Two episodes in, and I'm ready to add the Fox show Alcatraz into my regular TV viewing lineup.  The latest project from Executive Producer J.J. Abrams (Alias, Lost, Fringe) combines the addictive formula of a serial criminal drama with the supernatural plot points that Abrams has become known for. 

As the opening credits state "in 1963 Alcatraz closed and all of the prisoners were moved off the island - but that’s not what really happened".  As we are informed in the pilot episode, what really happened is that everyone on the island prison disappeared inexplicably.  We do not know where they went or what happened to them at this time - but we do know that the prisoners are now beginning to reappear in present day California.

Sam Neill (Jurassic Park) plays Emerson Hauser  - the head of a secret government agency in charge of rounding up the missing criminals.  He recruits the help of Detective Rebecca Madsen (Sarah Jones) and Alcatraz historian Diego Soto (Jorge Garcia) to track down the wanted men.

It seems that each week will focus on a different inmate that the trio must find and capture before they commit the same type of crime that landed them in Alcatraz in the first place.  Once captured, the prisoner is jailed in a secret recreated version of the original facility hidden in the mountains of California.

There are still many questions yet to be answered (as is usually the case with any Abrams project).  Where did the population of Alcatraz disappear to?  What happened to them?  How did they come back?  What will their ultimate fate be?  How much is Emerson Hauser hiding from us?

Until some of these questions are answered, it will be difficult to judge this type of show - but for now it is entertaining and still straightforward enough to enjoy the law & order format without jumping into the supernatural.  Should the supernatural storyline come together - we could be in for a fun bunch of twists.

In case you've never seen it, here is a sneak peak at Fox's newest thriller:

And for more on all things Alcatraz click HERE.

Have You Seen "Alcatraz"?

What is your opinion of the show?  Will you be adding it to your TV lineup?