24 season 6 DVD review

The most disappointing season of 24 to date arrives on DVD; but is there enough in the package to lift the show?

Kiefer Sutherland as Jack Bauer in 24

For me, 24 has always been a rollercoaster ride of inspired tension-driven drama, interspersed with highly implausible characters, actions and events. Each season had its highs and lows, but delivered enjoyment overall.

But season 6 lost the plot entirely for me. I’m happy to accept that it didn’t have the patent stupidity of Teri Bauer’s memory loss in season one, or unintentionally hilarity of Kim pursuit by a mountain lion in season 2, but equally it didn’t have much else either. It’s the most disappointing season of 24 so far, and falls well below the sparks brilliance shown in previous years. Anyway, what’s the season 6 box set like?

The DVD disc set is seven discs with four episodes presented on each disc, with discs seven being held for the majority of the extras. That’s three hours of 24 on each dual layer disc, which suggests the bit rate isn’t as high as you might expect for a typical two hour movie release. But the lack of many embedded extras, just two soundtracks and plenty of talking scenes, means that it’s enough space to give acceptable picture quality. This isn’t remotely like watching the show in high definition on a US cable network, but as DVD from TV shows go, it’s not poor.

The extras on each disc are the re-insertion of deleted scenes and alternate takes, of which there aren’t many, and a director’s commentary – which often includes one of the executive producers of the show – Kiefer Sutherland. It’s nice they took the time to do these, but I can’t say I learned anything amazing from listening to them. Often they talk about unrelated ‘what I was doing while I wasn’t in this scene’ type stuff.

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The extras disc has all the deleted and extended scenes, plus six small featurettes covering special effects and the writers’ room, among other production aspects. It could have contained so much more, but Fox choose not to fill the disc, and instead occupies much of it with the first episode of Prison Break’s second season. Fox never miss a promotional opportunity, I’ve noticed.

Not to give any the plot points away, the best part of this entire season is the intentionally funny Ricky Gervais cameo in the White House, not to be missed.

For those that have seasons one through five then you’ve not got much choice but to get this, and hope those nuggets of extra Kiefer keep you going till he gets out of jail, and the writers strike ends, so that season seven can get underway.

2 out of 5


2 out of 5