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This topic has been archived.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

#31

Aurilly

Aurilly

    Couch Potato

Posted May 23, 2011 @ 12:55 PM

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.

I don't think lack of JJ's presence --> straying further from the original premise. Meaning, I think the eventual stray was exactly what he plans. JJ's shows often start out a lot more 'normal' than they end up. It's like he's trying to ease and coax people into sci-fi, starting out manageably in ways that allow you to become attached to the characters before the plot gets really weird. Alias started out as a pretty normal spy drama (giving you time to care about the main cast) with a couple of hints of something odd going on, and then it slowly got weirder. Sure, Lost had a monster in the pilot and a miraculous cure a couple of episodes later, but it was mostly about survival and getting acquainted and hostile natives in the first season. Fringe had a monster of the week format, which is easy to follow, but then progressively expanded that to a giant multi-universe plot, in a nice, slow, not-overwhelming way. I think it's a great strategy, and I think it's HIS strategy, not the people whose hands he leaves the shows in. I have a feeling Alcatraz will be very "hunt down the time traveled criminal of the week" for awhile, with a few overarching things thrown in (like Fringe's Observer or Alias's hints of Rambaldi immortality), and then we'll find out that the reason this weird thing happened at Alcatraz in that year and this year is just a small part of a larger story of the island being a rift in the time-space continuum and an international conspiracy is trying to harness the power and create a super-race and do it on a large scale (I'm clearly making this crack up on the fly and I don't think it will be that plot or anything, but you know what I mean---it'll be something much bigger and much crazier than just 'some criminals time-traveled into the future this one time'). They'll ease us into it organically; that's JJ Abrams's way.

#32

DEM

DEM

    Stalker

  • Gender:Not Telling

Posted May 23, 2011 @ 1:08 PM

I finally got around to watching the Upfronts teaser. IMO, it doesn't demonstrate the series very well. That is, I mean, going by that teaser, I'd think a major aspect of the show would be the SFPD Detective who helplessly falls in love with the wrongly convicted dude.

I'll give it a try. It's got an intriguing premise, a Lady Detective, and Sam Neill! And with 300-some missing inmates and guards, the writers have plenty of room to stretch the story out forever and ever.

#33

WileyCoyote

WileyCoyote

    Fanatic

Posted May 25, 2011 @ 10:39 AM

That is, I mean, going by that teaser, I'd think a major aspect of the show would be the SFPD Detective who helplessly falls in love with the wrongly convicted dude.

Huh? How do you get that at ALL?

Its pretty clearly illustrated that he's a real bad guy. The Teaser SHOWS him killing two cops in cold blood without a moment's hesitation, for pete's sake. And then later we see he slaughtered the guy he got that bag from too. How's that telegraph "wrongly convicted" or "love story" again?

Edited by WileyCoyote, May 25, 2011 @ 10:47 AM.


#34

Tableau

Tableau

    Fanatic

  • Gender:Female

Posted May 25, 2011 @ 11:22 AM

I don't get why they wasted so much time on the guy in the first place since he's obviously going to be dead by the end of the pilot. Now if he isn't dead and turns out to be a regular who is their token evil teammate for some reason, that would be awesome! Not only original but the guy is pretty hot.

#35

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 25, 2011 @ 1:21 PM

He's clearly labeled as a guest star in the synopsis :/ But I really like your version, if it's any consolation. Also, love token evil teammates, but I guess they'll have one sooner or later anyway.

Edited by FurryFury, May 25, 2011 @ 1:22 PM.


#36

Tableau

Tableau

    Fanatic

  • Gender:Female

Posted May 25, 2011 @ 8:21 PM

It's an Abrams show and he usually tries to make unexpected cast change-ups in the first episodes like Mark Valley supposedly being a regular on Fringe and Jack initially suppose to be killed off in the pilot of Lost. But yeah, the guy has about a 90% chance of ending in a body bag by the end of the pilot because that's just how these things go.

#37

supposebly

supposebly

    Fanatic

  • Gender:Not Telling

Posted May 25, 2011 @ 9:15 PM

I kinda hate high-concept shows, they always seem to spend not enough time on the characters which tend to behave rather stupidly. Having said that. I adore Sam Neill, so I'll give it a chance at least.

#38

yarnover

yarnover

    Fanatic

Posted Jan 1, 2012 @ 1:53 PM

I saw the pilot for this on my flight home last night. I liked it. Intriguing premise, but I agree that the lead character, Rebecca Madsen, came across as very vanilla and boring. The most compelling character for me was Jack Sylvane, but that could have to do with the fact that I've liked his portrayer, Jeffrey Pierce, since The Nine.

#39

quangtran

quangtran

    Couch Potato

Posted Jan 1, 2012 @ 9:38 PM

It's good that someone likes it because I've been hearing nothing but bad buzz from this show. There have been a lot of tepid reviews and lots of behind the scenes drama, like the creator/showrunner Liz Sarnoff getting axed.

I agree that the lead character, Rebecca Madsen, came across as very vanilla and boring.

That's a typical complaint for a JJ lead these days. Matthew Fox, Anna Torv and most recently Jim Caviezel all got the same complaints in their early seasons, yet viewers usually start clamoring for their Emmy noms by season 3.

Edited by quangtran, Jan 2, 2012 @ 1:35 AM.


#40

speedroc

speedroc

    Fanatic

Posted Jan 1, 2012 @ 10:52 PM

saw the pilot for this on my flight home last night. I liked it. Intriguing premise, but I agree that the lead character, Rebecca Madsen, came across as very vanilla and boring. The most compelling character for me was Jack Sylvane, but that could have to do with the fact that I've liked his portrayer, Jeffrey Pierce, since The Nine

yarnover can you describe the basic premise of the show? I was wondering if its going to be like the 4400 where the guards/inmates are all transported en mass and have to be dealt with/stopped, or will it be a MOTW type flow like the early seasons of Supernatural.

#41

Tarasme

Tarasme

    Loyal Viewer

Posted Jan 2, 2012 @ 12:40 AM

I'm sad to read about the problems BTS with the show. I LOVE Sam Neill and I'm generally a fan of Bad Robot projects (not that BR was directly responsible, but I think the trailer for Cloverfield was the awesomest ever and the virally marketing for the project was great).

I can see the 4400 refs but I thought more Brimstone when I saw the trailer. For me, I hope tPTB quickly discard the 300 disappeared and now need to be found (or whatever) premise and unfold a really great, easily expandable mystery. But if the show is blown behind the scenes, well, I guess I'd better not hold my breath. :(

#42

quangtran

quangtran

    Couch Potato

Posted Jan 2, 2012 @ 1:48 AM

I can see the 4400 refs but I thought more Brimstone when I saw the trailer.

will it be a MOTW type flow like the early seasons of Supernatural.

Based on the show's naming convention of every episode being named after a prisoner/warden, it appears that the show follows the monster/prisoner-of-week format ala Brimstone (i don't watch Supernatural).

Edited by quangtran, Jan 2, 2012 @ 9:21 AM.


#43

Kaoteek

Kaoteek

    Couch Potato

  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Near Paris, France...

Posted Jan 2, 2012 @ 3:33 AM

I agree that the lead character, Rebecca Madsen, came across as very vanilla and boring.

That's a typical complaint for a JJ lead these days. Matthew Fox, Anna Torv and most recently Jim Caviezel all got the same complaints in their early seasons, yet viewers usually start clamoring for their Emmy noms by season 3.


To be honest, I only ever felt it (and i'm still feeling it) with Fringe : Torv does absolutely nothing for me, and still seems like the weakest link of the entire show, despite her best efforts.

Re : Matthew Fox, I've never really been bothered by his blandness, probably because Lost was an ensemble show, and Fox wasn't the only lead per se ; as for Caviezel, i've dropped the show after half a dozen eps, but not because of him, more because the show is not my cup of tea. That said, Caviezel can be very hit or miss with his acting, either okay or inexpressive/monolithic, which doesn't help.

Back to Alcatraz, i'm kind of sad to read that the lead is bland, cos I had hopes that JJ & co wouldn't bury Sarah Jones comic timing and (on a more shallow note) cuteness under vanilla character traits and writing... but I guess a straightforward supernatural drama doesn't necessarily need comic timing... :\

Edited by Kaoteek, Jan 2, 2012 @ 3:33 AM.


#44

speedroc

speedroc

    Fanatic

Posted Jan 2, 2012 @ 8:32 AM

Based on the show's naming convention of every episode being named after a prisoner/warden, it appears that the show follows the monster/prisoner-of-format ala Brimstone (i don't Supernatural).

Thanks.

#45

yarnover

yarnover

    Fanatic

Posted Jan 2, 2012 @ 11:49 AM

speedroc, I didn't watch The 4400, so I'm not sure if I can reference that comparison. The premise as explained in the pilot is as follows*:

Prisoners on Alcatraz disappeared in 1963, their whereabouts unknown. The prison wardens left behind (with help from the government) covered that up by falsifying records that said the prisoners were all transported to other correctional facilities.

In the present day, the prisoners are starting to reappear, but they haven't aged since the time they disappeared. The first one we see is Jack Sylvane, who murders a prison warden who was his nemesis when he was imprisoned in Alcatraz. Detective Rebecca Madsen, whose family has some history with Alcatraz, stumbles on to this while investigating the warden's murder. Sam Neill and Parminder Nagra's characters work for the Super Secret organization that's known about this all along and is tasked with apprehending the reappeared prisoners.


*Not sure if it all needed to be spoiler tagged, but I did just in case.

I forgot to mention that I really enjoyed the presence of Sam Neill and Parminder Nagra in this.

Having seen the pilot, I can understand why the show has gotten lukewarm reviews. I was intrigued by the premise and enjoyed most of the characters, but since it's a pilot, the writers seemed to play everything close to the vest. Not too many risks were taken. Still, I hope the show lasts. I think there's a lot of potential there.

#46

speedroc

speedroc

    Fanatic

Posted Jan 2, 2012 @ 2:06 PM

Thanks.

#47

TudorQueen

TudorQueen

    Stalker

  • Gender:Female

Posted Jan 2, 2012 @ 9:53 PM

I was a dedicated Lostie, so JJ Abrams, however marginal, and Jorge Garcia were enough to guarantee my attendance. Add Sam Neill and Parmenter Nagra and I am salivating. Plus I love that Garcia gets to play an intellectual.

#48

LadyKMom

LadyKMom

    Just Tuned In

Posted Jan 3, 2012 @ 12:14 AM

We also watched this pilot on our flight yesterday and my husband and I both enjoyed it. We really liked the characters and the premise and we're excited to see where it goes from here. I thought the initial setup was overly convenient, but it kept the plot moving quickly, so I guess I can take it in stride if they don't do it again. It seems like the show should have a good mix of locating the prisoner or missing guard who has just shown up and the overarching mystery of who or what is behind these disappearances. I'm interested in how these mystery people took a simple thief and made him into a killer and why they needed him to get a specific object from his victim. I did find the female lead's boyfriend to be a bit bland, but I thought she was fun. And Robert Forster was a welcome surprise! We'll be watching to see where it goes.

#49

irishmaple

irishmaple

    Fanatic

  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Toronto, Ontario

Posted Jan 3, 2012 @ 11:05 AM

Aside from my sci-fi/fantasy leanings, I'm looking forward to this because I was fortunate enough to visit San Francisco this past summer and fell in love with the city. I didn't get to visit the prison itself but my sister and I took a boat tour of the Bay and sailed by it. I'm basically enthused about this show for the geography porn! A regular dose of the Golden Gate Bridge and other city highlights, and it'll have to suck really badly before I bail.

#50

Mia Nina

Mia Nina

    Fanatic

  • Gender:Female

Posted Jan 3, 2012 @ 8:05 PM

It feels like I've been waiting forever for this show to premiere. I'm so thrilled it's close now.

#51

Tableau

Tableau

    Fanatic

  • Gender:Female

Posted Jan 12, 2012 @ 4:28 PM

Sneak peeks of the premiere for those of us who haven't seen the pilot yet: #1, #2, and #3. The Jack guy is hot. It's too bad he's gonna die (just spec on my part, but come on, it's obvious!).

Alcatraz: Episode 1.01 “Pilot” – Press Release

THE INFAMOUS PRISON COMES TO LIFE ON THE TWO-HOUR SERIES PREMIERE OF “ALCATRAZ” MONDAY, JANUARY 16, ON FOX

“Detective Rebecca Madsen” (Sarah Jones) and Alcatraz historian “Doctor Diego Soto” (Jorge Garcia) team up with a secret agency that is dedicated to finding and catching inmates from the infamous prison who went missing 50 years ago and are reappearing today. The special task force includes Sam Neill as “Emerson Hauser” and Parminder Nagra as “Doctor Lucy Banerjee.” Then, when a sniper begins targeting young victims, the team is forced to retrace the steps of the past in order to solve this modern day mystery on the special two-hour series premiere “Pilot/Ernest Cobb” episode of ALCATRAZ airing Monday, Jan. 16 (8:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. (ALC-101/102) (TV-14 L, V)

Cast: Sarah Jones as Detective Rebecca Madsen; Jorge Garcia as Dr. Diego Soto; Sam Neill as Emerson Hauser; Parminder Nagra as Lucy Banerjee; Robert Forster as Ray Archer; Jonny Coyne as Warden Edwin James; Jason Butler Harner as Associate Warden ED Tiller.

Guest Cast: Jeffrey Pierce as Jack Sylvane

Alcatraz: Episode 1.03 “Kit Nelson” – Press Release

A TERRIFYING PRISONER COMES BACK TO KILL

MONDAY, JANUARY 23, ON FOX

When child killer Kit Nelson, a terrifying kidnapper who always returns his victims home – after he’s killed them – reappears from the past, the team is in a race against time to catch the man before he kills again in the all-new “Kit Nelson” episode of ALCATRAZ airing Monday, Jan. 23 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. (ALC-103) (TV-14 L, V)

Cast: Sarah Jones as Detective Rebecca Madsen; Jorge Garcia as Dr. Diego Soto; Sam Neill as Emerson Hauser; Parminder Nagra as Lucy Banerjee; Robert Forster as Ray Archer; Jonny Coyne as Warden Edwin James; Jason Butler Harner as Associate Warden ED Tiller.

Guest Cast: Michael Ecklund as Kit Nelson.


Edited by Tableau, Jan 12, 2012 @ 3:42 PM.


#52

Alexandria Bay

Alexandria Bay

    Stalker

Posted Jan 12, 2012 @ 6:01 PM

Ditto what TudorQueen said. I'm watching it for Jorge Garcia and JJ Abrams, with fond memories of Lost and hopes it doesn't suck.

#53

cimmer2

cimmer2

    Fanatic

Posted Jan 12, 2012 @ 8:43 PM

Sam Neill and Robert Forster - you have my interest. I'm sure Abrams, doesn't have a clue where the story is going but hopefully he learned something from the meandering way 'Lost' ended and he's at least attempted to tighten the story up for 'Alcatraz'. The blond, lead (Madison) leaves me cold, the more I see her on the ads, the more I dislike her already but as I said, Sam and Robert, well, I'll give the show a valiant try just for them.

#54

fester01

fester01

    Loyal Viewer

Posted Jan 15, 2012 @ 9:48 PM

Count me in as a JJ Abrams/LOST fan who is looking forward to Hurley's return to my TV:)

#55

johntfs

johntfs

    Fanatic

  • Gender:Male

Posted Jan 16, 2012 @ 12:16 AM

I have to wonder what the extra hook is for this show. Taken at its face the show's situation seems a bit absurd in terms of drama. There seems to be one basic "supernatural" event: the disappearance and reappearance of these prisoners (and guards) from 1963 to present day. Well, fine, the prisoners are generally bad people, but so what? They're from 1963. They come from a time well before the omnipresence of computers, cameras, satellite tracking, DNA, global communication and facial recognition software. Tracking them down doesn't seem like it really needs special Alcatraz experts.

So, what's the other hook? Do these prisoners have some special knowledge, training or superpowers? Why does the show want us to fear these people more than we would the sociopaths we have as criminals in the modern world?

Edited by johntfs, Jan 16, 2012 @ 12:17 AM.


#56

Tippi Blevins

Tippi Blevins

    Couch Potato

Posted Jan 16, 2012 @ 7:55 AM

I'm wee-capping this show. I'm looking forward to it. On the other hand, two episodes in one night? Oh, my poor typing fingers.

#57

Rickster

Rickster

    Fanatic

  • Gender:Male
  • Location:NY suburbs

Posted Jan 16, 2012 @ 3:52 PM

So, what's the other hook? Do these prisoners have some special knowledge, training or superpowers? Why does the show want us to fear these people more than we would the sociopaths we have as criminals in the modern world?


I suppose we'll find out more tonight, but I wouldn't assume that the other hook is that these people have special powers to be feared. I'd guess the hook or ongoing story arc will be, why did they disappear, what happened to them and why are they reappearing.

#58

ganesh

ganesh

    Stalker

  • Gender:Male

Posted Jan 16, 2012 @ 5:05 PM

This sounds like The 4400, sort of. I suppose I should support the show though. It's probably the reason why Fringe got a 4th season.

#59

MrsJeter

MrsJeter

    Couch Potato

Posted Jan 16, 2012 @ 9:59 PM

Not sure if the point is for me to want the "bad" guys to win but that's where I'm at right now. First Sylvane is fine as hell so...and Emerson is such a frickin douchebag that I can't wait until someone puts him in a hole.

#60

AimingforYoko

AimingforYoko

    Stalker

  • Gender:Male

Posted Jan 16, 2012 @ 10:03 PM

And here I thought Emerson was waaaay too old for Lucy. Shows what I know.
Neill and Garcia are the best parts of this. Emerson was nicely dark grey and Diego was Garcia's usual role as voice of the audience.