One of the things I enjoy about Netflix is the chance to catch up on short-lived series, usually either British ones that were planned that way (Luther, The Last Enemy, Eleventh Hour) or American ones that were cancelled or summer fill-ins (Harper’s Island, The Gates). Persons Unknown falls into the latter category, a short-lived NBC series that debuted only a month after the end of Lost. I point this out because Persons Unknown is about 7 people who are abducted from their regular lives and placed in a small town in the middle of nowhere from which they cannot escape, as part of a mysterious experiment. Sound familiar…?
Well, yes, it also sounds like The Prisoner. Unlike Lost, Persons Unknown does not have lofty aspirations of redemption stories and demonstrating the connections between us all; it is much more like The Prisoner in that the focus is primarily on one of the candidates (a young mother called Janet), with the other characters being manipulated in and out of play. Meanwhile, her journalist ex-husband and his editor are flying around the world trying to unravel the conspiracy.
Persons Unknown was cheesy, and has some groan-inducing moments, but for what it is I quite enjoyed it. It ends on a sort of cliffhanger, clearly hoping that there was going to be another season, but it works in its way.