Porridge Series 1, Episode 6 (Summary)

Men Without WomenFletcher (Ronnie Barker) and Godber (Richard Beckinsale) in a scene from Porridge (70s TV Series)

First Aired: 10-10-1974

Written by: Dick Clement & Ian La Frenais


“Men  Without Women” is the final episode from the first series of Porridge. As with Episode 4 (A Day Out), Fletcher manages to get a brief break from his stay at Slade Prison.

When a fellow inmate, Warren, receives a letter from his wife he asks Fletch to read it to him. The ever helpful Fletch agrees to do so and soon he has not only read the letter, but has drafted a reply on Warren’s behalf.

In fact he has written several copies of the letter so that some of the other inmates can send them home to their loved ones. The letter is supposed to subtly remind the reader not to stray from the path of the straight and narrow and find ways and means of appeasing the restless urges that they are sure to have.

Ronnie Barker (Fletcher) and Patricia Brake (Mrs Fletcher) in a scene from "Men Without Women" (Porridge season 1, episode 6)Fletch has earned a position of respect amongst his fellow inmates, who then send the letters. The letters are so effective that the recipients are all inspired to get the bus to Slade Prison on the next visiting day, just to put their partner’s minds at rest.

Fletch never sent a letter to his wife, but he is confident that she will visit as normal. He gets a surprise when his eldest daughter Ingrid visits him instead and she is the bearer of bad news.

Everyone within earshot is surprised to hear Ingrid tell her father, “She couldn’t come, dad… She’s found another man, dad.”

Has the master lost his touch? It certainly seems that way, but things are never what they seem with Fletch and he is soon granted forty-eight hours compassionate parole so that he can go and see his wife and try to sort their problems out.


Norman Stanley Fletcher ~~~ Ronnie Barker
Mr. Barrowclough ~~~ Brian Wilde
Mr. Mackay ~~~ Fulton Mackay
Warren ~~~ Sam Kelly
Heslop ~~~ Brian Glover
Governor Venables ~~~ Michael Barrington
Lukewarm ~~~ Christopher Biggins
Sgt. Norris ~~~ Royston Tickner
Tolly ~~~ Emlyn Price
Isobel Fletcher ~~~ June Ellis
Ingrid Fletcher ~~~ Patricia Brake
Norma ~~~ Susan Littler
Iris ~~~ Andonia Katsaros
Elaine ~~~ Rosalind Elliot

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