Wednesday, 7 May 2014

24: Live Another Day: "Day 9: 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m"

I review the first episode of 24’s ninth series, entitled Live Another Day, starring Kiefer Sutherland, Yvonne Strahovski, Tate Donavan & Mary Lynn Rajskub, created by Joel Surnow and Robert Cochan.

When 24’s new season was announced, set in London and taking place in real time, I was intrigued. I’d never seen an episode of 24 before but despite this I was looking forward to seeing where the show would go, as I presumed that given the several years that this show has been off air for the creators, Joel Surnow and Robert Cochan, would allow for a catchup for people who have either forgotten what happens, slipped behind or newcomers – who like myself, may be familiar with the genre but not with Jack Bauer.

I got the chance to watch episode one earlier today and I was not disappointed, with this episode giving me enough narrative hook to draw me into the series and keep me watching. I’m a sucker for a good thriller, and hopefully this series will live up to the bill in the long run.

There’s a new President in Office at the White House, James Heller (William Devane), suffering from early signs of Alzheimer’s. He’s in England to meet with the Prime Minister concerning the use of Drones in overseas conflicts, when Jack Bauer, a wanted man, resurfaces in London after four years and is immediately captured. However, it all seems a bit too easy given Bauer’s reputation for Kate Morgan (Yvonne Strahovski), who despite being on the verge of leaving her job and no longer having any authority, suspects that Bauer may have another intention, particularly as he chose to resurface at the same time that the President arrived in London.

It isn’t long before Kate works out what Bauer is planning – to rescue Chloe O’Brien (Mary Lynn Rajskub), a brilliant systems analyst and computer hacker who is being held hostage by the London-based CIA team, and the action continues in a fast paced, adrenaline pumping thriller that has all the makings of a very strong series.

The episode takes place between the times of 11am and 12pm and is handled very well. The casting is good and the cinematography is also pretty solid, looking very impressive for a series that’s handled very well. This episode is mainly focused on reacquainting and introducing new and old audiences alike to series veterans, and sets up an intriguing premise that should no doubt continue to escalate over the next several episodes.

The action is fun, well choreographed and doesn’t overload the plot. Whilst I can see this series becoming all action in later episodes this was very much a set-up, even if there was plenty of fight scenes on display here starting with Bauer being targeted by a team sent to bring him in.

There isn’t anything new here in terms of originality, but for the most part, 24: Live Another Day’s premiere is pretty solid stuff. It looks as though we’ll be in for a good, fun thriller that should only get better from here on in, perfect for newcomers and old hands alike.


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