'Alcatraz', the new show starring former 'Jurassic Park' actor Sam Neill arrived on television last night, January 16th 2012, and by and large impressed the critics on its pilot airing - two hour-long episodes - with a notable impression made by newcomer Sarah Jones adding an unexpected extra dimension to what was, by many accounts, an enjoyable opening on US' Fox network.
"The show has the makings of great escapist entertainment" exclaimed People Weekly, according to aggregating site Metacritic which averaged 75 out of 100 for the first show's ratings, the Denver Post followed suit, expressing "It's all very creepy, mysterious and loaded with questions." Only Variety was cynical about how the series might play out, offering "there's a nagging sense these are just going to be (very) cold cases, which will grow tedious without something more, and quickly, to fuel the larger mystery."
'Alcatraz' follows a group of Fbi agents who look to work out why the inmates of the famous island prison have mysteriously vanished, whilst doing so finding themselves drawn into the case of a serial killer who turns out to have been held captive there. Sarah Jones, playing one of the leads in agent Rebecca Madsen, looks set to elevate her profile after an impressive first showing - previously the 28 year-old had only seen fleeting success as an actress, her highlight thus far gaining a share of the Spirit of Independent Awards honour for Best Ensemble for the cast picked in the indie film 'Still Green,' released in 2007.