Accepting that by the time people get to season seven they tend to know the formula of 24 inside out, the creative minds behind the show respond here by emptying out every cupboard to throw everything they can at you. The core of the show remains the adventures of Kiefer Sutherland as Jack Bauer, as he battles to save the world from yet another terrorist threat. With the action taking place in real time, we get 24 episodes set across a single day, and it’s one filled with twists, turns, action and surprise. That much we’re expecting.
Surprise number one in 24 - Season 7 though arrives within 20 minutes of the season starting, as the character of Tony Almeida seemingly returns from the dead. So what’s happened? Has Tony turned? What kind of threat is brewing? Ah, it’s these and many questions that are resolved at the show’s usual breakneck pace.
24 - Season 7 also wisely gets on board a roster of enviable acting talent. Cherry Jones ably takes on the role of President Allison Taylor, while Jon Voight makes a suitably sneery Secretary Of Defense. Add in the likes of Kurtwood Smith, Bob Gunton, Janeane Garofalo and Tony Todd, and it’s an impressive roster who put a straight face on the occasionally silly narrative.
Season 7 does find 24 inevitably lacking some of that original spark, and a few more ideas wouldn’t hurt it. But it’s still a confident season of arguably the best thriller currently on television. And, bluntly, there’s nobody who does all this quite like Jack Bauer, even if the man’s best days may be behind him…