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Alcatraz is an upcoming American television series filmed in Vancouver, BC, starring Sarah Jones and Jorge Garcia. Bad Robot Productions produced the pilot episode, which is based on a screenplay by Elizabeth Sarnoff, Steven Lilien and Bryan Wynbrandt. The series was officially picked up by Fox on May 10, 2011. It is currently planned as a midseason replacement to air on Mondays at 9 pm in January 2012.


When San Francisco Police Department Det. Rebecca Madsen (Sarah Jones) is assigned to a grisly homicide case, a fingerprint leads her to Jack Sylvane (guest star Jeffrey Pierce), a former Alcatraz inmate who died decades ago. Given her family history—both her grandfather and surrogate uncle, Ray Archer (Robert Forster), were guards at the prison—Madsen's interest is immediately piqued, and once the enigmatic, knows-everything-but-tells-nothing government agent Emerson Hauser (Sam Neill) tries to impede her investigation, she is doggedly committed. Madsen turns to Alcatraz expert and comic book enthusiast, Dr. Diego "Doc" Soto (Jorge Garcia), to piece together the inexplicable sequence of events. The twosome discovers that Sylvane is not only alive, but he is loose on the streets of San Francisco, leaving bodies in his wake. And strangely, he has not aged a day since he was in Alcatraz, when the prison was ruled by the iron-fisted Warden Edwin James (Jonny Coyne) and the merciless Associate Warden E.B. Tiller (Jason Butler Harner).

Madsen and Doc reluctantly team with Agent Hauser and his technician, Lucy Banerjee (Parminder Nagra), to stop Sylvane's vengeful killing spree. By delving into Alcatraz history, government cover-ups and Rebecca's own heritage, the team will ultimately discover that Sylvane is only a small part of a much larger, more sinister present-day threat. For while he may be the first, it quickly becomes clear that Sylvane will not be the last prisoner to reappear from Alcatraz.

Through the course of the investigation, Madsen and Soto will learn that Agent Hauser has known about the prison's secret history and has been awaiting the prisoners' return. Soto will witness his life's work—the history of Alcatraz—come alive. Madsen will be forced to keep her supportive cop fiancé, Jimmy Dickens (Santiago Cabrera), at arm's length from the highly classified assignment as she sees everything she thought she knew about her family's past shattered, all while fighting to keep the country safe from history's most dangerous criminals



Sarah Jones as Rebecca Madsen, a San Francisco Police Department homicide detective

Jorge Garcia as Dr. Diego “Doc” Soto, an Alcatraz expert and comic book enthusiast

Sam Neill as Emerson Hauser, an enigmatic, knows-everything-but-tells-nothing government agent

Parminder Nagra as Lucy Banerjee, Agent Hauser's technician

Robert Forster as Ray Archer, Det. Madsen's surrogate uncle

Santiago Cabrera as Jimmy Dickens, Det. Madsen's supportive cop fiancé

Jonny Coyne as Edwin James, the iron-fisted warden of Alcatraz

Jason Butler Harner as E.B. Tiller, the merciless associate warden


Jeffrey Pierce as Jack Sylvane, a former Alcatraz inmate who supposedly died decades ago.


Alcatraz is produced by Bonanza Productions Inc. in association with Bad Robot Productions and Warner Bros. Television. The series is executive-produced by J. J. Abrams, Bryan Burk and Elizabeth Sarnoff. Steven Lilien and Bryan Wynbrandt, both of Kyle XY fame, created the concept and Sarnoff was brought on later in the process. Sarnoff wrote the pilot along with Lilien and Wynbrandt. Danny Cannon directed and executive-produced the pilot. In September 2011, Jennifer Johnson became an executive producer and co-showrunner alongside Sarnoff. After Sarnoff stepped down in November 2011, Daniel Pyne joined Johnson as showrunner.

Critical reception

In June 2011, Alcatraz was one of eight honorees in the Most Exciting New Series category at the 1st Critics' Choice Television Awards, voted by journalists who had seen the pilots.

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Just got done watching the first episode and besides the iffy acting the show was rather slow up till the end. I found the only part of the show I liked was seeing San Fran in the background of every other shot :heart:


Started watching the second episode and I gotta say 10 minutes in and it's a lot better then the pilot. Here's hoping that the show picks up the wow factor.

Edit: Interestingish twist at the ending. I'm gonna give it 2-3 more episode before I decide if it's worth my time to continue watching it


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I think living in the age of instant gratification that we can get discouraged if things don't always have a "holy shit" moment. Though it could be called slow, I think it is more pacing as they have a whole story to cover with lots if twists and turns to come that they don't want to rush.

I see big potential in this and hopefully it gets the chance to play out.

Edit: I view this as being a marathon versus a sprint and therefore the pacing to be deliberatly slower.

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Sons of Anarchy star Theo Rossi has won a guest role on Alcatraz.

The actor, who plays Juice on the FX drama, will appear in the 10th episode of Fox's new sci-fi procedural, according to Entertainment Weekly.

He will play Sonny, a former businessman who unleashes his violent side when locked up in Alcatraz prison in the 1960s.

Rossi has also appeared in episodes of Lie to Me and Grey's Anatomy, and played a supporting role in 2008 film Cloverfield.

The two-hour Alcatraz premiere pulled in a peak of 9.97m viewers on Monday night.

Series star Parminder Nagra (Lucy Banerjee) has hinted that many of the show's characters are "not really who they seem to be", while showrunner Jennifer Johnson has insisted that the drama is easier to understand than fellow sci-fi shows Lost and Fringe.

Alcatraz continues on Mondays at 9/8c on Fox.

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Got to sit down for the 3rd episode today, and what I failed remember is that JJ's other shows seem to start slowly and then build momentum so there is definite promise for this show if it keeps pacing itself the way it has been. The acting is slowly improving with the "good guys", but more importantly the villains are awesome. They're the one who make the show for me and as long as they keep them f*cked in the head ----> :heart:

I am a tad sad they moved filming locations to Canada (so sick of seeing the place in every other movie/tv show. We have trees too in Oregon/Washington yanno), but they can't afford to film in the bay area so they had to go somewhere, but someone failed to mention to the director that BC doesn't look like San Fran/Bay Area :rofl:


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