24: Jack Bauer is Back

In what is one of the most exciting and unexpected developments in TV this year, it looks as if Fox are planning to bring back 24. If it pans out the current plan is to bring it back for a limited order of twelve episodes, which would be interesting and may warrant a rethink to the show’s title, ‘24: Half Day At The Office’ anyone?

Keifer Sutherland as Jack Bauer

Keifer Sutherland as Jack Bauer

When 24 first came on our screens in 2001 it was a groundbreaking series, not only because of its real time format, but also because it was one of the first shows that really brought Hollywood style storytelling, production values and actors primarily known for movies to the small screen. It was also the first in a wave of serialised dramas which proved that audiences could follow a single narrative ark over a whole season and that audiences didn’t only want to watch story-a-week procedurals like CSI and House. If it were not for 24, then we never had shows like Lost, Prison Break and The Walking Dead.

24 ran for eight seasons before we finally waved goodbye to the likes of Jack Bauer, Tony Almeida and everyone’s favourite socially awkward character Chloe O’ Brian (Sorry to Sheldon Cooper fans out there). The goodbye was sad, but not final as we rather more fittingly bid farewell to the members of CTU with the gesture of “We’ll meet again” as it was widely known that after the show ended we had the proposed 24 movie to look forward to. Yes, we wouldn’t get a whole day with Kiefer Sutherland anymore, but fans were content that we’d finally get to see step up Jack Bauer kick ass on the big screen Die Hard style. It was even rumoured at one point that the fifth Die Hard would be a 24 cross over called ‘Die Hard 24/7’ but that along with a standalone 24 movie was never to be.

Kiefer Sutherland long said that there would be a 24 movie, and various start dates were announce, and pushed back and announced again, and pushed back again, and it became clear that the chances of 24 The Movie happening were just as unlikely as seeing Jack Bauer go to sleep. Kiefer moved on to star in Touch, a series from Tim Kring who created Heroes, which was an alright show, well acted and an interesting concept, but really wasn’t want anyone wanted to see from Kiefer. So although Touch’s cancellation may be sad, we will all soon get over it with the phoenix which has arisen from its ashes.

The initial response to the idea of bringing Jack back has been generally positive. There’s a few raised eye brows and rolled eyes from some of the more passionate in the internet community, but overall people are very excited that what was for many a year the most exciting show on television is making a comeback. The most interesting thing about the very few details we have on its comeback is that it’s said to only be coming back for a twelve episode season. This wouldn’t be the first time 24 has existed as less than a twenty four hour period as we got 24: Redemption, a two hour TV movie a few years back when the writers’ strike forced the series proper to be put on hold for a year.

If it came back in real time it’s very possible that after six episodes or eight episodes they may announce based on its success that the series is being extended to twenty four episodes. That would be the safe bet, especially considering that that is exactly what happened with the show’s very first run (Hence that the story seemed to wrap half way through with Jack rescuing daughter Kim only for her to be kidnapped again a couple of episodes later). What would be more interesting is if the series abandoned its real time aspect, and they re-launched the show with a fresh feel and format. It was considered that the second season of the show wouldn’t be in real time, and maybe that could happen now. I’m not saying that each episode should cover a twenty-four period in itself, but maybe the twenty-four hour period the title suggests could be covered in twelve episodes. It wouldn’t be as strange as it sounds, as anyone whose watched 24 on DVD will know, the show skips over a few minutes of ‘real time’ every time there was an ad break on the telly. Surely the show could use the familiar digital clock display to show jumps in time.

However it comes back, and whoever is involved from the previous run of the show one thing is for certain. It won’t be long until Jack has another bad day!

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About David Pustansky

As well as writing, David Pustansky is also an actor and director and founder of The ImProDigies Theatre Company. He has written for both stage and screen as well as working as a freelance journalist for WhatCulture.com, Tvbomb.co.uk and Off The Hook Magazine. David has a self confessed strange attention to detail, or rather attention to strange details perhaps, and looks to look deeply into things and analyses them with quirky wit.
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