Genre: Hour-long mystery thriller
Airs: Mondays at 9/8c on Fox
Premise: Before shutting down its prison operations in 1963, all of the Alcatraz inmates were transported off the island. Only that's not what happened. Instead, they all mysteriously disappeared. Cut to some 40 years later, and the missing inmates are now resurfacing and wreaking havoc. It's up to a ragtag team led by a cop (Sarah Jones), Alcatraz expert (Jorge Garcia) and a shady government agent (Sam Neill) to capture them and put them back in prison.
Behind-the-Scenes: Created by several veterans of Lost, and executive produced by J.J. Abrams.
The Good: Since it first aired in 2004, countless numbers of series have tried and failed to capture some of the Lost magic. Alcatraz actually feels like a true heir apparent to that series. Yes, it's more procedural, but in its two-hour premiere (made up of two episodes), the show's creative team do a nice job of working in the over-arching mythology alongside the weekly inmate hunt. The mythology, time travel concept, flashbacks to each prisoner in '63, music by Michael Giacchino, and high production values all suggest the direct influence of Lost. The mystery is intriguing, and the season preview at the end of the show raises some good questions: where have these inmates been? Whose behind their disappearance? And why? Questions like these already have me hooked.
The Bad: Feels a bit derivative of other shows. It not only bears Lost's influence - it sometimes feels like a direct imitator. There's a lot of Fringe in there too. Could use more humor - casting Jorge Garcia will likely pay off down the road in that regard, but it hasn't yet. Sarah Jones is a believable bad-ass, but her character lacks a distinct personality.
Will It Last?: I think so. Premiere ratings were good and there was no drop-off between episodes 1 and 2. Viewers stuck around, and I think they will continue to do so. Expect to see it on the fall schedule next year.
Add A Series Pass?: Yes. Alcatraz has lots of potential.