Another Mind-bender in the Works?

          In this review, the Island is back! However, this time it isn’t the confusing little rock that Lost found fame on. No, this new show will take place on THE Rock itself: Alcatraz. Officially picked up by Fox on May 10, 2011, JJ Abram’s Alcatraz promises mystery suspense, drama, and action all delivered with the nuance and cleverness that Abrams has become known for.

          In real life, the prison sits in San Francisco bay, where the notoriously strong currents made escape almost impossible. Until 1963, the island served roles as a military fortification, lighthouse and FBI prison, although it is for the latter that it is most known. During its time as a prison, The Rock held the likes of Al Capone, Robert Stroud, and “Machine Gun” Kelly, some of the most prolific and dangerous men of their time. Alcatraz officially denies any successful escapes all throughout the 29 year operation, however people have disappeared, and a possible escape was deemed “plausible” by Myth Busters.

          The escape difficulty posed by the islands many entrapments is rendered unimportant by the premise of this new series, in which a reality is proposed wherein 300 prisoners and wardens whom had vanished 50 years prior, simply reappear from seemingly thin air. Rebecca Madsen, a police officer, and Dr. Diego Soto, a geek with the foremost knowledge concerning Alcatraz will set out to investigate the story of this unbelievable happening. According to various sources, a fingerprint found at the scene of a brutal murder will set in motion the hunt for Jack Sylvane, a former Alcatraz inmate who supposedly died decades ago. When Rebecca’s family history begins to fuse with the story of Jack and the reappearances, this show should take on a life of it’s own in terms of detail and edge of your seat story development.            

           The recently released trailer begins with a murky swooping shot of the island, immediately setting the dark and moody tone the trailer will take. The restless prisoners seem to know some event is inevitable, and it sounds as though they’re scared of it. The ensuing thunderstorm and startling flash of an empty shoe confirm their fears as guards timidly walk through the cellblock. The narrator tells the story of the disappearance of 302 men from within the solid walls of Alcatraz, ending with the tried and true “they were gone… UNTIL NOW!” which came off as kind of Kitschy but effective. The trailer then spirals into action illuminating the paradox of Jacks return along with dialog from some of the shows major characters. Hinting at time travel and possibly even an alternate reality, this trailer leaves one with some serious questions (what’s in the soft black bag!?) and based on Abram’s work in the past, should deliver with some awesome concepts.

          Lost fans will be happy to find that Jorge Garcia (who played Hurly in the series) will return as Doc. Soto. There will, knowing Abrams, be more well worked allusions to Lost, as well as other shows of his, and for these I wait enthusiastically. The viral campaign when nearing launch should also be fun to experience. All in all, I am eagerly waiting for the pilot episode.