Fox approved J.J. Abrams' latest project, Alcatraz, for a first season earlier this week. Now there's a full 3-minute trailer for potential fans to look over, as well as an expanded plot synopsis to digest.
Alcatraz has been in the works for some time, with the pilot prepped earlier this year and shooting on the first season's episodes scheduled for this summer. The show features Jurassic Park and The Tudors star Sam Neill, Lost regular Jorge Garcia and Sons of Anarchy's Sarah Jones in the main role.
The story goes something like this: In 1963, every prisoner and staffer of the infamous Alcatraz prison vanishes without a trace. The government covers it up, stating that all the occupants have been transferred, and promptly closes Alcatraz. Now in modern times, the convicts and staff are reappearing. The San Francisco Police Department teams up with the feds to track and recover the time-traveling criminals.
Sam Neill is taking center stage as the mysterious G-man, Agent Emerson Hauser. The voice-over setting up the trailer and his numerous I-know-something-you-don't-know smirks make it clear that he'll be providing a lot of the intrigue for the freshman season. Jorge Garcia is playing Dr. Diego Soto, a beta geek type who's obsessed with the history of Alcatraz.
However, this series may live and die on the performance of Jones. Her character, SFPD detective Rebecca Madsen, will drive the investigation forward. And just like Olivia Dunham of J.J. Abrams' other current sci-fi series, Fringe, she's got parts of her past that may intersect with the overall plot in the form of her grandfather and uncle, who were both Alcatraz guards.
Judge for yourself in the trailer below:
And here's the official synopsis:
When San Francisco Police Department DET. REBECCA MADSEN (Sarah Jones, “Sons of Anarchy”) is assigned to a grisly homicide case, a fingerprint leads her to a shocking suspect: JACK SYLVANE (guest star Jeffrey Pierce, “The Nine”), a former Alcatraz inmate who died decades ago. Given her family history – both her grandfather and surrogate uncle, RAY ARCHER (Robert Forster, “Jackie Brown”), 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, “Jurassic Park”) tries to impede her investigation, she’s doggedly committed. Madsen turns to Alcatraz expert and comic book enthusiast, DR. DIEGO “DOC” SOTO (Jorge Garcia, “Lost”), to piece together the inexplicable sequence of events. The twosome discovers that Sylvane is not only alive, but he’s loose on the streets of San Francisco, leaving bodies in his wake. And strangely, he hasn’t aged a day since he was in Alcatraz, when the prison was ruled by the iron-fisted WARDEN EDWIN JAMES (Jonny Coyne, “Undercovers”) and the merciless ASSOCIATE WARDEN E.B. TILLER (Jason Butler Harner, “The Changeling”).
Madsen and Soto reluctantly team with Agent Hauser and his technician, LUCY BANERJEE (Parminder Nagra, “ER”), 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 won’t 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 San Francisco cop fiancé, JIMMY DICKENS (Santiago Cabrera, “Heroes”), 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.
I've been looking forward to Alcatraz since it was announced, and have only gotten more excited as the casting and plot info has come out. Here's hoping the fall premiere will not disappoint.
Follow Michael on Twitter: @ MichaelCrider
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