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Alias (TV Series 2001–2006) Poster

(2001–2006)

Trivia

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Jennifer Garner's opening narration, which was used throughout season one, was literally phoned in. She was working on-location, and had to read it on the phone to J.J. Abrams, who was recording it on the other end.
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The two children who say, "Bad robot!" in the Bad Robot logo, are the children of Series Creator and Executive Producer J.J. Abrams.
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J.J. Abrams says the idea for the show came from a half-joking story plot for his series Felicity (1998). Abrams considered an episode, where Felicity spends her summer as a government agent, then returns to school the next fall like nothing ever happened.
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Each of Jennifer Garner's wigs cost in the region of five thousand dollars. Generally, she required a new wig for each episode, although sometimes they were recycled.
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For her birthday, Jennifer Garner was given a pink bicycle by J.J. Abrams. Being the first one on-set, she would often greet the production crew by ringing the bells on the bike's handlebars.
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SD in SD-6 stands for Section Disparue, the section that has "disappeared".
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Greg Grunberg's character was named Eric Weiss. Erich Weiss was the birth name of Harry Houdini. Will Tippin (Bradley Cooper) mentioned this fact when he and Weiss met in season two, episode twenty-two, "The Telling".
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The character "Jack Bristow" was ranked #29 in TV Guide's list of the "50 Greatest TV Dads of All Time" (June 20, 2004 issue).
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Before the fifth season, Jennifer Garner announced she was pregnant, so the writers decided to include her pregnancy in the show.
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Will Tippin's sister, seen briefly in the pilot episode, "Truth Be Told" and several other episodes, was played by Jennifer Garner's stand-in, Nancy Wetzel.
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While working at A.P.O., the Agents have these following code names: Sydney: "Phoenix", Vaughn: "Shotgun", Dixon: "Outrigger", Marshall: "Merlin", Nadia: "Evergreen", Jack: "Raptor", Rachel: "Oracle", and Thomas: "Sidewinder".
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According to the audio commentaries on the season one DVDs, when Sydney is called to meet with the C.I.A., it is J.J. Abrams' voice on the phone that says, "Joey's Pizza?"
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In season five, Rachel Gibson (Rachel Nichols) was created for two specific reasons: 1) Knowing it was the last season, writers wanted to pay tribute to the series by repeating Sydney's first plot (an Agent discovers that she is working for the enemy she believed was fighting) and 2) The show needed a new action character because of Jennifer Garner's pregnancy.
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Although they're supposed to be Russian, the actresses playing the three Derevko sisters are Swedish, Italian, and Brazilian.
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Jennifer Garner auditioned five times for the part of Sydney Bristow.
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Originally, Julian Sark (David Anders) was only supposed to be in a few episodes.
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Jennifer Garner and Victor Garber were the only two stars who appeared in every episode. Right behind them is Ron Rifkin, who only missed two out of one hundred five.
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Five different actresses have played Sydney's mother. Arabella Holzbog played Laura Bristow in a picture Sydney kept. Kate Anthony was the voice of Irina Derevko in the video clip shown in season one, episode nineteen, "Snowman". Natasha Pavlovich is the woman we actually see as Irina Derevko in that video clip. April Webster played Irina when she walks up to Sydney at the end of season one, episode twenty-two, "Almost Thirty Years". Finally, Lena Olin played Irina Derevko in the second season and beyond. Additionally, in season four, episode eighteen, "Mirage", Sydney Bristow (Jennifer Garner) briefly portrayed her mother (Laura Bristow) so they can learn information from her father.
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J.J. Abrams wrote and performed the music for the opening sequence.
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After season two, episode thirteen, "Phase One", the show's prominent use of cliffhangers at every episode's end was abandoned for a more traditional (one episode, one story) way of storytelling. This was apparently done, due to demands from ABC executives who were under the impression that new viewers wouldn't "get" the show, and feared a drop in ratings.
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In the first season, Sydney's SD-6 codename was "Bluebird", her C.I.A. codename was "Freelancer". In the second and third season at the C.I.A., she was known as "Mountaineer".
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The Rambaldi clock cost about five thousand dollars to make.
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There were seventeen regular actors and actresses throughout the five seasons of the show, but the only actors and actress who were regulars for the whole show were Jennifer Garner, Victor Garber, Ron Rifkin, Kevin Weisman, and Carl Lumbly. However, Michael Vartan, Greg Grunberg, and David Anders appeared in every season of the show. Merrin Dungey and Bradley Cooper appeared in all but one season. Lena Olin appeared in seasons two, four, and five.
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Jenna Fischer auditioned for the role of Sydney Bristow, but was never called back. She later said, "They said they liked my acting, but I wasn't hot enough."
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In the pilot episode, several scenes were shot on the set of J.J. Abrams' other series, Felicity (1998) (Danny's apartment, and the bathroom where Sydney dyed her hair the famous red color).
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Sydney's C.I.A. code name is "Mountaineer". This is an inside joke, as Jennifer Garner is from West Virginia. West Virginia University is known as the Mountaineers.
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Many outdoor locations, both domestic and international, were buildings on the Walt Disney Studios lot in Burbank, California (where all interior scenes were shot).
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In season four, Sydney's A.P.O. code name is "Phoenix". (Very clever, since the phoenix is said to "rise from the ashes".)
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Ranked #35 on Empire Magazine's 50 Greatest TV Shows Of All Time (2008).
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The Bank of America tower in Manhattan is used as the exterior shot of the C.I.A. Headquarters in season one. J.J. Abrams later used this building as the exterior of the Boston Federal building on Fringe (2008).
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In season three, episode ten, "Remnants", it was finally revealed that Sark's first name was Julian.
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Marshall's (Kevin Weisman's) gadget, the small disc that can knock someone out just by touching skin, he describes it "like freebasing Thorazine". Chlorpromazine (Thorazine) is an anti-psychotic drug, used in the treatment of disorganized and psychotic thinking, and the treatment of false perceptions (hallucinations or delusions.) Drugs of this type are commonly used in mental institutions for patients who do not have a comfortable grasp on reality.
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Sydney's middle name was Anne, as is Jennifer Garner's.
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Jack's (Victor Garber's) full name was Jonathan Donahue Bristow.
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The secret subway tunnel entrance to A.P.O. (seen in the season four premiere) is in the Los Angeles Metro Rail's North Hollywood station, only a few miles from the Walt Disney Studios in Burbank, California.
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The first reference to the number "47" happened in the pilot episode, when Marshall expressed his own desire to make a cam with forty-seven stills.
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Vaughn's (Michael Vartan's) mother's maiden name was "Delorme", which is part of the last name of co-Producer Tiffany Marie Rocquemore Delorme.
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During the second season, ABC developed an online video game, "Alias Underground", which featured the voices of several cast members from the series.
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Although it was never mentioned in the show, Merrin Dungey has said that Francie's restaurant was called "Deep Inside".
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In season one, Jack informs Sydney he has a "routine psych evaluation", in fact, C.I.A. employees undergo regular reinvestigations, including periodic polygraph examinations.
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Director Ken Olin and Writers Jesse Alexander and Jeff Pinkner are the only crew members that directed or wrote episodes in every season. Olin directed twenty-three, Alexander wrote eleven, and Pinker twelve, including the series finale.
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Vaughn's dog was named "Donovan".
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Carl Lumbly and Ron Rifkin appeared on ER (1994).
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Contrary to popular belief, Peter Falk reprise his role as Lt. Columbo in a comedy sketch with the cast instead of the actual series.
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Spoilers 

The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

Alias had some references to "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland". For instance, in season three, when Sydney returned from her two-year absence, she moved into a new house, since the old one burned down. Eric Weiss (Greg Grunberg) asked her what is the one thing she wishes she hadn't lost (other than Vaughn), she said the first edition of "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" that her mother gave when she was little. So Weiss gave her a third edition (because he says the first edition cost way too much) to make her feel better. This is interesting, because Sydney was an Alice herself, going deeper and deeper into the rabbit hole. In season one, Sydney dressed up like Alice for Halloween; in season four, Vaughn was directed to "through the looking glass" when he was searching for something in the library, and in season one, Vaughn had a girlfriend named Alice. In season one, episode eighteen, "Masquerade", Sydney's code name was White Rabbit.
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The number "47" was used repeatedly throughout the series. Examples: Marshall expressed a desire to improve a camera design, so that it has forty-seven exposures; the key code Will needed to get into a computer room in order to retrieve data on SD-6 is 4747; the crate at the Vatican, which contained the painting with Rambaldi's cipher-key, had a five-digit catalogue number ending in "47"; page 47 was always significant in a Rambaldi manuscript; and of course, there were forty-seven parts to Rambaldi's magnum opus. In episodes of season three, Sydney tried to retrieve memories of when she was abducted, as she was dreaming. Masked men took her into a room with the number "47" largely printed on its doors, and also in the dream, she saw fireworks when she looked through the window, as a reference to the Fourth of July (4/7). Interestingly, the Star Trek television shows also featured the number 47 many times (it's usually seen in their monitors). Also, server 47 was the number of the server that Sydney needed to get information from to take down SD-6.
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The Rambaldi prophecy is: "This woman here depicted will possess unseen marks. Signs that she will be the one to bring forth my works. Bind them with fury, a burning anger unless prevented at vulgar cost this woman will render the greatest power unto utter desolation."
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Lena Olin was never fired from the show, nor was her character written out as a result of a contract dispute. Olin did not want to rejoin the cast because she lives in Manhattan with her family, and did not want to commute back and forth to Los Angeles for filming. To "cope" with Lena's departure, her character was killed off at the hands of Jack. Afterwards, Lena was available, and Irina was revealed to be alive.
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Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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