By: Kevin Kelly, Special TCA Correspondent
Recipe for disaster: take one room full of ravenous journalists, cram them into an area that is entirely too small, populate entire area with waist-high tables, serve scones and hot coffee, then unleash the stars of the next season of 24 on the crowd. Stir well, and serve at room temperature.
Fox decided not to have a panel for 24 at the TCAs, and instead present us with the opportunity to take a coffee break and hobnob with Kiefer Sutherland, Jon Voight, Robert Carlyle, and Gil Bellows. It quickly turned into the feeding frenzy of dozens of microphones shoved into the faces of Jon Voight asking about Angelina Jolie’s new twins, and mobbing Kiefer Sutherland wanting intricate details on the plot of the next season of everyone’s favorite real-time show.
Because I value my life, and didn’t want to crowd-surf over the sea of Kiefer-crophones, I spent time gleaning what I could from the snippets of conversation I’d hear drifting across the room. Jon Voight was extremely nice and patient about the Brangelina questions, and explained that the character he’s playing in 24: EXILE is the “head of a Blackwater-like conspiracy” which sounds very 24-appropriate. In the short trailer they showed, he looks like a perfect choice for that sort of role.
Robert Carlyle is also new to the cast, and plays Carl Benton, who knows Jack Bauer from way back in the day. Apparently they “trained together 10 years ago.” I asked Robert if he’d be back for the full Day 7 season, and not just the prequel event movie, but he said he “literally wasn’t allowed to talk about that.” Highly suspicious.
Kiefer himself didn’t give up any secrets, he just mainly waxed poetic about the strike-induced shutdown, and how that has allowed them to focus more on the story and gave them a chance to introduce new characters like Jon and Robert. Also, he’s short. Not exactly new or groundbreaking, but you heard it here!