Once upon a time, 24 was the greatest show on TV for me. Despite the many good memories, from its original season of game-changing TV, to Nuclear blasts and a stunning bad guy reveal (yes I am looking at you season five), the one thing that I always remember is when I sat down to watch the first episode of Season Two. The famous 24 logo appeared on screen, followed by the tone of Jack Bauer himself informing us the time and that “events occur in real time!”, it was at that moment, I closed my eyes and took a deep breath and thought “Here we go again!”, as I knew that I was set to experience an adrenaline rush for the next 23 weeks!
No binge watching those days, any cliff-hangers at the end of an episode and you had to wait a week to discover the resolution, it really was TV Gold, that led the way for other delights like Prison Break, Lost, Day Break (remember that?) and countless others.
Its true that after every each bad day Jack suffered, the quality became weaker and all fans will tell you that Day 5 was his greatest day, followed by his weakest (Day 6) before showing its class again with the TV special REDEMPTION, before ending up with the days 7 and 8 becoming tedious, with the same old plots being recycled over and over.
Kiefer Sutherland once said that when it was time to call it a day as the iconic hero Jack Bauer, then 24 would be OK as the real star of the show is the concept itself.
With Bauer still languishing somewhere in a Russian cell, leaving a bitter aftertaste for fans who have followed every hour of his heroic ordeal, as in real life, Kiefer decided to opt out of coming back after the mini success of the limited series Live Another Day, who are the world or most notably America going to call when they are in trouble? Step in Eric Carter who will try the to prove that Kiefer was right with the notion that anyone can be a 24 hero!
The Walking Dead’s Corey Hawkins whose character Eric may have big and some will say, impossible shoes to fill, shows enough potential in the opening hour to get us on board for what will be a nonstop ride. But if I want to be honest, judging by the first two hours of this new reboot, you could say its like slipping on a pair of old comfortable slippers. Everything that fans loved of the old 24 are here and that comes across like a good and also a bad thing on many occasions.
The trouble with 24: Legacy so far is that it writes like a love letter for its old show. We have the ticking clock, split screens, a threat on American soil, a flash drive that the bad guys want back. In the first 15 minutes of the episode its already established that they may be a mole in CTU which once more brings up the ultimate question…..who actually hires the staff?
Those looking for a 24 to reboot itself into a total direction will be massively disappointed and it will never win over those who never could get into the show in the first place, but for fans like myself, it does more to make us forget that that its missing its main star and that alone is why so far, Legacy works.
Its great in some ways that we are seeing new characters on the show. Eric brings a freshness to the main role, especially as he also has a wife now in tow and a brother whose gangster activities may result in he himself, having a very bad day. Over at CTU, there is no Chloe in sight, but we do have the strange case of the niece of Edgar Stiles working in the branch. A nice nod there for fans of the old. We also have Jay Garrick running the place, well not quite, but watching Teddy Sears in a fresh role after his stint over on The Flash is an odd moment for me personally and if he does turn out to be the mole, well I’ll be phoning Barry Allen and questioning what parallel Earth is 24 set on? Earth 11? 22? maybe Earth 24?
The show will not be 24 if we did not have someone running for Presidency and that falls on John Donovan (Jimmy Smits), who while he is no David Palmer (lets be honest who can be?), he does tie into the days events as his wife Rebecca Ingram (Miranda Otto) has had to give up her role as head of CTU, but is dragged back in when Eric phones her to say he is danger and to trust no one. Which being 24, probably makes Rebecca my hot favourite to be the shocking mole who somehow has a hidden agenda.
With a subplot of a high school teacher and a pupil, planning something big, Legacy doesn’t waste any time in putting all its danger on screen. How will all these storylines collide? That is what makes this reboot so watchable in its first two hours, as while it may homage its own past way too much at times- Rebecca’s handling of Keith (Sears) was the same as Jack doing it to George Mason- the show does excite once more.
Eric fighting off the bad guys at the end of the first hour was a brilliant scene and while his decision to rob a police station was over the top and typical of what this show offers its viewers, I did think during it, “Damn it, this is what Jack would do?” and by time we reach the finale of the second hour, with Eric screaming for someone to help him, you suddenly realise! Not only are you addicted again, but 24, the most glorious silly and far fetched show on TV is not only back, but its good again…..
Jack Bauer may be gone, but his legacy surely lives on……………………