24 Season 2 Review

Jack’s Back. Kiefer Sutherland returns as CTU agent Jack Bauer for a second day of action in the popular television series ’24’ with the release of 24 Season 2 on DVD. The clock is ticking once more as Jack Bauer is now racing against the clock to find a nuclear bomb somewhere in L.A. Iain Boulton, who’s just survived watching the second series after another 24 hours with the Bauer, reviews the region 2 DVD release.

24 was the television treat last year holding the most original premise seen for a long time on a television show. This premise involved telling a story throughout 24 episodes each covering one hour of a full day – a daring and daunting task for the producers to undertake and make it work. The idea was to unfold a story about one mans day in which he has to stop a political assassination while also finding his kidnapped family. At this time, Fox Television hadn’t just stumbled onto a standard show, Fox landed on pure television gold. The day of federal agent Jack Bauer became an engrossing TV drama combining action with espionage and conspiracy theories. Its real time effect proved to be a major element to the series as it changed the way the story was told – small things like travelling to a location had to be realistic in keeping with the time frame of the story.

It was this format that made the show addictive. The clock kept ticking and ticking as the day got worse for Jack, who tried as hard as he could to do everything right to save the day. A bright yellow ticking clock combined with split screens allowed viewers to know what was going on at any one time in multiple locations. This was a true piece of original craft for 24, and one that has reared its head on subsequent shows such as Spooks, which features its own take on the split screen technique. 24 managed to maintain the story of a political assassination threat throughout one day beginning at 12am. The day’s storyline threw in countless shock twists for the viewers that simply weren’t seen in the usual television show making 24 compelling viewing as the continuous plot twists were revealed.

It was this creativity that helped the show gain a huge following in the U.S, not to mention here in the U.K, leading to 24 picking up critical acclaim and numerous awards. Most notably, Kiefer Sutherland’s Golden Globe for his perfomance as Jack Bauer – a role that placed his career back on track. The stunning success of the show’s first season resulted in having a second season commissioned. That second season involved taking a story from current news in terrorism and military war and creating a new storyline stretching another 24 hours. This naturally begs the question, after you’ve put Jack Bauer through a day which is nigh impossible to beat in terms of bad luck, is it actually possible to give Jack a worse day?

Yes it was…

Iain Boulton

Updated: Oct 09, 2003

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