Jorge Garcia explores new mysteries on 'Alcatraz'
January 16th, 2012
05:24 PM ET

Jorge Garcia explores new mysteries on 'Alcatraz'

On the TV series "Lost," Jorge Garcia portrayed Hurley, who was something of the voice of all geeks on the show (after all, his first reaction to time travel was to rewrite "The Empire Strikes Back").

On Monday night, Garcia stars in the new Fox series "Alcatraz," as "Doc" Soto, a comic book store owner and expert in the history of the infamous prison. It seems that hundreds of Alcatraz inmates are wreaking havoc in the present day, not looking a minute older than they did when the prison closed (like "Lost," this is also a J.J. Abrams production). Naturally, "Doc" Soto has a few opinions on the matter.

CNN Geek Out recently spoke to Garcia about his new show, the geeky TV he's obsessed with, his favorite comic books and more:

CNN Geek Out: I heard that as soon as you heard that J.J. Abrams was involved with this show, you were ready to sign on right away.

Garcia: Pretty much, just (because of) my history with him. I love the guy, and I do believe he makes the TV that I want to watch. So I was pretty much in from the get-go. He was kind of courting me a little bit, when "Lost" was ending.

CNN Geek Out: Did the subject matter and the mystery/supernatural element make you even more interested in the show?

Garcia: Yeah. I love “The Twilight Zone.” I know J.J. loves “The Twilight Zone.” So, getting to read that first script and see the moment that goes *gasp*! Oh yeah, it’s got that “Twilight Zone” quality to it. That was definitely a big part of the appeal. The end of the second episode gives you a very good “wait a minute” (moment)!

CNN Geek Out: What is it like doing a show with a little more definitive beginning and ending to each episode (as opposed to “Lost”)?

Garcia: With “Lost,” it would sometimes be your job to deliver the “placeholder dialogue,” just to keep everyone on the same page. Like, “We know this, because this happened yesterday, right?”

There are elements of this in a procedural, where there’s certain information that has to get out because we’re putting pieces of a puzzle together... instead of (having) a narrator!

CNN Geek Out: You mentioned that J.J. makes shows you would watch. Are there other shows that you’re obsessed with right now?

Garcia: I got really into “The Walking Dead.” When they started airing new ones, I decided I’d catch up and start watching with everybody. I really got caught up on that, and then it cut off right before the holidays, and (I was) like, “Aww! Now I’ve got nothing!”

I really like “Fringe,” and how that story has evolved a lot. Not to kiss the boss’s butt and all. …

But once (you have) that moment where you find out about Walter going to the other universe because he lost his kid, and how it was (all) driven by that. Really, the whole show took a turn for me, because of the heart in it, and the things you do, because you love someone so much -  that really made it a great show.

You have to focus on that show. There are certain shows I will watch while I’m on my iPad, catching up on “Words with Friends.” But you really have to turn everything off and pay attention to “Fringe.”

I actually ran into Joshua Jackson in an airport and said, “When are the new ones starting?!?”

CNN Geek Out: What do you like most about “Doc"?

Garcia: This is my opportunity to explore a new guy, and I like that this guy is really intelligent.

And, maybe he’s not always the nicest everybody-loves-him guy that Hurley was. Maybe he has a bit of an attitude about something, and doesn’t necessarily want to play the game like Hurley did.

CNN Geek Out: “Doc” is an “Alcatraz” expert and works in a comic book store. Do you think that many fans will be able to relate to him?

Garcia: I definitely think there’s going to be a lot of overlap between fans of “Lost” and “Alcatraz.” They’re not really similar – only in very broad strokes, yes there are elements of time travel, Alcatraz is technically an island – they’re different but they have the kind of things that appeal to that Comic-Con crowd.

CNN Geek Out: Are you personally interested in history?

Garcia: I sometimes like to read nonfiction, not so much history. I like certain conceptual physics (books), and quantum theories. The physics of stuff like time travel is always interesting to me. It gets very heady, so I find that I can only read it in little bits, and then I walk away and stew on that for a moment. And then I go back, and get another tidbit.

I read that “Robopocalypse” book over the (holidays). That filled that little sci-fi need.

CNN Geek Out: Do you have any favorite comic books?

Garcia: When I was younger, I was pretty huge into “The New Teen Titans.” And then, later on, I got into the Brian K. Vaughan stuff. I like “Y: The Last Man” a lot. What I want to get into reading now is the Alan Moore “Swamp Thing” run. I just bought the first trade.

CNN Geek Out: “Lost” had a very special cast. What is special about the “Alcatraz” cast?

Garcia: I feel lucky about this group of actors. Every once in a while, you sit there and go, “Holy crap! Not only am I working with Sam Neill, I can say we’re friends and hang out and can make each other laugh.” That’s cool from a fanboy aspect.

CNN Geek Out: What can fans look forward to on “Alcatraz"?

Garcia: Episode three (next week) is a big “Doc” episode. You see where he’s coming from and what may have inspired this obsession that allows someone to get a Ph.D in studying criminals, and his interest in what makes these guys tick.

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soundoff (27 Responses)
  1. Filipina Dating

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    May 27, 2012 at 10:47 am |
  2. Vida

    Ok, I watched the first 3 seasons of Lost and then lost interest. Fringe is my all-time favorite show, decided to record the pilot for Alcatraz and I'm sorry to say it sucks. I don't get it, it took a lot out of me just to sit and watch it. Great cast but even the actors look bored during the scenes. Prisoners mysteriously appear since vanished in 1963 and reappear present day and then what ?!? Hopefully this series will grow on me. More importantly J.J. should be more focused on making the sequel for Star Trek!!

    January 18, 2012 at 9:40 am |
  3. bob

    i just watched the pilot and it is horrible

    January 18, 2012 at 4:46 am |
  4. SixDegrees

    Oh, and Abrams lied about Fringe, too, claiming it was going to run exactly three seasons, no more, no less, because he had a particular story to tell. Here we are long past the drop dead date, and the show s ucks like a Hoover.

    January 17, 2012 at 5:46 pm |
  5. SixDegrees

    Sorry, but I'm never getting sucked into another Abrams show ever again after Lost. I don't like being lied to and told that the "writers" (I can only use the term very loosely given their lack of actual talent) had some sort of actual story they were trying to tell only to learn that they burned through their entire plot in two seasons, then filled in the remaining four with pointless, random filler.

    January 17, 2012 at 5:45 pm |
    • Jon

      Amen, brotha! We were taken for the long con with LOST. It does not take much skill to continually introduce new mysteries if you have no intention of answering them. I'll never trust Abrams again with a show ...

      January 17, 2012 at 8:24 pm |
    • abcdxyz

      I'm not sure that Abrams was involved with Lost much after the pilot episode. I think he turned it over to Damon Lindelof and Carleton Cuse, and THEY were the ones who strung us along with nothing at the end. I was mad about Lost, too, so I don't intend to ever get that involved with a show again.

      January 17, 2012 at 9:44 pm |
      • Sherif

        Sounds like a great plan and I love that you've scheduled time for an enmaiootl breakdown should one occur and that your plan is fluid.Good luck with the shipping – let us know what you do!

        March 7, 2012 at 1:52 am |
  6. Pat

    He's perfect for the part – They picked the perfect team of actors and actresses to bring an exciting new show to television!!! I'm hooked and can't wait for next Monday!! Well done!!

    January 17, 2012 at 3:41 pm |
  7. LostLeader

    I thought the show has some interesting characteristics, but overall ... poorly done. The first episode...the con get asked for his ticket to get off the island??? A secret facility under Alcatraz, "how do they get there everyday?" without the NPS personal recognizing that the same people show up for the tour. I had to walk away from watching this new series, do to the poor writing.

    January 17, 2012 at 1:58 pm |
  8. Jon

    If this is like LOST, you'll get hooked by all the mysteries and then find out at the end it wasn't about that at all but about the wonderful characters. If you grow to love the characters, great ... but don't bother asking yourself why people don't age or anything else along the way!!

    January 17, 2012 at 1:18 pm |
  9. gforce

    I didn't watch Lost at all, but tuned in to Alcatraz.... it was amazing, and my first introduction to Jorge Garcia. Mmmmm I likey...a lot. The show will be amazing and I will def be watching....

    January 17, 2012 at 12:53 pm |
  10. blcole

    So tv should only show slim pretty people? Ladies, he has a part on tv – you don't. Get over it.

    January 17, 2012 at 12:32 pm |
  11. Lynda

    Emily and Luny....some people are the size they are, or wear their hair or dress a certain way because the part or role they are playing calls for them to "look" a certain way. If I am getting PAID and EMPLOYED to look a certain way, I am going to stick with that look until such times as I am ready to move on to something different. He knows he's overweight, and as long as he is in relatively good health, he will loose when he is ready and not because you two think he's fat. Can you say you have a career like his??? I think not. Are you "attractive" Probably not...by "other people's standards". It goes both ways.

    January 17, 2012 at 12:11 pm |
    • Grace

      His weight is clearly just not relevant to this article. The comments those two made are just... pointless. He's a big dude. But, his weight is HIS business. I think he is attractive- his vibrant personality seems to show through in the things he does. Glad his career is continuing!

      January 17, 2012 at 4:56 pm |
  12. Darlene

    As soon as I heard this was a JJ Abrams show, I knew I had to at least watch the pilot. I was definitely not disappointed. Awesome show.

    January 17, 2012 at 10:44 am |
  13. William

    great pilot, needed a new show to get into, now I know i have found one.

    January 17, 2012 at 10:21 am |
  14. WWRRD

    I thought the show got off to a good start. The gal that got shot is involved in the stuff that happened in the 60's. She disn't age either.

    January 17, 2012 at 10:13 am |
  15. Dawn

    Watched the pilot last night... loved it!! This is going to be a blast.

    January 17, 2012 at 9:45 am |
  16. Grace

    Love him :)

    January 17, 2012 at 9:19 am |
  17. Emily

    Jorge is a walking health disaster.

    January 17, 2012 at 9:03 am |
    • Luny

      II was thinking the same thing last night while watching the pilot. I like his character, but seriously – lose some weight dude!

      January 17, 2012 at 11:24 am |
    • Dharmachick

      You must be some amazing doctor or psychic to be able to know a person's medical history just by seeing them on TV. Perhaps if you weren't so superficial and didn't waste your time being so negative and judgemental of people you don't even know, you might have more time to spend on advancing your own acting career... oh wait, that's right – you don't have one.

      January 17, 2012 at 5:01 pm |
    • SixDegrees

      So are a lot of people. What's your point?

      January 17, 2012 at 5:48 pm |