K-Drama Review: “Doctor Prisoner” Captures Thrilling Pendulum Of Mind Games Spurred By Stellar Dark Hero & Villains

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I lost count how many times alliances and betrayals got the best of me in the riveting tale of Doctor Prisoner.

Rallied by a brilliant male-dominated cast, Doctor Prisoner has moved to exchanges of ploys and deceptions that keeps you high with its thrill. Providing equally engrossing textures of its protagonists and anti-heroes, the series expertly constructs its vengeance-driven story.

Title: Doctor Prisoner
Distributor: KBS2
Theme: Revenge, Drama, Medical
Length: 34 Episodes
Broadcast Date: 20 March 2019 – 15 May 2019
Main Leads: Nam Goong Min, Kwon Na Ra, Kim Byung Chul, Choi Won Young
Highlights: Superb mind games, Consistent thrilling plot, Excellent male-dominated cast
Oh No Moments:
Overall Rating:
Re-watch Value:
Related Dramas: Punch, Defendant

Brimming with mind games, viewers would love the convoluted attacks and countermeasures served by the cast of Doctor Prisoner. The numbers are not lying on the thrilling trajectory it has trudged on.

Cleverly delving to reality versus perception, the surrounding message of seeking justice, albeit its flawed approach, is one of the reasons why the series gravitates. Scoring another memorable character, Nam Goong Min easily drew sympathy with his rendition of a doctor determined to defeat a dangerous man from a rich household.



Excellent Male Cast Portrayals

Revenge stories powered by a male cast seem more neat because of less tears. The series managed to present a flawed hero and equally dysfunctional villains vying to achieved varying goals, at the expense of bending justice and utilizing money and influence.

Nam Goong Min, as usual, delivered well for his character. He felt like King Sukjong in maneuvering the factions that he needed to get the upper hand in his elaborated plan. The ruses alternately passed on by him and the villains were tidily and smartly executed.

Stimulating Plot Twists

Doctor Prisoner threaded on the story of ER doctor Na Yi Je (Nam Goong Min), who got entangled on the power struggle within a family-run conglomerate company. His kind intentions to help the less-fortunate turned into a nightmare as his mother’s operation got halted when he was accused of tampering medical documents.

After serving time in prison, he began a journey to avenge his mother and the patients who died because of Taekang group’s CEO Lee Jae Jun (Choi Won Young).

On its onset, the ruthless showdowns between Na Yi Je and Seon Min Sik (Kim Byung Chul) was an amusing watch; baiting each other with web of problems to secure power in the Western Seoul Penitentiary. When the plot unveiled the ultimate picture of the man responsible for all the atrocities, the joining together of the prosecutors and former enemies escalated the thrill of the story.

The revenge plan to trap the formidable and utterly wicked villain took a lot of time and meticulous ploy. But dark hero Na Yi Je sustained it and achieved redemption and justice, albeit using not so righteous schemes.

Doctor Prisoner


It’s amazing how the road to achieve redemption in Doctor Prisoner spins from a dysfunctional rich family’s power struggle and a doctor’s goal to claim justice for him and the people abused by the same family.

Polished and driven, this KBS series takes pride of its impeccable momentum and amusing outwitting game among the male-centered cast.

In the waning episode, there was a line from Na Yi Je that summed up the message of the series. “Why is it so hard to punish the wicked?” Although circling to a simple story, the corruption scenarios presented about how the rich can manipulate everything through money is just saddening.

Deserving of full marks, although unlikely to initiate a rerun for viewers, Doctor Prisoner deserves a perfect score for its overall picture.


abbyinhallyuland reads and sleeps a lot when she is not traveling. Her calendar reminders are mostly K-Drama broadcast schedules and birthdays of her favorite Korean actors. Promoting K-Drama watching as stress therapy is her life advocacy. She is fond of Spencer Reid, Gregory House, Kenshin Himura, Starwars saga, Haruki Murakami and Hunter x Hunter.

Recommended Korean Dramas: Reply 1988, Nine, Misaeng, Gaksital, Discovery of Love, Because This is My First Life, Descendants of the Sun, My Love from the Star, Healer, Punch, You’re Beautiful, Coffee Prince, Princess Hours, The Greatest Love, Sungkyunkwan Scandal, City Hunter, and The Smile Has Left Your Eyes.

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