Alcatraz is an American television series created and produced by J. J. Abrams and Bad Robot Productions. The series originally premiered on Fox on January 16, 2012, as a midseason replacement. Switching between eras, the series focuses on the Alcatraz prison, which was allegedly shut down in 1963 due to unsafe conditions for its prisoners and guards. The show’s premise is that both the prisoners and the guards disappeared in 1963 and have abruptly reappeared in modern-day San Francisco, where they are being tracked down by a government agency. The series stars Sarah Jones, Jorge Garcia, Sam Neill and Parminder Nagra. The show was cancelled on May 9, 2012.
On March 21, 1963, 256 inmates and 46 guards disappeared from the Alcatraz Island prison without a trace. To cover up the disappearance, the government invented a cover story about the prison’s being closed, due to unsafe conditions, and officially reported that the inmates had been transferred. However, federal agent Emerson Hauser (Sam Neill), a young San Francisco police officer tasked with transferring inmates to the island in 1963, is one of the first to discover that the inmates are actually missing and not transferred. In present-day San Francisco, the “63s” (as the missing inmates and guards are called) begin returning, one by one. Strangely, they haven’t aged at all, and they have no clues about their missing time or their whereabouts during their missing years; however, they appear to be returning with compulsions to find certain objects and to continue their criminal habits. Even more strangely, the government has been expecting their return, and Hauser now runs a secret government unit dedicated to finding the returning prisoners; this unit was set up long ago in anticipation of the prisoners’ returns. To help track down the returning prisoners and capture them, Hauser enlists police detective Rebecca Madsen (Sarah Jones) and Dr. Diego Soto (Jorge Garcia), a published expert on the history of Alcatraz and its inmates.
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