I’m a big fan of Kiefer Sutherland’s Jack Bauer character on the television show 24. I like the way Bauer is driven to get the job done no matter what, no matter who gets hurt. It sets him up as great flawed hero among his family and peers, but all of us who love the character know the price he’s paying to stop the bad guys.
I also have to admit that I can’t stand waiting from week to week for episodes of the new season. I have to make a deal with myself. I don’t watch the first-run showing of the seasons. After they’re finished, I wait until the DVD sets come out and buy those. I watch those straight through, more or less. It’s easier on me than having to wait every week. I know there are some people who enjoy getting together to watch the episodes and then rehashing the twists and turns of the plot as well as making predictions about what’s going to happen. I tried that it first, and it drove me crazy.
When I first found out Harper Collins paperbacks was going to be releasing new books set in the series, I was excited and dismayed at the same time. I was glad to get the extra Bauer adventures, but I didn’t know how the books were going to pull off the immediacy of the television episodes.
Nor did I want anyone to try to sandwich books between the ongoing series seasons. Bauer’s life changes from season to season and I prefer that that be shown within the television world.
Fortunately, with the tight driving plot lines of the series, publishers weren’t willing to risk trying to elaborate on stories set between the seasons. They elected to go back to earlier in Jack’s career and call the series 24 Declassified. This way we get to see the first season CTU (Counter Terrorist Unit) team in action all over again. From time to time, though, a few mishaps with canon will occur, or the characterization will not quite seem right.