24: Robert Carlyle and a two hour special

The two hour TV movie of 24 is confirmed for November, and it seems that Mr Robert Carlyle may be by Jack Bauer's side...

Jack Bauer in 24

Forced off our screens by the writers’ strike at the end of last year and beginning of this, 24 will have had nearly two years to lick its wounds after the shambles of season six by the time it returns to our screens proper in January. Yet in advance of the full seventh series of the show, and sitting between the events of series six and seven, it’s now definite that a two-hour television movie will be shown in November.

Shooting any day now on location in South Africa, and with a US broadcast date of 23rd November, one addition to the cast for the movie has certainly made our ears prick up. Robert Carlyle is reported to be on board the project, and while there’s little sign that he’s going to carry over the role in series seven proper (not least because the first eight episodes of that have long been in the can), he’s still a very welcome addition to the line-up.

Carlyle is set to play the mentor of Jack Bauer in South Africa, and our guess is that by the time the end credits roll, it’ll have twisted several times as to whether he’s on Jack’s side or not. We also know that a new President is being introduced in the movie, to replace Wayne Palmer. We know that the President for series seven is female (and not called Hillary), so either it’s her that will be brought in, else the land of 24 will be going through yet another ‘leader of the free world’ in a matter of hours.

On top of all of this, producer/star Kiefer Sutherland has welcomed the extra time that 24 has had to pull things together, telling TV Guide in the States that the added time “allowed us to do something that has never been done before — create a map of the entire season before we started shooting”. Er, weren’t you supposed to do that before a single bit of film was in the can, or am I missing something here?

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Still, 24 at its peak has few, if any, equals, and we look forward to its return, with the hope that it still has a few tricks in its locker. By the end of November, we’ll certainly have some idea whether that’s the case.