On Sunday November 23, Fox will air Redemption (formally titled Exile), the two-hour movie prequel for 24’s upcoming season seven. Set in a fictitious African country, Redemption addresses the very real explosive scenarios that have been taking place throughout Africa’s recent history: coups, genocide, and forced military conscription of children in places like the Sudan, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, and of course, Darfur.
And this being 24, we would expect some volatile interactions in Washington, D.C., as Allison Taylor (Cherry Jones – Ocean’s Twelve, The Village, The West Wing) begins her tenure as the first woman President. It looks like Tom Lennox (Peter MacNicol) will be on board, at least for the prequel, as his boss, Noah Daniels (Powers Booth) steps down from office.
24 fans can’t wait for the real season to begin – trying to imagine Janeane Garofalo (Ratatouille, The West Wing, Romy and Michelle’s High School Reunion, The Truth About Cats and Dogs) as a serious FBI chick. Or an even more bizarre thought, Rhys Coiro, who is better known as loose cannon director Billy Walsh from Entourage will also be playing an FBI agent. And according to IMDb, Kurtwood Smith (Worst Week, Squirrel Boy, That 70’s Show, Robocop) will portray a U.S. Senator. Oh I’d pay money to hear him yell “dumb-ass” on the Senate Floor! But Redemption will provide a much needed break in the long 24 drought since Day Six. (And some might change that to including Day Six.)
And we know that our dear departed Tony is supposed to be back – will it be in flashbacks? Was he not really dead? Chloe will be back too, which is fantastic. There is no 24 without Chloe (sorry, Jack). But also, I’d like to see how Bill, Karen, Morris, and the red/white shirts are doing despite the disbanding of CTU.
But it will be inspiring to see some horrible (and inexplicably still existing) situations in Africa be at least the partial focus of Redemption. With the pageantry, sporting excellence, and patriotism still fresh in our minds from the Beijing Olympics, one of the side stories was that of Lopez Lomong, the United States flag bearer. Lomong was one of “Lost Boys of Sudan,” and endured years of hardship: trekking through unforgiving African countryside, separation from his birth parents, starvation, dehydration, and staying barely one step ahead of wild predators.
It’s his and thousands of others’ stories that will be symbolized in Redemption. Along with the usual intrigue of White House machinations, a former Lost Boy (Jack Bauer’s alter-ego, Kiefer Sutherland’s famous vampire flick) will kick ass and takes names to ensure that at least one group of children will not be lost.