Alias (TV series)

Genre Action thriller
Espionage thriller
Created by J. J. Abrams
Starring Jennifer Garner
Ron Rifkin
Michael Vartan
Bradley Cooper
Merrin Dungey
Carl Lumbly
Kevin Weisman
Victor Garber
David Anders
Lena Olin
Greg Grunberg
Melissa George
Mía Maestro
Rachel Nichols
Balthazar Getty
Élodie Bouchez
Amy Acker
Composer(s) Michael Giacchino
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 5
No. of episodes 105 (list of episodes)
Executive producer(s) J. J. Abrams
Ken Olin
John Eisendrath
Alex Kurtzman
Roberto Orci
Jeffrey Bell
Jeff Pinkner
Jesse Alexander
Producer(s) Sarah Caplan
Robert M. Williams Jr.
Monica Breen
Alison Schapker
Chad Savage
Jennifer Garner
Running time 42 – 45 minutes
Production company(s) Bad Robot Productions
Touchstone Television
Distributor Buena Vista Home Entertainment
Disney–ABC Domestic Television
Original network ABC
Original release September 30, 2001 (2001-09-30) – May 22, 2006 (2006-05-22)

Alias is an American action television series created by J. J. Abrams, that was broadcast on ABC for five seasons, from September 30, 2001, to May 22, 2006. It stars Jennifer Garner as Sydney Bristow, a double-agent for the Central Intelligence Agency posing as an operative for SD-6, a worldwide criminal and espionage organization.

The main theme of the series explores Sydney's obligation to conceal her true career from her friends and family, even as she assumes multiple aliases to carry out her missions. These themes are most prevalent in the first two seasons of the show. A major plotline of the series is the search for and recovery of artifacts created by Milo Rambaldi, a fictitious Renaissance-era figure with similarities to both Leonardo da Vinci and Nostradamus. This plot and some technologies used in the series place Alias into the genre of science fiction.

The series was well received among critics and has been included in several "best of" lists. Alias was in the American Film Institute's top ten list for television programs in 2003.[1] The show also received numerous awards and nominations.


Main characters

Actor/Actress Character Seasons
1 2 3 4 5
Jennifer Garner Sydney Bristow Main
Ron Rifkin Arvin Sloane Main
Michael Vartan* Michael Vaughn Main
Bradley Cooper Will Tippin Main Special Guest Special Guest
Merrin Dungey Francie Calfo / Allison Doren Main Recurring Special Guest
Carl Lumbly Marcus Dixon Main
Kevin Weisman Marshall Flinkman Main
Victor Garber Jack Bristow Main
Greg Grunberg Eric Weiss Recurring Main Special Guest
David Anders Julian Sark Guest Main Special Guest Recurring
Lena Olin Irina Derevko (Stand-in) Main Special Guest Recurring
Melissa George Lauren Reed Main Special Guest
Mía Maestro Nadia Santos Guest Main Special Guest
Rachel Nichols Rachel Gibson Main
Balthazar Getty Thomas Grace Main
Élodie Bouchez Renée Rienne Main
Amy Acker Kelly Peyton Main

Alias featured an ensemble cast portraying the various people in Sydney's life. During the course of the series, every main character becomes involved in the world of espionage in some form or another.

Recurring characters

Characters are listed in order of appearance on the show.

Actor Character Seasons
1 2 3 4 5
Angus Scrimm Calvin McCullough Recurring Guest
Ric Young Dr. Zhang Lee Recurring Guest
Evan Parke Charlie Bernard Recurring
Sarah Shahi Jenny Recurring
Gina Torres Anna Espinosa Recurring Recurring Guest
Yvonne Farrow Diane Dixon Recurring
James Handy CIA Director Arthur Devlin Recurring Guest
Joey Slotnick Steven Haladki Recurring
Patricia Wettig Dr. Judy Barnett Recurring
Amy Irving Emily Sloane Recurring Guest
Terry O'Quinn FBI Assistant Director Kendall Guest Recurring Guest
Amanda Foreman Carrie Bowman Recurring Guest
Kurt Fuller NSC Director Robert Lindsey Recurring
Isabella Rossellini Katya Derevko Recurring
Angela Bassett CIA Director Hayden Chase Recurring
Sônia Braga Elena Derevko Recurring

In addition, Alias also featured many other famous actors in roles ranging from single-episode guest appearances to semi-recurring characters, including Jonathan Banks as Frederick Brandon, Raymond J. Barry as Senator George Reed, Tobin Bell as Karl Dreyer, Peter Berg as Noah Hicks, David Carradine as Conrad, David Cronenberg as Dr. Brezzel, Faye Dunaway as Ariana Kane, Griffin Dunne as Leonid Lisenker, Vivica A. Fox as Toni Cummings, Ricky Gervais as Daniel Ryan,[2] John Hannah as Martin Shepard, Rutger Hauer as Anthony Geiger, Ethan Hawke as James Lennox,[3] Djimon Hounsou as Kazari Bomani, Richard Lewis as Mitchell Yaeger, Peggy Lipton as Olivia Reed, Sir Roger Moore as Edward Poole,[4] Richard Roundtree as Thomas Brill, Jason Segel as Sam Hauser, Christian Slater as Neil Caplan, Quentin Tarantino as McKenas Cole, Justin Theroux as Simon Walker, Keone Young as Professor Choy, and Danny Trejo as Emilio Vargas.


Season 1: 2001–2002

Main article: Alias (season 1)

Seven years before season 1, Sydney Bristow was an undergraduate student of English literature when she was approached with a job offer by someone claiming to work for Central Intelligence Agency. She accepted the offer, was assigned to SD-6, a supposed black ops section of the CIA where she quickly became a field agent. In the pilot, she tells her fiancé Danny Hecht (played by Edward Atterton) that she is a spy. As a result of her revealing SD-6's existence to an outsider, Danny is murdered by SD-6.

It is then that Sydney is told by her father Jack Bristow (another SD-6 agent) that SD-6 is not part of the CIA; instead, it is part of the Alliance of Twelve, an organization that is an enemy to the United States. Sydney decides to offer her services to the real CIA as a double agent. She learns that her father is also a double agent for the CIA, when he notifies her that her offer is accepted. She begins the long and arduous task of destroying SD-6 from the inside.

Major plotlines from season 1 include Sydney hiding her triple-identity from her friends, both in her personal life and in her SD-6 job, Will Tippin's investigation into Danny's death, and the past activities of Sydney's mother. Sub-plots included Sydney's friendship with Francie, Francie's romantic relationship with Charlie, and Sydney's developing relationship with her CIA handler Michael Vaughn, of whom she is skeptical at first but grows to trust as her life becomes increasingly stressful. Season One focuses on the development of Sydney's character, and allows the audience to become familiar with her. The other seasons share the feature of having a guest star who appears throughout the entire season.

Season 2: 2002–2003

Main article: Alias (season 2)

The second season begins with the introduction of Irina Derevko, Sydney's mother, who soon becomes a vital part of the series. Midway through the second season, the series underwent a "reboot" of sorts with Sydney successfully destroying SD-6 (after gathering valuable intelligence for tactical strikes from an airborne SD-6 server) and becoming a regular agent for the CIA, still in pursuit of former SD-6 leader Arvin Sloane, his associate Julian Sark, and the Rambaldi artifacts. Sydney's friends at SD-6, Marcus Dixon and Marshall Flinkman, are finally made aware of her dual identity and recruited into the CIA. Sydney also begins a romantic relationship with Vaughn, now that their relationship will not endanger them.

In the second half of the season, it is revealed that Francie Calfo, Sydney's best friend, was murdered and replaced by Allison Doren, a woman who was transfigured to look exactly like her. Allison was then in a position to spy on Sydney and Will. The end of the season saw Will possibly murdered and Sydney killing Allison and then falling unconscious. Sydney awakens two years later in Hong Kong, unable to remember the two years that have passed. She soon learns that her friends and the CIA believed her to be dead, and Vaughn found a new love and is now married.

Season 3: 2003–2004

Main article: Alias (season 3)

The third season takes place two years after the events of season 2, with Sydney having been missing and presumed dead. DNA evidence in a badly burned body confirmed her death to her family and friends.

The truth, however, is that Sydney was kidnapped by a terrorist organization called The Covenant, who tried to brainwash her into believing she was an assassin named Julia Thorne. Eventually Sydney voluntarily had her memories of the two years erased in an attempt to forget some of the deeds she was forced to undertake as Julia and to ensure that one of Rambaldi's most dangerous artifacts would never be found.

As Sydney recovers, she begins investigating her absence while reintegrating into the CIA. There she deals with the facts that Arvin Sloane had become a world-renowned humanitarian after being pardoned, and that Michael Vaughn had married NSC agent Lauren Reed. Reed is later revealed to be a member of the Covenant and a lover of Julian Sark. The National Security Council plays a role as a government organization that holds massive unsupervised power, with a Guantanamo-like detention facility, considerable influence over the CIA, and driven by questionable motives. Sydney later discovers that her mother and Arvin Sloane had a child together, the result of an affair between the two years earlier. She locates her half-sister, Nadia, and rescues her from being killed by the Covenant.

At the end of the season, Sydney goes on a mission and encounters Lauren. After they battle, Lauren begins to taunt Sydney by saying she has information about her past. When Vaughn shows up, Sydney goes to him, leaving Lauren a chance to attack again. Vaughn shoots Lauren, and she dies, but before she does she gives Sydney the number of a security deposit box where she can find information about her past.

Season 4: 2005

Main article: Alias (season 4)

Season 4 begins where season three ended: with Sydney uncovering a shocking, classified document called "S.A.B. 47 Project." It is explained that the document authorizes Jack Bristow to execute Sydney's mother, who had mysteriously placed a contract on Sydney's life (this was apparently something of a retcon to cover for actress Lena Olin presumably not returning to the series). The first page refers to Sydney as the "active" subject of a "project" that began on April 17, 1975, a possible reference to Project Christmas, and also setting up Jack as either the real head of (or somehow involved with,) the Covenant and/or being a descendant of Rambaldi or Rambaldi himself.

Sydney joins a black ops division of the CIA, patterned after SD-6 and run by her one-time nemesis Arvin Sloane. The new division is dubbed "APO": Authorized Personnel Only. Members of APO (all hand-picked by Sloane) include almost all of the recurring characters from previous seasons, including Jack, Vaughn, Sydney's former partner (and third season CIA director) Marcus Dixon, the computer and technical genius, Marshall Flinkman, and Vaughn's best friend Eric Weiss (brought in after having to be rescued by Sydney and Vaughn, who he previously believed to have left the CIA). Sloane's daughter and Sydney's half-sister Nadia Santos also eventually returns to join APO.

During the season, an Arvin Sloane impostor, jokingly identified as "Arvin Clone", acquired the technology to implement a Rambaldi-predicted apocalypse. Using Omnifam, the real Sloane had polluted the world's drinking water with chemicals that caused feelings of peace and tranquility. However, these feelings can be reversed with the Mueller device. The third Derevko sister, Elena, had built a giant Mueller device in Sovogda, Russia, which drove the residents to insanity. Sydney, Jack, Irina, Nadia, and Vaughn parachute in, destroy the device and kill Elena. But Nadia is injected with the tainted water and driven insane. She battles Sydney until Sloane is forced to shoot his own daughter. Nadia is later put into a coma while a cure is sought and Irina is allowed to escape.

The season concludes with Sydney and Vaughn becoming engaged. On a trip to Santa Barbara, Vaughn confides a shocking secret: his name isn't really Michael Vaughn; their initial meeting wasn't coincidental; and that his allegiance may not be to the CIA. Before he can divulge any more information, another car crashes into theirs and the season ends.

Season 5: 2005–2006

Main article: Alias (season 5)
The cast of season five

As season five begins, Vaughn is abducted. Sydney learns that Vaughn is under suspicion of being a double agent and that the crash may have been a cover for his extraction. Vaughn later escapes and explains to Sydney that his real name is André Michaux. He reveals that he is investigating a secret operation known as Prophet Five, which at one point involved his father. During a mission in recovering a Prophet Five book, Sydney receives a phone call from her doctor with some untimely news – she's pregnant. (This development was created to deal with the actress' real-life pregnancy.[5][6]) Vaughn is later shot, and apparently killed, on orders of Prophet Five operative Gordon Dean. Four months later, as Sydney continues to investigate Vaughn's murder, she works with an assassin and associate of his, Renée Rienne, in order to unearth the inner workings of Prophet Five, while at the same time trailing Dean and his criminal organization "The Shed", disguised as a black ops CIA division, very much like SD-6.

Two new members are added to APO to replace Weiss, who moved to Washington, D.C. for a new job, and Nadia, who is still in a coma. Thomas Grace is a brash young agent with unorthodox methods who often butts heads with Sydney. Rachel Gibson is a computer specialist who, like Sydney, was deceived into thinking she was working for the real CIA and briefly works as a mole within The Shed, as did Sydney within SD-6, before The Shed's destruction by Dean.

Sydney's mom and dad help her deliver her baby girl while under attack in a high-rise in Vancouver, Canada, on a mission in Season 5's Episode 11 "Maternal Instinct."

In an ongoing subplot, Arvin Sloane follows his own personal obsession, finding a cure for Nadia. Sloane is jailed for his actions during Season 4; however, he is released after the sentencing committee is manipulated by Dean. In exchange for his freedom, Sloane is now working for Dean as a mole within APO. Unaware of Sloane's new allegiance, Jack agrees to let Sloane rejoin APO and use its resources to seek a cure for his daughter.

With the series' end, it emerges that Sloane's ultimate goal is that of immortality, for which he sacrifices his daughter Nadia's life. However, he is trapped in Rambaldi's tomb by a critically wounded Jack, who sacrifices himself via a bomb to avenge all the pain Sloane caused Sydney over the years. Thus moments after Sloane achieves immortality he is trapped for all of eternity in a cave, where even Nadia's ghost deserts him. Sydney tracks Sark and the Horizon to Hong Kong, finding Irina. After a final battle between them, Irina plunges to her death.

The series ends with a flash forward to several years in the future. Sydney and Vaughn are semi-retired and married, with a second child named Jack in honour of Sydney's father. Daughter Isabelle exhibits the same ability to complete the CIA test that marked Sydney's inborn skills to be an ideal agent at that age. After completing the puzzle, Sydney calls to her from outside, asking what she is doing. She responds by saying, "Nothing", as she casually knocks it over before running outside to join everyone.

Production and crew

Produced by Touchstone Television and Bad Robot Productions, film production primarily took place in the greater Los Angeles area. Studio shooting primarily took place at the Walt Disney Studios in Burbank, California, along with some outdoor shots near some of the studio's famous buildings (such as the original Animation Building or the ABC building, which appeared as a building in Hong Kong in the season 1 episode "The Coup"). Despite its worldwide locales, only one episode was ever filmed outside the Los Angeles region, in Las Vegas, Nevada.


Credits, logos, and graphics

Alias is unusual for an American drama series in that the opening credits do not run until the end of the first long act, sometimes as late as 19 minutes into the episode. In some respects, this mimics the James Bond films, which likewise feature sometimes-lengthy pre-credits sequences. Depending on the demands of a particular episode, the credit sequence is occasionally dropped as the actor credits play over a scene; on those occasions, the series title does not appear on screen until the final fade out.

As the opening credits appear, the letters in the Alias reference flash in negative form one by one. The "S" is the last letter to appear, this time in permanent negative. In virtually every episode, the title of a city or town location will slowly zoom in, with one letter being shown in negative and a specific scene appearing within that negative. As it usually does with the "S" in the show title at the very start, this letter eventually takes up the entire screen and gives way to the scene itself.

The first three seasons used a minimalist credit sequence consisting only of the actors names appearing as the title Alias gradually forms in one corner of an otherwise black screen. For one frame in Seasons 1 and 3 during Victor Garber's credit, the Rambaldi "eye" symbol ( <o> ) flashes over the Alias title, accompanied by a short "whooshing" sound; In Season 2, it flashes during Lena Olin's credit. In season 5 it flashes during Balthazar Getty's credit.

For the fourth season, a shorter, flashier credit sequence was introduced that used a new, remixed version of the theme. As the cast names appeared, 52 images of Sydney in 47 various disguises appear in rapid succession, ending with a shot from the third season premiere of her shooting a miniature grenade launcher.

For the fifth season, another credit sequence was designed, as the previous version was criticized for making it difficult to read the actors' names (since the eye was drawn to the many images of Jennifer Garner) and for focusing exclusively on Garner. Now for the first time, the actors are shown on screen as their names appear. The same remix of the theme music from the previous year is utilized. Also, the flashing of the letters when ALIAS is spelled out is actually in Morse code. The flashing translates to AGENT KANE (who was a character in the 2nd season played by Faye Dunaway). During the first half of the season, Elodie Bouchez appeared in the opening credits, but beginning with the episode "S.O.S." her credit was changed to a "special guest star" credit outside the opening sequence and Amy Acker was added to the opening credits in place of Bouchez.

Most episodes in the first season included a prologue narrated by Sydney Bristow, setting up the premise of the series. In the first half of season two this was replaced by a voiceover by Greg Grunberg (who plays Agent Weiss) and later in season 2 was dropped entirely.


The events of the first season of Alias begin in 2001, the same year the series first aired. A reference to Homeland security midway through the first season suggests that the series begins not long before, or not long after September 11. (The series premiered 19 days following the 9/11 attacks.) Though there was reference to such a part of government, the federal Homeland Security department was not established until 2003. (Aside from the Homeland Security reference, there is no explicit reference to 9/11 in the first season; however, there is a reference to Osama bin Laden and a reference to the War on Terror in two episodes in season 2.) In season 1, each episode covers roughly the events of one week in Sydney's life; thus, each episode is said to take place a week apart, although this pattern is not maintained throughout the series. In several episodes, references were made to actual real world events. For example, in one episode, Sydney suggested to Vaughn that they should catch an L.A. Kings game and that they'd be taking on the Islanders. This actual game took place roughly around the same time that the episode was broadcast on January 20, 2002.

The season 2 finale, which sees Sydney lose two years of her life, suggests that the series as of the start of season 3 takes place two years ahead of "real world" time. However, the series was not always consistent in maintaining this. For example, in season 3 episode 17 (airdate March 28, 2004), the date March 26, 2004, was shown on Lauren's event calendar. For most of the episodes in Season 3–4, the writers avoided mentioning any current calendar dates. The one fact that contradicted this was the date on the tombstone of the supposedly dead Irina Derevko, which, when calculated, suggests that the show was still running on "real world" time rather than 2 years in the future. However, a statement made by Sydney in the fifth season premiere "Prophet 5" regarding the length of time since she first went undercover at SD-6 is in keeping with the established timeline. And finally, the timeline seems to jump back one more time. In the season 5 episode "Out of the Box", character Renee tells Dr. Desantis, the genetic double of her father from the cryogenic box, that it is currently 2006. This appears to be the first direct reference to the actual date of events. In another episode in the same season, a hockey magazine received by Sydney indicates the date to be November 2005. Also in season five, Nadia Santos' hospital admission bracelet following her recovery in the episode "30 Seconds" reads "04-23-05," and she mentions that it has almost been a year since she was hospitalized.

No time elapses between the end of season 1 and the beginning of season 2, and there are two years, one month, and several hours between seasons 2 and 3, 3 and 4, and 4 and 5 respectively (in addition, the events of the season 5 premiere episode take place over the course of 4 months). Given that there were roughly three to four months between the airing of the first few seasons, an 8-month interval between the broadcast of seasons 3 and 4, and a 4-month hiatus in the midst of season 5, by the final season, Alias would be only months ahead of real-world time, making the 2006 statement plausible in the timeline. The series finale makes a further jump forward of several years (c. 2014 based upon the age of Sydney's daughter).

Costumes, hair and wigs

The program was renowned for the vast array of hair styles adopted by the characters. Head Hair Designer Michael Reitz was nominated for Outstanding Hairstyling for a Series at the Emmys 5 years in a row (2002–2006); as well as 3 nominations and 1 win at the Hollywood Makeup Artist and Hair Stylist Guild Awards.

Notable contributions to the hair stylist team include:

Alias was also known for the variety of its costumes. USA Today wrote that the show "features the most outrageous array of sexy costumes since Cher went off the air".[9] Laura Goldsmith was the costume designer[9] and she received one Costume Designers Guild Award nomination.[10]


Critical response

British magazine Empire ranked Alias at #35 in their list of the "50 Greatest TV Shows of All Time" and said "Alias was an action-packed weekly adventure that outclassed just about every other show in the genre."[11] The New York edition of Time Out listed the show in their top 50 TV shows of the decade 2000 – 2009.[12] Alias also appeared in's list of Top 50 TV Shows of All Time.[13] In 2010, Kristin dos Santos of E! ranked it number 4 on her list, "Top 20 TV Series of the Past 20 Years".[14]

U.S. television ratings

Seasonal rankings (based on average total viewers per episode) of Alias on ABC.

Note: Each U.S. network television season starts in late September and ends in late May, which coincides with the completion of May sweeps.

Season Timeslot
(Eastern & Pacific Time)
Season premiere Season finale TV season Ranking Viewers
(in millions)
1 Sunday 9:00 PM (September 30, 2001 – May 12, 2002) September 30, 2001 May 12, 2002 2001–2002 #60[15] 9.7[15]
2 Sunday 9:00 PM (September 29, 2002 – May 4, 2003) September 29, 2002 May 4, 2003 2002–2003 #72[16] 9.0[16]
3 Sunday 9:00 PM (September 28, 2003 – May 23, 2004) September 28, 2003 May 23, 2004 2003–2004 #78[17] 8.2[17]
4 Wednesday 9:00 PM (January 5, 2005 – May 25, 2005) January 5, 2005 May 25, 2005 2004–2005 #37[18] 10.3[18]
5 Thursday 8:00 PM (September 29, 2005 – November 17, 2005)
Wednesday 10:00 PM (December 7, 2005 – December 14, 2005)
Wednesday 8:00 PM (April 19, 2006 – May 17, 2006)
Monday 9:00 PM (May 22, 2006)
September 29, 2005 May 22, 2006 2005–2006 #90[19] 6.7[19]

Although Alias was never considered a major "hit", its series run began during a time when the ABC television network was in decline, after Who Wants to Be a Millionaire saw its ratings plummet. In fact, Alias was one of the first shows to be placed in one of the old Who Wants to Be a Millionaire timeslots, which were Sunday nights at 9 p.m. (Eastern & Pacific time) in late 2001. For its first two seasons, family-friendly program The Wonderful World of Disney served as Alias' incompatible lead-in.[20] Unlike many of the programs on ABC from 2001 to 2003, Alias was a series that garnered critical buzz, a cult following, and decent viewing numbers in the advertiser-friendly age 18–49 demographic. This led to ABC keeping the series on its schedule for 5 years.

Despite earning critical acclaim from USA Today[21] for the January 26, 2003 episode entitled "Phase One" and attracting the largest audience of the series with 17.4 million viewers,[22] this episode retained just 19 percent[22] of the Super Bowl XXXVII audience and has the dubious distinction of earning the lowest overall ratings for a program airing after a Super Bowl since at least 1987[22] and the lowest rating ever (8.3 rating) in the age 18–49 demographic for a post-Super Bowl program,[22] until Elementary in 2013.[23] Also, since the episode started airing at 11 p.m. on the East Coast, it was not eligible for the week's list of top primetime shows ranked by Nielsen Media Research and thus, the episode's viewership numbers were not factored in the series' overall 2002–2003 season average.

Its ratings peak was reached in its fourth season, when ABC moved the program to Wednesdays 9 p.m. (Eastern & Pacific time), the time slot following another (yet more successful) J. J. Abrams' drama, Lost,[20] while airing the season's episodes in (almost) consecutive weeks beginning with the January 5, 2005, 2-hour season premiere (watched by 15.8 million viewers;[24] the second most-watched episode in the series) and ending in May 2005. However, the fourth season was the only season in which this near-consecutive-week schedule was used and the increase in audience numbers was minimal since it faced hefty timeslot competition from the results show of the fourth season of Fox's mega-hit American Idol.

Coming off its most-watched season, Alias was moved to Thursdays 8 p.m. (Eastern & Pacific time) in the fall of 2005 by ABC in an effort to invigorate the network's lackluster Thursday night lineup. However, the move proved unsuccessful for the series, receiving the lowest viewership in the show's history. Alias became another scripted show in the history of ABC to not survive more than a year in this timeslot since Mork & Mindy was cancelled in 1982.[25] In November 2005, ABC announced that the current fifth season of Alias would be its final one.[26][27] ABC then temporarily aired Alias on Wednesdays at 10 p.m. in December, receiving the lead-in support of Lost.[28]

ABC gave the show a 4-month hiatus (to allow Jennifer Garner to give birth to her first child) and when it was brought back in April 2006, its new timeslot was Wednesdays at 8 p.m. However, the viewer numbers remained dismal, culminating in a 2-hour series finale airing on Monday, May 22, 2006 (against the season finales of the hit dramas, Fox's 24 and CBS' CSI: Miami) which attracted 6.68 million viewers.[29] In comparison, the first season averaged 9.7 million viewers.[30]

Awards and nominations

Cultural influence

In August 2003, the actual CIA enlisted Jennifer Garner to appear in a recruitment video, which would be shown at fairs and college campuses. A CIA officer said: "Jennifer and the character of Sydney Bristow both reflect a lot of the qualities we look for in new career field officers."[31]


The Alias production team has participated in at least two spoofs based upon the series and featuring cast members.

Other spoofs and humorous references include:


In May 2010, E! Online's Kristin dos Santos reported that ABC was toying with the idea of rebooting Alias, but getting rid of the mythological Rambaldi elements to make the storylines more accessible for a mainstream audience.[32] Subsequently, Entertainment Weekly columnist Michael Ausiello confirmed that ABC was in the early stages of developing a reboot, but that the potential series probably would not make it beyond the development phase.[33]



Varese Sarabande released a season one soundtrack containing 26 tracks. These tracks were used in the show, including the opening theme. All of them are composed by Michael Giacchino, except for the opening theme which was composed by J. J. Abrams. The tracks share a similar dance genre, however a few tracks, such as "In the Garden" share more of a slowed down tempo. A second soundtrack was also released containing music from the second season, but did not receive as much praise as the first soundtrack. A soundtrack for Alias: The Video Game, composed by Chris Tilton (who also provided additional music for later episodes of the TV series), was also released, but can only be downloaded online.

Video game

Main article: Alias (video game)

The video game Alias, based on the series, is a third-person stealth action title developed and released by Acclaim Entertainment for the PC, PlayStation 2 and Xbox. The plot was written by the creators of the show and the game features the voices of the cast principals. It was released on April 6, 2004, and has a rating of T for Teen. The game is set between episodes 19 and 20 of season 2. The game allows the player to be Sydney (and briefly on one mission Vaughn), and sends her on various missions to many different locations. The missions become more difficult as you come closer to finishing the game. The game includes using many spy-skills that Sydney uses in the show.

Prior to the Acclaim release, ABC Television produced an episodic downloadable videogame entitled Alias: Underground which is available through ABC's website. The game was a 3D third-person stealth action game much like the Acclaim production, with missions released monthly during the original broadcast of the TV show's second season.

Original novels

A number of original novels based upon the series have been published, primarily for a teenage reading audience. Due to the intricate and story arc-based nature of the series, most novels published to date have been prequels to the series, some focusing on Sydney in her early missions for SD-6, and others focusing on Vaughn's missions before meeting her. Their canon status with regards to the televised series has yet to be determined. Although aimed at young readers, the books tackle serious subject matter, such as one volume which details the first time Sydney kills someone.

  1. Recruited – Lynn Mason (2002) ISBN 0-553-49398-1
  2. A Secret Life – Laura Peyton Roberts (2003) ISBN 0-553-49399-X
  3. Disappeared – Lynn Mason (2003) ISBN 0-553-49400-7
  4. Sister Spy – Laura Peyton Roberts (2003) ISBN 0-553-49401-5
  5. The Pursuit – Elizabeth Skurnick (2003) ISBN 0-553-49402-3
  6. Close Quarters – Emma Harrison (2003) ISBN 0-553-49403-1
  7. Father Figure – Laura Peyton Roberts (2003) ISBN 0-553-49404-X
  8. Free Fall – Christa Roberts (2004) ISBN 0-553-49405-8
  9. Infiltration – Breen Frazier (2004) ISBN 0-553-49437-6
  10. Vanishing Act – Sean Gerace (2004) ISBN 0-553-49438-4
  11. Skin Deep – Cathy Hapka (2004) ISBN 0-553-49439-2
  12. Shadowed – Elizabeth Skurnick (2004) ISBN 0-553-49440-6

The second series of novels, titled "The APO Series", fit into the season four timeframe and are published by Simon Spotlight Entertainment.

  1. Two of a Kind? – Greg Cox (April 26, 2005) ISBN 1-4169-0213-9
  2. Faina – Rudy Gaborno, Chris Hollier (April 26, 2005) ISBN 1-4169-0245-7
  3. Collateral DamagePierce Askegren (June 28, 2005) ISBN 1-4169-0247-3
  4. Replaced – Emma Harrison (July 26, 2005) ISBN 1-4169-0246-5
  5. The Road Not Taken – Greg Cox (October 4, 2005) ISBN 1-4169-0248-1
  6. Vigilance – Paul Ruditis (December 6, 2005) ISBN 1-4169-0928-1
  7. Strategic Reserve – Christina F. York (March 7, 2006) ISBN 1-4169-0946-X
  8. Once Lost – Kirsten Beyer (April 25, 2006) ISBN 1-4169-0947-8
  9. Namesakes – Greg Cox (July 11, 2006) ISBN 1-4169-2442-6
  10. Old Friends – Steven Hanna (September 2006) ISBN 1-4169-2443-4
  11. The Ghost – Brian Studler (November 2006) ISBN 1-4169-2444-2
  12. Mind Games – Paul Ruditis (December 2006) ISBN 1-4169-2445-0
  13. A Touch of Death – Christina York (December 2006) ISBN 1-4169-2446-9


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Further reading

External links

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