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4.4 out of 5 stars149
4.4 out of 5 stars
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on 3 July 2012
Absolutely loved this series with the plot twists and turns which you would expect from the guy who brought us Lost!
Each week giving a new perspective of what is happening and to new characters every week. It is a shame they only made 12 episodes it could have been better if there were 24 for the amount of prision escapees we had to endure. Even more gutted that they have cancelled the series after only 1 Season when it was left on a Cliff Hanger! Too many decent series are being cancelled too early for my liking, thank god we still have Dexter! On a positive note I thought it was very clever and amazing to give us a Final Episode which mirror imaged the green VW beetle chase that was in the Famous 'Bullitt' Steve McQueen movie, Anyone notice that?
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on 26 February 2015
"On March 21, 1963, Alcatraz officially closed. All the prisoners were transferred off the island. Only, that's not what happened. Not at all."
The team behind LOST instead offers a time traveling twist on Alcatraz' final inmates, and how a government taskforce must find them all 302 of them. At least, for 13 episodes.

Honestly not awful nor technically incompetent, 'Alcatraz' is guilty more of complacency: despite the production team's background and being released during the run of 'Fringe', it doesn't embrace its high concept of Alcatraz as a hub for mad science, instead using it as background dressing for what is ostensibly yet another cop/agent procedural. The prisoners (dubbed 63s) come back the same age as in 1963, but nothing else. No extra powers, no mutations or even real side effects from whatever was going on. Basically, they're just your typical criminal of the week from any 'CSIs', 'Law and Orders'' or 'NCIS'', just with a slight time travel bend. And that rather rigid stockness also transcends to the main characters: the tough cop girl, the loveable nerd, the growly boss etc.

Plus, opting for the LOST method of storytelling with a really slow burn mystery and mere hint-crumbs dropped sparsely doesn't work as well on a procedural which is inherently about solving problems/crimes and means the two part finale has to fill in a lot of gaps, but as you'd expect, only opening up another set of questions. It just feels like the writers were of the mindset that the audience had gotten used to this, and therefore, would stick around for the three or four seasons needed to resolve the enigma of the 63s. Frankly, in a market as competitive as TV, a generous audience is hard to come by, even for big name properties and creators.

This is a shame because really, 'Alcatraz'is actually a perfectly watchable show. Good production values, especially the amazing recreation of the insides of Alcatraz, a thrilling soundtrack by Michael Giacchino with a kickass opening featuring narration from Sam Neil, and well, the cast are fairly solid. Garcia, Nagra and Neil do well as you'd expect, and though a lot of people complained about Jones in the title role, I don't think she did a bad job. More she was handicapped by the limits of the material, but I thought she injected some much needed spritely-ness into her character.

I even commend some attempts at factoring in elements of 60s culture, like an episode dealing with a black cook who may have been sent to the Rock purely on race grounds, or an autistic savant who manages to improve via occupational therapy. But its ultimately the lack of that extra spark that lets the show down. If there was ever a show that needed to go bigger, be more willing to be a little nutty, it's 'Alcatraz'. Had they just gone for it and not apologized, this could've made for a fun companion piece to 'Fringe', but as is, is little more than another procedural with a faint sci-flavouring.
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on 6 May 2013
I enjoyed Alcatraz. However, by the last couple of episodes it felt as though it was just picking up momentum and then it was over!
I felt there wasn't a great deal of character development, this would probably have come in subsequent series.
The backdrop of the Alcatraz prison worked really well.
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on 25 February 2013
I have bought this as a present for my sister who doesn't have cable and was gutted to have missed this series. Only to find it has been cancelled so there will be no more. This is a shame as it was quite good except it should have been more involved about the story of why they suddenly appeared in the future and they were just touching on that and it ended. For people who loved Lost would enjoy this but would be annoyed that they drag out the story too long for you to get to grips with it and I think that is why it was cancelled.
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on 3 April 2015
I really enjoyed watched alcatraz what a good TV show it was.... it's was a shame that they didn't do season 2 to finish off the storyline... need to finish off storyline off season 1.. left it a cliffhanger...
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Contains Spoilers.
If you employed a mason to build a wall in your garden and he half built it and walked away you'd be unhappy.
Equally,if you bought a tin of baked beans and upon opening the tin you found it was half empty you'd be unhappy.

In both cases we,the customer,would have some form of redress against the builder and manufacturer in the above examples.

But NOT AT ALL with this series;the producers have stopped the production after 1 season with the story incomplete and hanging on the edge,and it seems to me that they can get away with it.That's wrong but legal.

I have mixed feelings about Alcatraz; I found it very episodic:each segment involved an inmate reappearing after 50 years 'in limbo'(somewhere)and reenacting his crimes from the 1950/60's and then being killed or tracked down by using modern crime detecting methods.The odd clue was given towards the reasons for the disappearance of the inmates and staff 50 years ago,though never really leading to our understanding of the situation: a government experiment? a hidden agenda of the Chief Warden? Alien abduction?

Much of the acting is very wooden,even from Sam Neill who looked so uncomfortable in his role.
The lack of a romance between our heroine,Sarah Jones,and even a pet cat may explain why there was no spark in her performance.

The only star for me was the outstanding turn by British actor Jonny Coyne as the Warden;his diction was perfect and he was blessed with the meatiest dialogue of any of the cast.Sadly he wasn't on screen enough to give the series gravitas.

The final nail in the coffin for me is that 2 of the team searching for the answers were involved in the disappearance 50 years before but neither were forthcoming with exactly what happened to them to help us,the viewers,or even the heroine and her sidekick.Why not?

I'm not sure I'd recommend this box set as its clearly an unfinished work; however some people will enjoy a meal of a starter and main dish and forsake the pudding and feel satisfied.

My afterthoughts: our heroine drove a green 1968 Mustang throughout:in the last episode the reason for this oddity was revealed,which is about the only resolution that was satisfying in the series.A homage was paid by the writers and producers to Bullitt (2 Disc Special Edition) [DVD],which was also set in San Francisco.The famous car chase scene was reinacted involving the iconic Mustang and even included a green VW Beetle poodling along the chase route al a mode 'Bullet'.
24 Hours,Season 9 has begun filming;I'm spotting actors whom have appeared in the series and one appears in Alcatraz.The actor who played the character Marcos Al-Zacar(terrorist who blows himself up)appears here as one of the inmates.He also had a key role in the series The Pacific - Complete HBO Series [DVD].
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on 29 December 2012
gripping storyline. briliantly acted by all cast members. hooked within the first 2 episodes. definately worth adding to your collection.
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on 13 June 2013
What a pity they only made on series of this fantastic show. It was just beginning to get to the back story. Still at less than a tenner this series is well worth watching.
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on 22 July 2015
Excellent series and was so gripping from start to finish, the only and biggest problem was that the finale just left you there in limbo as Rebecca Madison was stabbed and Emerson found what he was looking for behind the wardens locked door, it was just weird how it ended and could of finished at a fewer more series and why it didn't finish after capturing Rebecca grandfather or at least killing him. Just wish they were more.
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on 8 March 2013
i never saw this when it was on tv so i decided to give it a try it is excellent
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