When you've got a TV show that incorporates elements of San Francisco and the 1960s, it's probably only a matter of time before a Bullitt reference materializes. In the case of the Fox sci-fi drama Alcatraz, which focuses on the infamous prison and what supposedly "happened" to both the inmates and guards following its closure in 1963, such a car chase scene has indeed been incorporated, as part of the season finale. Like all episodes in the series (pilot not withstanding), the finale is titled after one of the supposed former inmates, "Tommy Madsen" who happens to be the grandfather of one of the major protagonists in the show, Detective Rebecca Madsen. As per Bullitt tradition, the chase scene involves a Dodge Charger and Ford Mustang.
Alcatraz series director Jack Bender says some locations from the original 1968 Bullitt chase are indeed incorporated into this new one, the idea being to not only pay homage to the classic movie scene but also to maximize entertainment value for the audience, so, as Bender says there will be "a lot of sliding around corners" and "a lot of getting close to things."
Filming took place over the course of three days last week using modern versions of the Charger (2008-10 model) and Mustang (2013). Besides updating the vehicles, a major change from Bullitt is the fact the Mustang is blue instead of green. In the chase scene, the Ford will be driven by Rebecca Madsen (Sarah Jones) who, in the series, is tasked with helping Agent Emerson Hauser (Sam Neil) track down missing Alcatraz prisoners and bringing them to justice.
There are reports that a vintage green Volkswagen Beetle will be incorporated somewhere in the chase scene, though don't expect a Winchester pump action shotgun, nor any hubcaps falling off the Charger.
The Alcatraz season finale airs on Fox, Monday, March 26 at 9.00 pm Eastern Time (6.00 pm Pacific Time).