Follow Us on Twitter

24: Behind The Scenes

24: Behind The Scenes

Review by Jack Foley

SO, the sixth season of 24 might not have been the best (and quite possibly the worst), but that’s no reason to despair. The show has suffered dips in quality before and always come back stronger.

So, as fans await a seventh day of hell from Kiefer Sutherland’s long-suffering CTU agent Jack Bauer, why not reflect on some of the best that the show has to offer? 24: Behind The Scenes is, quite simply, a must own book for any fans of the series.

A reflection (and celebration) of the first five seasons, it’s packed with photographs that reflect some of the show’s best moments, as well as off-set shots of the cast talking to each other, goofing around or preparing for key scenes.

It includes a foreword from Kiefer Sutherland, personal photos from director and executive producer Jon Cassar and a DVD featuring exclusive interviews with the makers of the series, and an additional photo gallery.

Many of the 200 photos have never previously been published, and they’re accompanied by short but informative pieces of text that offer telling insights into some of the biggest decisions in the show’s history – most notably, the controversial in-house debate that took place concerning the murder of Teri Bauer at the end of season one and the shocking killing of CTU boss Ryan Chapelle (Paul Schulze) in season 3.

As Cassar writes: “It was an unbelievable moment and what I’m most proud of was the character build-up of Chappelle; a great testament to our writers and actors. We had introduced him as a fairly unsympathetic supervisor at CTU, one of the many we’d had over the years. But by the time the plot had moved to this point, the viewer somehow found himself pleading with Jack not to pull that trigger.”

Of the many photos, the various montages reflecting key action sequences are fun to relive, while several shots of Kiefer Sutherland reflect both the seriousness with which he takes his role and some of the fun he indulges in to keep the mood on the set light as well (witness Surfin’ on page 35, Thumbs Up on page 49 or Hair/make-up a little later). These are juxtaposed nicely with Solo On The Rooftop and Concentrating on page 56.

Fans of Elisha Cuthbert will be pleased to note there’s plenty of photos of her as Jack’s daughter (both on set and off), while the likes of Carlos Bernard, “happy couple” Sarah Clarke and Xander Berkeley, and Dennis Haysbert all feature regularly throughout.

There are also excellent shots from Season 5 (the best yet?), featuring such seminal show moments as the assassination of ex-President Palmer and subsequent deaths of Tony and Michelle (Reiko Aylesworth) – and, of course, loads of cool photos of Jack Bauer in action, gun at the ready.

24: Behind The Scenes is really a nostalgia trip and behind-the-scenes insight that makes for essential reading and viewing for any genuine 24 completist. It’s quality reflects the high standards of the series up to season six. Let’s just hope the show gets back on track soon, so that this book can be updated with many more happy memories for fans, producers and stars alike.