In today’s vast and creative TV show landscape, the best stories are usually those with unexpected plot twists and where we, the audience, are treated to a whirlwind of emotions. Villains can become heroes, romantic partners can die leaving the hero/heroine all by themselves, or the very person we root for, the show’s protagonist, can even become the bad guy or just borderline evil.
Korean dramas have been getting better and better over the past few years and although remain conservative in some approaches, they aren’t afraid to showcase leading characters with a blurry moral compass. It’s not just a straight path that gets us to the destination, even heroes can stray from the road of righteousness and loyalty to explore the dark and dangerous trail of self imposed justice to get to their desired stop.
Doctor Prisoner tells the story of a very talented and kindhearted surgeon, Na Yi Je, who gets his medical license removed due to an incident with a son helming from a very rich family. With accusations of malpractice and treating patients illegally (He performs surgeries on less fortunate people even if they can’t pay), he serves time in prison as well. He seeks out his revenge by becoming the medical director of a prison where the son will be held at due to an accusation involving possession of drugs after a few years. It has a similar plot to Cross, a kdrama where a great doctor also works at a prison to seek revenge, but the rest of the story takes a different direction.
The first memory I have of the the actor (Namgung Min) in this titular role started out as a villain in the kdrama Remember, and he was so good in it! The so good meaning you hope the bad guy suffers a long death😈 It suits him to play sort of a vigilante protagonist given his face and aura can exude qualities of both a good and bad guy.
It’s always the lone wolf against a pack of enemies though as Yi Je will encounter more enemies such as the prison’s current medical director and the rich son’s (Park Eun Seok) mother who are working together as (of course) a bigger conspiracy is tied into the show’s overall plot.
Smart and cunning, Yi Je will also encounter psychiatrist Han So Geum, a female doctor who works at the prison now but also worked at the previous hospital with him. I’m not sure if they’ll push the romance heavily but hey, what korean drama doesn’t have a side story of love right? As of now, she is the most secretive as her intentions are not clear but don’t expect Yi Je to get blindsided with her quickly as I can see his character just going full force revenge mode on the baddies.
Doctor Prisoner is not the most original in terms of the plot wherein the spoiled and highly connected villain battles with the avenging anti – hero but any medical drama laced with themes of mystery and suspense will always be more than interesting for me. Nam Gu Min is an excellent actor who has proven that he can play the guy who can smile so genuinely but have hidden, killer motives behind his pearly whites. Let Doctor Prisoner free you from the mundane, one dimensional stories and watch an anti-hero’s exciting journey that’ll either lead him to his doom or redemption.