We’re only ten months away from the season 7 premiere of 24! Are you excited yet? I don’t know if this is the case, but I’m guessing that this is the longest between-season hiatus of any network series ever. Of all the series affected by the WGA writers’ strike, 24 has, by far, been hurt the most. But, at least the 24 team threw fans a bone earlier this month when they announced that they are going to produce a two-hour 24 movie that will hit the air this coming Fall. This is some consolation for the long wait between seasons, but more importantly it will be a test to see whether the 24 team is capable of getting the franchise back on track after a universally derided sixth season. The thing that we don’t know, however, is what the plot of this two hour prequel will be.
Technically, I don’t really know if we can call the upcoming 24 TV movie a prequel. When it airs, it will be right in line with the chronology of the series. It will be a prequel to season 7, but if we use that same logic, can’t we call season 6 a prequel to season 7? Anyways, 24 executive producer Howard Gordon recently said that the 24 movie will take place about one year after the events of season 6, which also means it will take place about one year before the beginning of season 7. I haven’t been able to find any word on whether or not the movie will keep the series’ signature real-time plot structure. I’m guessing it won’t. For one, if the 24 team wants to reel off exposition that pertains to season 7, then it would be greatly beneficial to give themselves more plot flexibility by scrapping the real-time format. And second, I think part of the reason they’re making this prequel is to test the viability of a possible future theatrical version of 24.
Last summer at the San Diego Comic-Con, I attended the 24 panel and one of the producers (I forget who…probably Jon Cassar) stated that his idea for the possible 24 film is this: the first hour or forty minutes would be like a regular movie – jumps in time and whatnot. Then, at some point, the clock would start ticking and the final forty-five minutes or so would be in real-time. I think this is a very cool idea and would be a good compromise for rabid 24 fans. Perhaps this is the route they’ll take for the made-for-TV movie this Fall.
OK, then. So, what will the prequel be about? When we last left Jack Bauer he was staring thoughtfully out into the ocean having just visited former flame and current vegetable Audrey Raines. We know that, in two years (at the beginning of season 7), Jack Bauer will be facing a congressional hearing regarding some of his actions that may have been deemed illegal or excessive. What happens in between those two moments? Or, perhaps more importantly, how does Jack go from the depressed and confused Jack of season 6’s finale to the defiant and motivated Jack from the season 7 trailer? Even though we know Tony Almeida returns to the action in season 7, given Jack’s reactions from the season 7 trailer, it’s probably safe to assume that Tony will not make any appearance.
I have a strong feeling that Kim Bauer will be involved in the movie, much to the chagrin of a large sub-set of 24 fans and Kim-haters. He’ll probably begin the movie actively trying to put together the pieces of his life, trying to re-connect with his daughter, etc. Logic would dictate that at some point he’ll get embroiled in some sort of terrorist threat. But, I’m hoping 24 pulls a fast one on us and this isn’t the case. For ease of production, the movie will probably take place in and around Los Angeles, which opens up the possibility of Jack once again working with CTU. Which brings me to my big predicition:
The plot of the 24 movie will focus on how CTU becomes dis-banded.
If you’d paid attention to the news about 24’s seventh season, then you know that one of the big plot points is that CTU had sometime in the recent past ceased to exist. Why I think that this will be the plot of the movie is simple – it’s the easiest story for the 24 crew to tell. The writers had already, I’m sure, come up with an elaborate back story for why and how CTU dis-banded. The 24 movie is a great opportunity to dramatize this and, frankly, that story has a lot of potential. What do you all think?
-Oscar Dahl, BuddyTV Senior Writer
(Image Courtesy of FOX)
Senior Writer, BuddyTV