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Did Joan Get Away With Too Much For Too Long?
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Thunder
post May 23 2016, 11:34 PM
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I do love Joan, she was a great character and earned the right to be Prisoners best remembered and most well loved character

I feel she was absolutely gripping between 1982-1984, there is no doubt about that. It was great stuff. Especially between Episodes 287-327, thats when Joan was at her scariest and most evil. They dropped the ball with her slightly in late '83 after Nola was killed as she didn't get muc h of interest for a period of episodes. The feud with Bea was put aside and only reignited when Sonia arrived and she was given the storylines with her neighbours and with the obnoxious wheelchair bound Tracy Belman. Both storylines seemed designed to show Joan in a more sympathetic light which was fine but it just wasn't as gripping as Joan being evil

But then they got her back on top form and all the way through 1984 it was good stuff, i especially enjoyed the feud with Len and the stint as governor. And of course not forgetting the feud with Reb. But the feud with Myra did seem to lack something. It was not as thrilling as the feuds with Bea and Rita

In 1985 i feel they dropped the ball again with Joan. For a long period of episodes during the infamous Nora era she is given sub standard material. I actually found the relationship with Terri quite interesting and well written but the mistake was they forgot to give Joan interesting stuff to do within the prison at the sametime. Her highlight would be the dealings with Ruth

In 1986 Joan was returned to good form again. The feud with Rita was pretty good stuff and she was again at her evil best in scenes such as ordering Rodney to bash Spider or standing merrily beside Craven as she watches him order Rita's brother shot dead.

But it was at some point in 1986 where i felt that Joan getting away with everything was beginning to wear thin. I'm not sure what point i thought that, maybe midway through. I also felt around the mid to late 500s that Joan may have benefited from a break from the show at that point, say written out for around 50 episodes and then given a dramatic return in the 600s
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Thunder
post May 24 2016, 01:18 AM
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I love the way someone has already given this topic one star just because it dares to say something slightly critical about Joan. Despite the fact that most of what i say in my post is actually positive about her
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PavlovsDog
post May 24 2016, 02:30 AM
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QUOTE (Thunder @ May 24 2016, 02:18 AM) *
I love the way someone has already given this topic one star just because it dares to say something slightly critical about Joan. Despite the fact that most of what i say in my post is actually positive about her


How do you know that is the reason? Maybe they simply disagree with some of your points.

For what it's worth, I never knew you could rate a thread and would never have paid attention to ratings had you not brought it up. For the record, I gave 4 stars in the hope you get over yourself and stop feeling sorry for yourself.
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Jock Stewart
post May 24 2016, 10:52 AM
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I can agree with the OP on this thread I think and some nice reverence there for one of the greatest characters in the history of TV.

Joan's character had been sanitized somewhat by 1986, so not only was she getting away with too much, it was in too much of a stark contrast to the figure we were supposed to sympathise with outside of the prison. This was par for the course though by the final season, the whole show was dying a slow death. I do feel that the last 30 episodes feature a return to form somewhat for Joan, but the fact was, the character was wearing thin, MK knows it and the show writers know it - and without Joan ruling the screen, there's no point in going on.

As for the rating of threads, its not for anyone to reason why another member has decided to give the rating he or she has. It's their opinion.
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Lillyivimia
post May 24 2016, 06:34 PM
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Joan actually did get away with far too much - no question about it. I've just re-watched the episode where Joan's father has been kidnapped by Reb's partner in crime on the outside and the women use this to effectively blackmail her into resigning from Corrective Services. She later withdraws her resignation and asks Ann to put in a good word for her. At this point, Ann has no illusions about Joan's corrupt ways - all she lacks is the proof. Colleen and Meg think Joan's resignation should stand and Erica, who has become the new Head of Department, also believes that Joan is more trouble than she's worth. And yet Ann decides to back Joan. Every time I see this episode it just seems contrived - just a way to have Joan return to the job with an illusion of validity. In truth it's a nonsense.

There are many such examples and each one does force a moment of just ignoring the stark logic of the storyline and just accept what's happening. It's the nature of the show, of course, and like any soap it has to be contrived to generate the opportunities for drama. But I can't help thinking that it would just be a bit more believable if Joan hadn't been so openly corrupt. If she had worked covertly behind-the-scenes for longer - been more subtle and less obvious - it would have lessened these occasional necessities for suspension of disbelief.
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LeachFreakTits
post May 24 2016, 08:17 PM
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QUOTE (Lillyivimia @ May 24 2016, 07:34 PM) *
Joan actually did get away with far too much - no question about it. I've just re-watched the episode where Joan's father has been kidnapped by Reb's partner in crime on the outside and the women use this to effectively blackmail her into resigning from Corrective Services. She later withdraws her resignation and asks Ann to put in a good word for her. At this point, Ann has no illusions about Joan's corrupt ways - all she lacks is the proof. Colleen and Meg think Joan's resignation should stand and Erica, who has become the new Head of Department, also believes that Joan is more trouble than she's worth. And yet Ann decides to back Joan. Every time I see this episode it just seems contrived - just a way to have Joan return to the job with an illusion of validity. In truth it's a nonsense.

There are many such examples and each one does force a moment of just ignoring the stark logic of the storyline and just accept what's happening. It's the nature of the show, of course, and like any soap it has to be contrived to generate the opportunities for drama. But I can't help thinking that it would just be a bit more believable if Joan hadn't been so openly corrupt. If she had worked covertly behind-the-scenes for longer - been more subtle and less obvious - it would have lessened these occasional necessities for suspension of disbelief.


Had she have done any of that,then it wouldn't take long for a bright spark to get hold of it.
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foxy23
post May 25 2016, 12:17 PM
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I agree with the OP. I feel like Joan got away with it too much and won too many battles.

The Freak was an outstanding character and no doubt in the latter years of Prisoner probably was the driving force it getting the programme renewed but it did become a bit..."ah come on" at some points.

I prefer the earlier years when Bea etc. were winning more battles than they weren't but that is probably because I started watching the show with this era so have the greater affection for it.

However, with repeat viewings I have come to quite like the latter years (especially 1986) which was outstanding, for the most part.
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NAParry
post May 25 2016, 04:25 PM
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QUOTE (Lillyivimia @ May 24 2016, 07:34 PM) *
Joan actually did get away with far too much - no question about it. I've just re-watched the episode where Joan's father has been kidnapped by Reb's partner in crime on the outside and the women use this to effectively blackmail her into resigning from Corrective Services. She later withdraws her resignation and asks Ann to put in a good word for her. At this point, Ann has no illusions about Joan's corrupt ways - all she lacks is the proof. Colleen and Meg think Joan's resignation should stand and Erica, who has become the new Head of Department, also believes that Joan is more trouble than she's worth. And yet Ann decides to back Joan. Every time I see this episode it just seems contrived - just a way to have Joan return to the job with an illusion of validity. In truth it's a nonsense.


I agree with all of this, but such difficult-to-believe moments - by no means confined to Prisoner, of course - are there for the viewer to raise a fist at the TV screen and get angry about the injustice of it all, and enjoy disliking The Freak even more. After a few episodes, when Anne's lapse has been relegated to history, we can once again enjoy Joan getting up to her evil ways as if nothing had really changed.

QUOTE
There are many such examples and each one does force a moment of just ignoring the stark logic of the storyline and just accept what's happening. It's the nature of the show, of course, and like any soap it has to be contrived to generate the opportunities for drama. But I can't help thinking that it would just be a bit more believable if Joan hadn't been so openly corrupt. If she had worked covertly behind-the-scenes for longer - been more subtle and less obvious - it would have lessened these occasional necessities for suspension of disbelief.


Absolutely, and I've probably just echoed some of these very points! I think blatancy was one of Joan's less considered attributes - she felt she could get away with virtually anything, and often did! Interestingly, although she deserved to have her arrogance as the reason for her 'final fall' from grace, it was actually her lack of confidence in her career as a Prison Officer that tripped her up. Never one to play by the rules, our Joan, bless her!
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LeachFreakTits
post May 26 2016, 10:19 PM
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I think that's why she worked so well with Eve Wilder,both blissfully unaware of how alike they were as their actions often undid their shortfalls etc.
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Thunder
post May 26 2016, 11:11 PM
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QUOTE (PavlovsDog @ May 24 2016, 03:30 AM) *
How do you know that is the reason? Maybe they simply disagree with some of your points.

For what it's worth, I never knew you could rate a thread and would never have paid attention to ratings had you not brought it up. For the record, I gave 4 stars in the hope you get over yourself and stop feeling sorry for yourself.


Pavlovsdog i am not feeling sorry for myself on anything. Why don't you pack in with the rude posts all the time, its getting tedious
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PavlovsDog
post May 26 2016, 11:54 PM
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QUOTE (Thunder @ May 27 2016, 12:11 AM) *
Pavlovsdog i am not feeling sorry for myself on anything. Why don't you pack in with the rude posts all the time, its getting tedious


There is nothing rude about my post, I'm simply giving feedback.
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jim fletcher
post Jul 19 2016, 01:48 AM
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I know its only a tv show but lets be serious ,when the prisoners who who were in hooded clothing bashed joan ,they in real terms would have left her for dead on life support but of course the villain al
ways finds a way to return in the world of television
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The Bear
post Jul 19 2016, 02:22 AM
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Joan getting the upper hand on the Masked Prisoners was quite believable in the way it was done.

None of her attackers were exactly heavy weights and it's not as though she fought them all off like Superwoman. She simply used her smarts, grabbing one of them and threatening to kill her if the rest didn't back off.
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jim fletcher
post Jul 22 2016, 01:20 AM
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upper hand ?there were 7 of them ! they really should have beaten her to a pulp
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Ruth Ballinger
post Jul 22 2016, 01:21 AM
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Five - Margo, Chrissie, Paddy, Jacko, and Lil.
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jim fletcher
post Jul 27 2016, 02:42 PM
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QUOTE (Ruth Ballinger @ Jul 22 2016, 01:21 AM) *
Five - Margo, Chrissie, Paddy, Jacko, and Lil.



point im making is that in reality they should have had her beaten within an inch of her life
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The Bear
post Jul 27 2016, 03:27 PM
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They should have but Joan was just too smart for them.
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The VJ
post Jul 28 2016, 08:40 AM
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I believe Prisoner as a whole relied on the Joan Ferguson character heavily at times. She was the enemy on both sides of the bars and there was much room to play around with that.

It was thrilling how she dodged so much. Which was the appeal. Perhaps she did get away with too much I agree and what fun it was!
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Lillyivimia
post Jul 28 2016, 08:44 AM
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Joan got away with FAR too much and this is especially noticeable when watching a lot of episodes close to one another. In a 2-episode weekly format, I recall it was less obvious and seemed better paced, but watching at leisure, as many episodes as required a night, speeds up the intended process and exaggerates it somewhat. In effect, it distorts and magnifies the frequency of what she gets away with and it looks as if she's forever at war with the Governor, the staff and the inmates.

But, yes, for all that it's still supremely entertaining. (IMG:http://www.prisonercellblockhworld.co.uk/forum/style_emoticons/default/smile.gif)
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jim fletcher
post Aug 6 2016, 01:07 PM
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damn I wish the freak's diaries were found by the other officers
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The Bear
post Aug 6 2016, 03:37 PM
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That would have been a good way to kill the show off early.
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Mark
post Aug 7 2016, 03:50 PM
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To answer the question I don't think she did. Her stint in 287-326 was absolutely top notch. She got away with the things she did because she wasn't caught - it's as simple as that. She had the brains to stay one step ahead of everyone. Bea was clever in her plan with the fire and Barbara's diaries helped.
Later in the series, she was sacked and brought back, she was asked to resign and brought back, but she was still clever enough to stay one step ahead - Meg even says so much about her being clever enough to avoid being sacked. Her ultimate downfall and the biggest plothole was her trusting Rita enough to believe that she'd get the money and leave the prison - there was nothing up to this point in my mind that would encourage Joan to think this would be successful, had it been after the death of her dog, her father, the loss of Shane or Terri then maybe you could justify it by saying she wasn't thinking straight but 1986 had been a good year for Joan so it's hard to see why she would go along with the plan. Rita's persuasion is clearly a very good skill and led to Joan's downfall. I don't think she did get away with far too much for too long.
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jamesterrancewes...
post Aug 8 2016, 06:58 AM
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LOL compared to Wentworth Joan, she doesn't get away with enough. I'm trying to think of the worst thing she probably did, and I guess something like bashing Reb or trying to kill her would be one of the worst things. She did wriggle her way out of a lot, but that was the beauty of the character. Its not as crazy as the shit she does and gets away with in Wentworth though, so I'd say no anyway.

QUOTE (Thunder @ May 24 2016, 12:34 AM) *
I also felt around the mid to late 500s that Joan may have benefited from a break from the show at that point, say written out for around 50 episodes and then given a dramatic return in the 600s


I've suggested a break for the character around this time too, and everyone got mad at me for saying it lol.
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markox20
post Aug 10 2016, 06:45 PM
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I have wondered if one of the reasons the show did not get renewed for 1987 , was because the new Maggie was tiring of the role and unlikely to sign on for another year. Without the freak, the powers that be may have thought the show wasn't worth carrying on , as there were no other characters left in the show who could arguably carry it .
Rita was a strong character, but even prior to cancellation it was decided she wasn't returning !!
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Screwbaiter
post Sep 3 2017, 09:43 AM
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What an interesting thread!
I agree about the contrivance of some storylines - Anne backing Joan, as already stated - and those things irked me more than anything Joan got away with.
Also, at the time I first viewed the 500's, I was disappointed with some ofher storylines and the lack of the black gloves... but what I did love ws the final stint, when it was clear that Joan had no power, and she knew she had no power, but had nothing else, no where to turn (thanks to Willie). The notion that Joan was almost a joke figure to the women and officers by then, which led to her trusting Rita, was superbly done, IMO.
So... yes in some instances she got away with too much, but as said before, if they'd got rid of her they'd have had to created someone worse... and I can't think of a long term character that could fly closer to the line than Joan.
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Falconer_1
post Oct 2 2018, 03:50 PM
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Not the most through answer, granted, but in my view, she did get away with too much for too long, but that was the nature of the character and her time on the show- she was a 'baddie' and in the show for 400+ episodes. She inevitably was going to have bags of storylines, and many covered so many aspects of a multi faceted personality, but unless they made her into a saint, near misses, situations which turned out her way in the end were maybe inevitable?
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