Lost in Alcatraz
Creator and executive producer, J.J. Abrams, brings the mystery back to our screens this year with the new television series Alcatraz. Fifty years after the disappearance of 302 prisoners and guards from the San Francisco prison in 1963, a detective, Rebecca Madsen, an Alcatraz expert, Dr Diego Soto, and a government agent, Emerson Hauser, set out to investigate the startling reappearance of several inmates.
Abrams’ most notable projects include the highly popular Lost, which announced its season six premiere in February 2010. After the finale aired, fans of the show were left wondering what to do – or watch – next.
The answer came in the form of ‘easter-eggs’, or hidden references to a show deliberately placed by its producers. All of Abram’s projects since Lost, bearing the same metallic 3D font and similar title sequences, make ample reference to his first hit. Fans of Lost have since traded in discussions of a plot to hunt for easter-eggs in these new post-Lost productions. Two such examples include the purchasing of a ticket for Oceanic Air on an episode of Fringe and the visibility of a DHARMA logo in Cloverfield.
The easter egg hunt continues in Alcatraz. The first inmate to reappear is Jack Sylvane, who bears the same first name and initials as Lost’s main character, Jack Shephard. Jorge Garcia’s character, Dr Diego Soto, is a comic book enthusiast, much like Garcia’s Lost character, Hurley. The name of the detective, Rebecca Madsen, bears a striking resemblance to Rebecca Mader, the actress who played Charlotte Lewis on Lost.
In fact, much of the season premiere of Alcatraz is similar to Lost. The lighting is dark with hues of blue and green. Eerie instrumental music plays in the background. Jack wakes up on a strange island. Everything is mysterious and confusing.
Is this an attempt by Abrams to draw in devoted Lost fans to his new project, or is he simply emphasising the style that has thus far cemented his success in the television and film industries?