Interview with Jorge Garcia of FOX's Alcatraz

Back in October, KSiteTV was one of nearly a dozen fortunate media outlets able to visit the sets of FOX’s upcoming drama series Alcatraz, a new show that explores what happens when the criminals from the infamous prison resurface in the present day.

Alcatraz comes from executive producers J.J. Abrams (Fringe, Lost, Star Trek, Super 8) and Bryan Burk (Lost, Fringe) with writer Elizabeth Sarnoff (Lost, Deadwood), and it has an all-star cast including Sarah Jones, Jorge Garcia, Sam Neill, Robert Forster, Parminder Nagra, Santiago Cabrera, and more.

In the time leading up to the January 16 two-hour series premiere, we’d like to share with you some special content including  interviews and detail about the show’s extremely accurate sets. First, we would like to start with what Jorge Garcia had to say about the series. You probably know him best as Hurley, one of the most popular and enduring characters from LOST; now, Garcia brings a new character to the table who may prove to be just as exciting – author Diego “Doc” Soto.

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“Doc is basically the foremost Alcatraz expert,” Garcia tells us when describing his character in what looks like a computer control room within Alcatraz Island. “He’s written at least four books on the thing, and he has PhD’s in criminology, criminal history, and Civil War history too, which… I don’t know exactly when that’s going to be a part of it… but that’s his main background. We find out pretty early on that there’s some kind of tragic thing in his childhood that may have driven him towards this kind of obsession with the criminal type. That’s probably how he first got excited into it,” he continues.

Being an Alcatraz enthusiast, wouldn’t this be Doc’s dream come true? “It is definitely a dream come true, on paper, but when he starts to have to deal with the reality… it’s like when you have that fantasy of how cool it would be to be a pirate and to live in that time period. You’ve got to realize, being a pirate or being attacked by pirates probably really sucked. It’s not as romantic as it seems when you see it in the movies. The idea of doing it was really something he was excited about, but then now that he’s in it, he’s kind of discovering that this is really freaking dangerous, what we’re trying to do here,” Jorge says.

In the midst of all the danger, will there be humor? After all, Garcia’s Hurley brought relief to otherwise stressful scenes in the LOST days. “I think it’s human to find humor in situations, so there’s definitely some aspects where I think people will find funny. But I don’t know if it’s going to be to the level like on LOST, where there will be a really intense scene, and then you’re going ‘Oh, good, Hurley. We can relax a minute.’ I don’t think it’s going to be anything like that,” Garcia says.

Going from one TV show with mysteries and an island with J.J. Abrams and Elizabeth Sarnoff might be a little bit of a familiar notion, but it’s not the first time Abrams and Garcia had spoken about working together again. “It was interesting, going from one island to another, for sure, but there was a while where J.J. would tell me about different things. I’d run into him at the Emmys or we’d meet up at Upfronts. When I was there doing press for the LOST finale, he was there doing stuff for the beginning of Undercovers at the time. He would always have moments where he’s going, ‘Listen. Before you do anything, tell us. We really want to work with you again.’ And this ended up showing up, and becoming real, and here I am,” Jorge says.

“The best thing about the way that Bad Robot does procedural stuff and stuff that deals with science fiction elements, they definitely know that none of this mythology stuff would mean anything to anybody if it wasn’t happening to people that you cared about. They have to be people that you care about to keep you invested,” Garcia says about the show’s production company. “I’m pretty confident in whatever Bad Robot brings.”

Does this sound good to you? Look at some photos from Alcatraz and be sure to come to our Alcatraz forum to talk about the show! Remember to watch January 16 and be sure to follow KSiteTV for more updates!

Disclaimer: Travel accommodations for this trip were provided by Warner Bros. Television.

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Craig Byrne, Editor-In-Chief

KSiteTV Editor-In-Chief Craig Byrne has been writing about TV on the internet since 1995. He is also the author of several published books, including Smallville: The Visual Guide and the show's Official Companions for Seasons 4-7.