The 10-episode series, set to debut on Foxtel's SoHo on May 1, brings back to life characters from the much-loved original, including lesbian hard-arse Frankie Doyle (now played by Nicole Da Silva) and the infamous Bea Smith (Danielle Cormack).
Media mingled with cast and crew at last night's preview gathering at Melbourne Central, where they were frisked by 'correctional service security officers' before being detained at the bar.
While audience members were asked to hold back from publishing spoilers and plot details, it can be revealed that the first episode of Wentworth was something of a prequel to the original Prisoner but transitioned to a modern setting. With the debut episode screenplay by former Australian music industry identity Pete McTighe (most recently writing for EastEnders, one of the UK's most watched TV shows), popular characters have been able to be rerpised but within new storylines.
Those expecting Wentworth to honour the often campy nature of the original Network Ten series will be shocked by the darkly-toned atmosphere of this re-imagining. Wentworth looks and feels like a US cable drama - it doesn't shy away from brutal imagery or graphic (same) sex scenes. This is more Oz than Aus soap.
Prior to the screening, newcomer Shareena Clanton admitted she, at 24, was too young to have seen the original series. It shows, as Clanton has her own take on the role of the much-beloved Doreen Anderson rather than aping the original. This fresh take is carried through by the entire cast.
But the big question is, what about the famous and heart-wrenching theme song On The Inside? We believe the answer to that that might be construed a spoiler.
This week's new sets include music from locals Gurrumul, Josh Pyke and West Thebarton Brothel Party plus new tunes from The Maccabees and Albert Hammond Jr.