âIt’s very, very, very difficult to escape prison,â world famous actor Morgan Freeman said of his new show, Big Escapes with Morgan Freeman. To come Historical channel this fall, the series documents true stories of prison escapes, most of which ultimately failed. “You can go out, but I almost guarantee you’ll go back,” Freeman added to the TCA Summer press tour.
âAt the start of each of these shows, we say you can’t go out,â executive producer Geoffrey Sharp revealed. âLook at this place, the walls are so thick. We hope the audience thinks, yeah, man, nobody can get out of here.
âI think the guards in these prisons generally feel that way,â added Morgan Freeman, touching on an important part of each episode. “The idea that someone is going to punch a hole in a concrete wall seven feet thick, no, that’s not going to happen.” Is someone going to crawl 100 yards through a steel pipe? No, how the hell are you going to get in? No.”
Geoffrey Sharp recounted something that a prison guard told him that helped define this part of the narrative for the series. âYou know, a prisoner has all day, every day. Like we’re watching them, but they’re watching us and they have all day, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year, âparaphrased the producer. âThe point he was making was that these guys are smart and they watch. So no matter how much you think you can keep them, they are constantly looking for the loophole or weakness in the system. And if they’re smart enough, they do it, they find out.
We’re not applauding a villain’s quest for freedom, âsaid James Younger, another executive producer of the show. âIt’s a study of how clever and resourceful people can be with enough time. We are all fascinated by it. The idea that there is no inevitable prison. Alcatraz was supposed to be must-see, Altiplano was supposed to be must-see. No, someone always finds a way out or in the case of the Altiplano, they found a way in so they can get out. They actually dug a tunnel in El Chapo’s cell to get him out.
A bit of a spoiler warning, but another fact Geoffrey Sharp shared is, “They’re either dead, or they’re taken, or they’re caught dead.” While there might not be a go-to jail, there is also rarely a successful escape. The team, however, caught up with an escapee who not only lived to tell the story, but still got out of prison. “We tracked down the guy, Nuno Pontes, who escaped from the West Penitentiary,” James Younger revealed. âWe spent a lot of time tracking him down. He agreed for the first time to give a full interview. His face is, however, hidden in the interviews.
“On this show we have both guards, prison officers, historians, and in many cases first-person people who escaped, which is quite unique,” Geoffrey Sharp explained of their commitment to get as many versions of each story. as possible. âOur researchers have done an incredible job finding people. Â»But if you think so Big Escapes with Morgan Freeman will come up with a roadmap in case you find yourself behind bars you might be disappointed. “Several of our escapees were unwilling to tell us a few key things that, to this day, no one knows, even us, as much as we tried to get this information.”
Big Escapes with Morgan Freeman premieres November 9 on the History Channel.
Alex joined the Laughing Place team in 2014 and has been a lifelong Disney fan. His main beats for LP are Disney-branded movies, TV shows, books, music and toys. He recently became a member of the Television Critics Association (TCA).