17 December 2008

Prison Break - A Fan's Thoughts

Prison Break the US TV Series, created by Paul Scheuring and premiered August 2005. The series was originally turned down by the Fox network in 2003. They didn't know how long a series on a jailbreak could go on for.

After the success of Lost and 24, Fox broadcasting decided to back the production in 2004. The original first season had a planned 13 episodes, but due to the popularity of the show an extra 9 episodes were added.

The main characters of Prison Break are of course the brothers Michael Scofield (played by Wentworth Miller and Lincoln Burrows (played by Dominic Purcell).

The plot of the first season is: engineer Michael Scofield contrives to get himself sent to prison he helped design, in order to help his brother Lincoln Burrows escape. Lincoln is death-row inmate who insists he did not commit the crime for which he has been sentenced to die. Burrows is on death row for the murder of the vice president's brother. He insists he's innocent and only his brother Michael Scofield believes in him. As an engineer, Michael takes drastic measures to help his brother. He gets himself arrested and sent to the same prison so that with his knowledge of the building the two of them can escape together. However, while inside, Michael discovers a massive conspiracy that is determined to see Lincoln's sentence carried out. Breaking out will be more difficult than he thought, but he's still going to try!

The season covers six weeks that Michael has been in prison to break out his brother. The first three seasons of Prison Break were primarily filmed outside of Hollywood. The majority of the first season of the series was filmed on location in and around Chicago.

Joliet Prison became the set of Prison Break in 2005, standing in as Fox River State Penitentiary on screen. Scenes set in Lincoln's cell, the infirmary and the prison yard were all shot on location at the prison. Lincoln's cell is the same one in which John Wayne Gacy was incarcerated.

Most of the production crew refused to enter the cell, thinking that it was haunted. Other sets were built at the prison, including the cell blocks that housed the general prison population; these blocks had three tiers of cells (as opposed to the real cell block's two) and had cells much larger than real cells to allow more space for the actors and cameras. Exterior scenes were filmed in areas around Chicago, Woodstock, and Joliet in Illinois.

Other locations included O'Hare International Airport in Chicago and Toronto, Ontario in Canada. While the first season managed to pull in 10.5 million viewers, the second season obtained an average 9.4 million. And the other seasons also failed to grab the attention of viewers.

The story line in many viewers' eyes have slowly been going downhill. How can Michael have his half body tattoos removed in one night? How does T Bag manage to survive almost anything and still be able to hunt for the brothers?

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