EXCLUSIVE: Wentworth's Kate Atkinson talks the show's most explosive season yet

Vera Bennett gives us the details.

Not only is multi-Logie award-winning Australian drama Wentworth back on air this week for its seventh season, it was also announced the successful prison drama has been renewed for a further 20 episodes.
It's not just great news for fans, but also for the cast, who thought this season would be their last.
"There were a lot of mixed emotions when we were filming," Kate Atkinson, who stars as prison governor Vera Bennett, tells Woman's Day.
"It was really tricky, because there is so much sentiment attached to this show. And we all, I guess, wanted to go out on a high, and we really didn't know what was happening, and whether this season would be our last.
"We all wanted the writers to finish the show the way they had intended to finish it."
It wasn't until they'd finished production that the cast learnt the show had been picked up for its final run.
"When we did find out we had this epic, 20-episode finale, part of my body went, 'Right, where are we going?' And the other part of me was really overjoyed, for everyone, as a collective," says Kate, 46.
"There is so much sentiment attached to the show." (Image: Showcase)
Season seven picks up three months on. Vera is now six months pregnant with Jake's (Bernard Curry) baby, and continuing, as best she can, to preside over the prison and its inmates.
She's also still processing the dramatic events that played out in last season's sensational finale, which saw Channing (Gary Sweet) mistakenly kill ex-prison guard Murphy (Katerina Kotsonis), who was blackmailing Vera and fellow guards Will (Robbie Magasiva) and Jake over Joan Ferguson's death. Channing has now been arrested, but does this mean they are all off the hook for The Freak's murder?
"The Ferguson phantom is put to rest," says Kate. "Vera is breaking free of that conspiracy with Will and Jake. And it feels to me like in this season, the weight and the drive of ambition of 'I have to be governor, and I have to beat Ferguson' suddenly has lifted."
WATCH" Wentworth: Is Joan 'The Freak' Ferguson dead or alive? Post continues after video...
While Vera comes to terms with her new circumstances – and impending motherhood – elsewhere an almighty battle is brewing, as Kaz (Tammy McIntosh) and Marie (Susie Porter) duke it out for the title of Top Dog.
Both Marie and undercover cop Rita (Leah Purcell) are now staring down 15-year sentences, and you can bet trouble is ahead for those two as they come to terms with their new life.
Meanwhile, Liz (Celia Ireland) continues to process her recent dementia diagnosis, amidst the turbulence of H Block.
"There are a couple of moments in seven that are quite profound for Liz," says Celia. "Where she really is completely lost in space."
Seasons eight and nine of Wentworth begin filming in October.
Bring on season seven! (Image: Showcase)

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