Have you ever questioned history? If you’re an alternate-theory fan, you’ve probably posed the question: What if the history of Alcatraz Prison is not what we’ve been told all these years? FOX is upping their game of dark and twisted by debuting a full two-hour ALCATRAZ evening, Monday at 8/7c. Worth noting? I’m a big supporter of airing a pilot and second episode back to back; I feel it plants a firmer hold in the viewership….especially if the show is billed as a suspense or thriller.
ALCATRAZ presupposes that the closure of America’s most notorious prison was not due to budget cutbacks as is widely known, but because (dunh-dunh-DUNH!!!) everyone on the island vanished! (Hey, that isn’t a spoiler since the network is using that info as a tagline, right?) Inmates and guards, all whooshed away with no evidence as to the “what” or “why.” Funky, right? And because it’s Alcatraz, it’s extra spooky! Even more twisted, somehow the vanished are starting to return but haven’t aged a day and have no idea that time has passed. Well alright!
Current San Francisco Detective Rebecca Madsen (played by Sarah Jones) teams up with Doctor Diego Soto (Jorge Garcia, of LOST fame) who owns a comic book shop but who’s real passion is Alcatraz history (making him THE authority on each and every incarcerated) when the famous prison’s former associate warden is brutally murdered and a fingerprint found at the scene indicates that an old inmate, Jack Sylvane (Jeffrey Pierce) was there. Shouldn’t be impossible, but Sylvane was one of the inmates that “died” soon after Alcatraz closed and the prisoners were “transferred”. Now are you seeing the connection? Yep!
While investigating the strange circumstances, the pair comes across another equally mysterious fellow, Emerson Hauser (Sam Neill), along with his assistant Lucy Banerjee (Parminder Nagra), who knows much more than they let on and are a part of another secret organization and need the help of Madsen and Soto to find and stop the returning criminals.
With elements of LOST, LIE TO ME, CASTLE, and PERSON OF INTEREST, ALCATRAZ has the makings of a winner: dark and twisted, just enough mystery to keep the audience wanting more, suspense and action to spare. From the two episodes I’ve seen, I would have to recommend ALCATRAZ and I’ll definitely be watching!
[Amrie's take] The show starts off a little slow, so I’m glad that they are premiering as a two hour block – by the end of the second hour, once the second of two big reveals comes to us, I found myself a little bit more on board with that they’re throwing down. I hope Sarah Jones breaks out in a huge way from this show – she deserves it (yes, I loved WEDDING BELLS). Give it a shot – let us know what you think!