With its debut in 2001 less than two months after the horrific attacks of September 11, Fox’s 24 captured the spirit, fears, dark underbelly and contradictions of the beginning of the Era of Terror we are living in still. In a time of travel bans and uncertainty, induced tensions over Muslims abroad and at home in some quarters and spiked words with Iran, the premiere of the spinoff 24: Legacy on February 5 may be the beneficiary of the same timelines — both with its narrative and a prized launch immediately after Super Bowl LI.
Now, just so there is zero misunderstanding, there is no Kiefer Sutherland as Jack Bauer in this version of 24. But honestly, as much of a fan as I am of the original series, the Emmy-winning actor and now Designated Survivor star more than put in his time in the real-time series, and a new generation is ready to take over in this largely good effort which was teased at Comic-Cons on both coasts last year.
To put it another way, as I do in my video review above, if you thought 2014’s 24: Live Another Day limited series was the last breath of the Joel Surnow- and Robert Cochran-created series — stand down. From longtime 24 producers Manny Coto and Evan Katz, Legacy is on point in great part because the format is so sturdy and because of leading man and Straight Outta Compton alum Corey Hawkins, plus Homeland vet Miranda Otto and Scandal actor Dan Bucatinsky. As ex-Army Ranger Eric Carter, Hawkins carries a lot of Legacy on his muscular shoulders, and you often barely notice the weight in a role seemingly tailored for his considerable talents.
Click on the video above for more of my take on 24: Legacy. In the meantime, with the knowledge that the pilot will likely be one of the most watched 24s ever no matter how late the Super Bowl goes, this is a show not afraid of the legacy on which it is building. In this time of reboots, reimaginings and adaptations, that’s already courage worth watching.
This review previously ran on February 2