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Locked Up Abroad is a television show that airs on the National Geographic Channel. It premiered in the UK in 2006 under the named "Banged Up Abroad," though this has been changed in the United States to the more accessible American English title. Although the show is largely a reality/documentary program, it also features extensive dramatized action to retell the story that is being covered in a particular episode. Each episode also includes commentary from the individuals that were involved in the incidents being portrayed, and focuses upon the events leading up to them being incarcerated. It also profiles their time in prison and the circumstances under which they were released.

The show, as its name implies, features the stories of those who have been incarcerated in foreign countries. The countries are invariably third world or developing, therefore providing for a particularly shocking prison experience. Because of the nature of the countries holding them, the profiled individuals often face exorbitant sentences and usually have a difficult time contacting their country's embassy for aid. Therefore, they are generally left to survive on their own. Most of those featured on Locked Up Abroad are British or American citizens.

Most episodes involve charges of drug smuggling. Generally, the subject of the episode is arrested for attempting to smuggle drugs into or out of a particular country. They are often lured into the scheme via a thinly-veiled cover story, although in some cases they are fully aware of what they are doing. Certain episodes have focused on semi-professional and prolific drug smugglers. In other cases, the episode profiles the kidnapping of a traveler by terrorist or rebel groups, or Western tourists or journalists being falsely accused of various crimes.

Locked Up Abroad is a Documentary & Biography, Reality series that is currently running and has 12 seasons (113 episodes). The series first aired on July 24, 2007. It has mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 8.5.

Locked Up Abroad is available for streaming on the National Geographic website, both individual episodes and full seasons. You can also watch Locked Up Abroad on demand at National Geographic Amazon, Hulu, Vudu, FuboTV, Microsoft Movies & TV, Google Play, iTunes, National Geographic online.

Wednesday 10:00 PM et/pt on National Geographic
12 Seasons, 113 Episodes
July 24, 2007
Documentary & Biography, Reality
8.5/10
Cast: Gemma Cousins, Matthew Oats, Ryan Thor
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Clips & Extras

Locked Up Abroad Full Episode Guide

  • Latasha, a dancer from L.A. falls in love with a man in Bangkok. Caught at the airport with a stash of his heroin, LaTasha's life begins to unravel.

  • Champion skier Nick Brewer becomes a cocaine kingpin after a life-changing accident.

  • In South Korea, English teacher Jesse Moskel becomes the kingpin of a huge MDMA smuggling operation — and one of Southeast Asia's most wanted men.

  • Americans plot daring escapes from prisons in Soviet Russia and Mexico in the 1970s.

Locked Up Abroad Video Clips & Extras

Venezuelan Prison Life | National Geographic Clip (03:05) Egyptian Prison | National Geographic Clip (01:59) Smoking the Supply | Locked Up Abroad Clip (04:26) False Documents | National Geographic Clip (03:49) Forced into Smuggling | National Geographic Clip (03:06) Kidnapped in the Dark | National Geographic Clip (03:09) Saudi Interrogation | Locked Up Abroad Clip (03:05) Narrow Escape | National Geographic Clip (02:38)