Prison Break Season 1

Prison Break Season 1 (DVD Cover)

Recurring character(s): Lincoln Burrows (Dominic Purcell), Michael Scofield (Wentworth Miller), Fernando Sucre (Amaury Nolasco), Theodore "T-Bag" Bagwell (Robert Knepper), Dr. Sara Tancredi (Sarah Wayne Callies), Brad Bellick (Wade Williams), L. J. Burrows (Marshall Allman), Benjamin Miles "C-Note" Franklin (Rockmond Dunbar), Veronica Donovan (Robin Tunney), Henry Pope (Stacy Keach), John Abruzzi (Peter Stormare), Charles Westmoreland (Muse Watson)

Director: Various

Original air date(s): 08/29/2005 to 05/16/2006
DVD Date: 08/08/2006

Rating: Not Rated
Running Time: 960 minutes

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Prison Break Season 1

Review: I recently finished three weeks (22 days to be exact) of watching one episode of Prison Break Season One every night, and let me say up front that I was enthralled with this series. I don't know how I missed it when it first aired on Fox during the 2005/2006 television season, but I'm glad I found it now.

Wentworth Miller stars as Michael Scofield, who gets arrested for armed robbery so he can be incarcerated in the same high security prison that holds his brother, Lincoln Burrows (Dominic Purcell), a man wrongly convicted of killing the brother of the Vice President of the United States ... and who is also just weeks away from being executed for the crime. Needless to say there is a conspiracy afoot to cover up Burrows's innocence of the crime, and to ensure that he is executed on schedule -- but just who's working for whom and to what end is part of the intriguing premise here.

Prison Break succeeds on several levels. Scofield is a brilliant strategist, planning for every possible contingency, even to the point of having the plans of the prison tattooed onto his body in the guise of avant-garde art. (He is, professionally, a structural engineer, and had access to the blueprints.) The prison setting is necessarily claustrophobic, enhancing the inherent suspense in the close calls that inevitably occur as he plans his escape with his brother. The casting, with one notable exception, is perfect. I can't imagine any other actor portraying the roles of the prisoners, the warden, the resident doctor, and prison staff, the secretive government officials, and others, which says a lot for how effective they are integrated into the story. The exception: Robin Tunney as Burrows's attorney Veronica Donovan, who seems as completely miscast as everyone else is ideally cast. It's hard to say what I didn't like about her portrayal, but I suppose it's mostly that I never bought into her character. That she appeared sullen and uninterested in the role didn't help endear her to me either.

It must be said that nearly every episode requires the viewer to take a leap of faith at some point. If you're willing, however, to allow for the occasional scene that stretches credulity, or in several lapses in continuity, you'll be rewarded with a suspenseful, incredibly exciting adventure. As I write this I'm several episodes into the second season ... and enjoying it almost as much as the first.


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