Most of the people on this site surely must have seen Blue Rook's awesome page about the forbidden characters of 24. After being inspired by one of the most amusing entries on the page, I started to notice some hidden gems amongst the background performers on the show. Some I recommended to be included on Blue Rook's page, but I soon realised that these forbidden characters are a different type to those he lists - rather than being a key part of the drama of the show, they in fact merely distract from the actual drama by certain strange ways of going about their job of "blending in". Here are a few such examples of background performers who occasionally stick out from the crowd.
Season 1 Edit
Injury of the day Edit
The location: St. Mark's Hospital. Yes, we get that we're in a hospital - doctors and nurses everywhere, Teri and Alan have just been directed to a hospital, there are medical posters everywhere. But just to make sure we understand, we need some comedy patients. They didn't quite go for "pan stuck on head man", but we do get this bloke being wheeled around with a ridiculous head wound. He hasn't even bothered to wipe away any of the blood that's trickling into his eyes and all down his shirt, instead he's just holding a plastic carrier bag against the massive gash on his head. What a hero.
- Appears in 4:00am-5:00am
Ridiculous reporter Edit
When Palmer visits Grant Street Elementary School, there is a gaggle of reporters waiting to get an all important quote from the senator. One of these reporters, however, seems to go about this task with such blinkered enthusiasm, he seems completely unaware of anything going on around him. He spends most of his time talking into mid-air, pointing his tape recorder at Palmer's rapidly receding motorcade (to get that all-important sound of the limo exhaust), and generally poncing around in quite a camp manner. Full marks for enthusiasm to this guy, but perhaps he could tone down his fervor in order not to quite stick out like a sore thumb. Nice glasses too.
- Appears in 9:00am-10:00am, 10:00am-11:00am and 11:00am-12:00pm
- Quotes: "he looks like such a clown!" - Blue Rook
The travelling circus of California Plaza Edit
When Jack Bauer has to pursue Alan Morgan across California Plaza, Morgan darts up some stairs and lightly brushes past a man on his mobile phone. After this feather-like collision, the man and a nearby woman decide to break into a ridiculously flamboyant flip and tumble down the stairs, all the while still on his phone. I guess this is the result of an over-zealous stunt co-ordinator, but all the same an amusing piece of acrobatics.
- Appear in 5:00pm-6:00pm
Season 2 Edit
Deer in the headlights Edit
After Syed Ali has been captured inside the mosque, we get a lovely panning shot of a crowd that has gathered outside. All of the people are pre-occupied by a police officer holding them back - that is, all except one man, who is stood right at the front staring resolutely at the camera. It's hard to know whether this was a hired extra, or someone who just happened to wander onto set, who perhaps didn't quite know what was going on.
- Appears in 7:00pm-8:00pm
Season 3 Edit
Happiest men on earth Edit
The tragedy of the Chandler Plaza Hotel will go down in american history, where over 900 innocent people died slow and painful deaths. The lucky few that survived were no doubt tempered by their harrowing experience, leaving friends, colleagues and loved ones to die while they were escorted out to safety. Or so you would think - but when we see the survivors leaving alongside Michelle Dessler, they mostly seem to be patting each other on the back and grinning like Cheshire cats. I presume they received the direction "well, you've just survived a terrible ordeal, but you're relieved that you got out". They seem to have disregarded the first part, just taken the second part and run with it. They look like a couple of businessmen who've just closed the best deal of the year, and are off for a couple of frappucinos and a game of squash. Not quite the effect the show makers were going for I think.
- Appear in 8:00am-9:00am
To be continued...