Prisoner And Escort (Originally Transmitted 1 Apr 1973)
It's New Year's Eve and Norman Stanley Fletcher has been sentenced to prison for five years for stealing a lorry full of booze. He is being escorted from Brixton Prison in London to Slade Prison in the wilds of the Cumbria fells. He is escorted by Mackay and Barrowclough. Just before the journey from the train station to Slade begins, Fletch tops up the petrol tank during a call of nature. The van inevitably breaks down enroute and he sees his opportunity to escape. He is thwarted after going round in circles and ending up back in the hands of Mr Barrowclough and is finally taken to Slade Prison, setting the scene for the following episodes.
As this episode was aired a full 17 months before the first series, it is never counted as being part of the first series. So this episode was really hard to find on VHS. Even the so-called Porridge Complete box set excluded it. Strangely but thankfully it does appear as an extra on the second series DVD.