The Fox Network has announced plans to complete a ninth series of hit show 24, despite the fact there are now no bad guys left in the world.
Kiefer Sutherland will reprise the role of super-agent Jack Bauer in the real time drama, but the tone will be different from the previous eight instalments.
The new season of 24 is expected to expose the everyday habits of Jack Bauer in painfully banal real time
At the end of series eight, Bauer’s Counter Terrorism Unit (CTU) achieved its aim of eliminating all the suspicious-looking foreign types in the entire world, meaning the new series is set to concentrate more on the character’s life away from his work.
The US broadcaster had released a sneak-peak of the new show, which has been seen by The Rumour Mule. Episode one begins at midnight on a quiet Tuesday, sticking with the real-time set-up of the show’s predecessors. Bauer is seen dressed in a bath robe, making a cup of hot chocolate before bedtime.
A first hint at the drama to follow comes when the show’s hero accidentally spills some of his hot drink on the kitchen counter, before fetching a cloth and spending the next 42 seconds wiping away the brown mess with a calm and controlled hand.
With the writers ever aware of the publicity brought by a compelling sex scene, Sutherland’s character then finishes his drink and heads off for some much needed sleep – but not before masturbating furiously into a sock which was lying tantalisingly close to the bed, all done through a stylish 3 minute montage set to a Barry White soundtrack.
Although the shock and awe tactics of the first ten minutes may be too much for more delicate viewers, there is a chance to recover as Bauer spends the next seven and a half episodes peacefully sleeping in his darkened bedroom.
“We understand that our fans may be expecting a little more in the way of action, explosions and fighting, but with this series we really get to know Jack intimately, in a way we couldn’t have done before, when all those nasty rag-heads needed killing,” said the show’s co-writer Robert Cochran.
“Kiefer has been really involved in the character development this time round and has brought a lot of touches from his own life into the role, not least in episode 8 where Bauer has to go out and fetch some milk before he can eat his breakfast cereal”, he added.
Fans of the show will be stunned to see how Bauer's personal hygiene regime falls apart when there is no crisis happening
Joel Surnow, the show’s other creator, told us the shooting of the new series has created a totally different atmosphere amongst the crew.
“This is definitely the dark, gritty side to Jack and it has made for a much more sombre atmosphere with the guys. At one point in episode 13 Bauer gets reasonably angry with his postman, as he delivers the mail a bit later than usual. We’re really making the audience question whether Jack is the person they thought he was. Some may not even like him anymore”, he told us.
“It’s about creating something real. It’s frankly ridiculous that someone could keep having the crazy adventures which last exactly 24 hours. What we have now is much more real – something the audience can relate to. I mean, Jack might be a crime-fighting hero, but he has to remember to take his washing out the machine just like everybody else. Otherwise his clothes would smell a bit off, which is exactly what would happen to any of us”, Surnow revealed.
It remains to be seen if the new Jack Bauer is as compelling for fans of the franchise, but Fox execs have high hopes the new series will appeal to a much broader target market, which is basically anyone who does normal stuff like sleeping and occasionally taking a shower.
24 Season 9 is expected to hit US screens this December and will be available via illegal download 15 minutes before filming wraps on the second last episode.