Switching between eras, Alcatraz focuses on the Alcatraz prison, which was shut down in 1963 due to unsafe conditions for its prisoners and guards. The show's premise is that both the prisoners and the guards disappeared in 1963 and have abruptly reappeared in modern-day San Francisco, where they are being tracked down by a government agency.
On March 21st, 1963, Alcatraz officially closed. All the prisoners were transferred off the island. Only, that's not what happened... not at all.
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Did You Know?
Even though the show is set in San Francisco, and some of the pilot was filmed in the city and on Alcatraz itself, the producers of the show opted to film the rest in Vancouver, mainly because of the much more attractive production rebates than California and the city of San Francisco could offer, much to the chagrin of the San Francisco film industry. See more
The San Francisco Police Department does not use the title of detective for investigators. They are instead called inspectors. See more