Alcatraz is an American science fiction television series created by Elizabeth Sarnoff, Steven Lilien and Bryan Wynbrandt and produced by J.J. Abrams' Bad Robot Productions which focuses on the Alcatraz prison, which was allegedly shut down in 1963 due to unsafe conditions for its prisoners and guards only for the prisoners and guards to abruptly reappear in modern-day San Francisco, where they are being tracked down by a government agency.
The series follows a unique trio investigating the mystifying reappearance of 302 of Alcatraz's most notorious prisoners and guards, 50 years after they vanished.
When San Francisco Police Department Det. Rebecca Madsen (Sarah Jones) is assigned to a grisly homicide case, a fingerprint leads her to a seemingly impossible suspect: Jack Sylvane (guest star Jeffrey Pierce), an Alcatraz inmate who died over 30 years ago.
Given her family history – both her grandfather and surrogate uncle, Ray Archer (Robert Forster), were guards at the prison – Madsen's interest is immediately piqued.
When the enigmatic, knows-everything-but-tells-nothing government agent Emerson Hauser (Sam Neill) tries to impede her investigation, she becomes doggedly committed to it.
Madsen finds herself working with an unlikely partner, Alcatraz expert and comic book enthusiast Dr. Diego "Doc" Soto (Jorge Garcia), to help piece together the inexplicable sequence of events.
The two discover that Sylvane is not only alive, but he's loose on the streets of San Francisco, exacting decades-old revenge and leaving bodies in his wake.
And strangely, he hasn't aged a day since 1963, when Alcatraz was ruled by the iron-fisted Warden Edwin James (Jonny Coyne) and the sadistic Associate Warden E.B. Tiller (Jason Butler Harner).
Detective Madsen and Soto must team with Hauser and his associate, Lucy Banerjee (Parminder Nagra), to stop Sylvane's vengeful killing spree.
By delving into Alcatraz history, government cover-ups and Rebecca's own heritage, the team will ultimately discover that Sylvane is only a small part of a much larger, more sinister present-day threat.
Because even though he may be the first, it quickly becomes clear that Sylvane won't be the last to reappear from Alcatraz.
During the course of the investigation, Madsen and Soto will learn that Hauser has been awaiting the prisoners' return for nearly 50 years. Soto will witness his life's work – the history of Alcatraz – come alive, while he and Madsen fight to keep the country safe from history's most dangerous criminals.
Alcatraz is produced by Bonanza Productions Inc. in association with Bad Robot Productions and Warner Bros. Television. The series is executive-produced by J.J. Abrams, Bryan Burk (Lost, Fringe and Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol), Jennifer Johnson (Cold Case), Daniel Pyne (Fracture) and Jack Bender (Lost), who also serves as a director.
Elizabeth Sarnoff (Lost), Steven Lilien (Kyle XY) and Bryan Wynbrandt (Kyle XY) co-created the series. Danny Cannon (CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, CSI: Miami) directed and executive-produced the pilot.