It is difficult not to like any production conceived around the famous and now shuttered prison-turned-tourist-attraction that sits on its own little island. Alcatraz, which is only a stone’s throw from one of the most beautiful cities in the world, has been the setting for quite a number of movies now like “The Rock” and “Escape from Alcatraz”. However, it has taken Hollywood producers up until today to come up with a good TV show based on this historic prison.
This TV series starts with the premise that the closing of the prison in 1963 was a fake and it was to hide the fact that all the prisoners there at that time had disappeared. Now, what if the prisoners suddenly appear in the year 2012 and haven’t aged a single day while still harboring grudges and unfinished business. If this storyline grips you, then you will definitely find this JJ Abrams produced series much to your liking.
Each episode will see a prisoner coming back to commit a crime which baffles the current police force. In the first episode, we are introduced to Rebecca Madsen (Sarah Jones), a San Francisco police detective, as she stumbles upon the murder committed by the prisoners. She is helped by her friend and Alcatraz expert Dr. Diego Soto (Jorge Garcia). In their investigations, these two discover more knowledge about the strange on-goings and are roped into the clandestine government agency headed by agent Emerson Hauser (Sam Neill) and agent Lucy (Parminder Nagra). As with all government agencies, there is more than meets the eye and further mysteries will be revealed as the series progresses.
Alcatraz has a lot of potential and will probably end up as a series that will keep you coming back for more. It probably won’t be such a blockbuster hit like Lost or Heroes, but it does have enough meat to keep the audience enthralled week after week. However, there are several setbacks that the series must overcome if it is going to continue on its run into the second or third seasons. While the first couple of episodes of the series show promise, the series begins to resemble any one of the many police procedural shows as it moves along. The actors playing the lead roles have also to make a better effort in making the audience like them. Sarah Jones as the main protagonist is not able to capture the role of main lead (she should probably take a lead from Emily Rose from Haven, another supernatural themed TV series). Even veterans like Sam Neil, Jorge Garcia and Parminder Nagra seem to take their roles into a new level of casualness.