Between 1967 and 1977 a staggering 1,697 episodes of Australia's first soap opera Bellbird was screened. The show starred many of the future Prisoner actors - a fact that is not too confusing as the Australian screen-actor elite was not very large in the late Sixties and Seventies.

Gerda starred as strict farmer's wife Fiona Buckland/Carstairs/Davies, establishing her lady potential quite early on in her career. Her future as an actress came to be playing lady-like characters. She starred in the series for six years.

The series also starred Elspeth Ballyntine as Lori Chandler. This was, however, before Gerda entered the cast, but the two of them would come to work together many times in the future. Not surprisingly, they were friends in real life. Many other memorable Prisoner-characters also starred in Bellbird through the years, for examples Patsy King and Sheila Florance.

The cast of Bellbird towards the final years of the series. Including Gerda, lots of later Prisoner actors and actresses had roles in this early soap opera. On the far, upper left is Carl Bleazby (Major Ferguson), to his right Maurie Fields (Len Murphy) and seated next to him is Carmel Millhouse (who played Mrs. Beamish, and many other small roles in Prisoner). The man with the tie-less, white shirt in the back row is Alan Hopgood (Wally Wallace) and on the right end of the picture is, of course, Gerda Nicolson.