It’s perhaps every 24 fan’s worst nightmare: When Jack Bauer’s next very bad, horrible day unfolds, he will find himself at odds with a longtime colleague.
As 24: Live Another Day, Fox’s 12-episode continuation of its hit franchise, gets under way on May 5, “Chloe (played by Mary Lynn Rajskub) and Jack are pitted against each other due to a set of circumstances,” Kiefer Sutherland revealed Monday at the Television Critics Association winter press tour.
Chloe, in fact, has left CTU and “turned herself against the government” in the years since Season 8 closed, and now is a more “radical” type of Edward Snowden character, producers shared.
A quick refresher: When last we saw Jack, he was a fugitive on the run, and had bid Chloe a possibly final goodbye. As Live Another Day opens, largely set in London, “He is still a fugitive who he has been hunted — and he is still hunted,” by CIA agent Kate Morgan (played by Chuck‘s Yvonne Strahovski), executive producer Manny Coto previewed. “Jack is not quite Osama Bin Laden, but he is someone to be captured. And when Jack reenters the story on his own terms, we will learn he has a mission. But this CIA agent is determined to catch him, and as she gets closer and closer to him, Chloe O’Brien reenters the picture.”
As Jack pursues his own agenda and harbors a secret, “That dynamic will launch the series into a large tableau set in London and [trigger] some crazy events,” Coto said. Production begins later this winter.
And now, some burning questions answered about this exciting new Day:
WILL EVENTS STILL OCCUR ‘IN REAL TIME’? | Even though LAD spins a 24-hour story in 12 episodes, each hour will unfold in real time, then work in “Two Hours Later”-type time jumps between episodes.
WHY THE HOP ACROSS THE POND? | With Jack on the run all this time, “Anywhere but here [in the United States] was where we needed to set it,” EP Howard Gordon explained.
WHO’S THE BOSS? | James Heller (played by William Devane) is now the leader of the free world — and his daughter Audrey (Kim Raver) has a role in his administration. EP Evan Katz reminds, “When we last left Audrey, she was in a very bad place regarding Jack, so [in the years that have passed] she has come out of the ‘wilderness’ that she’s been in mentally, emotionally and spiritually. But the interesting thing will be, when Jack reenters the picture, how will she react to that?”
WHO’S THE SUPERVILLAIN? | Acknowledging that 24 typically serves up “several big bads,” Katz singled out Judy Davis (Judy Garland: Me and My Shadows) and her turn as “a woman who married a terrorist who was killed, and she is now caring her husband’s for ideological as well as personal reasons.”
WHAT ABOUT KIM? TONY? | “There might be” a place for Jack’s daughter (played by Elisha Cuthbert) in this brand new day, Coto hedged, but “it would be later in the season, and it would mean giving away a plot point.” Producers were even less committal about an encore for Carlos Bernard’s Tony Almeida.
IS ‘SARAH WALKER’ STILL A BADASS? | Katz described the dynamic between Strahovski’s CIA agent and Jack as “hunter and hunted, initially. Obviously that dynamic changes when she realizes he’s not the man everyone is accusing him of being.” And make no mistake, she’s got skills. “She’s smart and relentless, and not just a woman with a gun.”
UM, WHAT IF I DON’T KNOW JACK? | “You can actually pick this series up without having seen Season 8, or any of the show at all,” Gordon said. But there will be primers on hand. As Sutherland noted, “The benefit of coming back four years later is that those four years need to be explained, so the exposition will not come off as exposition but a justified moment of characters catching up.”
WILL THE 24 MOVIE LIVE ANOTHER DAY? | Lest anyone think this 12-episode adventure has stolen the oft-discussed feature’s plotline, “The script for the film is very, very different,” Sutherland stated. “[Live Another Day] was the opportunity that presented itself to us first, and it’s a fantastic idea. And if this ends up rebooting the show or causing the film to be made, so be it.”