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24: Series 1 - £25.97

Such a simple idea--yet so fiendishly complex in the execution. 24, as surely everyone knows by now, is a thriller that takes place over 24 hours, midnight to midnight, in 24 one-hour episodes (well, 45-minute episodes if you extract the ad breaks). Everything to take place in real time--on-screen and off-screen time the same--which means no flash-backs, no flash-forwards, no nice handy time-dissolves. Every strand of the plot has to be dovetailed and interlocked to make sure that things happen just when they should, in the right amount of time. Not that easy.

Creator Robert Cochran and his team of writers and directors have done a pretty impressive job in putting the jigsaw together and keeping the tension ratcheted up high, as Federal Agent Jack Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland) hares around LA trying to stall an assassination attempt on a black Presidential candidate and rescue his wife and daughter from the clutches of the Balkan baddies. Twists, turns, revelations and cliffhangers are tossed at us with satisfying regularity. It's not perfect: we get some hokey plot devices (instant amnesia, anybody?) and the final twist, once you start thinking back, makes no sense whatsoever. There are altogether too many huggy family moments ("I love you, Dad." "I love you, son"); and as for überbaddie Dennis Hopper's "Serbian" accent…

Even so, this is undeniably mould-breaking TV. Sutherland, rescuing his career from the doldrums in one heroic leap, fully deserves his Golden Globe. Sets and locations are artfully deployed--we gain a real sense of LA's splayed-out geography--and Sean Callery's score is a powerful, brooding presence. Like Murder One and The Sopranos, 24 is one of those series future TV thrillers will have to measure themselves against.

On the DVDs: 24 is released in a six-disc box set. On discs 1- 5 there are no extras, but disc 6 includes the "alternative" ending and a preview of Series 2, presented by an urbane Kiefer Sutherland, that tells us precisely nothing. The transfer, in 16x9 widescreen and 2.0 Dolby Digital sound, does the high production values of the original every justice.--Philip Kemp

Customer reviews (av rating: 4.5):

Rating: 5:
Brilliant : I watched bits and pieces of this when it first aired on Sky but never got into it. However, on the advice a friend I went back to watch it again. Am I glad I did. If you like action adventure/thriller genre, this pushes all buttons. 24, one hour long episodes that will keep you on the edge of your seat and hungry for the next episode. Brilliantly produced and extremely well acted. Keifer Sutherland is the lead, playing Jack Bauer, a counter terrorist agent whose family is kidnapped in revenge for his earlier activities. He will get them back if he kills a leading black American senator...the stories revolve around his attempts to retrieve his family.
Can give this series enough praise. If you haven't started to watch yet, what are you waiting for??

Rating: 1:
24 season 1 : 24 season one is slow and boring... try prison break season one, it keeps yo awake.

Rating: 4:
Sleep ? Who needs it... : "24" is an entertaining and reasonably stylish piece of television that,in the main, is well acted. It certainly explained why I hadn't seen Kiefer Sutherland in any movies for a while; too busy playing Counter Terrorist Agent Jack Bauer in "24". This first series sees a well organised group of Serbian gangsters attempt to kill a leading black senator in Los Angeles, dragging Jack Bauer and his family into the fray in the process. While I thought that "24" was exciting and suspenseful, I found the plot itself to be highly unrealistic and Bauer and his family have to extricate themselves from some very awkward situations in very unlikely ways. So a suspension of belief is required throughout "24" , especially in relation to the fact that none of the characters sleeps a wink in the whole 24 hours despite extreme physical exertion and mental turmoil. I also think that "24" might have worked better as "12", because the second part of the series involved much duplication of what went on in the first part. A 12 hour show would have been much more taut and intense. I dont know if I'll watch any more series of "24" or not; although this first one was addictive at times and always unpredictable, I found it all to be a little too far fetched and credulity stretching.

Rating: 5:
the best opening drama series of all time! : like many reviewers here i didnt catch this series first time around,in fact season six is about to be aired and i have just finished season one and i can safely say with hand on heart that this is the finest first season of a television drama series i have ever seen and that includes series one of the sopranos which also reigns in its brilliance.
24 needs little explaining with regards to its individuality,everything happens in the space of 24 hours,what you view happens in real time,there are no flashbacks,no slow motion,no easy ways to find a twist plot,they just leap out at you,and buy do they leap like a salmon on a rainy day,the plot twists are littered everywhere and will shock you,in fact i found myself shouting at the tv,i aint done that since i was a little cub,thats how good they are.
The show stars Kiefer Sutherland as Jack Bauer who is part of the L.A C.T.U which is the central terrorist unit,when a tip off informs that a hit is expected on senator palmer within 24 hours then its his job along with his colleagues to try and stop this happening,but it isnt easy,there are few straight lines in this entire series,the show has a clock that appears from time to time keeping us up to speed and at the end of each episode the clock ticks down to the start of a new hour and its hard to switch this show off,it really is,cliffhangers are plentiful here,the show also uses multiple screen shots to show us what each story or major character is up too at the exact same time and then we are directed into one as a main screen if that makes sense.Drama is a genre that the Americans have to down to the nail,they own it really and this is another example why,i havent given anything away here in this review and i wont but needless to say if you can get your wee hands on this then you have made a wise choice reader.

Rating: 5:
24 : I never thought I would enjoy 24, mainly because it is so different from everything else i watch (The OC etc.). This was not the case. It is incredible, but i have a feeling that it may not be for everyone, as some people find it unrealistic or they feel that is makes people really paranoied about terrorism. This is not true, unless you actually 100% belive in all television shows, and personally, I dont really enjoy watching things that are realistic when I just want to escape. Also, the lacking of Adam Brody is more than made up for by Kiefer Sutherland (i know hes 25 years older than me, but still!). Basically, I would recommend it to anyone who likes intense, addictive TV.

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