One episode was provided prior to broadcast.
24: Live Another Day marked the long overdue return of Jack Bauer, but just like season 8, it failed to give the now iconic character a satisfying conclusion to his story. If you’re expecting 24: Legacy to deliver on that front, then you’ll no doubt be disappointed. That’s because this premiere marks a fresh start for the franchise as the focus is shifted to Eric Carter (Corey Hawkins), an ex-Army Ranger with a past that’s about to come back and haunt him in a big way. Sound familiar? Well, that’s because it’s essentially the premise of the first season of 24, and that’s just the first of many mistakes made by a reboot which often feels more like a retread than a series with anything new to say.
Carter is called back into action after learning that he and his former comrades are being targeted by a terrorist cell, and when it’s just him and an old friend with some serious trust issues left, he’s forced to team up with the former head of CTU to try and save the day. The longer 24 went on, the harder it was to believe that Bauer was constantly getting caught up in these situations, and from the very start, it’s not that easy to buy into what’s happening here, as Carter’s role in these events don’t really make a whole lot of sense. For one, there are countless other people who could deal with this despite the typical claims of some sort of higher-up in the government being responsible for supplying the villains with the intel they needed.
While the pilot makes for a compelling enough 45 minutes or so of television, it also feels like we’ve seen it all before. Carter is a solid lead (despite not being a patch on Jack) thanks to a strong performance from Hawkins, and while we’re given a fairly long list of reasons as to why he’s so ready to leap back into action, none of them are particularly original. We’re also treated to a whole host of 24 cliches; there’s the new CTU boss who may or may not be up to no good, the Middle Eastern terrorists who want to launch a series of attacks on the US, a Presidential candidate with family issues, and a couple of nerdy analysts who can’t seem to get along (one of whom is related to an old fan-favourite in a cringe-worthy and totally unnecessary reveal).
Something which does work, however, is Carter’s backstory. With a brother who just so happens to be a drug dealing crime lord, a new wrinkle is added to the story which could help keep thing fresh depending on how it comes into play as the season unfolds. 24: Legacy also looks set to delve into PTSD and the impact it has on ex-combatants, which could also help differentiate it from previous seasons. Will it be enough, though? So far, it doesn’t feel that way, and beyond Carter, none of the characters are standing out as being particularly interesting at the moment.
24: Legacy‘s first two hours will air on consecutive nights, and that may help the show quite a bit, as the pilot itself doesn’t really offer a lot of reasons as to why viewers should stick around. Things end on something of a cliffhanger, but it’s here that a 24 cliche probably would have done some good, as the lack of any sort of big twist or reveal means this hour wraps up with a whimper rather than a bang. It also doesn’t help that a pretty ludicrous action set piece takes place in the final few minutes which will likely have you scratching your head rather than sitting on the edge of your seat the same way that many of the show’s past gunfights would have.
24: Legacy is by no means bad television, but it’s also not the return to form that fans of the franchise have no doubt been hoping for. 24 peaked with season 5 and started going downhill from there, and while Live Another Day pointed to a brighter future with these shorter seasons, this new take so far has all the makings of an underwhelming addition to the series. Yes, there’s still time for it to turn things around and there’s no denying that this pilot is a decent enough start, but by bringing little in the way of new or original material to the table, Fox may struggle to keep viewers around for the long haul, especially seasoned fans who are used to so much better.
More of a retread than reboot, 24: Legacy features a strong performance from Corey Hawkins but doesn't offer up enough to warrant a return to the series for longtime fans or even an investment from new ones.