12/03/2012 18:30 GMT

Alcatraz: JJ Abrams Brings His Latest Conspiracy Theory To The UK (VIDEO, PHOTOS)

An island, a conspiracy theory, Hurley, and JJ Abrams… you'd be forgiven for thinking you're back in the TV phenomenon that was Lost.

In fact, there's a new mystery about to unravel on an island. However, it's not same old, same old from the Lost creator, this time there's a whole load more convicts and guns, with the addition of detectives, and this time the island is far from tropical.

Alcatraz is Abrams' latest conspiratorial masterpiece and it has all the makings of the next big cult hit.

Take Lost with its mystery and intrigue, its isolated location and throw in years of associated preconceptions, horror stories and tales of murderous inhabitants and there you have Alcatraz.

Fringe co-creator Abrams has teamed up with his old Lost producer Elizabeth Sarnoff to bring on the small screen a chilling twist to the tale of America's most infamous prison and one-time home to the nation's most notorious murderers, rapists, kidnappers and thieves.

Based on the premise that The Rock prison didn't retire as quietly to the tourist industry in 1963 as history would have us believe, the thriller tells the story of what really happened when it closed down.

From the outset of Abrams' latest excellently-crafted hyper-reality, set in the middle of the cold, swirling waters of San Francisco Bay - from where no one was ever meant to have been able to escape - we learn the 302 inmates, who were supposed to be transferred when Alcatraz shut down, actually disappeared.

However, no one ever just disappears, especially in Abrams' work, and as the plot unfolds he explores the idea that not only did these prisoners escape, but they are coming back in the present day and committing horrific crimes.

The show, which has already begun to air in the US and gained itself the title of Most Exciting New Series at the Critics' Choice Television Awards, stars Sam Neill (Jurassic Park) as government agent Emerson Hauser, who seems to know more about the mystery than he's letting on.

Sarah Jones (Big Love) stars as the instantly-likeable Detective Rebecca Madsen, a feisty kick-ass agent who's driven to get to the bottom of what happened on Alcatraz by the death of her partner. She's paired up with Jorge Garcia (Lost) who plays Dr Diego Soto, an expert on all things Alcatraz and admittedly "smarter than he looks", to help embark on the surreal investigation.

The first episode introduces us to the key characters and hints at the way the series may play out - every week it will focus on one convict from the 302.

First we follow the story of Jack Sylvane, a (very good looking) Alcatraz inmate who was supposed to have died 30 years ago, but hasn't aged at all, as he escapes The Rock and goes on a mission for justice.

Conspiracy theories are already whirling around my head - who's in on it? Why hasn't he aged? Where have they been hiding? And why are they escaping now? Needless to say, I'm on tenterhooks for episode two.

Alcatraz starts on Watch Tuesday 13th March at 9pm.

SLIDESHOW: The show's main characters...