“Alcatraz” offers a new island mystery from J.J. Abrams


Lost fans have been waiting impatiently over a year for the premier of J.J. Abrams‘ new series Alcatraz. I mean, who better than Abrams to create a supernatural mystery built around an island?

The difference, of course, is that most of us have actually heard of Alcatraz. But the island prison has always been the source of rumor and curiosity, even after it was closed in the Sixties, reportedly due to high operations costs and building deterioration.

The show presents a slightly different scenario. As the story opens in March 1963, we learn that Alcatraz was shut down because 302 prisoners vanished without a trace. Flash forward to the present — when inmates begin to reappear without having aged. (Maybe they were hanging out with The 4400.)

Here’s the trailer:


Alcatraz has several familiar faces: Jorge Garcia plays Dr. Diego Soto, an Alcatraz historian and comic book writer, and Sarah Jones is SFPD Detective Rebecca Marsden.

As the two investigate what happened, two government agents, Emerson Hauser (Sam Neill) and Dr. Lucy Banerjee (Parminder Nagra) interfere — until Marsden and Soto agree to work with them.

Jones’ character has been compared to another Abrams’ investigator: Anna Torv‘s Olivia on Fringe. Both are tough, career-driven women in strange situations that give them a sense of destiny. A strong woman in the lead is certainly a reason to give Alcatraz a watch. And, of course, Nagra is always a welcome sight — let’s hope her role grows as the series progresses.

Alcatraz premiers January 16 at 8 p.m. ET with a two hour episode before it settles in to its permanent slot after House. Will you be watching?

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