Rumour: Who will play the new Bea Smith?

Who is set to become the new ‘top dog?’

That’s the question that will be answered shortly as the new Bea Smith is set to be revealed for Foxtel’s Wentworth drama series.

The FremantleMedia produced series is not pitched as a remake of Prisoner, but a re-imagining. Casting has been going on behind the scenes in recent weeks and  key performers are due to be announced imminently.

Based around Bea Smith’s early days as a wife and mother prior to her internment at Wentworth Detention Centre, the series is boldly set in the present -that will undoubtedly require a leap of faith by die-hard fans.

There will be nods to the past but whispers are none of the original cast will be making an appearance anytime soon as the show seeks to make its own mark first.

The series also won’t be shooting at the original site of TEN’s former Nunawading studios, now known as Global Studios, despite the fact FremantleMedia still films Neighbours there and the exterior still resembles the hallowed walls of Wentworth.

Instead producers will shoot at a building that is being transformed as the new-look prison, in outer eastern Melbourne. Sources tell TV Tonight the sets that are being built already look “amazing.”

So that just leaves the unanswered question of who will play the key role of Bea Smith, made famous by Val Lehman?

TV Tonight understands the hot favourite is none other than ……actress Tammy McIntosh.

Update: Another source indicates Danielle Cormack is in line for the role!


  1. The Sydney Morning Herald has confirmed:
    Danielle Cormack as Bea Smith
    Catherine McClements as Meg Jackson (Governor)
    Nicole da Silva as Frankie Doyle
    Aaron Jeffery as prison guard Matthew ”Fletch” Fletcher

  2. Gotta be Bronwyn Bishop. Return to her other life. Was a killer solicitor in “Divorce Court” on Nine in the late sixties. That was when we used to produce our own daytime soaps.
    Or Cornelia Frances.

  3. It seems like they are taking a similar stance to Smallville, setting an origin story in the present day, even though we had seen the older versions of the characters decades before. It’s a bit of a distraction in that you know where the character ends up. Similarly I find How I met your Mother , a distraction in the same way because of its title.

  4. How interesting David but I guess its amazing what was created from such a low budget. Many other shows on huge budgets today could only ever dream of achieving what Prisoner did.

    And yes some of those characters did appear later on in the series but the reason I mentioned them is because during the original Prisoner those characters were actually mentioned as having been in Wentworth earlier, as early as 10 years prior to when the original started (eg. Marie being Top Dog when Bea first came to Wentworth and Myra having served a stretch inside prior to her later run in Prisoner) and with this new show being set in the very early days, those characters would have likely been around then.

    Others like Noeline and Margo who just appeared out of nowhere in the early days could have just been lurking in the background and could easily have been around during the very early days when Bea first arrives in Wentworth.

  5. I’m also hoping they reintroduce some of the other original characters so we can see what they were like in the early days of Wentworth.

    In particular the early characters who would have been around in the early days like Vera Bennett, Meg Jackson, Lizzie Birdsworth, Doreen Anderson, Myra Desmond, Marie Winter, Monica Ferguson, “Mum” Brooks, Margo Gaffney, Chrissie Latham and of course 2 of the most notorious Franky Doyle and Noeline Bourke!

    I don’t think there’s been characters like those mentioned above on Australian television ever.

    • Several of those were much later in the series, but I expect to hear that early faces will also be re-cast once behind bars. It may well involve flashbacks, who knows. Prisoner once offered up a Frankie Doyle Story telemovie, but only by editing together scenes with Carol Burns. It caused a lot of grief amongst actors at the time, because they offered no extra $$. I once visited the set on a public holiday and the girls weren’t even getting extra $. Ahh Aussie telly!

  6. bettestreep2008

    Interesting that they have decided to base the series in the present.

    The faithful will probably not like this – and I can understand why.

    Bea Smith was incarcerated in the late 70s so the ‘early days’ should be based in the late 60s or 70s – not 2012.

    Will be interesting whether it becomes a hit or a miss.

    Personally – you just can’t beat the original. Look at how the revamped Dallas, 90210, Melrose Place are doing.

    • Other bold reinventions such as Battlestar Galactica for instance have been very successful, but yes it will require fans to try and reboot their expectations. I’m nervous but happy to give it the benefit of the doubt.

  7. Can’t wait to hear this, please don’t keep us in too much suspense David!

    It’s good that the actresses arent too typecast as I had to google them to find out who they were but I know that one was heavily associated with All Saints and she was actually pretty good in that.

    One thing is for sure though, it will take a mighty actress to fill the shoes of Bea Smith made famous by the legendary Val Lehman.

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