Ok, so I have a new favorite TV series. I don't like it. I LOVE it. And since that tends to doom any show, I figured I'd be proactive and try and plug it. The ratings are good. But great is better. The networks cancel so many unique & cool shows.
Like many TV series, to come into it late means confusion, and it's hard to enjoy it as much if you spend the hour wondering who is who, and why the heck are they saying/doing THAT??? So here's a very basic recap of the pilot episode. There are no spoilers here. Ok, except I revealed the location of the room from which the main characters -- the good guys -- do their sleuthing. But you knew they had to have an office somewhere, right?
Also known as The Rock. Empty of prisoners since 1963. You wouldn't have wanted to be housed there before then. A stone fortress on a big rock in San Francisco Bay, it had brutal inmates, strict rules; in the later years, it was a decrepit facility. And so it was closed in 1963, the prisoners moved to other prisons elsewhere.
Or so they say.
In Alcatraz the series, the plot is that the prisoners were never moved. They disappeared. Or WERE DISAPPEARED by someone with an agenda, a use for these violent individuals. And those inmates are showing up in the here and now, having not aged a day, into a modern world where they don't officially exist. No fingerprints or DNA on file. No police records in precinct computers. And they're continuing their murderous behavior.
Sam Neil (Jurassic Park) plays Emerson Hauser, who was once a young guard at Alcatraz, and whose job now is to find each inmate & capture them, as well as to find out who made them disappear in the first place and for what purpose. Parminder Nagra plays Lucy Banerjee, Hauser's assistant. They work out of a secret facility on The Rock, below the cellblock level, dubbed "The Batcave" by Jorge Garcia's character.
Sarah Jones plays police detective Rebecca Madsen, who is drawn into this strange situation and joins up with Hauser. Jorge Garcia is Alcatraz expert Diego "Doc" Soto,who knows everything there is to know about The Rock and the criminals who inhabited it, and becomes Madsen's partner. When murders occur, it's Doc who can tell by the m.o. which Alcatraz inmate has now shown up, and what they might do next.
This is producer/screenwriter JJ Abrams' (Lost, Fringe, Alias, Star Trek 2009 movie, etc.) series, and it's a high-quality production -- the writing, acting, and directing are exceptional. And how often can we say that about network TV these days? So if you want some excitement, a show where you can spend the season getting more and more wrapped up in the characters (if you're a LOST fan, you'll love the occasional one-liner by Jorge Garcia, reminiscent of his character Hurley, back on that other island), give it a shot. JJ Abrams promises that it won't be as complicated as LOST, and that each episode will be a separate story.
I love a thriller, I love uniqueness, I love a cool locale, and I especially love it when there's some humor thrown in with the drama (X-Files, anyone?). And a show with big, teddybearish Jorge Garcia? It was inevitable that I would watch the pilot episode, hoping it would be good. But it's not.