One of the best things about time-travelling prison series Alcatraz was the Highland Green 1968 Ford Mustang 390 GT 2+2 Fastback that Sarah Jones’s character drove in Vancouver as San Francisco — the exact colour, make and model of the Mustang that Steve McQueen handled in the classic streets-of-San-Francisco chase movie Bullitt. Here’s the Mustang parked on Granville Street after finishing a scene with Jones and Jorge Garcia.
And here it is covered in bits of styrofoam parked outside the Alcatraz film studio liquidation yesterday in Soundstage 8 at North Shore Studios in North Vancouver. I’m glad someone bought it. The Mustang is the only thing I wanted until someone asked me if I’d seen any of those prop special keys which opened the door to the Warden’s mysterious lair on Alcatraz. A lot of lives were lost over those keys in 13 episodes and they would have made a much cheaper souvenir from the series than the Mustang.
FOX cancelled the one-season series ahead of its mid-May New York upfront saying Alcatraz had failed to find an audience. Well that’s not true. Alcatraz found a massive 10 million viewers with its premiere and ranked 30th among network shows overall in the key 18-49 demographic this past season. Unfortunately, what Alcatraz did is fail to hold an audience, sliding in a big way after its huge debut. Still, it’s debatable how much of that is its fault. Some of it sure. But once the second season of The Voice began after the Superbowl to blockbuster ratings and maintained that momentum opposite House and Alcatraz on Monday nights, FOX panicked. As soon as Alcatraz wrapped, FOX moved its Thursday night hit Bones to Mondays to shore up the night. And in the end, FOX chose to renew Kiefer Sutherland’s Touch, which ranked a much lower 50th in the 18-49 demo, over Alcatraz.
I will miss this series. As I passed some crew dismantling Alcatraz sets inside soundstage 4, I said as much. “Us too,” they replied.