Discovery’s New Original Canadian Documentary DRAIN ALCATRAZ Goes Beneath the Waves to Expose the Secrets of an Inescapable Prison, Dec. 3

— November 9, 2017

– Discovery special uses cutting-edge CGI to drain the sea and scrub away the sediments of Alcatraz Island and the San Francisco Bay, revealing stunning new information about the world’s most infamous prison –
– Sunday night schedule kicks off with the return of Discovery’s original production MIGHTY SHIPS, embarking on its Season 10 anniversary voyage –

TORONTO (November 9, 2017) – 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.                      The buildings and structures built, expanded, and re-invented in CGI illustrate how difficult it was to make it beyond Alcatraz’s walls, let alone off the island. Leading into the one-hour DRAIN ALZATRAZ documentary special, Discovery embarks on Season 10 of its original series MIGHTY SHIPS, produced by Exploration Production Inc. (EPI). This unparalleled stem-to-stern journey aboard the world’s most sophisticated vessels sets sail Sundays at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. ET beginning Dec. 3. Commissioned and developed by Discovery, DRAIN ALCATRAZ is produced by Northern Sky Entertainment. Wayne Abbott is producer and director for Northern Sky Entertainment. Ken MacDonald is the production executive and Vice-President and General Manager, Discovery Networks. Tracey Pearce is President, Distribution and Pay, Bell Media.

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About Northern Sky Entertainment:

Northern Sky Entertainment (NSE) is a Toronto based production company committed to high quality, creative programming.  For twenty years producer, director and cinematographer Wayne Abbott and his production team have told powerful, engaging and ground breaking stories. NSE has produced a rich variety of programming in the areas of military history, science, sports, adventure, entertainment, social political and environmental based programs. NSE has also produced a number of successful co-production programs and series with international partners and broadcasters.


About Discovery:
With compelling real-life programming that inspires and entertains, Discovery reveals the world in all its wonder, diversity and amazement. Discovery ranks as the #1 Canadian entertainment specialty network in primetime. Discovery offers a signature mix of adrenaline-charged stories, larger-than-life personalities and vivid imagery for viewers with curious minds. With the best factual programming from Canada and around the world, Discovery captures the excitement of a passion for life – one lived fully and at its most extreme. With exceptional and immersive storytelling, the channel offers in-depth, behind-the-scenes glimpses at the extraordinary people and places that shape our world. Launched in Canada in 1995, Discovery is now available in more than eight million Canadian homes. Discovery Canada is a joint venture between Bell Media, which is owned by BCE Inc. (TSX, NYSE: BCE), Canada’s largest communications company, and Discovery Communications Inc. Find more information and interactive online features at


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