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January 2012

Treading the thin line between tantalizingly intriguing and indifferently oblique, this first glimpse of J.J. Abrams’ new supernatural mystery series is all quick flashes, static hums, and Sam Neill once more letting his eyeballs do most of the heavy lifting. Fortunately, we already know what the show’s about—like Lost, it concerns an island where strange, time-bending things happen, only this island is home to some of history’s most ruthless criminals—and even for people who don’t, the trailer does throw out a few basic plot bones amid all the hazy atmospherics and “Hey, it’s Jorge Garcia!” Really, this is just an early hello, with Abrams and Co. welcoming you to Alcatraz by actually saying out loud, “Welcome to Alcatraz.” They said the show’s title! Everybody likes that.