If you read my column on Friday about my frustration with TV shows getting the quick hook, you’ll no doubt wonder why I’m a little geeked about Alcatraz. After all, a show about prison breaks, time travel and mysterious missions can’t survive, right? Otherwise I’d still be watching Life On Mars.
But this is J.J. Abrams we’re talking about, and the trailer for Alcatraz makes me think I can forgive him for Undercovers. If the network has any kind of patience – and if the show is as good as the trailer looks, of course – this one might slide alongside Fringe and Lost, a sweet spot that Abrams can hit with regularity. And unlike Lost, it appears the plot is already outlined:
“Fox wanted to know what they were getting into, they did not want to get into a situation where it was a completely up-for-grabs scenario,” Abrams said. “They asked for the explanation of what’s going on to a large degree. Obviously they didn’t say, ‘Give us every script synopsis and tell us what happens in the series finale,’ but they wanted the main headlines of what the show is about, what the backstory is.” (Showrunner Elizabeth) Sarnoff wrote a document, which is obviously being kept secret from public eyes, explaining everything. Abrams says those revelations were “actually the key to getting the show on the air.” Producers will still be free to take detours and things could always change, but the fact that Alcatraz has a firm backstory — and one compelling and sensible enough to convince Fox to buy into the program — ought also reassure fans who get frustrated when they sense TV writers are completely winging it on serialized shows.
And it not only stars an always-creepy Sam Neill, but Jorge Garcia is back.
Hurley? On an island?
Good year for J.J.. – see for yourself!
Video: Alcatraz Trailer.