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Namgoong Min and Kim Byung-chul go head-to-head in new promo for Doctor Prisoner

KBS medical suspense drama Doctor Prisoner has released new posters and a new teaser featuring Namgoong Min (Handsome Guy and Jung-eum), Kwon Nara (Your Honor), Choi Won-young (SKY Castle), and Kim Byung-chul (SKY Castle).

At the center of the story is brilliant doctor Na Yi-jae (played by Namgoong Min). After being ousted from his respected hospital position, he changes course to work at a corrections facility as chief of the medical ward. But his attempt to start over quickly leads to an intra-facility war for power, which becomes a matter of life and death for those within the prison walls.

One of the new posters features the main cast, Namgoong Min with his co-stars Kwon Nara, Choi Won-young, and Kim Byung-chul. The color palette is dark and the tone bleak, reflecting the mood of the dilapidated prison backdrop and the tense atmosphere between the four characters. The other poster is of Namgoong Min and Kwon Nara and the composition of the shot is very interesting. Namgoong Min is in the foreground, in focus, with Kwon Nara positioned behind him. Though she’s behind him, she looms large over him and is slightly out of focus. The caption reads, “If you’re curious, why don’t you partner with me?”

The teaser starts with Namgoong Min in a voice-over: “Chaebols and politicians who commit economic offenses. These VIPs are handled separately, it’s called special management.” As he speaks, we see a man sitting in a wheelchair and wearing a face mask as he’s wheeled through a swarm of press. Next, there are quick and disjointed shots of a bus driving into a corrections facility, handcuffs being taken off, and a fancy box lunch being served to someone. We then see Namgoong Min speaking to a serious Kim Byung-chul as he continues to say offhandedly, “I’m just asking that you let me take over that special management.” The screen then switches to text: “Special management of Korean VIP in custody”.

We next see a prisoner dressed in a brown uniform assaulting someone in blue. The scene then cuts to a camera lens recording the prisoner in brown, gradually switching focus from the camera lens to the prisoner as he sits in front of the camera. As we watch this, we hear Namgoong Min’s character again in voice-over: “He is suffering from intermittent explosive rage disorder and delusional disorder. It will be difficult for him to remain imprisoned.” It then cuts to a court scene and a prosecutor asks, “So you’re requesting a suspended prison sentence…” The scene then changes to a female prisoner talking to someone, and then Kwon Nara’s character flipping someone over. We see two bits of text on the screen. The first says, “The one who wants to get out;” the second says, “The one who wants to get them out.”

Namgoong Min walks through a corridor as we hear a woman asking, “How will you be able to get me out?” Namgoong Min replies nonchalantly, “Your body will have to be wrecked.” The scene changes to a nurse pouring medication into the female prisoner’s mouth as we hear the woman speaking again, “What is it that you want?” It then cuts to Namgoong Min with Kim Byung-chul as Kim asks, “The list of the names of the VIP, will that satisfy you?” The scene changes to a crowd of inmates cheering, “Na Yi-jae!” and Namgoong Min stands with his hand raised. The teaser then ends with Namgoong Min and Kim Byung-chul standing face-to-face again as Namgoong Min says, “From now on, I’m the king of this territory.”

It’s almost unsettling how good Namgoong Min is at playing these kinds of characters. Not sure how I’ll fare watching this, but hopefully I can get through the episodes without biting my fingernails clean!

PD Hwang In-hyuk will be directing Doctor Prisoner, and writing will be done by Park Kye-ok. The show is set to premiere this month on March 20, and will be airing Wednesdays and Thursdays on KBS after What’s Wrong Mr. Poong-sang concludes.

Via Sports Chosun

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I'm very excited to see this. And even though I do enjoy his comedic roles I prefer his dramatic roles.
Because I'm recently craving for a protagonist that is dark. I guess it has something to do with the fact that I'm fascinated with people/characters that are far from good. Though it easier for me to watch those type of characters in tv or read them in literature because I know that they are fictional.

The problem for me is that those type of dark protagonists are so few in korean dramas. Very rarely do I see korean drama try something new with their protagonists such as in "Lookout" (2017) there is a lead character that is morally questionable. What I wish for the drama to be is that Namgoong Min character does stay morally questionable till end. Though I'm doubtful that is going to happen. But I trust Namgoong Min enough that he will act this role as best as he can with the material he is given with.

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@winterosa Verity Rose,

Prosecutor Jang Do-han of LOOKOUT is indeed a one-of-a-kind antihero -- whose aegyo killed me dead every time he tormented his unsmilingly straight-arrow colleague. Another dark protagonist I can think of is Jang Tae-san (Lee Joon-gi) in TWO WEEKS.

Here's hoping DOCTOR PRISONER is better than UNDATEABLES. ;-)

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Joining the prayer for this to be watchable than Undateables.

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OH wait I forgot there was a level below, I was praying it to be better than Falsify!
* undateables was unwatchable.

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@oppafangirl,

To be fair, UNDATEABLES had its moments, but couldn't make up its mind as to what it wanted to be, and got bogged down with obnoxious chaebol shenanigans and other superfluous stuff. There were some touching scenarios, just not enough of them. I did enjoy Kim Kwang-kyu's poetry-spouting off-the-grid farmer.

Show also seemed to be one big PPL for some kind of toy-themed art gallery, like the robot museum in SWEET STRANGER AND ME.

UNDATEABLES included the first instance of prosopagnosia (face blindness) I've encountered in a Kdrama. There have been several more since then (100 DAYS MY PRINCE and THE BEAUTY INSIDE). A veritable Kdrama face blindness epidemic in 2018 -- not to mention earlier outbreaks.

Given the villainous roles that Ji Il-joo and Jung Moon-sung have been playing, it's nice they got to portray good guys this time. Alas, I ended up with a bad case of SLS thanks to Choi Tae-joon.

I would be remiss if I failed to mention NGM's hunktastic shower scene in Ep. 6 @15:30. At the end of ep. 8, Jung-eum gets the ball rolling with a nice smooch that NGM returns with interest. I liked his character Hoon-nam, ghostwriter "agony uncle" of a popular gentlemen's lovelorn column.

There was some good background music in the show, too. In rewatching a couple of episodes to refresh my memory, I came across a really lovely cover of "You Belong to Me" by Ms. Jang Jae-in. I've just posted it and the two most famous hit versions on my fan wall, along with a few more pieces.
http://www.dramabeans.com/members/pakalanapikake/activity/736937/

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Jang Jae-in has the most angelic voice ever!

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Did you have to remind me about the Unpalatable Unwatchables? I had just finished dinner. YUK!

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Thanks for the update on DOCTOR PRISONER, @tccolb!

It looks as if the prisoner in brown is Lee Joo-seung, who played a truly ruthless killer in VOICE, as well as the creepy rooftop neighbor in LET'S EAT 2. He should be able to keep up with Namgoong Min's dark vibe. ;-)

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Woah, that teaser was WAY too much for me. Still, for Namgoong Min's sake I hope it does well. (The Undateables broke his winning streak, after all. 😭)

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Normally I just love Namgoong Min, but I'm starting to wonder if what I love is his cheekiness...Undateables wasn't my thing, and this seems a bit too dark for me... I approach, but with much caution.

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The four main leads have memorable characters in their previous dramas. And yes, looking at those gorgeous pictures! COUNT ME IN!

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OH this looks creepy! I love these two actors and really, I'd sit still to hear Namgoong Min read the phone book so it looks like this is in my future πŸ‘€

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@bbstl,

*pulls up two comfy chairs*
*hands popcorn to @bbstl*

Dang, I love NGM's speaking voice, too. Which is why I masochistically sat through all of HANDSOME GUY. At least Jung Moon-sung got to play a good guy before embarking on his current role as a homicidal royal in HAECHI. (And in between played an absolute sweetheart in ABOUT TIME, probably the best aspect of that show. Very poignant.)

Hey, while we're waiting, we could (re)watch NGM in GU AM HEO JOON as the good doctor's rival, son of his mentor.

Waiting to hear γ„± in 3, 2, 1...

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γ„± γ„± γ„± ! Although you shame me by listing shows I haven't watched for him πŸ˜‘ and conveniently put out of mind. I will join you with popcorn bowls for this one!

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@bbstl,

You've got a deal. Unless I end up running away screaming. ;-)

Don't feel bad. I haven't watched most of NGM's villain roles because I'm a wimp. I watched GU AM HEO JOON as one of my first sageuks, and had no idea who he was back then. DOCTOR PRISONER isn't his first medical role, but this time it looks as if he'll be a brain surgeon. Here he is in his Joseon royal physician duds.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S5RzkbgkHO0

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Hey, thanks! It took several glances before I recognized him with the beard! I never even knew he was in a sageuk.

He is really good at the villain roles, that smartass streak turns dark really fast πŸ˜‰

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@bbstl March 11, 2019 at 7:56 AM

Oh, I'm so glad I posted that link for you. ;-)

As I recall, NGM was very buttoned-down in GU AM HEO JOON, which is to be expected of scholars/yangban in sageuks. It was a long drama, too. 135 episodes, IIRC. I thought he did well in it, but it was still pretty early in my sageuk watching.

I wonder why he hasn't done another sageuk. Maybe he's not into historical stuff, or being in such a long production. Which is too bad. He'd make a memorable schemer at court.

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He would indeed make a memorable schemer. Maybe he'll wait until the years give him further gravitas. But 135 episodes 😲 !

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@bbstl March 11, 2019 at 12:36 PM

You may be right about the gravitas. On the other hand, NGM can already be so deadpan that he's already got the gravitas bases covered.

AS FOR GU AM HEO JOON, he's not in all the episodes, so you wouldn't have to watch 135 of them. They're 35 min., not an hour or 70 min. -- just in case you need something to tide you over until DOCTOR PRISONER premieres. ;-)

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Yes, by "gravitas", I was really thinking more of simple age (when he's past the romantic leading man phase and more in the grizzled facial hair phase) 😒. Not that Kim Sam Soon's chef was ever exactly a leading man, but kind of like the transformation he made for The Crooked Clown's Minister Shin, that was one evil guy.

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@bbstl March 12, 2019 at 9:29 AM

Yesterday, 12 March, was Namgoong Min's 41st birthday! Best wishes for many more!

"(when he's past the romantic leading man phase and more in the grizzled facial hair phase)"

He looks young for his age. I'm glad it'll be a good spell before that happens. ;-)

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so excited to see namgoong min again! i love any role he is in because he can do them, any role, so well and make me believe it. so happy he has chosen another complex role (i am assuming here) and hope it delivers. i will be watching no matter what.

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Omo! This look dark and exciting!

I kinda expect good ratings for this. It will replace Liver or Die which is enjoying 20% ratings. And it will have 2 daddy's from SKY Castle. And Nam Goong Min's last drama with KBS was a hit! Hoho

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I am excited to see Choi Won-young(sky castle). A lot of the cast needs their OWN LEADING ROLE

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I miss SKY Castle, so I might check this out for Choi Won-young and Kim Byung-chul...

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The cast and the premise have hooked me already.

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Oh this looks interesting. It seems the two main leads are either set on outdoing each other, or at least trying to get each other out of the way ..... because they sure look determined. The cast is certainly an added bonus. Will have to check this out!

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i will continue to not understand casting people who cannot act or are way less skilled and clearly show they cannot fathom how to improve against people who are so incredibly dynamic to watch. this sounds interesting and like it won't be prison propaganda and i always love sticking it to rich people and letting people know prison is not transformative tho!

wait i just googled for a better synopsis and lol but hey maybe it'll be great. haven't seen anything the director or writer have done.

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Namgoong Min does memorable bad guys. He can also play complicated characters, also I really like Kim Byung-Chul, so I will definitely be giving this one a chance. After years of Romantic KDramas, I am leaning more toward the non-romantic series lately.

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