• Publication date: February 11, 2009

Breaking The Chains Concrete And Steel Meet Sweat And Blood

HBO's first ever hour television drama series was the epic saga of a maximum correctional facility called "Oz". Created by Tom Fontana, who wrote or co-wrote all 56 of its six seasons of episodes, this adrenaline-laced drama received many Emmy Award nominations in its six seasons run between 1997 and 2003.

HBO's first ever hour television drama series was the epic saga of a maximum correctional facility called "Oz". Created by Tom Fontana, who wrote or co-wrote all 56 of its six seasons of episodes, this adrenaline-laced drama received many Emmy Award nominations in its six seasons run between 1997 and 2003.

Oswald State Correctional Facility, formerly Oswald State Penitentiary, a maximum-security [level 4] prison of undisclosed location is home to the many characters weaving through the plots, and home to Emerald City.

Emerald City or 'Em City' is an experimental unit of the prison. Through controlling parameters, Em City's unit manager aims to place emphasis on both rehabilitation, and teaching the inmates of the 'City' to assume responsibility during their stay of incarceration.

Augustus Hill [Harold Perrineau] is quite a character; former drug dealer, convicted murderer and an ex-crackhead who is unfortunately now confined to a wheel-chair. Hill narrates the plots and subplots of "Oz" in surreal segments in which he appears; introducing the overall theme of an episode, laying groundwork for a shift in plots, setting the scene, or adding epilogues. Hill at times introduces new inmates to Em City, by ominously parting with details of their lives, crimes, as other times he may turn to the camera in the middle of a scene to address the audience, adding an interactive dimension to the gritty production.

Other characters that grace the cells and corridors of Oz are Warden Leo Glynn [Ernie Hudson], Emerald City Unit Manager Tim McManus [Terry Kinney], inmate and devout Muslim Kareem Sa�d [Eamonn Walker].

Some of the newer characters introduced in season four are Hill's mentor and stepfather Burr Redding [Anthony Chisholm], basketball champion Jackson Vahue [Rick Fox], Jewish inmate Eli Zabitz [David Johansen], provisional IRA terrorist Padraig Connolly [Brian F. O'Byrne], as well as new inmate and minister Jeremiah Cloutier [played by Luke Perry].

A definitely ultra-gritty surrealistic insight to maximum-security controlled environment, "Oz" will defy what you know in its 55 minute episodes.