Let’s put it right out there in the open, I am a HUGE 24 fan. I mean my Dog is named Bauer after the great man himself and so when I heard that they were re-booting 24 I had a somewhat nervous feeling in my stomach. Then the news hit – 24 was coming back WITHOUT Jack Bauer, what is this world we live in was my first thought?! Months of production followed and then that’s when the teaser trailers arrived and you know what, I came round to the idea that actually this could once again rule the roost in the TV Shows I watch.
Well it’s back and on TV and this review joins us halfway through the first season. There will be no spoilers on show, this is just one Jack Bauer obsessed guys view on what to expect from 24: Legacy. Now the Legacy franchise itself admits its not here to rip off the original, in fact it even states it is billed more as a spin-off rather than a follow up. We are left wondering what the Russians are doing to poor Jack having handed himself over at the end of Live Another Day!
What you do get in the new generation is the same production, visual style, themes and music that adhered us so much to the original. When that 24 music hit on this first episode, I was immediately thrust back into my late teenage years where such excitement and anticipation rose around me as to what was coming next. The concept is the same in that we use real time narration as Eric Carter (Corey Hawkins) race against time to stop the latest terror threat to the USA.
Former Army Ranger Eric, who is settling back into life with his wife Nicole, is thrown into turmoil after the fallout of a secret military operation comes back to haunt him. Corey Hawkins had the impossible task of filling the great mans boots as the new star of the show however he is more than solid in this role. I think he gives an all-out action display and fits so naturally into his character that you get a real sense of believability about him. What I like is that you get to know him as an Army Ranger but also as a man and that’s where you start buying into his principles and what he values in his life. One particular scene he is given an impossible choice to make, but he sticks to his morales which then actually works out for him in the long run. This is where Jack Bauer made his name and cemented himself amongst many TV fans favourite characters. As much as they are turned up to the max, you can actually relate to his struggles which made some of his decision making, which were sometimes uncomfortable, actually a necessity that you would accept. It’s with this same urge that you want Eric to succeed no matter what stunts or how he rebels against the government he is helping to protect.
So straight away I am brought into the production and the 24 feel, I am also buying into Corey Hawkins as my main star – here comes where the show, in my opinion lacks and unfortunately forces me to not hold it in the same regard as the original. It’s the other main characters and in particular the analysts and CTU workers. If you talk to any 24 enthusiast not only will they share their love for Jack Bauer, but in fact the whole cast. Right from your Chloe O’Brians to your David Palmers, you really brought into all the characters. I mean you even had Edgar Stiles, who was in it for a season and a half, that captured everyones imagination and is still one of the most loved characters of the whole franchise. Hell, I even remember the anger and hatred I felt toward Stephen Saunders who ordered then President David Palmer, to authorise the execution of Ryan Chapelle. I can still see that silent clock at the end of the episode that honoured his death.
Along come the new kids on the block and as of writing this I am a good 6 episodes into the season and I cannot even remember anyone’s name. Apart from the main plot, which I wont be discussing in detail other than to say it does have me gripped, I couldn’t tell you what is going on in the lives of the people at the heart of the investigation. This for me is where 24: Legacy really lets you down as quite frankly, I don’t care if they were to make it to the next day or not. That in itself is extreme I know, however I hope you appreciate the point I am making. When you are fully engrossed in a TV Series, it’s because you relate to the characters and you have a need to see where they end up and how they get there. With this show, I currently have no passion other than to see the shows main star in action as he continues his crusade to stopping the threat. The previous series of 24 were all the more gripping and would leave you on tenterhooks as the personal lives of the supporting cast would often intertwine into the main story. Someone’s sister would be in a bad place and need money and end up stealing their key card to CTU, potentially compromising the whole operation (that’s a link for die hard fans). You just don’t get that relatability with the supporting cast as you have in previous seasons.
Overall it is a solid watch, you know what you are going to get with a 24 spin off and that’s why you watch it for the clock to countdown into the final hours of the day. Is it as good as the original, in my opinion no, however I am going to watch to the end and if they do a second series I would watch it. I wouldn’t go out of my way to ensure I was sat down at the exact time for the next episode and I am happy just to catch up in the week. If all the latest stories are to believed, then Fox are disappointed in the ratings and have not finalised plans for a second series just yet. A world where 24 doesn’t involve our beloved Jack, is clearly a world that the fans of the franchise do not want to be involved in.