Without a Trace (2002–2009)

TV Series   |  TV-14   |    |  Crime, Drama, Mystery

Episode Guide
Without a Trace (2002) Poster

The cases of an FBI unit specializing in missing persons investigations.

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  • Lisa Pescia in Without a Trace (2002)
  • Roselyn Sanchez in Without a Trace (2002)
  • Kathleen Wilhoite in Without a Trace (2002)
  • David Giuntoli in Without a Trace (2002)
  • Anthony LaPaglia in Without a Trace (2002)
  • Eric Close in Without a Trace (2002)

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Cast & Crew

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Hank Steinberg

Reviews & Commentary

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User Reviews

24 August 2004 | jvydelingum
Slick FBI Drama
"Without A Trace" is my guilty secret.

Solidly acted, with clever plot twists, it's an above average US cop show where FBI agents track down missing persons. Why then, do I almost feel bad about owning up to liking it? The answer lies in the very smooth nature of the show. Jerry Bruckheimer's big-screen intellect translated into television, proves disarmingly seductive.

There is nothing ground-breaking stylistically. Told through a series of flashbacks, each storyline adds sufficient weight to the plot to add a new line of inquiry to the FBI presentation board.

The cast, are key to building the tension. Interestingly for a US show, three of the lead actors aren't American. (La Paglia and Poppy Montgomery are Australian, while Marianne Jeanne-Baptiste is English)

Although led by De Niro lookalike La Paglia, "Without A Trace" is very much an ensemble piece, with every character battling to stamp their authority on each case.

I admit the dialogue strays into cop-show cliché occasionally, but this is the unashamed glory of watching it - Big movie sensibilities condensed into an hour of TV.

In spite your better judgment, on Monday nights, you will end up caught up in the urgency and willing Jack Malone's team on.

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Did You Know?


The original title of the show was "Vanished", but when CBS opted to pick it up the title was changed to "Without a Trace".


Martin: Are you coming?
Samantha: Hold your horses.
Martin: Physical therapy going pretty well, huh?
Samantha: Do yourself a favor, don't get shot. It's not all it's cracked up to be.
Martin: I'll try my best.


There are a number of scenes which indicate that the show is actually shot in Los Angeles and not New York, where the show is supposed to take place. There are several supposed one way streets with double yellow lines painted down the middle (which do not exist in New York), large blue street signs (which are used in LA, as opposed to NY, which uses green street signs), and house numbers on each street painted into the sidewalk in front of each house, which is also not done in New York, but instead in Los Angeles.

Crazy Credits

Amongst the opening credits, for a brief moment the words "Amber Alert" are flashed on the screen. The Amber Alert system was formally inaugurated in the state of California, July 31, 2002. It drew both national and international recognition in its success in aiding authorities in their search for abducted children. In less than one year, the California Amber Alert system has been credited with aiding in the rescue of over a dozen children. The intial system was formulated in Texas in 1996, and is named after 9-year-old Amber Hagerman who was kidnapped and murdered. As of April 10, 2003 a bill creating a national Amber Alert system has passed in the House of Representitives, and unanimously approved in the Senate. "Without A Trace" (2002) aired its first episode shortly after a summer littered with nationally covered child kidnappings including the famous Elizabeth Smart abduction. The show aired Elizabeth's profile following its November 21, 2002 episode, In Extrimis. All Profiles are chosen by the FBI, not the show's producers.


One (Is The Loneliest Number)
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The Tao of Groove


Plot Summary


Crime | Drama | Mystery | Thriller

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