24: Season 5 preview
Preview by Jack Foley
THE fifth season of real-time thriller 24 gets underway in America this weekend (January 15) with a four-hour two-parter set over two nights.
Kiefer Sutherland reprises his role as CTU agent Jack Bauer whose ability to endure terrible days looks set to become even more extreme.
Advance word from America – based on preview tapes of the opening episodes – suggest that the fifth season could well be the strongest yet, not to mention an excellent boarding point for anyone who hasn’t become gripped so far.
Plot details remain sketchy. Suffice to say that Jack, who everyone thought was dead, is called back into action following an explosive opening sequence that forces him out of hiding.
The first 10 minutes of the season are said to be genuinely shocking and may involve the death of at least one key character from past seasons.
However, distributor Twentieth Century Fox is remaining deliberately tight-lipped about this series in the hope of attracting new viewers and keeping things fresh and exciting.
But the trick appears to be paying off with early reviews hailing the return of the series. The Hollywood Reporter, for instance, wrote that “the fifth-season premiere is a heart-pounding, mesmerizing adventure unlike anything else up or down the dial”.
It concludes its review by stating that ‘this brilliant creation of Joel Surnow and Robert Cochran will only enhance its reputation as the most reliable and involving thriller in TV history’.
Sutherland is said to be better than ever and cast additions include Sean Astin as a CTU operative, Julian Sands as a Russian terrorist and Jean Smart. There are also likely to be cameos from past regulars such as Dennis Haysbert (ex-President Palmer) and Mary Lynn Rajskub (as systems analyst, Chloe).
The fifth series is due to kick off on Sky One in February but until then we will leave you with the tantalising words of series executive producer, Howard Gordon, who told a recent edition of Entertainment Weekly: ”[In approaching the fifth season] one thing we realised is, we can’t get bigger than a nuclear bomb.
“Instead of bigger, we had to get smaller. Topping ourselves in terms of a general threat wasn’t necessarily where the drama of 24 rested.”
He added: “But whereas in the past we’ve had this slow-mounting tension, this year starts out with a bang and doesn’t let up. Just when Jack thought he’d lost everything, he finds out there’s something more to lose.”