Published March 26, 2012 on Vancouver is Awesome
In 1963 the prisoners on Alcatraz disappeared. Now they’re coming back. You won’t believe what happens next on Alcatraz. – teases FOX’s Alcatraz Highlight Reel for the two-hour season finale tonight, almost all of it filmed in rain-drenched Vancouver, except for two-and-a-half minutes of a Bullitt-inspired car chase filmed on the sun-drenched streets of San Francisco.
The 13-episode first season of Alcatraz tells the saga of a secret agency dedicated to finding and catching inmates from the infamous San Francisco prison gone missing 50 years ago and reappearing today. It stars petite blonde-bobbed Sarah Jones as police detective Rebecca Madsen; Jorge Garcia from Lost as her partner, Alcatraz expert Dr. Diego “Doc” Soto; and Sam Neill as Emerson Hauser, her mysterious boss with a past life on Alcatraz. The fourth person of interest in this secret squad is Hauser’s equally mysterious partner Lucy Banerjee, played by Parminder Nagra of ER, who was shot by the sniper convict Ernest Cobb during the second episode and then revealed to have her own past life on Alcatraz as hasn’t-aged-a-day psychiatrist-to-the-inmates Dr. Lucille Sengupta.
Showrunners teased several big moments ahead of tonight’s finale during the Alcatraz panel at WonderCon over the March break, including Lucy’s reintegration back into present day after finally waking up from her coma. Below is Parminder Nagra filming scenes with Jorge Garcia and Sam Neill in late February outside Belkin House downtown dressed as the MacAlister Institute. In the second photo there is little to suggest the romantic attachment which formed between Nagra and Neill’s characters in their past lives on Alcatraz, when Hauser was a young policeman. But I only caught part of their reunion.
The bigger reveal about tonight’s finale is that Sarah Jones’s Detective Madsen will chase after and confront her Alcatraz inmate grandfather Tommy Madsen in a Bullitt-inspired car chase filmed for three days in San Francisco (it took the crew of Bullitt nine days to film the original chase for the 1968 movie). I’d hoped that they’d use the Highland Green 1968 Ford Mustang 390 GT 2+2 Fastback that Jones’s character Rebecca Madsen has been driving in Vancouver — the exact colour, make and model of the Mustang that Steve McQueen drove in Bullitt — but I guess there wasn’t time to ship it down to San Francisco for the shoot or to rebuild it so that it could do the stunt driving.
FOX promo photos show a Deep Impact Blue 2013 Mustang GT speeding down a San Franciso hill. Sarah Jones did fly down to film scenes there but a stunt double did the driving. Jones hadn’t filmed in San Francisco since the pilot, which I wrote about in my first #YVRShoots series post on Alcatraz.