While I am disappointed that Terra Nova hasn’t returned for Monday nights, Alcatraz is a pleasant surprise. In fact my 28 year old son sat here with me watching the entire premier, and he continues to watch it with me along with Castle. You may say that doesn’t mean anything, but if you knew my son you’d realize it is! He’s very critical when it comes to science fiction, so for him to take an hour out of his homework schedule it’s got to be good.
The show’s theme centers around the disappearance of the entire population of the prison’s inhabitants on the day they were to be transferred to other facilities, due to the closing of the prison. The incident was covered up by the government with a fake paperwork trail showing the prisoners transferred, as well as death certificates for many of them. Now these men are reappearing in the present day committing the same gruesome crimes they were incarcerated for, have not aged a day since 1963, with no idea where they have been the past 60 years.
As for the actors, you almost can’t go wrong with Sam Neil in the starring role as Emerson Hauser, the man who was suppose to oversee the transfer of the prisoners, now tracking them down and returning them to a secret facility. Co-starring with Neil are Jorge Garcia (formerly from Lost) as Dr. Diego Soto a college professor, writer and historian turned comic book store owner, who is an expert on the history of Alcatraz and it’s inhabitants. Sarah Jones (Son’s of Anarchy, Lone Star) as Detective Rebecca Madsen, a San Francisco detective who’s partner was murdered by one of the missing prisoners, recruited by Hauser to join the team. Incidentally Jones’ uncle is a former Alcatraz guard who now owns a bar in San Francisco. And Parminder Nagra (ER, Bend It Like Beckham) as Lucy Banerjee a Psychologist who had been working in the prison before it closed. Unfortunately Lucy was shot in the first episode, and remains in a coma. It will be interesting to see what Abrahms has planned for that character since she has not aged as day herself.
Alcatraz is brought to us by Producer J.J. Abrahms (Lost and Alias) stays true to form with twists, turns, and plenty of action, packed with psychological intrigue. While science fiction premise of time and space displacement are not new, Alcatraz is different for television. The question is whether it can garner the same audience as Fringe is reserved for future episodes, but for now the writing is excellent.
If you have missed an episode you can catch up with full episodes, as well as clips, actor bios, full recaps and downloads at fox.com/alcatraz.