Drain Alcatraz


Alcatraz, the world’s most infamous prison, was also known as the most inescapable – but what made the escape from the island fortress impossible? In a broadcast first, Discovery offers an unobstructed view of Alcatraz and what lies below the surface of San Francisco Bay’s former island prison during the original Canadian documentary DRAIN ALCATRAZ, premiering Sunday, Dec. 3 at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT.

The latest instalment in Discovery’s popular “Drain” series, DRAIN ALCATRAZ uses computer technology to virtually drain the waters and scrub the ocean’s floor, producing the most comprehensive visualization of Alcatraz Island and the bay around it. Viewers are taken to the island and inside the prison, where long-time Alcatraz Ranger John Cantwell explains the history of the island and the chronology of human settlement on Alcatraz: from Sioux Tribes and Spanish and Mexican explorers, to American soldiers, and eventually its most infamous residents, Californian convicts.

“We are thrilled to set the stage for yet another “Drain” documentary special,” said Ken MacDonald, Vice-President and General Manager, Discovery Networks. “Employing new and innovative technologies, spectacular CGI graphics, along with the research and opinions of a host of academic experts, we look forward to answering the key question: Why was Alcatraz so inescapable?”

Of the famed escape attempts from the federal prison, a total of 36 inmates tried to flee the island from 1936 to 1963. Officially, the majority of the escape attempts failed, as most participants were either killed or quickly re-captured. Only five prisoners disappeared without a trace and are listed as missing and presumed drowned. Recent and new discoveries coupled with remarkable CGI visualizations allow experts to view their data like never before, uncovering the facts behind Alcatraz’s harsh reputation while drawing some rather stunning conclusions.