‘Pilot’ is the first of two episodes that aired monday night, and now I have finally gotten around to writing a review. For brevity’s sake I won’t divulge the entire plot and thus also avoid spoiling too much. In accordance with many other Bad Robot series there is a great many detail that may or not may be superfluous. Only time will tell.
As for the story…
Alcatraz is a series centered around the premise that all the inmates and wardens of the prison facility vanished mysteriously in 1963. Now, they reappear one by one. The shows two main characters are detective Rebecca Madsen (Sarah Jones) and Dr Diego Soto (Jorge Garcia) who team up to uncover the mystery of the murder of a warden who has been killed by a man who the records says died in the 70′s. along the way they start to work for Emerson Hauser (Sam Neill) a man who says he works for the FBI. Quickly it is discovered that the murderer is a man called Sylvane who is supposed to be 85 years old but looks as though he hasn’t aged a day. His murder of the associate warden is the first of many and though the first was for personal reasons the others aren’t. Finally detective Madsen and Dr Soto manage to catch up to Sylvane and thus becomes the first prisoner of a new prison built by Hauser in a bunker.
Though this series starts of well the sheer number of goofs is staggering and they distract considerably. Also the character of Rebecca Madsen seems a little weird as she has seemingly no difficulty in accepting the mystery surrounding Alcatraz. At this moment she is certainly no Olivia Dunham and what already has been often commented is that her boobs seem to jiggle left and right when she runs. This kind off leads me to wonder why after Fringe and Alias another female takes the lead in a Bad Robot production.
The island itself of course takes center stage, though it is doubtful that we will see it back often as principal shooting takes place in Vancouver. Thus Vancouver is also a stand in for San Francisco and I don’t think that will work too well. The show has several indoor sets that are supposed to represent Alcatraz but so far deals a little too contrived (ala Bones, Numbers and NCIS).
The series has great promise, but unlike Person of Interest it has nowhere near enough polish and at times seems contradictory. But I am so far willing to overlook its quirks as the second episode already did much better.
At this moment I must also comment on the supporting cast, their characters seem a lot more intense than the main characters on this show and I can already say that the Chief warden of Alcatraz in 1963 is a personal favorite. The supporting characters include the right hand for Hauser whose name is Lucy, her characters presence seems mostly due to add another female character on the show and one that isn’t as butch as the female lead.
Score; 7.5 / 10.
Viewer rating; 11 million.