Prison Break Season 5
Back in 2010 – a year after Prison Break originally wrapped – series lead Wentworth Miller implied that the show was unlikely to return:
“I feel as though we told the story we intended to tell. That’s something that’s very rare in television – that you’re allowed closure – and we were.”
You can understand the sentiment, since series finale The Final Break had left Miller’s character – aesthetically pleasing, plentifully tattooed architect Michael Scofield – dead and buried.
Five years on and Miller was re-teamed with his former co-star and screen sibling Dominic Purcell on The Flash – Purcell was Heatwave, fiery familiar of Miller’s Captain Cold on the superhero series, and their reunion sparked (no pun intended) new interest in Prison Break.
“I think the studio always wanted to at some point revisit Prison Break, but at some point Wentworth kind of semi-retired from the business,” Purcell explained.
“He’s jumped back into the fray now – and as soon as Wentworth was on board, that’s when the dominos started to fall.”
With buzz at a high, Fox didn’t wait long to make an official announcement. In August, the network broke the news that 10 new episodes of the cult series had been ordered – later cut to nine.
Original series creator Paul Scheuring was originally announced as penning the first episode of the revival – and was said to be crafting a ‘series bible’ for the remainder of the season.
Sarah Wayne Callies (giving us another update on the revival in February 2016) later suggested that Scheuring would be writing all nine episodes – but in fact, he’s joined by Dominion creator Vaun Wilmott and Mike Horowitz of Burn Notice.
Prison Break air dates: When will it air?
Filming on the new episodes was scheduled for the spring of 2016 once Purcell and Miller had wrapped on the first season of Legends of Tomorrow – a new spinoff from The Flash in which the pair were also series regulars (busy boys!).
New episodes will launch on Fox in early 2017 as part of the network’s midseason schedule – airing Thursdays at 9/8c.
Prison Break cast: Who’s coming back?
Miller and Purcell – Michael and his burly brother Lincoln Burrows – were the first to be 100% confirmed by Fox to be taking part in the Prison Break revival.
Purcell suffered a serious on-set injury in May 2016 – but will not miss any of the new season, with his injury being written into the script.
Digital Spy broke our own Prison Break exclusive back in July 2015, when Sarah Wayne Callies – Michael’s beloved Sara Tancredi – told us that she had also been contacted about reprising her role.
Six months on, Callies assured DS that she was still in talks, but that her ongoing commitment to USA series Colony required “a bit of Tetris with everyone’s schedules”.
After much speculation, she finally signed on officially in March 2016 – confirming the Michael / Sara reunion we’ve all been pining for.
The return of Amaury Nolasco – a fan favourite as Michael’s kind-hearted cellmate Fernando Sucre – was first teased when Purcell posted an Instagram image – since deleted – of his old co-star with the hashtag #soon.
Nolasco eventually responded with a post of his own, confirming that he’ll be “back with the gang” for the new episodes – along with Rockmond Dunbar as Benjamin ‘C-Note’ Franklin.
And of course, Prison Break wouldn’t be Prison Break without Theodore Bagwell – so it was no surprise when Robert Knepper’s return as the villainous T-Bag was confirmed shortly afterward.
No word yet if T-Bag’s appearance in Prison Break’s long-forgotten spinoff Breakout Kings will be addressed(!) but fans can expect a “fresh” take on the notorious miscreant.
“I said to Paul Scheuring, ‘Please, can we keep it fresh? Can we do something that’s different than what we did before?
“What has happened to Teddy in the last six years, while he was in prison? Could this person change? How could he change, and how deeply could he change, and would he stay that way?
“I came up with a lot of ideas, that Paul and I talked about – and I think he utilised them a lot.”
Paul Adelstein – a memorable antagonist as ruthless Kellerman, till he switched sides to help our heroes – also signed up for more in March 2016… though who knows which side he’ll be on this time?
One character not returning for the new episodes is Alexander Mahone (William Fichtner), with Robert Knepper revealing to Digital Spy that writer Scheuring didn’t know where else to take the troubled character.
“He didn’t want to just bring everybody back, so that the audience go, ‘Oh, look, it’s Bill Fichtner again!’ – he honestly thought, ‘I’m not sure where to do that in the plot’.
“So if someday there’s another chapter of this, maybe then Bill will be back. But I think the characters that are there, each of our moments that we have, are key to the storytelling, which is how it should be.”
A few new faces have also been announced for the new season – and the casting of Royal Pains actor Mark Feuerstein is bad news for Sara and Michael shippers.
His character Scott Ness is reportedly married to Dr Tancredi in the new Prison Break – so even if Michael’s alive, his romance with Sara might well have expired. *sob*
Lincoln’s also getting a little ‘lovin – activist Sheba (Inbar Lavi) will follow in the ill-fated footsteps of Veronica Donovan and Sofia Lugo as his latest romantic interest.
Firing up even more ’00s nostalgia is the casting of The Fast and the Furious baddie Rick Yune as Ja – a genius identity thief. Will he help Michael to return to the land of the living?
Kick-Ass 2 actor Augustus Prew – playing a character called Whip – and newcomer Amin El Gamal – cast as ‘Cyclops’ – are also on board.
Rounding off the cast of newbies are Torchwood actress Marina Benedict – cast as oddly-monikered villainess ‘A&W’ – and Kunal Sharma – playing Sid, an “artsy” prison inmate jailed for his sexuality.
Prison Break season 5 plot: What’s it about?
In January 2015, Fox Television Group chairman Gary Newman stressed that while there were no immediate plans to bring Prison Break back, he would revive the hit series “in a heartbeat.”
“There is some speculation in the press about Prison Break, which honestly was news to us,” Newman told the press, before warming to the idea of a comeback – seemingly mid-speech.
“It’s probably the perfect event series,” he acknowledged. “If our old partners in that show are interested, that would be great.”
Five months later, reports emerged that Fox was now seriously eyeing a potential limited series revival, “with a self-contained storyline”.
“I would describe it as a bit of a sequel,” Fox Television Group co-chair Dana Walden said. “It picks up with the characters several years after we left them in the show. The brothers will be back.”
Yes, both brothers – the late Mr Scofield will feature in the revival: “The [concept] that I’ve heard [for his resurrection] is completely brilliant, so people will be fine,” Purcell insisted.
Walden reiterated that the revival will provide “a logical and believable explanation to why the characters are alive and still moving around the world”.
Our most concrete plot synopsis arrived along with Callies’ casting in March 2016: “When clues surface suggesting that Michael may be alive, Sara teams with Lincoln to engineer the series’ biggest escape ever.”
The first official trailer for the new episodes gives away a little more: it’s T-Bag of all people who brings shocking intel to Lincoln, suggesting that Michael “might just be alive”.
Scofield is indeed holed up in a grim-looking foreign prison – and of course he’s plotting an escape, sending cryptic messages to Lincoln and C-Note to secure his exit, post-haste.
How did Michael end up behind bars… again? “Obviously we left off [the original series] with Michael presumably dead – he wasn’t, he ended up working for this organisation,” Purcell revealed in June 2016.
Said organisation is (twist!) a terrorist group – with the new season “dealing with ISIS” and “what’s going on in the world today with terrorism.”
“This version [of the series] is more worldly, it’s heavy shit,” Purcell warned. “The first season was heavy, but this is real heavy shit, because we’re dealing with ISIS, we’re dealing with ISIL.
“And on top of that as the background, I’m trying to get my brother out of a Yemen prison – one of the worst prisons in the world. So you have all that going on – it’s on another level.”
As for Michael’s state of mind, after years of working for a terrorist cell? “It’s been seven years and he’s walked a dark road,” hinted Miller.
“He’s been up to some not so nice things and there’s a question as to whether or not he’s even qualified to be considered a good man.
“Has he crossed the line in a way that he can never come back? That’s at the heart of the story we’re currently telling.”
Purcell also dropped a big spoiler about the brother’s latest escape attempt…
“Basically, the regime in Yemen had collapsed, it was in complete chaos and turmoil, and the gates were open so all the prisoners were released. And I’m running in trying to get through and find Michael, and I can’t…”
Prison Break season 6: Will it be back… again?
One last hurrah? In July 2016, Scheuring confirmed that Prison Break would not return a second time, following the events of the new mini-series.
“Nobody wants to revive this thing for multiple seasons,” he said in July 2016, insisting that the revival will “tell a concise, closed-ended story in nine episodes”.
Nobody? His lead actor Miller later suggested that fans shouldn’t give up all hope of further adventures, telling Digital Spy: “There’s always room for more, in my mind. As long as it’s a story that’s worth telling, as long as it feels justified and cool and edgy.
“It has to be something that’s not going to let the fans down, that’s going to satisfy and surprise. I’m open to the conversation.”