Jump to content

Alcatraz: Escaping Time and Space


This topic has been archived. This means that you cannot reply to this topic.

1268 replies to this topic

#1

Tableau

Tableau

    Fanatic

  • Gender:Female

Posted May 13, 2011 @ 5:34 PM

So despite the failure of Undercovers JJ Abrams must still be considered TV's golden boy. FOX has just announced the pick-up of his most recent series Alcatraz. The description from Futon Critic goes as such:

A drama about a group of missing Alcatraz prisoners and guards who reappear in the present day and the efforts of a team of FBI agents to track them down and unravel the mystery behind their disappearance 30 years prior.

Doesn't sound like much material for an entire series but JJ must have impressed the big boys upstairs with the two episode pilot now that they are picking the show up. I have no idea what direction this show will go but I'm sure time traveling hijinks will ensue. Hopefully it will last longer than three episodes.

ETA: They do realize that 30 years ago was only 1981 and Alcatraz was decommissioned as a prison in 1963, right?

#2

FurryFury

FurryFury

    Fanatic

  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Moscow, Russia
  • Interests:TV shows (obviously) - anything by Joss Whedon, Veronica Mars, Russel T. Davies-era Doctor Who are favorites, but I watch a lot, mostly speculative fiction.
    Also a fan of anime, video games (esp. western RPGs), reading (a big fantasy geek).

Posted May 14, 2011 @ 3:39 AM

Of the recent pickups, this is the show I'm most psyched for. I really hope for more info soon, though. The only things I know is that the main character is a female FBI agent, she has a fiancee, and that Hurley is some sort of Alcatraz expert who helps the FBI.

Edited by FurryFury, May 14, 2011 @ 3:40 AM.


#3

Tableau

Tableau

    Fanatic

  • Gender:Female

Posted May 15, 2011 @ 3:25 PM

The fates of JJ's female leads' significant others are never good. I'd give the guy two episodes to live.

#4

FurryFury

FurryFury

    Fanatic

  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Moscow, Russia
  • Interests:TV shows (obviously) - anything by Joss Whedon, Veronica Mars, Russel T. Davies-era Doctor Who are favorites, but I watch a lot, mostly speculative fiction.
    Also a fan of anime, video games (esp. western RPGs), reading (a big fantasy geek).

Posted May 16, 2011 @ 3:36 AM

Wouldn't this be too predictable, after Alias and Fringe? :) But then, I totally thought the same thing as you did.

Also heard a rumor it will get paired with Fringe on fridays. Not a good sign.

#5

Merve

Merve

    Fanatic

  • Gender:Male

Posted May 16, 2011 @ 1:02 PM

Also heard a rumor it will get paired with Fringe on fridays. Not a good sign.

According to the Fox schedule, it's slated to debut at midseason in the 8 PM Monday slot.

#6

FurryFury

FurryFury

    Fanatic

  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Moscow, Russia
  • Interests:TV shows (obviously) - anything by Joss Whedon, Veronica Mars, Russel T. Davies-era Doctor Who are favorites, but I watch a lot, mostly speculative fiction.
    Also a fan of anime, video games (esp. western RPGs), reading (a big fantasy geek).

Posted May 16, 2011 @ 1:28 PM

Yep, the rumor was fake. Glad to hear it.

#7

Tableau

Tableau

    Fanatic

  • Gender:Female

Posted May 16, 2011 @ 8:35 PM

New trailer and synopsis from FOX's upfront.

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 fiance, 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.

Now I wish I could rename the thread Gotta Catch 'Em All! It's so much more apt, I think.

#8

vb68

vb68

    Stalker

  • Gender:Not Telling

Posted May 16, 2011 @ 10:40 PM

I'm very excited for this show! It sounds fascinating if it is allowed to develop.

#9

Eruantien

Eruantien

    Video Archivist

Posted May 17, 2011 @ 1:03 AM

I tend to like whatever J. J. Abrams does, but this sounds a bit meh, to be honest. I'll give it a shot though.

#10

FurryFury

FurryFury

    Fanatic

  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Moscow, Russia
  • Interests:TV shows (obviously) - anything by Joss Whedon, Veronica Mars, Russel T. Davies-era Doctor Who are favorites, but I watch a lot, mostly speculative fiction.
    Also a fan of anime, video games (esp. western RPGs), reading (a big fantasy geek).

Posted May 17, 2011 @ 1:50 AM

It was strange that half a trailer was spent on a guy who's obviously going to be killed off at the end of the episode. Even worse, I've seen him somewhere before and find him kinda hot :(
But... Sam Neill! As awesome as ever! Yay!

#11

patriotickid

patriotickid

    Couch Potato

Posted May 17, 2011 @ 2:59 AM

Reminds me of the 4400 but with prisoners.

Overall, meh. Wish they hadn't seemngly drained all the life out of Sarah Jones cause she's great.

#12

quangtran

quangtran

    Couch Potato

Posted May 17, 2011 @ 4:01 AM

Even though the concept and trailer didn't interest me much, I'm a huge fan of Alias, Lost and Fringe, so I'll give this at least ten episodes for it to find it's feet .

#13

AngelKitty

AngelKitty

    Couch Potato

  • Gender:Female

Posted May 17, 2011 @ 8:36 AM

Too bad Charlie Jade won't be around long. Glad Sam Neil found something after Happy Town.

#14

BeenHere

BeenHere

    Couch Potato

Posted May 17, 2011 @ 8:57 AM

When I saw the trailer, my first thought was 4400 meet Time Trax. The only show of JJ Abrams I liked are Felicity and LOST. LOST was never the same after season three and the last episodes were bad. Alcatraz has an interesting concept but will he deliver?

#15

Aurilly

Aurilly

    Couch Potato

Posted May 17, 2011 @ 12:33 PM

So true about the fiances of JJ's leading ladies. Crap, and I was really excited that Santiago Cabrera (pretty pretty Isaac the druggie prophetic painter from season 1 of Heroes) was going to be back on my tv screen.

The trailer looks amazing. I loathe the middle-aged "enigmatic, knows-everything-but-tells-nothing" trope, so, while I like Sam Niell, I am not looking forward to this character. However, Jorge Garcia seems like he'll be delightful.

JJ has really repetitive narrative kinks, though. Always the stoic heroine who discovers only after years spent in law-enforcement that the sci-fi thing is All. About. Her. and her family (Alias's spy family/Rambaldi prophesy, Fringe with Olivia's special abilities since she was little). Like, what a coincidence! I love all his shows, though, so I won't complain.

#16

Senator X

Senator X

    Fanatic

  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Los Angeles

Posted May 17, 2011 @ 3:33 PM

I'll watch anything filmed in San Francisco. The lead seems a little close to Fringe's lead, except she's blond instead of strawberry blond and she's an SFPD inspector instead of an FBI agent.

One thing's for sure with JJ's track record, this show will eventually not be about mysterious disappearing inmates, as all his shows have much stranger premises than what's originally pitched.

#17

BDArizona

BDArizona

    Fanatic

  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Tucson, AZ
  • Interests:Left wing politics, sci-fi, sports, competitive reality shows

Posted May 17, 2011 @ 7:33 PM

Alcatraz has an interesting concept but will he deliver?

That's why Abrams bores me: it's all concept, and generally not even his concept. Fringe? X-Files rip-off, so it was Chris Carter's concept, done much better, years before. Star Trek? Roddenberry's concept, done much better, years before. Eventually, even he gets bored with it and wanders away. He does outlast me, though, because I wandered away from both Lost and Fringe halfway through the first seasons, and have yet to watch his Star Trek reboot beginning-to-end in one sitting.

#18

quangtran

quangtran

    Couch Potato

Posted May 18, 2011 @ 4:10 AM

I don’t actually think this show’s concept came from JJ. Creator Elizabeth Sarnoff seems to be the brains behind the show, and his involvement was just for the sake of getting a fellow Bad Robot staffer’s project off the ground.

That's why Abrams bores me: it's all concept, and generally not even his concept. Fringe? X-Files rip-off, so it was Chris Carter's concept, done much better, years before.

True, it did start off that way, but the show found its own identity shortly after you stopped watching. And even though I personally prefer X-Files, I'd think the two shows are in the same league, and there are several elements of Fringe that are stronger than its forbearers, like an actual consistent mythology.

Also, the X-Files creators have been up front about X-Files being their update of Nightstalkers and the Twilight Zone.

Eventually, even he gets bored with it and wanders away.

His priorities have always been movies (hence him sending tapes of Alias and Lost to Cruise to score the directing gig for MI:3), so I don’t see why anyone should expects him to stay on these shows full time, especially when some of his shows become a lot stronger after he leaves, like Fringe.

#19

Tableau

Tableau

    Fanatic

  • Gender:Female

Posted May 18, 2011 @ 5:43 AM

The trailer looks amazing. I loathe the middle-aged "enigmatic, knows-everything-but-tells-nothing" trope, so, while I like Sam Niell, I am not looking forward to this character. However, Jorge Garcia seems like he'll be delightful.

Call me an optimist but like John Noble before him, I think Sam Neill might be a strong enough actor to pull it off and give the trope his own spin. Hopefully they'll give his character some development instead of leaving him a mystery for long.

#20

FurryFury

FurryFury

    Fanatic

  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Moscow, Russia
  • Interests:TV shows (obviously) - anything by Joss Whedon, Veronica Mars, Russel T. Davies-era Doctor Who are favorites, but I watch a lot, mostly speculative fiction.
    Also a fan of anime, video games (esp. western RPGs), reading (a big fantasy geek).

Posted May 18, 2011 @ 6:00 AM

I don't think it's still fair to call Fringe an X-Files ripoff. It hasn't been at all similar to this show for like 1.5 years. I don't know how much of this is Abrams' achievement rather than current showrunners, though.
Still, Fringe is fantastic right now, and has its own distinct voice. If anyone dropped it during the first half, they should certainly come back (as I did).

JJ has really repetitive narrative kinks, though. Always the stoic heroine who discovers only after years spent in law-enforcement that the sci-fi thing is All. About. Her. and her family

To be fair, Sydney wasn't stoic. I really hope the main character of Alcatraz won't be as well. I certainly don't want another Olivia Dunham (I've managed to get used to her after 3 years, but her alternate counterpart is so much more emotive! it's easier for me to root for expressive characters rather than introverts).

#21

FoolishWanderer

FoolishWanderer

    Fanatic

  • Gender:Male

Posted May 18, 2011 @ 6:15 AM

I'm a little confused here. IMDb has it listed as a telemovie for '13, but people here are talking like it's a series for the next season. What's the truth of the matter?

#22

FurryFury

FurryFury

    Fanatic

  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Moscow, Russia
  • Interests:TV shows (obviously) - anything by Joss Whedon, Veronica Mars, Russel T. Davies-era Doctor Who are favorites, but I watch a lot, mostly speculative fiction.
    Also a fan of anime, video games (esp. western RPGs), reading (a big fantasy geek).

Posted May 18, 2011 @ 8:20 AM

Don't trust IMDB (at least when it comes to TV shows). It's a series, and FOX ordered 13 episodes for the next season.
Or maybe it's another Alcatraz listed there? Could be possible, I suppose.

#23

FoolishWanderer

FoolishWanderer

    Fanatic

  • Gender:Male

Posted May 18, 2011 @ 8:27 AM

Here it is. It's the same one as discussed here. Perhaps someone got the details all mixed up.

#24

Aurilly

Aurilly

    Couch Potato

Posted May 18, 2011 @ 8:59 AM

I think all (or at least most) pilots were labeled as "TV Movies" on IMDB. I remember looking up the Kerry Washington/Henry Ian Cusick one and finding the same label. I'm sure the status will change now that the shows have been formally picked up.

#25

Redtracer

Redtracer

    Fanatic

  • Gender:Female

Posted May 18, 2011 @ 11:02 AM

His priorities have always been movies (hence him sending tapes of Alias and Lost to Cruise to score the directing gig for MI:3), so I don’t see why anyone should expects him to stay on these shows full time, especially when some of his shows become a lot stronger after he leaves, like Fringe.

Totally agree. I've never really gotten the stick that Abrams gets for "abandoning" shows. The only ones he was ever intimately involved with were Felicity and Alias. The rest just have his name stuck on as a producer, either because he or someone in his production company helped set up the project. That's completely common. Does anyone think that Martin Scorsese has anything to do with what happens on Boardwalk Empire? Or that Steven Spielberg will be calling in daily to see what's going on with Terra Nova? Not that Abrams has the power of either of those two men, but the situation is the same.

He really just helps shows get off the ground, so if they start to suck part of the way through the season, it doesn't really have anything to do with him. He's not David E. Kelly.

#26

WileyCoyote

WileyCoyote

    Fanatic

Posted May 22, 2011 @ 10:01 AM

I have to admit... the upfronts trailer totally hooked me. Even "Grimm" didn't get me quite as easily, and that's a really good concept too.

Another link to the Upfronts trailer, for those who hate going through UGO and their stupid layer of ads (then again, Hulu has its own ads): http://www.hulu.com/...ome-to-alcatraz

I don't think it's still fair to call Fringe an X-Files ripoff.

Forget "fair", the thing is its not even close to ACCURATE. Fringe has been so much more ambitious, with execution so much ballsier, there's no comparison. At all.

Edited by WileyCoyote, May 22, 2011 @ 10:04 AM.


#27

FurryFury

FurryFury

    Fanatic

  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Moscow, Russia
  • Interests:TV shows (obviously) - anything by Joss Whedon, Veronica Mars, Russel T. Davies-era Doctor Who are favorites, but I watch a lot, mostly speculative fiction.
    Also a fan of anime, video games (esp. western RPGs), reading (a big fantasy geek).

Posted May 22, 2011 @ 2:58 PM

Forget "fair", the thing is its not even close to ACCURATE. Fringe has been so much more ambitious, with execution so much ballsier, there's no comparison. At all.

X-Files is still is a great show. I've watched/partly re-watched it 2 years ago and liked it a lot even with modern standards in mind. Some of the stories are still brilliant, and the leads are very good, as is the chemistry (much better than, say, Peter/Olivia, with all due respect). But Fringe has something X-Files lacked - a though-out interesting mythology.
OTOH, the X-Files standalones blow Fringe's ones out of the water. So much superiour, seriously. Anyhow, the two shows are very different, if you examine them, so who says you can't enjoy both? I most certainly did, even if I had to drop watching Fringe twice before it got good :) (mid-season 1 and in the beginning of s2).
I just hope Alcatraz will be quicker to draw me in than Fringe.

Edited by FurryFury, May 22, 2011 @ 3:00 PM.


#28

brighthope

brighthope

    Fanatic

  • Gender:Female
  • Interests:TV and Books!

Posted May 22, 2011 @ 7:40 PM

Definitely looking forward to this one, even though I'm not sure exactly where it will go the trailer completely hooked me.

#29

Stalkmylife82

Stalkmylife82

    Fanatic

  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Plainfield New Jersey

Posted May 22, 2011 @ 8:15 PM

I just wanted to point out that as part of deal in regards to picking up the show, Fox requested that J.J. lay out the direction of the show through it's entire run. The creators and the network already know exactly where the plot is going and whether J.J. is around or not, the plot has already been thought out beforehand.

Also, I want to say that calling anything a rip off of something else doesn't hold much water for me these days. Television is a form of entertainment that his been around for decades. Every single concept has been done in one way or another. Every show could be blank meets blank. But, for me, it's how the material is presented that makes a difference. Im just ready to see where the show goes. I also hope it gets a fair shot and people don't run away because they feel "burned by how Lost turned out" (I don't by the way) or scared that J.J. is going to run away and the show will fall apart. The show is designed to go on with or without him there full time. Also, I think all genre producer like Kripke, Whedon and J.J. all have a pool of talent to help him with the vision of the show. No shows from Buffy to X-Files was strictly one persons vision.

#30

WileyCoyote

WileyCoyote

    Fanatic

Posted May 23, 2011 @ 11:11 AM

The creators and the network already know exactly where the plot is going and whether J.J. is around or not, the plot has already been thought out beforehand.

Yeah, given that JJ doesn't really do day-to-day showrunning anyway, what he's mainly needed for was this.

Also, the show needs a REALLY good show bible. Start with that, and a good showrunner, and don't skimp on buying GOOD writers, then you're set.

Fringe didn't suffer from a lack of JJ's daily presence. In fact, the show got BETTER later on as it strayed further and further from its original Monster of the Week vision.