Media Partners | Contributors | Advertise | Contact | Log in | Wednesday 19 December 2018

Here's why Channel 5 need to hurry up and air Wentworth in the UK


Share This Article:

Since the tragic season four finale, fans have been eagerly awaiting the return of Foxtel’s Wentworth - Australia’s female prison drama that’s giving Orange Is The New Black a run for its money.

The drama returned on 4th April on Showcase in Australia, but for us unlucky few in the UK, the cliffhangers remain in suspense, as Channel 5 have yet to reveal a broadcast date. 

Wentworth season four cast

The end of season four saw Bea Smith (Danielle Cormack) savagely killed by previous Governor Joan ‘The Freak’ Ferguson (Pamela Rabe) with a screw-driver, whilst her lover Allie Novak (Kate Jenkinson) was hanging on to life in a hospital after overdosing on heroin.

Over the past four years Wentworth certainly hasn’t shied away from using dramatic twists, but the murder of Bea Smith had fans reeling across the world.

Despite desperately hoping for Bea’s unlikely survival, reports have suggested that season five will begin where season four ended: with Allie Novak in the hospital bed, awaking from her forced overdose and hearing the news of Bea’s death.

Despite new ‘Top Dog’ Karen ‘Kaz’ Proctor ordering other inmates not to converse or acknowledge Ferguson in the new trailer, mini teasers for season five illustrate that revenge will be on the minds of all the inmates of Wentworth Prison: "Revenge will set us free."

Despite Rabe’s stunning performance as Joan Ferguson, her character's actions over the past three seasons have arguably made her the most hated character within the show. I can’t imagine anyone would be too upset if 'The Freak' finally comes to her demise this season.

However, the UK are still without a release date for the new season. In this digital age, spoilers for new episodes are difficult to avoid, with fans expressing their thoughts on social media immediately after an episode ends. Unable to take part in the internet fangirling and risking potential spoilers, UK fans are quickly turning to internet streaming sites instead of waiting for Channel 5 to air the new series.

When Wentworth first aired in the UK, the first episode had a 2.4 million viewership. Reports have illustrated that over time, audience figures have decreased by two thirds. Is it possible that people in the UK are just losing interest? Unlikely. Having to wait at least a month for the series to air on Channel 5, it's much more likely that the majority of fans are turning to the internet to watch the most recent episode.

Figures illustrate that Wentworth is the most pirated Australian-made show. Whilst this demonstrates the popularity of the show, Foxtel have stated that online streaming sites make it more difficult to acquire funding for further series. This raises the question: should Channel 5 - and other UK broadcasters - make more of an effort to air episodes in the UK more quickly? Or should there be more restrictions and control over sites that stream television programmes illegally?

Last year, season four of Wentworth aired in June 2016 in the UK, making the wait for the episodes just over a month. This would have been acceptable a few years ago, but in the digital age, this is no longer satisfactory for fans who can easily access almost any programme online.


read more

© 2018 is a website of BigChoice Group Limited | 10-12 The Circle, Queen Elizabeth Street, London, SE1 2JE | registered in England No 6842641 VAT # 971692974