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Alcatraz Season 1


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#1 of 114 OFFLINE   mattCR

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Posted January 16 2012 - 01:00 AM

Premieres tonight.   Here's looking forward to Fox's new supernatural drama:





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#2 of 114 OFFLINE   joshEH

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Posted January 16 2012 - 10:32 AM

I caught an ad for it while at the gym the other day, and it looked all right. Though I am a bit worried about the "Sam Neill" factor -- I feel like he's now firmly deep in the paycheck-phase of his career -- but that might be an unfair assessment. I really can't see how they're going to stretch this concept out but, then again, I thought Fringe would be just like The X-Files, and yet they somehow managed to surprise me with where the show went, so maybe the same thing will happen again here. The biggest reason no one will watch tonight -- it's a 2-hour premiere. Don't the network execs realize that two hours on a work night ain't going to happen for most folks? I'm still interested, but I'm sure if I DVR it, I won't get around to watching it until this weekend. Too much good stuff comes out this week, like Justified and Archer.

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#3 of 114 OFFLINE   Joe_H

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Posted January 16 2012 - 10:39 AM

They actually were showing an extended preview or something of this on a flight I was on, but I didn't want to see anything about it on a 4" screen or whatever. :D I'll probably watch it tonight but I'm not fully convinced yet.

#4 of 114 OFFLINE   Joe_H

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Posted January 16 2012 - 01:54 PM

The biggest reason no one will watch tonight -- it's a 2-hour premiere.

It's really just two separate episodes being aired on the same night. I only watched the first one, and will probably watch the second at a later time. It wasn't bad, but I wouldn't say it was great either. Two things bothered me most about it, the 'Cliffhanger'-like scene of the original partner, and if they've got two separate high-tech locations (one under Alcatraz, one in the middle of the woods), then why would they leave the records of all the prisoners behind one door with a simple lock? Edit: Forgot the other annoying thing about the episode which was Jorge Garcia's annoying comic relief. I mean, it felt natural when he did it in Lost as Hurley, but here a lot of it felt forced for the audience.

#5 of 114 OFFLINE   joshEH

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Posted January 16 2012 - 02:25 PM

True -- I think that the premise, as is, will get pretty dry pretty quickly, but based on Sam Neill's futuristic forest-prison and that L O S T twist at the end, it looks as though there are more layers to this. Could be interesting, although the only thing that's really jumped out at me so far was how willing this show is to slaughter innocent civilians.

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#6 of 114 OFFLINE   TravisR

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Posted January 16 2012 - 02:30 PM

Eh, it was good enough to keep watching but it's very similar to Fringe. I didn't know that Robert Forster was on the show so it was a fun surprise seeing him. I liked that the pilot was shot in San Francisco (or at least very convincingly faked for SF) and I hoped that they would continue to film there but like nearly all sci-fi shows, Vancouver is its home.

#7 of 114 OFFLINE   Scott McGillivray

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Posted January 16 2012 - 03:33 PM

Yet another series I wont watch because I auditioned for it and didnt land the role. Just a personal thing with me. I hate seeing someone acting in a role that could have been mine. (Yes, I am a whiny bitch about not getting roles) :D
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#8 of 114 OFFLINE   NeilO

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Posted January 16 2012 - 03:36 PM

I noticed the Michael Giacchino music in the pilot. I liked seeing Jeffrey Pierce, whom I knew from Charlie Jade. Over on imdb it says the filming locations were Alcatraz Prison, Alcatraz Island, San Francisco Bay, California, USA Filbert Street, San Francisco, California, USA San Francisco Bay, California, USA San Francisco, California, USA Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada The wikipedia article says that the show is filmed primarily in Vancouver. I guess they probably did a whole bunch of shooting in SF for the pilot and possibly built up some "stock footage" while they were at it for later episodes. If they are doing one convict a week that's a lot of episodes to cover. I expect that given a chance, it will evolve. I think that Touch will be in the timeslot in mid-March, so I think that is only 10 hours (including the 2 for tonight) for the show until then. In any case, I am intrigued by the show and am looking forward to seeing what we get.

#9 of 114 OFFLINE   Adam Lenhardt

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Posted January 16 2012 - 03:53 PM

I really enjoyed it. I judge pilots by their concept and their casting, since those are the things the show will be stuck with moving forward. Both were strong. Sam Neill absolutely owns his role as the overseer of the government project who got his start as one of the correctional officers who first discovered the disappearance. His opening narration was absolutely dead on, almost like a Rod Serling introduction to a "Twilight Zone" episode. Sarah Jones is only 28 and looks younger, so she stretches credibility a bit as a top detective, but she's got a playfulness to her performance that's refreshing in a field of female cops that are SO self-serious. You can actually believe Det. Madsen has a sense of humor. Jorge Garcia's role is to feed the audience exposition and create an interesting visual odd couple between the two partners, and he does fine with what's required of him. His character's the most thinly written so far. I always liked Parminder Nagra on "E.R.", and given the closing twist of the second hour, she's by far the most interesting character we've met so far. Robert Forster hasn't been given anything to do yet, but he's Robert Forster so you know he'll be awesome. The futuristic replica of the Alcatraz cell block in the middle of the forest is an interesting structural conceit.[quote name="Joe_H" url="/t/317750/alcatraz-season-1#post_3888264"][quote name="joshEH" url="/t/317750/alcatraz-season-1#post_3888188"]... and if they've got two separate high-tech locations (one under Alcatraz, one in the middle of the woods), then why would they leave the records of all the prisoners behind one door with a simple lock?[/quote]I saw that as Hauser's way of luring Det. Madsen in; in other words, the whole thing was a setup. I don't know if that's what they were going for or not, but it helps me rationalize it.[quote name="joshEH" url="/t/317750/alcatraz-season-1#post_3888276"]True -- I think that the premise, as is, will get pretty dry pretty quickly, but based on Sam Neill's futuristic forest-prison and that L O S T twist at the end, it looks as though there are more layers to this. Could be interesting, although the only thing that's really jumped out at me so far was how willing this show is to slaughter innocent civilians. [/quote]It's definitely going to be an A-B track show; the A plot being the episodic convict of the week, and the B plot being the larger mystery surrounding Hauser's operation and just what the hell happened in 1963.[quote name="TravisR" url="/t/317750/alcatraz-season-1#post_3888279"]Eh, it was good enough to keep watching but it's very similar to Fringe. I didn't know that Robert Forster was on the show so it was a fun surprise seeing him. I liked that the pilot was shot in San Francisco (or at least very convincingly faked for SF) and I hoped that they would continue to film there but like nearly all sci-fi shows, Vancouver is its home.[/quote]The pilot (the first hour) was indeed shot on location in San Francisco, including two days on the island itself. The rebuilt a good portion of the prison on the sound stages where X-Files used to shoot so that they could dress it between 1960s fresh look and crumbling 2011 look. I, too, wish they'd shot the series in San Francisco -- or at least built in shooting time to film exteriors in San Francisco. It's not just the difference in believability between generic Vancouver buildings and the real San Francisco, it's that the light is different.

#10 of 114 OFFLINE   Michael Harris

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Posted January 17 2012 - 02:02 AM

Sarah Jones is only 28 and looks younger, so she stretches credibility a bit as a top detective

Jorge did ask if she was kind of young for a detective and she did acknowledge that, which I think was a way to address that issue up front.

#11 of 114 OFFLINE   Dave Scarpa

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Posted January 17 2012 - 02:19 AM

I have'nt watched it yet, but it sounds like a Scifi version of A&E's Breakout Kings. Interesting thing is that Breakout Kings was given to Fox but they passed on it. Hmm...
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#12 of 114 OFFLINE   Doug Wallen

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Posted January 17 2012 - 02:30 AM

Truly enjoyed the set up. Back stories are intriguing. I am looking forward to this. Sam Neill was very enigmatic and determined. "No more shooting!!" :D Hopefully answers will not be Lost forever. Doug
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#13 of 114 OFFLINE   Patrick_M

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Posted January 17 2012 - 06:01 AM

Really, really enjoyed it. Sam Neill was excellent, and it is good to see him on my screen again. His character has some depth, and definitely knows a lot more than he is letting on. I am on board, let's see where the roller-coaster goes! :D

#14 of 114 OFFLINE   Greg Kettell

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Posted January 17 2012 - 06:05 AM

Watched the first half of the pilot, I liked it quite a bit but I do wonder how this premise is going to sustain a series.

#15 of 114 OFFLINE   MarkMel

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Posted January 17 2012 - 06:42 AM

I liked it, will keep watching until they decide to cancel it. I just wonder when the dinosaurs will show up. ;-)
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#16 of 114 OFFLINE   mattCR

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Posted January 17 2012 - 09:01 AM



Originally Posted by MarkMel 

I liked it, will keep watching until they decide to cancel it.
I just wonder when the dinosaurs will show up. ;-)



Ha Ha!   It actually turned out better then I thought, though I think the cinematography is lacking; the color pallet is really bland on this.  It's so dark that it doesn't really work for me.  I'm hopeful that this "lightens" up as the criminals move about.. not for comedy, just the color scheme.   I do think the humor is a bit forced.   But I like the core concept.  It's at least different. 

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#17 of 114 OFFLINE   Adam Lenhardt

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Posted January 17 2012 - 11:13 AM

The two-hour premiere was up 10 percent over "Terra Nova's" two-hour premiere. It'll be interesting to see the hold come next week.

#18 of 114 OFFLINE   spshultz

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Posted January 18 2012 - 02:37 AM

I really enjoyed the premiere which means it will probably be canceled.



#19 of 114 OFFLINE   todd s

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Posted January 18 2012 - 05:07 AM

The music and mysteries just kept reminding me of Lost. I am curious how they will handle the return of the guards? On a side note. When the first prisoner was leaving Alcatrax. He had a ticket and a wad of cash. I assume that was left for him by whomever is bringing them back?
Bring back John Doe! Or at least resolve the cliff-hanger with a 2hr movie or as an extra on a dvd release.

#20 of 114 OFFLINE   Ken Chan

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Posted January 18 2012 - 09:47 AM

When the first prisoner was leaving Alcatrax. He had a ticket and a wad of cash. I assume that was left for him by whomever is bringing them back?

He also had a key to the locker with the gun. When he was first seen in the cell by the girl, he already had the black coat, draped on top of him as he laid there. After he walks out and on the way to the boat, someone bumps into him, and people have speculated that a reverse-pickpocket happened then, but that doesn't seem necessary. If they could leave him the coat, the stuff could already be in the pocket. He is also wearing his prison uniform, which he changes out of at the locker and they find later. (The park ranger did not make note of it, although it was dark.) So there's this mismatch were he's wearing his old stuff but he also has new stuff. But maybe the uniform is a plot contrivance for them to find something. In the second episode, when we first see the guy, he is all settled in (with a picnic basket no less).