The BEST Episodes of Porridge

Every episode ever - ranked by fan votes!

Last Updated: Dec 23, 2019

Network: BBC One

"Fletch", sentenced to a five year stretch at HM Prison Slade in darkest Cumbria, is determined to keep his head down, do his time and not let the b******s grind him down. But it's not so simple when you're an old lag. His naive cell-mate Lenny Godber needs to learn the ropes, skives and scams; evil Prison Officer Mackay can't be allowed to run things his own way and warden Barrowclough is just too weak-willed not to have his good-nature exploited... Starring Ronnie Barker, Fulton Mackay, Richard Beckinsdale and Brian Wilde.

Pardon Me

#1 - Pardon Me

Season 3 - Episode 4 - Aired Mar 11, 1977

Old Blanco is doing time for the murder of his wife. He still swears he wasn't guilty. Now he's up before the Parole Board and it looks as if he's sure to be released. Blanco surprises everyone by turning down parole when it's offered to him. He explains that, if he accepts parole, he'll also be admitting that he was guilty of a crime for which he was wrongly convicted. He insists that he'll only leave prison if he's offered a full pardon. Fletcher comes up with a plan to help him.

star 8.09
54 votes
Directors: Sydney Lotterby
Writers: Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais
A Storm in a Teacup

#2 - A Storm in a Teacup

Season 3 - Episode 1 - Aired Feb 18, 1977

When a bottle of pills goes missing from the Doctor's surgery, Harry Grout is worried that investigation of the theft by the prison authorities will jeopardise some of his activities. Grout insists that Fletcher must find the pills and return them before the warders can take action.

star 7.90
150 votes
Directors: Sydney Lotterby
Writers: Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais
Disturbing the Peace

#3 - Disturbing the Peace

Season 2 - Episode 3 - Aired Nov 7, 1975

When Mr Mackay leaves Slade Prison, Fletcher thinks that "happy days are here again". Until, that is, he meets Mr Mackay's replacement.

star 7.89
103 votes
Directors: Sydney Lotterby
Writers: Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais
A Test of Character

#4 - A Test of Character

Season 3 - Episode 5 - Aired Mar 18, 1977

Godber is working hard for an extra O-level. Fletcher tries to persuade him that cheating would be a good way of ensuring success in the examination. Godber isn't convinced.

star 7.83
53 votes
Directors: Sydney Lotterby
Writers: Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais
Men Without Women

#5 - Men Without Women

Season 1 - Episode 6 - Aired Oct 10, 1974

Fletch fancies himself as a bit of an agony aunt and is called upon by his fellow inmates to help out with affairs of the heart.

star 7.82
127 votes
Directors: Sydney Lotterby
Writers: Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais
Poetic Justice

#6 - Poetic Justice

Season 3 - Episode 2 - Aired Feb 25, 1977

Fletcher's new cellmate turns out to be the judge who sentenced him to five years in Slade Prison.

star 7.78
32 votes
Directors: Sydney Lotterby
Writers: Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais
The Harder They Fall

#7 - The Harder They Fall

Season 2 - Episode 6 - Aired Nov 28, 1975

Godber takes up boxing and wins a place in the prison championship, so Fletcher sees a chance for a bit of a flutter. Then Harry Grout takes an interest and insists that the fight is 'fixed'. When one of Grout's rivals takes a similar interest in Godber's opponent, it looks as if nobody can win. Fletcher, however, has other ideas.

star 7.76
92 votes
Directors: Sydney Lotterby
Writers: Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais
Happy Release

#8 - Happy Release

Season 2 - Episode 5 - Aired Nov 21, 1975

Fletcher is having a spell in the prison hospital with a broken ankle. He's sharing a ward with old Blanco, who tells him that another inmate has swindled him out of his belongings in a crooked card game. Fletcher hatches a plan to recover Blanco's belongings and to take revenge on the culprit.

star 7.75
84 votes
Directors: Sydney Lotterby
Writers: Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais
No Peace for the Wicked

#9 - No Peace for the Wicked

Season 2 - Episode 4 - Aired Nov 14, 1975

It's Saturday afternoon and Fletcher looks forward to a quiet read. Everyone else seems to have other ideas about how Fletcher should be spending his time.

star 7.73
100 votes
Directors: Sydney Lotterby
Writers: Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais
The Hustler

#10 - The Hustler

Season 1 - Episode 2 - Aired Sep 12, 1974

Ives is such a loser that if Elizabeth Taylor had triplets, he'd have been the one in the middle. But there's no way he's going to be left out of Fletch's gambling enterprise.

star 7.69
151 votes
Directors: Sydney Lotterby
Writers: Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais
New Faces, Old Hands

#11 - New Faces, Old Hands

Season 1 - Episode 1 - Aired Sep 5, 1974

“Twenty-three and you want to go straight? What kind of talk is that? You've got your whole life in front of you!” It's Godber's first time in prison, and Fletch is going to teach him the ways.

star 7.58
154 votes
Directors: Sydney Lotterby
Writers: Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais
Final Stretch

#12 - Final Stretch

Season 3 - Episode 6 - Aired Mar 25, 1977

Godber is due to appear before the parole board, but a fight with another inmate puts his parole in jeopardy. It's up to Fletcher to save the day.

star 7.54
84 votes
Directors: Sydney Lotterby
Writers: Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais
Ways and Means

#13 - Ways and Means

Season 1 - Episode 5 - Aired Oct 3, 1974

Who would want to spend eight hours a day sewing fishing nets? Not Fletch, who is hell-bent on a cushy job in the library.

star 7.49
134 votes
Directors: Sydney Lotterby
Writers: Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais
Rough Justice

#14 - Rough Justice

Season 3 - Episode 3 - Aired Mar 4, 1977

Fletcher is worried that Judge Rawley might rob him of his main source of income - writing letters for illiterate inmates.

star 7.45
111 votes
Directors: Sydney Lotterby
Writers: Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais
Just Desserts

#15 - Just Desserts

Season 2 - Episode 1 - Aired Oct 24, 1975

There's an outbreak of petty pilfering from the inmates in Slade prison. Fletcher is disgusted - after all, stealing may be a job on the 'outside', but it's despicable when it happens 'inside'.

star 7.42
104 votes
Directors: Sydney Lotterby
Writers: Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais
Heartbreak Hotel

#16 - Heartbreak Hotel

Season 2 - Episode 2 - Aired Oct 31, 1975

Godber gets bad news from his girlfriend. Fletcher tries to provide help and advice, but perhaps daughter Ingrid might provide a more suitable solution to Godber's problems

star 7.37
98 votes
Directors: Sydney Lotterby
Writers: Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais
A Night In

#17 - A Night In

Season 1 - Episode 3 - Aired Sep 19, 1974

Fletch explains to Godber that the best way to cope with his first night in prison, is to see it as just a "quiet night in". Trouble is, Godber's got another 698 to go.

star 7.31
133 votes
Directors: Sydney Lotterby
Writers: Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais
A Day Out

#18 - A Day Out

Season 1 - Episode 4 - Aired Sep 26, 1974

The rest of the working party are thrilled to have a day out, but Fletch is masking indifference - what's so exciting about digging a ditch anyway?

star 7.30
138 votes
Directors: Sydney Lotterby
Writers: Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais