The Weekend Australian - Review - - Television -

Thurs­day, 8.30pm, National Ge­o­graphic Wel­come to an­other rip­per episode of this well-made pro­gram about prison break­outs. ‘‘ In a place where vi­o­lence and chaos rule, an un­usual part­ner­ship leads to a dar­ing break­out.’’ So says a no­tice at the be­gin­ning of The Con­necti­cut Con­spir­acy. For his crimes of bur­glary and lar­ceny, Ron­ald Ru­tan was given 19 years in the max­i­mum se­cu­rity Con­necti­cut Cor­rec­tional In­sti­tu­tion. One day he is over­heard talk­ing about plan­ning an es­cape by Frank Van­de­ver, a for­mer stock­bro­ker do­ing 40 years for mur­der. Some­times the real crim­i­nals nar­rate th­ese pro­grams, but in this case, while we hear from for­mer war­dens and of­fi­cials and fel­low in­mates from the prison, the roles of Ru­tan and Van­de­ver are played — and nar­rated — by ter­rific ac­tors. Sus­pense­ful as hell.

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