TV Review: 24 Live Another Day Episodes 1 and 2


24 episode 1

Writer: Evan Katz& Manny Coto (episode 1) Robert Cochran & David Fury (episode 2)
Director: Jon Cassar

SYNOPSIS: After four years on the run, Jack Bauer resurfaces in London just in time for the visit of President James Heller. He is captured by the CIA but it’s all a ruse to break out former colleague Chloe O’Brien who’s being held after leaking national secrets. Meanwhile Agent Kate Morgan sees Jack’s plan coming but nobody will listen to her following her husband’s treason. The President’s life is being put in danger by a group run by a posh English women who are able to take control of the US military drones. They test their system by wiping out a US transport in Afghanistan.

REVIEW: Has 24 really been away?  Four years may have passed and there’s a new London setting but this is the same show with the same format,producers, writers, director, logo and ticking clock. The events still occur in real time and Kiefer Sutherland’s Jack Bauer still says “Dammit!” a whole lot.

The more things change, really the more they stay the same. Jack and Chloe might be working outside the system but he’s still a man on a mission to save the President and she’s offering coms support with her new Goth haircut and makeup. Even when held and tortured by the CIA, it’s good to know she still found time to put on eye liner.

William Devane is a welcome return as the now President Heller, even if they have given him a dementia storyline which seems to serve little purpose in the story other than to falsely ramp up the tension of any given situation. But isn’t that what 24 is really all about? If past form is anything to go by, then he’s not going to make it through the day.

Audrey Raines as played by Kim Raver hasn’t had a great deal to do yet but there should be plenty of sparks flying when she finally runs into Jack after getting tied up in his life before caused her a nervous breakdown.

Any fan of Chuck knows that Yvonne Strahovski is an excellent super spy and is a welcome addition to the cast as the CIA Agent who isn’t trusted due to her husband selling secrets to the Chinese. You can only imagine she’ll end up working with Jack before too long, probably following some really big explosive event in mid-season which totally alters the status quo.

While the formula remains very much Jack having to unlock an achievement to get to the next level, it’s clear the writers have been watching the news and have incorporated the issues of the day with drones and Wikileaks style organisations featuring heavily in the storyline. There’s already been one classic double cross with the hacker inventor of the drone remote having been murdered by his girlfriend and there will be more to come. Someone ins Heller’s organisation must be evil surely? The posh English woman and her daughter being behind a plot to bring down the US government seems a little odd but no doubt all will be revealed in coming weeks.

The London setting adds a grim edge to proceedings, although the grey skies, towerblocks and green wheelie bins have never looked better. It’s good to know that no matter where you go in the world, US police have jurisdiction and are free to shoot their guns. God bless America.

The show actually feels surprisingly fresh. After a dignified retirement after a strong eight year run, 24 is back, and it feels almost exactly the same. And you know what, there’s nothing wrong with that.

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