Screw on Channel 4: Where was the prison drama filmed and when is the next episode?

Cast of Screw on Channel 4

Screw is the new prison drama on Channel 4, looking at the work and life of officers in the fictional Long Marsh Prison.

Starring Derry Girls’ favourite Jamie-Lee O’Donnell and His Dark Materials’ Nina Sosanya, the dark comedy series examines prison life in an uncensored way that exposes both the expected and unexpected reality of life in an all-male prison in the UK today. 

Just one of the new dramas on our televisions in 2022, Screw on Channel 4 joins the ranks of BBC drama Four Lives, which is based on a true story, (opens in new tab) and The Bay on ITV (opens in new tab) as a must-watch for January. 

Where was Screw filmed? 

Screw was filmed in Glasgow, Scotland, on a life-sized replica of a prison wing.

But you’d be forgiven for thinking that it was actually shot inside a real prison, since it was set up to look exactly that way. As Nina Sosanya, who plays Leigh in the drama, explains, the set was built in a studio called Kelvin Hall and resembles “the sort [of prison] that might have been built in the mid-19th century where it’s about the railings and the steel steps.”

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She says, “It was built over three levels within this huge hangar in Glasgow, and goes round two corners. Once you’re through the gates, you’re actually in this sort of living, breathing prison with 100 or so cells, most of which can open and lock.” 

And on the set, there’s everything the cast need to make their roles feel as realistic as possible. “There are offices and pool tables, classrooms and medical stores,” she adds. “You can go from level one to level three, into a cell and out to the office, all in one [camera take]. It makes it really dynamic.” 

Peterhead Prison Museum was also the location for some exterior shots of the prison. Situated at the most eastern point in mainland Scotland, HMP Peterhead was a working institution from 1888 until 2013. 

Is Screw based on a true story?

No, all the events in Screw are entirely fictional

Writer, creator and executive producer of the series, Rob Williams, does have plenty of personal experience working in prisons around the UK, however. 

Nina Sosanya as Leigh and Jamie-Lee O'Donnell as Rose in Screw on Channel 4

Leigh (Nina Sosanya) and Rose (Jamie-Lee O'Donnell) in Screw, Credit: Channel 4

“I’ve had the privilege of spending time on the wings, talking to prisoners and officers,” he told Grampian Online. “While there’s not a single story or character that is a direct translation in Screw, there is a desire to represent the world as I see it. There is laughter, there is humour, there is humanity, there is friendship, there is real life. It’s not just violence and drudgery and darkness.” 

Other serving prison officers’ experiences also inspired the series. Former officer John Podmore was “great early on” in the development of the series, Rob says. “He used to be a prison governor in Brixton and Belmarsh, and is still involved in that world.” 

The creator also reveals that he spoke to Mark Fairhurst, the national chair of the Prison Officers Association. This was alongside various groups and charities “that have a stake in the various issues we address through the show.” 

When is the next episode of Screw?

The next episode of Screw airs on Thursday at 9pm

The series premiered on January 6 2022 and has six episodes in total. It will air every Thursday from then until the final on February 10. 

Jackie (Laura Checkley) and Gary (Stephen Wright), prison officers in Screw, Credit: Channel 4.

However if you’re not keen on waiting for a new episode every week, you can also binge the entire series now on All4 (opens in new tab) as all episodes are available to watch. 

Unlike other popular streaming services, All4 is completely free to access. You only need to register with an email address to watch the channel’s entire content collection. Other popular shows on the site include Murder Island (opens in new tab), comedy show Complaints Welcome (opens in new tab) and Jodie Comer's 2021 series Help (opens in new tab).  

Screw cast

Spotted a face in the Screw cast that you can’t quite place? Here’s who’s who in the new drama…

  • Nina Sosanya (His Dark Materials, Killing Eve) as Leigh 
  • Jamie-Lee O’Donnell (Derry Girls) as Rose
  • Stephen Wright (I May Destroy You) as Gary 
  • Laura Checkley (Brassic, In My Skin) as Jackie
  • Faraz Ayub (Line of Duty, Bodyguard) as Ali
  • Christopher Fulford (Manhunt, White Chapel) as Dolby 

Watch Screw on Channel 4 every Thursday at 9pm or stream the whole series now on All4.