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Name: 24
Creator: Joel Surnow, Robert Cochran
Date(s): November 2001 – present
Medium: television
Country of Origin: USA
External Links: Official Site, Wikipedia, IMDB, TV.com
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24 is a television show which centers around the character of Jack Bauer, played by Kiefer Sutherland, a counter-terrorism expert who has at various times worked for, and run, the Los Angeles office of the Counter-Terrorism Unit. The show's primary conceit is that events are happening in realtime. (So the first episode of a season might occupy 8-9PM in the characters' lives; the following week would show us 9-10PM; and so on.)


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Popular slash pairings in the fandom include Jack Bauer/Tony Almeida. Popular het pairings include Tony Almeida/Michelle Dessler (canonical).

Six Degrees Influences

24 has featured a variety of fan-favorite actors, both before and after they played the roles that made them well-known among fans. (The accessibility of the show on DVD has made this distinction largely irrelevant.) Season one drew a strong fannish audience in part because it featured Richard Burgi (Jim Ellison from The Sentinel). Other fannishly well-known actors who have appeared on the show include:[1]

  • Kal Penn (Lawrence Kutner on House) played teenaged terrorist Ahmed Amar during 2007 (season 6).
  • Peter Wingfield (Methos in Highlander) played mercenary David Emerson during season 7 (2009).
  • James Morrison (Colonel McQueen in Space: Above and Beyond)), has been a semi-regular since season 4 (2005), playing the role of Bill Buchanan.
  • Michael Shanks (Daniel Jackson in Stargate SG-1) played Mark Bishop in season 6.
  • Roger R. Cross (Joshua in First Wave; Derek Worth in Highlander) played Curtis Manning from seasons 4-6 (2005-2007).
  • Peter MacNicol (Larry Fleinhardt in Numb3rs) played Tom Lennox in season 6 (2007).
  • Zachary Quinto (Sylar in Heroes) played Adam Kaufman during season 3 (2003-2004).
  • Michelle Forbes (Ensign Ro in Star Trek: The Next Generation and Admiral Cain in Battlestar Galactica) played Lynne Kresge during season 2 (2002-2003).
  • Daniel Dae Kim (Jin in Lost, Gavin Park in Angel the Series) played Tom Baker during season 3 (2003-2004).
  • Peter Weller (Chuck Taggart in Odyssey 5) played Christopher Henderson during season 6 (2007).
  • Paul Blackthorne (Harry Dresden in The Dresden Files) played Stephen Saunders during season 3 (2003-2004).
  • Sean Astin (Samwise Gamgee in The Lord of the Rings films; Mr. Smith in Jeremiah) played Lynn McGill in season 5 (2006).
  • Gina Torres (Zoe in Firefly; Anna Espinosa in Alias) played Julia Milliken in season 3 (2003-2004).
  • Alexander Siddig (Dr. Bashir in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine) played Hamri Al-Assad in season 6 (2007).
  • Misha Collins (Castiel in Supernatural) played Alexis Drazen in season 1 (2001-2002).
  • Geraint Wyn-Davis (Nick in Forever Knight) played James Nathanson in season 5 (2006).
  • Mark Sheppard (Romo Lampkin in Battlestar Galactica; Badger in Firefly; Jim Sterling in Leverage) played Ivan Erwich in season 5 (2006).
  • Henry Ian Cusick (Desmond in Lost) played Theo Stoller in season 5 (2006).

The show has also featured a number of actors from the executive producers' previous show La Femme Nikita, including Carlo Rota (as Morris O'Brien, seasons 5-7); Alberta Watson (as Erin Driscoll, seasons 3-4) and Eugene Robert Glazer (as Alexander Trepkos, season 2).


Characters of Color

24 has an intriguingly mixed record when it comes to portraying characters of color. On the one hand, the early seasons focused around David Palmer (Dennis Haysbert)'s ascension to the presidency of the United States, and some have argued that seeing a Black man become president on television played a subtle or subconscious role in helping Barack Obama's presidential campaign seem reasonable and laudable to a broad audience. On the other hand, Arabs have frequently been portrayed as terrorists, which has incensed some viewers.[2] Others might argue, however, that the show is about terrorism and other groups that have been portrayed in a negative light include Slavs, Chinese, British, Russians, and Africans, as well as various American characters. Other Arab/Muslim characters have also been portrayed as heroic. (There should be more material here, with links—fans have written essays about this...)


24 has also come under fire for its glorification of violence and its mirroring of (some would say legitimation of) the darker side of United States anti-terrorism interrogation policies. Season 7 of the show appears to be taking that issue on directly, including the portrayal of the lead character as emotionally broken. He has also been called to account for his past actions.

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  1. "IMDB Guest Cast List". 
  2. "Popular show, negative stereotypes". Retrieved January 21, 2009.