Persons Unknown : Season 1

  • Network: NBC
  • Series Premiere Date: Jun 7, 2010
User Score
7.2

Generally favorable reviews- based on 72 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 51 out of 72
  2. Negative: 8 out of 72

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User Reviews

  1. May 23, 2016
    7
    A group of strangers wake up in a ghost town. They have no idea why they are there and a barrier prevents them from leaving. Cameras watch their every move. Suspicions, strange tests and experiments ratchet up the tension, episode by episode.

    I loved this show and it was a shame it never got a second season to explain what the hell was going on. If you like mystery dramas on the
    A group of strangers wake up in a ghost town. They have no idea why they are there and a barrier prevents them from leaving. Cameras watch their every move. Suspicions, strange tests and experiments ratchet up the tension, episode by episode.

    I loved this show and it was a shame it never got a second season to explain what the hell was going on.

    If you like mystery dramas on the weirder side then this is for you. But know that you won't get any closure at the end of the only season! Unless you do some online research after, that is.
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  2. Dec 23, 2015
    4
    Persons Unknown is absolutely the worst type of television show there is. I say this, because over the course of 13 episodes, this show went from being one of the most clever and imaginative things I've seen to being complete and utter garbage. If that wasn't bad enough, this mini-series had high hopes, and even though they knew the show was a one shot deal, the producers actually had thePersons Unknown is absolutely the worst type of television show there is. I say this, because over the course of 13 episodes, this show went from being one of the most clever and imaginative things I've seen to being complete and utter garbage. If that wasn't bad enough, this mini-series had high hopes, and even though they knew the show was a one shot deal, the producers actually had the nerve to end the whole thing on a cliffhanger, something that really bothers me to no end.

    The show begins admirably, with seven strangers from all walks of life, waking up alone, in a brand new, but abandoned hotel. After coming together, they realize they are in a fully functional town, the only problem is, that they're the only ones there. As they explore, they find that they are confined to this town by an impenetrable barrier. At the same time, a reporter looking into the mysterious disappearance of one of the victims, uncovers a cover up, one that could cost him everything.

    For the first four episodes, this show was incredible, the kind of show that had you on the edge of your seat, craving as much knowledge as you can find. If the show had continued on this mysterious path, following the strangers attempts at escape and distrust of one another, it would have been phenomenal, but that's not what happens. After the four initial episodes, the show starts to get weird, to the point of being absurd, and those mysterious story lines, became as obvious as the nose on your face.

    Jason Wiles stars and will always have my admiration for portraying Bosco on the long running cop drama, Third Watch. Here he plays the un-elected, mysterious leader of the group, who no one is really sure of. Wiles manages to do a terrific job of keeping the audiences attention focused on him, in what is now an obvious attempt to take the focus off the holes in the story. Wiles is joined by Daisey Betts, who out of the entire cast, was really the only person one could relate to and feel an attachment for. Aside from them, the rest of the cast seems to just be props in this sorted game, that just never makes a whole lot of sense.

    Persons Unknown started off with a bang and crossed the finish line with a whimper, as the story just completely falls apart and descends into chaos. By the end of the series, I couldn't tell what was going on anymore, nor did I really care all that much. This show had such potential, but as it progressed, it just continually failed to live up to the hype.
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  3. May 27, 2012
    9
    This review contains spoilers. This is a good mystery show like lost and it has a very interesting story from episode to episode . Yes, it builds up a lot of questions throughout the show and then the ending doesn't answer any of them, but that's what I expected. These kind of shows NEVER do explain everything, but it was good along the way. The end doesn't explain much but its not outright bad like many endings are. There is one theory you will come up with thought the show (explained below) which it never confirms or denies, but if you assume it to be true then it the whole story makes more sense. (Spoiler: If you assume that 'the program' is a computer program (and the machine Joe is hooked up to is him 'jacking into the matrix') then it explains what happened with Tori, why the van went round in a circle when they tried to leave and that the break out was all fake. Then the ending makes more sense) Collapse
  4. Feb 29, 2012
    10
    Hi, i have watched many series but i find this persons unknown series interesting due to how the mind works when someone is abducted. i really enjoyed it cause if this is to happen in real life how will someone react. As how janet cooper would do anything to go back to her daughter. Well i guess thats how i will react if i want to get out in the situation. Further more all the charactersHi, i have watched many series but i find this persons unknown series interesting due to how the mind works when someone is abducted. i really enjoyed it cause if this is to happen in real life how will someone react. As how janet cooper would do anything to go back to her daughter. Well i guess thats how i will react if i want to get out in the situation. Further more all the characters played are good and each has an individual weired background. The ending should have been more dramatic and there should have been two survivors. Well i m looking forward to see the season 2 and hope to watch it soon and cant wait to see what is the level 2 .Well being in malaysia i have to watch it through internet . Expand
  5. Aug 12, 2011
    2
    Okay, so I watched the Pilot & I'm halfway through the second episode and I'm sorry, but the characters are dull and not reacting realistically. There are too many distracting holes in human logic that would follow the human psyche & curiosity if placed in this scenario, like insisting on leaving a dead-end road when there are buildings they haven't even gone into to look for clues, helpOkay, so I watched the Pilot & I'm halfway through the second episode and I'm sorry, but the characters are dull and not reacting realistically. There are too many distracting holes in human logic that would follow the human psyche & curiosity if placed in this scenario, like insisting on leaving a dead-end road when there are buildings they haven't even gone into to look for clues, help or answers. Why are they overplaying the discord so soon when there's no reason to feel fully trapped yet? When they see the van, why didn't they get in it and drive around? Why build a fire in the hallway to set off the smoke alarm and not just break a light bulb and place a piece of paper on the element? When the elevator button yielded no results, why didn't someone try to open the elevator doors to see if there's a way up? Why break a chair in order to fashion a key, yet not throw the chair through the window? Why not interview each other to find (as one reviewer already said) find a common thread? When encountering the "force field", why would a supposedly trained military man who claims to know about confrontation and caution, use his own human body to sacrifice knowing where the "force field's" parameters are and not an inanimate object, like a chair? If they were suspicious of the food (and they should be, considering), why eat the Chinese food without asking the cooks to eat it first? They seemed cooperative enough to me. Why not ask them how they get the food delivered? And again, why not ask them about the van? If they're so concerned about "Big Brother" and the camera, why are they not getting up there and knocking the cameras down in hopes of a response? Why go all caveman and decide to start a fire to set off alarms and see so clearly that the cameras are a potential Achilles heel for whomever is holding them? Finally, if they keep insisting on running through a "force-field", why not go searching for a power source?

    I'm sorry, but the roles these characters are playing are already a bit obvious in their cultural/social "placement", which I might add, seems to be poorly cast already. But beyond that, it's terribly distracting that these people are not reacting realistically to their environs? I can't seem to get past their ignorance, lack of curiosity, boring dialogue, attention to all the wrong things (dress shop, really?) and inattention to potential power plays against those who are holding them?

    Unless these people were chosen for their ignorance as some social experiment in not-so-contemporary psychology in an iconoclastic yet technological setting, this is just a sorry excuse for writing, acting and logic.
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  6. Sep 17, 2010
    9
    I completely underestimated this series. At first I thought I was witnessing a melding of The Prisoner and Prison Break. After watching the first season I find my first inclination was correct - and I am more intrigued than I could have imagined. The actors are starting to develop their roles and the writing is turning out to be better than I anticipated. This might become a reallyI completely underestimated this series. At first I thought I was witnessing a melding of The Prisoner and Prison Break. After watching the first season I find my first inclination was correct - and I am more intrigued than I could have imagined. The actors are starting to develop their roles and the writing is turning out to be better than I anticipated. This might become a really excellent experience. Expand
  7. Sep 10, 2010
    5
    I really had some high hopes for this series. I liked the season premiere felt this would be another Lost but a little more twisted. Instead i feel so detached from all the characters who are either trying to act really hard or just don't have any skill to bring their character to life or, dare i say it, the writers have lost the plot. Granted, I haven't finished the season yet ( i haveI really had some high hopes for this series. I liked the season premiere felt this would be another Lost but a little more twisted. Instead i feel so detached from all the characters who are either trying to act really hard or just don't have any skill to bring their character to life or, dare i say it, the writers have lost the plot. Granted, I haven't finished the season yet ( i have another 3 episodes to go), but if things don't improve I wouldn't miss it if got cancelled.
    Being directed by Jonathan Frakes, i'm hoping this doesn't get all convoluted the way Dollhouse did.
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  8. Sep 1, 2010
    0
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. The show looked promising at first and I got into it until after a few episodes...by the end of the series, you don't really get too many questions answered...I feel a bit let down overall. I felt like they had a good plot going for them and then they messed it up with the ending. Oh well. It was exciting at first and then it got boring. I almost wish they would have exposed or stopped the organization, but they didn't. They ended up on a boat. What does the program do exactly? They see who can survive their tests...they're gathering data that suggests that humans have no free will...wow...evil... Expand
  9. Aug 31, 2010
    10
    Very very successful mini series. Specially it was great final episodes. Persons Unknown resemble Lost and Saw. Really awesome series. Playfulness, fiction... everything wonderful.
  10. Aug 29, 2010
    4
    Halfway through the first episode I realized exactly what this show was about -- creating suspense and tension in a fictional vacuum of impossibility. It is an attempted summer-time diversion from the tedium of reruns and second-string programming -- and a failure, at that. It is exactly what it attempts to supercede. However, despite the aggravation of it's twisty-turny, tongue-in-cheekHalfway through the first episode I realized exactly what this show was about -- creating suspense and tension in a fictional vacuum of impossibility. It is an attempted summer-time diversion from the tedium of reruns and second-string programming -- and a failure, at that. It is exactly what it attempts to supercede. However, despite the aggravation of it's twisty-turny, tongue-in-cheek writing style which is designed to lead the viewer via a nose-ring into a smugly concrete wall, there are a few shining points. When the vehicle is obscured, genuine moments of humanity are revealed. Certain interactions between the characters are charismatically empathic and succeed in the goal of alleviating moments of summer boredom. The greater setting of the town is a laughably unrealistic anachronism from the days of the twilight zone, or possibly the x-files, yet the cozy pedestrian environment of the hotel, bar and barbershop are where you will find your disbelief suspended. Worth a watch on a languid summer eve? Perhaps. Do the writers deserve raining blow after blow to their genitals for their unabashed smugness? To be frank, that is the only question I would tune in for a second season to see answered. Expand
  11. Aug 29, 2010
    10
    I loved this show. It was the only show I looked forward to this summer. The only thing that was dissappointing was the ending. It didn't answer the questions it said that it would. I really hope that they pick it up for another season so they can further develop.
  12. Aug 22, 2010
    3
    Well obviously the show had its ups and downs as to whether it was going to make it through the non-rating period and as it draws to a close and the network makes the absurd decision to drop the second last episode to an online showing only we are told yes they are more than ready to get it off air.

    With so many questions unanswered and yet the show somehow making you tune in each week,
    Well obviously the show had its ups and downs as to whether it was going to make it through the non-rating period and as it draws to a close and the network makes the absurd decision to drop the second last episode to an online showing only we are told yes they are more than ready to get it off air.

    With so many questions unanswered and yet the show somehow making you tune in each week, the potential that was once there is now being quickly lost on the lack of network backing.

    As yet another show to have the big brother is watching you, and playing on the intrigue on what the hell is going on, conspiracies, government agencies, and the co-orporate world running all kinds of experiments in the quest for unknown answers. We are left with nothing more than a show that did nothing new and provided us with more knowledge that the networks will just provide us with nothing to watch in a season that is classified as a non-rating period.

    Just as interest was being found in the shows characters and what was going on it was over before it all began.
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  13. Aug 20, 2010
    1
    Well reading about the show I was intrigued, and after watching the pilot, I immediately saw threw it as a poor substitute for Lost. I just found myself thinking this isnâ
Metascore
49

Mixed or average reviews - based on 12 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 12
  2. Negative: 4 out of 12
  1. 30
    They don't promise to be more than a collection of types, like the generic figures in TV's "Poseidon Adventure'' remake. And if we don't care about them, then it's hard to care about the possible threats that surround them.
  2. 75
    The premise is intriguing, although it's difficult to watch without backseat driving.
  3. 75
    While this straightforward, unapologetically derivative thriller won't blow your mind, it's a whole lot better than ABC's "Happy Town" or CBS's "Harper's Island" and may turn out to be like NBC's "Journeyman" -- a slice of genre entertainment that slowly developed into a worthwhile weekly commitment (and, er, yes, was canceled too soon.