Producer J.J. Abrams is still chasing that mysterious television-series formula that made Lost such a well-received success back in 2004. Though he's had some solid programs backing his name since then, including Person of Interest and Fringe, he's now returning to the setting of a mysterious island in the new Fox drama / thriller Alcatraz, staring Sam Neill (pictured), Sarah Jones, and Lost's own Jorge Garcia.

Alcatraz hit Fox's lineup on Monday night, taking the place of House during the final week of its mid-season hiatus to present a two-hour premiere. The show — part crime drama, part supernatural mystery — follows present-day detectives Emerson Hauser (Neill) and Rebecca Madsen (Jones) who team up with Alcatraz historian "Doc" Soto to solve the mysteries behind the San Francisco prison. But there's more to the story than meets the eye. "On March 21, 1963, Alcatraz officially closed due to rising costs and decrepit facilities," Hauser says in a teaser-trailer for the show. "Only that's not what happened."

So what did happen? The maximum-security prisoners apparently disappeared, and their names and identities were wiped from official records to cover up the unexplained incident, which would have been interpreted as a massive blunder. Now the ex-inmates are showing up one by one in present-day California, committing crimes befitting their legendary violent impulses.

Amid this mystery and mayhem, Hauser emerges as an ambiguous character who, as a young guard at the prison, was actually present during the facility-wide disappearance. Now he's looking for answers, though Madsen and Soto suspect that he knows more than he lets on. "No one's going to be able to find them because they don't exist," he cryptically says of the reappearing inmates.

Time travel — check. Disappearing people — check. Now let's just sit back and wait for smoke monsters, prophetic numerical sequences, and some not-so-veiled reference to Alcatraz as "The Black Rock." Tune in Mondays at 9 p.m. on Fox.

Watch the trailer here:

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