Death is not permanent when it comes to television. A few twists of a plot and a major character can be brought back to life.
That’s what happens with new episodes of get-out-of-jail series “Prison Break.” In the final episode of 2009 fourth season of the FOX series – along with the made-for-TV movie “Prison Break: The Final Break” – the character of Michael Scofield (Wentworth Miller) is diagnosed with a fatal brain tumor and he sacrifices himself to save the mother of his child.
Now that FOX has revived “Prison Break,” Scofield is alive and kicking. As would be expected, he’s in a prison and it is up to his brother, Lincoln (Dominic Purcell), and other members of the “Prison Break” team – played by Rockmond Dunbar, Robert Knepper and Amaury Nolasco – to get him out.
The new episodes of “Prison Break” brings the Scofield brothers back to the small screen but Miller and Purcell have worked together since “Prison Break” ended eight years ago. They played costumed villains Captain Cold and Heat Wave in “The Flash” before becoming part of the “DC Legends of Tomorrow” team.
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It was while the pair were working on those comic book-inspired programs that the first conversations began about reviving “Prison Break.”
Once production started on the new season of “Prison Break,” Miller found working with the same actors again like going to a high school reunion. Things had changed over the years for all of them but there was a familiarity from all those seasons working together that came back.
All that is fine. But how does one pull off such a Lazarus move with a major TV character? Series creator and executive producer Paul T. Scheuring spent a lot of time researching such story angles through history.
“I started exploring reasons why, and it took me back about 2,500 years in literature, but I found a reason why,” Scheuring says.
The only way to find out what reason he discovered is to watch the nine-episode season of “Prison Break.” That’s a lot less time than the 22 episodes in the original run of the show and a major reason Scheuring would consider creating his life-reviving efforts. The shorter number of episodes means that story can have a start, middle and end.
All of the actors were ready to go back to jail but they needed to be certain the public would return to the series. Sarah Wayne Callies, who plays Dr. Sara Tancredi, knew the hunger for the show was out there. Despite having spent time on “The Walking Dead,” she still gets more questions about “Prison Break” than the zombie tale.
“This is a show that seems to have a longevity in people’s imagination, and when they talk to me about it, it really means something to them,” Callies says. “I think there’s the economics of it all, which are important, and we all work for people who are trying to make money.
“But I think, from a lot of our perspective, it’s a real honor to have people approach and kind of give you that piece of who they are and want to share that with you. So to return to that and try and take care of it, I think that’s probably a big motivation on our end.”
- 9 p.m. Tuesday, April 4, KMPH (Channel 26.1)