Banged Up Abroad
Wednesday, 7.30pm, Nat Geo Adventure ‘‘ I thought that I was pretty special. Really I was just pretty stupid.’’ These are the first words spoken tonight by Angela Carnegie, a real person who agreed to smuggle heroin out of Thailand, where possession of more than 20g of the stuff can mean the death penalty. Welcome to Banged Up Abroad: Busted in Bangkok, in which, as usual, the former prisoner tells the story while professionals act out the implied tension and drama. What I like about Banged Up is that the re-enactments never feel hokey or cheap. The production values easily rival those of major television productions but with the added insight that all of this actually happened to someone we almost get to know. Things begin in 2004, where the insecure, overweight Angela has found love at last with boyfriend Andrew. When he walks out on her, she figures the worst thing that ever could happen to her has just happened. So when a friend offers her a job as a drug mule, she bargains him up from $10,000 to $25,000. Amazed that he agrees, she accepts. The scenes in Bangkok in which the actress playing Angela tries to get through customs at Bangkok airport, knowing that she has two bricks of heroin in her bag, are as tense as anything in Breaking Bad.