24 returned to the small screen this year but not as fans knew it. Jack Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland) was absent from the series and in his place was former Army Ranger Eric Carter (Corey Hawkins). After his former squad members are hunted down and killed, Eric and his wife Nicole (Anna Diop) go on the run when it is revealed that a USB flash drive with activation codes for US sleeper cells has been stolen. Eric turns to former CTU head Rebecca Ingram (Miranda Otto) for assistance as he tries to stop a series of devastating terrorist attacks on US soil.
24: Legacy was Fox’s attempt to keep the franchise running despite Kiefer Sutherland not wanting to reprise his iconic role as Jack Bauer. Sutherland is busy with his hit show Designated Survivor and spoke openly about struggling with the physical demands of playing Bauer after the limited series 24: Live Another Day in 2014. 24: Legacy looks like 24, it features all of the things you’d expect from 24 but sadly it simply just isn’t 24, and that’s likely the reason the ratings dwindled leading to the show’s cancellation after only one season.
Part of the problem 24: Legacy faced was that the 24 formula is so well-worn after 9 seasons that viewers know exactly what to expect. Within minutes of the first episode I was already casting theories about who the moles would be, which ‘shocking twists’ were going to take place and looking closely for the red herrings. Not to blow my own trumpet but I managed to be right on pretty much every occasion. Whereas 24: Live Another Day was clever and still managed to deliver shocks (I’m still reeling over Audrey’s demise), 24: Legacy felt like a lazy rehash of earlier seasons.
Another issue the show faced was poor scripts. When you have characters narrating out additional details just to make the audience understand what’s going on, you know you’re in trouble. Pretty much the entire first episode consists of characters over sharing and narrating their own back-stories. If this had been a one episode thing, then I could have forgiven it but it happened throughout the series.
Perhaps the biggest issue was that of Eric Carter. Corey Hawkins, best known for The Walking Dead, is a solid actor but he was given a character with absolutely no development. Jack Bauer was popular because he was a complex man who did terrible things but you still rooted for him to win. I couldn’t have cared less what happened to Eric. His character was flat and most of the time other people saved him rather than the other way around. I get that the makers were trying to make a character distinguishable from Jack but Eric was as wet as a lettuce.
It’s not all bad though. There’s a guilty pleasure value to 24: Legacy as in you know it’s a bit rubbish and a pale imitation of the original show, but once that ticking clock appears (in blue I may add) the nostalgia kicks in. Miranda Otto is the strongest member of the cast as Rebecca and it’s a thrill to see Tony Almeida (Carlos Bernard) back, even if the character gets barely anything to do and seems to have had a personality transplant.
Special features on the disc include a featurette exploring the new incarnation of the show and a series of deleted scenes.
As a huge fan of 24, I desperately wanted to love 24: Legacy. I ignored all of the criticism I heard and argued with my husband when he gave up after one episode. Sadly though it seems everyone was right and I was too blinded by my love of the original series to see it initially. FOX have announced that they are already looking at the next incarnation of the series following the failure of 24: Legacy but I’d say unless you can get Jack and Chloe (Mary Lynn Rajskub) back, don’t bother.
Cast: Corey Hawkins, Miranda Otto, Anna Diop, Teddy Sears, Ashley Thomas, Dan Bucatinsky, Coral Peña, Charlie Hofheimer, Sheila Vand, Raphael Acloque, Gerald McRaney, Jimmy Smits Certificate: 15 Duration: 512 mins Released By: 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment Release Date: 24th July 2017