Review by Jack Foley
IF YOU thought the first series of real-time drama, 24, was exciting,
then nothing could have prepared you for the onslaught that marked
Following the basic rule of the sequel - more of the same, only
on a grander scale - the second season came up with a premise
that not only raised the stakes for all concerned; but played
well on world fears, post September 11.
Jack Bauer's task this time? To locate a dirty bomb, hidden somewhere
in the city of Los Angeles, and to infiltrate and eliminate those
And to make a bad day even worse, he must do it while still coming
to terms with the murder of his wife, and his daughter's involvement
in a murder case.
For the most part, season 2 of 24 was a little better than the
first, most notably because of the fact the writers knew they
had a complete series to work with, and didn't seem to run out
of ideas midway through.
The downside, however, came in the form of Kim, Jack's inept
daughter, who once more found herself in all sorts of peril, usually
brought about by her own stupidity.
Still, at least she got to wear a tight pair of shorts and a
skimpy vest in the first episode, a point not missed by the unofficial
season two guide, which has, once again, been lovingly compiled
by those keen people at the Contender Entertainment Group.
Hence, 24 - Season Two, The Unofficial Guide is another downright
essential read on the life of Jack Bauer.
Beginning with an intriguing interview with Leslie Hope, the
actress who played Jack's ill-fated wife in the first series,
the book then sets about bringing you everything you could possibly
wish to know about the second season.
We're talking fascinating terrorism facts (such as how easy it
is to construct a dirty bomb), as well as a pulse rating, and
a reaction to Kim's ever worsening stupidity.
There are the usual character profiles, questions arising, and
finely tuned analysis, all of which appear guaranteed to appeal
to the conspiracy theorist in every one of us.
But, broadening the appeal of the book for fans, there is even
a fashion police section, passing commentary on the outfits, as
well as details of the actors' and actresses' past histories -
so that if you thought you'd seen them before, but simply couldn't
place them, this will put you out of your misery.
The book also attempts to keep count with the death total, while
also passing its usual post-episode review, seldom being afraid
to say when an episode fails to work as well as it should.
And for the real 24 nuts among you, there is even a section devoted
to the 24 Drinking Game - details of which, I won't ruin just
All in all, then, another fine piece of craftsmanship from the
Contender Entertainment Group, which really ought to whet the
appetite ahead of Season 3.
One can only wait to see what viewers, and writers, make of that