A Storm in a Teacup"Sydney LotterbyDick Clement and Ian La Frenais18 February 1977 (1977-02-18)TBA
After a capsule containing pills that Harris stole goes missing, Grouty attempts to locate them and Fletch is recruited to help, not realising that they are in his mug of tea.
17"Poetic Justice"Sydney LotterbyDick Clement and Ian La Frenais25 February 1977 (1977-02-25)TBA
Fletch is incensed to discover that he is getting a new cell-mate. To make matters worse, it turns out that the cell-mate is the judge that sentenced him.
18"Rough Justice"Sydney LotterbyDick Clement and Ian La Frenais4 March 1977 (1977-03-04)TBA
After the judge's watch is stolen, everyone is convinced that Harris is the culprit, and so a kangaroo court is set up in an effort to convict him of the crime.
19"Pardon Me"Sydney LotterbyDick Clement and Ian La Frenais11 March 1977 (1977-03-11)TBA
Blanco refuses parole after serving a life sentence for a murder he's always claimed he never committed, so Fletch sets up an appeal committee to get him pardoned.
20"A Test of Character"Sydney LotterbyDick Clement and Ian La Frenais18 March 1977 (1977-03-18)TBA
Fletch is determined to help Godber pass his History O-level, so he has Warren steal the papers, only to discover that Godber doesn't want them. Meanwhile, a debate flares up over a claim of Warren's that, at a certain scale, the nearest star from the Sun would be in Johannesburg.
21"Final Stretch"Sydney LotterbyDick Clement and Ian La Frenais25 March 1977 (1977-03-25)TBA
With his parole meeting less than a week away, Godber has a fight with Jarvis, a football hooligan, and Fletch realises that he will have to risk solitary confinement and loss of his own remission to prevent it. Meanwhile, Fletch is suspicious of his daughter's holiday plans.

Going Straight

Series 1 (1978)

No.TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air dateUK viewers
(millions)[1]
Regular Series
1"Going Home"Sydney LotterbyDick Clement and Ian La Frenais24 February 1978 (1978-02-24)TBA
Fletch, having been paroled, makes his way home from prison. On the train, he bumps into Mr Mackay and an old friend.
2"Going to be Alright"Sydney LotterbyDick Clement and Ian La Frenais3 March 1978 (1978-03-03)TBA
Fletch visits his probation officer and reveals his wife has left him, and TWOC's Godber's lorry to drive to Essex to dig up a buried stash of ill-gotten gains.
3"Going Sour"Sydney LotterbyDick Clement and Ian La Frenais10 March 1978 (1978-03-10)TBA
Fletch is diverted from his own problems when he comes across a young runaway girl (Roberta Tovey) in his local cafe and tries to set her on the straight and narrow, with debatable success.
4"Going to Work"Sydney LotterbyDick Clement and Ian La Frenais17 March 1978 (1978-03-17)TBA
Fletch is set up with a job by his probation officer as a night porter, but can't face starting his first ever conventional job.
5"Going, Going, Gone"Sydney LotterbyDick Clement and Ian La Frenais24 March 1978 (1978-03-24)TBA
Fletch, while at work, recognises an old fellow inmate (Nigel Hawthorne) and does his best to prevent a crime from occurring. This episode also includes an appearance from Pete Postlethwaite.
6"Going off the Rails"Sydney LotterbyDick Clement and Ian La Frenais7 April 1978 (1978-04-07)TBA
Fletch almost falls off the straight and narrow on the day Godber is to marry Ingrid when he assists an old friend (Alfred Lynch) with a bank raid, but has a change of heart before it's too late when he walks into a pet shop: the sight of all the animals in cages triggers memories of his many years in prison, and he abandons the job to attend the wedding.

Porridge feature film (1979)

No. Title Director Writers First broadcast Ratings
(millions)
1"Porridge"Dick ClementDick Clement and Ian La Frenais12 August 1979 (1979-08-12)N/A
Set a year before the final episode of the TV series.

Life Beyond the Box: Norman Stanley Fletcher (2003)

No. Title Director Writers First broadcast Ratings
(millions)
1"Life Beyond the Box: Norman Stanley Fletcher"Kim FlitcroftDanny Robins, Dan Tetsell29 December 2003 (2003-12-29)2.2[2]
The life of Norman Stanley Fletcher is detailed, with interviews with his family, friends and old cellmates

Porridge (2016)

Series 1 (2016-17)

No. Title Director Writers First broadcast Ratings
(millions)
Pilot
1"Porridge"Dominic BrigstockeDick Clement, Ian La Frenais28 August 2016 (2016-08-28)5.38
After being caught and put on trial for hacking credit cards and committing other cyber crimes for personal gain, Nigel Norman Fletcher is sentenced to five years at Wakeley Prison. A few weeks after arriving, Fletcher finds himself sharing his cell with a new prisoner, Joe Lotterby, a senior criminal who knew his grandfather in the past. Meanwhile, Richie Weeks, a hardened criminal who runs an enterprise in the prison, requests that Fletcher use his IT skills to sanitise his record, to ensure his upcoming parole hearing goes without a hitch, though things do not go as smoothly as Fletcher hopes for.
Regular Series
2"The Go-Between"Dominic BrigstockeDick Clement, Ian La Frenais6 October 2017 (2017-10-06)3.65
Fletcher has taken to helping his fellow inmates with appeals, letters home and the like, to earn a few things on the side. But things soon become complicated when he agrees to help a new prisoner maintain contact with his girlfriend, only for his own words and charm to earn their attention instead of their boyfriend's.
3"The Cake"Dominic BrigstockeDick Clement, Ian La Frenais13 October 2017 (2017-10-13)N/A
Concerned that Braithwaite is not suitable for guard duty, Meekie requests a replacement, who turns out to be his female equivalent in terms of her tough stance with the prisoners. Meanwhile, Parfitt instructs one of Fletcher's friends to accept a visit from one of his girls and take a gift from them, but a mix-up soon puts Fletcher into hot water with him.
4"The Minder"Dominic BrigstockeDick Clement, Ian La Frenais20 October 2017 (2017-10-20)N/A
As a way of Richie Weeks thanking him for helping him get paroled, Fletcher finds himself receiving Parfitt's right-hand man Scudds as his personal minder. But he soon finds it being quite problematic having him around, especially when he has to get rid of a dead pigeon that has been used by another prisoner to smuggle in drugs.
5"The Witness"Dominic BrigstockeDick Clement, Ian La Frenais27 October 2017 (2017-10-27)N/A
With Wakeley Prison set to receive a visit from a group of VIPs, seeking to see how well the prisoners are being treated, Fletcher finds himself being recruited to be an adviser for Parfitt's gang. He soon finds himself not liking the position, when his efforts to ensure Parfitt is rid of any illegal business he has in the prison winds up causing a fight during the VIP's visit, where he soon finds himself stuck in a cupboard with one of them, who happens to be the mother of the girl he was committing cyber crimes for.
6"The Listener"Dominic BrigstockeDick Clement, Ian La Frenais3 November 2017 (2017-11-03)N/A
Learning that Rob Strange, a former rock star with possible suicidal tendencies due to depression, is set to arrive at Wakeley Prison to serve time for illegally making drugs, Fletcher finds himself tasked by Littlewood to keep an eye on him, in exchange for receiving something in return if he accepts. But it's not an easy task for him, especially when he has to rely on his ex-girlfriend to track down someone Strange sent away at his last gig.
7"The Rift"Dominic BrigstockeDick Clement, Ian La Frenais10 November 2017 (2017-11-10)N/A
Having acquired himself the right to run a radio station within Wakeley Prison, Fletcher soon finds it causing friction between himself and Lotterby due to his need to be up early to run his morning radio show. But he soon regrets his attitude towards his cellmate, when he finds him unconscious outside in the freezing cold weather.

References

BBC list of Porridge episodes

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