Alias is an American sci-fi television series created by J.J. Abrams and produced by Touchstone Television and Bad Robot Productions which stars Jennifer Garner as Sydney Bristow, a CIA agent, who is usually seen wearing a colourful new disguise while undercover in some part of the world.
The series aired in the USA on ABC from 30 September, 2001 to 22 May, 2006. There are 105 hour-long episodes in five seasons.
Alias originally aired in South Africa on M-Net from Thursday 18 July, 2002 to Sunday 2 July, 2006. It later aired on SABC1 and on TopTV's Fox Entertainment channel.
See "Seasons" below for seasonal broadcast dates and times by channel.
Season 1 premiered on Fox Entertainment on Sunday 23 May 2010, at 18h00. New episodes broadcast daily at the same time. There are 22 episodes in the first season.
Daily: 09h00, 13h30
Sydney Bristow (Jennifer Garner), a vivacious, athletic grad student, discovers that her not-so-typical after-school job as an agent for SD-6, a top-secret division of the CIA, holds some deadly secrets that not only put her life in danger but also threaten the security of the free world.
Recruited freshman year, the then shy and lonely Sydney jumped at the chance to add some meaning and excitement to her life. Little did she know how great she'd be at espionage or how much she'd love it.
Today Sydney is no longer shy or alone. Boyfriend Danny has just proposed and her best friend Francie (Merrin Dungey) couldn't be happier. Her friend Will, (Bradley Cooper), however, has to feign happiness, keeping his unrequited love for her to himself.
Sydney now finds herself facing a moral dilemma: What does she want from the rest of her life, and what does she tell her friends and would-be fiancé?
Sydney's SD-6 partner, Dixon (Carl Lumbly), a devoted family man, warns her not to reveal her secret to Danny, and Sydney knows that SD-6 leader Sloane (Ron Rifkin) would not look kindly on any breach of security.
Even Marshall (Kevin Weisman), SD-6's highly inventive weapons and gadget maker - a super intelligent man with noticeably lacking social skills - knows that divulging their identities is strictly verboten. This is the one rule you don't break.
Seven years before season 1, Sydney Bristow was an undergraduate student when she was approached with a job offer by someone claiming to work for SD-6, which was supposedly part of the Central Intelligence Agency. She accepted the offer, and quickly became a field agent.
In the pilot, she tells her fiancé Danny that she is a spy. As a result of revealing SD-6's existence to an outsider, her fiancé is murdered by SD-6.
It is then that Sydney is told by her father Jack Bristow (another SD-6 agent) that SD-6 is not part of the CIA; instead, it is part of the Alliance of Twelve, an organisation that is an enemy to the United States.
Sydney decides to offer her services to the real CIA as a double agent. Her offer is soon accepted, and she begins the long and arduous task of destroying SD-6 from the inside. She quickly learns that her father is also a double agent for the CIA.
Major plotlines from Season 1 include Sydney hiding her triple-identity from her friends, both in her personal life and in her SD-6 job, Will Tippin's investigation into Danny's death, and the past antics of Sydney's mother.
Sub-plots included Sydney's friendship with Francie, Francie's romantic relationship with Charlie, and Sydney's developing relationship with her CIA handler Michael Vaughn, of whom she is skeptical at first but grows to trust as her life becomes increasingly stressful.
Season One focuses on the development of Sydney's character, and allows the audience to become familiar with her.
The other seasons share the same theme of a guest star appearing throughout the entire season.
Season 1 (22 episodes)
Channel: M-Net | Premiere: 18 Jul 2002 | Finale: 12 Dec 2002 | Thursdays, 19h00
Channel: SABC1 | Premiere: 3 April 2004 | Finale: 28 Aug 2004 | Saturdays, 20h00
Channel: Fox Entertainment | Premiere: 23 May 2010 | Finale: 13 Jun 2010 | Daily, 18h00
Season 2 (22 episodes)
Channel: M-Net | Premiere: 30 Jan 2003 | Finale: 26 Jun 2003 | Thursdays, 19h00
Channel: SABC1 | Premiere: 10 April 2007 | Finale: 4 Sep 2007 | Tuesdays, 23h00
Channel: Fox Entertainment | Premiere: 14 Jun 2010 | Finale: 5 Jul 2010 | Daily, 18h00
Season 3 (22 episodes)
Channel: M-Net | Premiere: 6 Jan 2004 | Finale: 1 Jun 2004 | Tuesdays, 19h30
Channel: SABC1 | Premiere: 24 Sep 2007 | Finale: 18 Feb 2008 | Mondays, 22h00
Channel: Fox Entertainment | Premiere: 1 May 2010 | Finale: 22 May 2010 | Daily, 18h00
Season 4 (22 episodes)
Channel: M-Net | Premiere: 5 Apr 2005 | Finale: 30 Aug 2005 | Tuesdays, 19h30
Channel: SABC1 | Premiere: 3 Feb 2009 | Finale: 30 Jun 2009 | Tuesdays, 22h00
Channel: Fox Entertainment | Premiere: 4 Jul 2011 | Finale: 2 Aug 2011 | Weekdays, 12h45
Season 5 (17 episodes)
Channel: M-Net | Premiere: 7 Feb 2006 | Finale: 2 Jul 2006 | Tuesdays/Sundays, 19h30
Channel: SABC1 | Premiere: 15 Feb 2010 | Finale: 7 Jun 2010 | Mondays, 22h00
Channel: Fox Entertainment | Premiere: 3 Aug 2011 | Finale: 25 Aug 2011 | Weekdays, 12h45