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"Jack Is Back" is a half-hour documentary feature about the making of 24: Live Another Day, released on April 7, 2014 on Fox.com as well as (at no charge) on Hulu, ITunes and Amazon.com. It first aired on Fox on Saturday, May 3, 2014.
On location in London, Jon Cassar directs the opening scene of 24: Live Another Day, which involves a team of CIA ops chasing someone through a crowded marketplace - it's Jack Bauer. Kiefer Sutherland jokes that the new series literally hits the ground running. Cast and crew members, including Mary Lynn Rajskub, Evan Katz, and Manny Coto, talk about how excited and surprised they were to get a chance to revisit 24 several years later, and promise an action-packed ride from the first scene.
Howard Gordon says that Live Another Day represents a "new iteration" of the series. The show is both set and filmed entirely on location in London, the first use of extensive location shooting instead of using Los Angeles to stand in for other cities and locations. In the story, Jack Bauer has been in hiding in eastern Europe for the four years since the end of season 8, and resurfaces amid a plot against the new U.S. President - Jack's former mentor, James Heller, who is in London to negotiate a crucial treaty on the use of drone strikes. The focus of the first part of the series is Jack's motivation after being in hiding, and whether he has returned to protect Heller or to do him harm. Meanwhile, agents of the CIA station in London are pursuing him in connection to his previous crimes against the U.S. and Russia. Gordon says that despite being hunted and forced to live in exile, Jack remains a heroic figure who can't help but attempt to intervene.
Sutherland says that he was drawn back after Howard Gordon called him with a great idea for a shortened 12-episode run of 24. Gordon says that he missed the character of Bauer like an old friend, and both he and the other producers were enthralled to watch the dailies of the first scenes Sutherland filmed in character since the original series ended. Jon Cassar says that Kiefer has gotten to know Jack extremely well over eight years, and didn't take long to jump back into the role - especially since the first several days of filming were almost all intense action sequences.
Gordon says that, in addition to Kiefer, a large number of the original series crew reunited for Live Another Day. Manny Coto describes Evan Katz as the most senior writer, having been with the show since season 2, while Coto joined in season 5. Sutherland reassures fans that the show will be the thriller they remember, while Cassar says that, as in the past, the cast and crew are making an effort to give viewers something "beyond" what they've seen before.
Howard Gordon says that the cast assembled for Live Another Day is "extraordinary" and one of the best in the show's history.
- Chloe O'Brian (Mary Lynn Rajskub) – Chloe has undergone a significant change since her last appearance in Season 8, and has turned against the U.S. government while working for a free-information movement devoted to uncovering government secrets. Manny Coto likens Chloe to a darker version of Edward Snowden, while Rajskub says that, as the series starts, Jack and Chloe find themselves at odds with very different goals.
- James Heller (William Devane) – Devane reprises his role as the former Secretary of Defense, now "the most powerful man in the free world."
- Audrey Boudreau (Kim Raver) – Raver returns as Audrey, who has recovered from her catatonic state and now assists her father as the de facto First Lady. Raver laughs that Audrey has improved significantly since the last time viewers saw her, and says that after her ordeal her family and colleagues treat her more delicately than before.
- Mark Boudreau (Tate Donovan) – Boudreau is President Heller's Chief of Staff, and Audrey's husband, responsible for helping her recover from her trauma at the hands of the Chinese. Coto says that Boudreau works against Jack Bauer out of fear for the effect Jack's return will have on his wife, in addition to the political situation. Donovan hints that, in the first episode, his character orders Jack's death, and jokes that doing so never bodes well for any character on 24.
- Adrian Cross (Michael Wincott) – Wincott, an actor whom Evan Katz describes as born to star in 24, plays Adrian Cross, the charismatic and almost prophet-like leader of Chloe's new group of hacker "misfits."
- Steve Navarro (Benjamin Bratt) – Steve Navarro is the CIA's London station chief, leading an off-book team of agents to find and capture Jack Bauer. Bratt says that he was honored and excited to join a global phenomenon like 24. While admitting that nobody can be sure that any character is what they appear to be, he says that Navarro (thus far) is a calm, cautious, and thorough leader.
- Kate Morgan (Yvonne Strahovski) – Morgan is a disgraced CIA field agent, due for demotion after her husband was caught selling information to the Chinese. Strahovski says that her character views capturing Jack Bauer as her chance for redemption, while Bratt compares Morgan to a younger Bauer in her mentality and ethics.
- Erik Ritter (Gbenga Akinnagbe) – Ritter is Agent Morgan's scheduled replacement, who doubts her competence and resents being forced to work with her.
- Margot Al-Harazi (Michelle Fairley) – Margot, the main antagonist, is the British widow of an infamous terrorist, who has adopted his radical views and plots vengeance against President Heller. Fairley describes Margot as passionate and single-minded in her cause.
- Simone (Emily Berrington) – Simone is Margot's daughter, brought up to be absolutely obedient and loyal to her mother's cause. Berrington says that, while Simone is equally ruthless and single-minded, she sees her as not necessarily a bad person but someone caught up in her circumstances doing what she thinks is right.
Kiefer Sutherland says that 24 has always been, at its heart, an ensemble show, and remarks that this year especially he couldn't have asked for a better cast.
Howard Gordon and Jon Cassar talk about how exciting it was to move the production to a new city for the first time, and how, given 24's early success and popularity in the UK, it was fitting for London to be that city. Cassar says that London has so much history and amazing visuals; on their first day, they were filming near Piccadilly Circus in the city center. Kiefer Sutherland, who was born in London, says he cherished the opportunity to spend time there professionally, and that the series will showcase the city in a whole new way. He talks about a chase sequence they filmed on the Thames River and the distinctiveness of the scenery and general atmosphere.
Manny Coto comments on how, even when the series was set in iconic cities like Los Angeles or New York City, the emphasis was never on famous landmarks but rather on the back-streets, alleys, and other hidden areas where the characters operated. The same is true in London, where many scenes have been filmed in various back alleys and some at a block housing project, which is fitting as the antagonists work in the shadows rather than on busy streets. Evan Katz says that the city government has been very cooperative but jokes that, when they shot on the underground, the cast were not permitted to jump over the fare barriers, as this would be a step too far.
Damian Mitchell, the armorer for Live Another Day, shows off the advanced weaponry that will be featured onscreen. Jack Bauer, instead of using the traditional Heckler & Koch USP, has upgraded to the HK P30 as his main sidearm. Meanwhile, the CIA characters use Glock 17 pistols fitted with gun cameras, an addition that gives the director a whole new perspective to consider during shooting. Tactical agents use the MP7 and M4, among other weapons. One particularly interesting addition is a Glock 17 fitted with a CornerShot accessory, which features a camera and monitor that allow the user to see and shoot around corners.
Stunt coordinator Mark Mottram compliments Jon Cassar, saying that he directs at such a fast pace that the stunt crew has to be on their game and ready to keep up during filming. Of the actors, Mottram says that Kiefer Sutherland has been doing stunts for so long that he can immediately master just about any sequence they design. Cassar says that the first two episodes were incredibly busy for Mottram and the others and laughs that he doesn't expect them to get much of a break as filming continues. Likewise, the special effects crew has been working overtime on the various explosions and other set pieces that 24 is known for; Cassar guesses that the first two episodes have on the order of a dozen explosions.
Howard Gordon says that 24 lived in the shadow of 9/11, and that, over the course of eight years, Jack Bauer became a litmus test for the complicated world we live in, and a reflection of the kind of person that viewers wanted looking out for them. Benjamin Bratt says that Bauer is a classic American hero, one whose principles drive his every action, while Evan Katz says the character has become something of a mythic hero. Kiefer Sutherland views the new series as a chance to catch up with an old friend.
Kim Raver and Mary Lynn Rajskub talk about how 24 was one of the first shows to usher in the concept of a completely serialized and addictive story that encouraged binge-watching, which has since become the model for so many acclaimed television series. As an actor who has worked in both TV and film, Sutherland says that television is, to him, the best medium for story-telling, and remains proud of how 24 helped it gain that recognition within the industry. Jon Cassar says that the show originally came along right at the beginning of a new age in television, and says they made a conscious effort to keep pushing the limits of what was possible - something they intend to continue with Live Another Day.
Cassar and Rajskub say that, as before, 24 engages with controversial subject matter seemingly ripped from the headlines. Katz says that the new season deals with issues that have risen to the fore since the show ended in 2010 - mass government surveillance and drone warfare among them. William Devane says that most shows wish they could be as relevant as 24.
To conclude, Katz promises that even viewers who haven't seen the original show can jump on board from the first episode, while other cast and crew promise that the new season is an incredibly fast-paced ride from the very first scene. New clips from the first episodes are shown.
- Produced by: Alan Rast
- Co-Producer / Editor: Greg Huson
- Sound: Milos Momcilovic
- Production Manager: Matt Dowd
- Marketing / Publicity:
- Thanks to the Cast and Crew of 24: Live Another Day
- Fox Broadcasting:
- Fox On-Air Promo:
- Fox Legal:
- Fox BS&P: Maryana Dezarlo
- Secret Headquarters, Inc.:
- Re-Recording Mixer: Stephen Clark
- Special Thanks:
- A production of Fox Special Ops
- "Jack Is Back" on Fox.com
- "Jack Is Back" on Youtube
- "Jack Is Back" on Amazon
- "Jack Is Back" on Hulu
- "Jack Is Back" on iTunes