"24" The Complete First Season
Studio: Twentieth Century Fox
Film Length: 960 minutes
Aspect Ratio: Anamorphic Widescreen (1.78:1)
"Don't trust anybody - not even
your own people"
My purpose in this review is to sell all of
you into making an investment. This investment
doesn't benefit me in any way. I'm just a reviewer
who doesn't get compensated for his reviews. You,
however, are members of a forum who I care about
being honest with. If there is something I have
seen that I feel is worth purchasing with your
hard-earned money, I am going to do everything in
my power to make sure you make a sound investment.
Before I start my sell, I need to tell you what
led me to finally reviewing 24. After all,
it is a known fact amongst my readers that besides
The Sopranos, I haven't watched any prime
time television in the past 10 years. All my time
is dedicated to watching film.
I wasn't even going to review this DVD set. As
much as I love the folks at Fox Home Video, they
have a habit of sending screeners of their television
product in generic black cases instead of the final
package that all the other studios send me. Sometimes
I only get one disc of an entire TV season set. While
I truly understand this to be a cost-effective method
for a studio that supplies a lot of screener product
to the press, I can't be enticed to review a TV
series that comes in a plain wrapper.
It wasn't until I told the membership that I had
screeners sent to me for the first season of 24
that the pressure began. An existing thread on this
forum will explain the pressure I was put under to
at least give this series a look. It is ultimately
those members that I need to thank.
I had lost faith in prime-time network television
years ago. It had seemed as if everything the
networks were putting out all became copies of
everything that had been done before. There wasn't
much originality to be seen and I quickly became
tired of what I was seeing.
This is almost a warning to those of you who
have never seen 24 before. The moment
you place the first DVD in your player, you should
be prepared for what comes next.....for me, it was
an instant addiction. Never before had I seen a
show so original and fresh with heart-pounding
action that has yet to decrease in intensity over
the 6 episodes I managed to watch today.
Mind you, I never intended to watch 6 episodes.
The intention was to watch 3 for the sake of pleasing
the membership. The problem is, 24 becomes
so much like an addictive drug that leaves you
hanging breathlessly after each of its hits, that
you can't help but coming back for more.
So, what exactly is this show all about?
24 simply stands for the number of hours
the entire first season takes place in. With the
series beginning at midnight on the day of the
California Primary, the show is told in real time,
with each episode representing one hour of that
day. It is within these 24 hours an assassination
attempt will be made on an African-American
Presidential nominee named David Palmer (Dennis
Haysbert). It's up to Jack Bauer (Kiefer
Sutherland), who heads up the government's
Counter-Terrorist Unit to stop the assassination
attempt. Jack, however, has more problems than
he ever bargained for making these 24 hours
a day that he (nor any of the characters) will
As of the first six episodes, I can tell you as
much of the story as I can without spoiling it all.
There are so many different stories happening here
all at once and somehow they are all destined to collide
into one huge finale.
As the show begins, we meet Jack Bauer (Sutherland)
and his wife Terri (Leslie Hope) who have just come
back together after a lengthy separation. Their
daughter Kim (Elisha Kuthbert) seems to be a little
restless about her home situation, and suddenly
disappears into the night.
Meanwhile, Jack is suddenly called into the Los
Angeles Counter-Terrorist Unit to join his partner
Nina (Sarah Clark) on an emergency briefing that
reveals an assassination attempt has been uncovered.
Seems that a German is arriving on an international
flight to assassinate Presidential hopeful David
Palmer (Haysbert). Soon afterwards, that plane
explodes over the Mojave Desert and all are presumed
dead -- or are they?
While this is happening, Jack and Terri's daughter,
Kim, joins up with her best friend who have been
invited to party with a bunch of guys they are
meeting for the first time. The guys end up
kidnapping the girls in hopes that it will draw
Jack into the mainframe of their ultimate plan.
Actually, I have just merely skimmed the surface
of what this show is all about. There is so much
that happens within each show's 1 hour real-time
segment that it takes multiple split screens to
accurately follow the different story lines that
are happening at the same time. All of this leads
to episode after episode full of fast-paced action
that never dulls for a single second of its hour.
How is the transfer?
All episodes of "24" Season One DVD are
compiled on six dual-layered discs and presented
The quality of the transfers are extremely nice.
The first 6 episodes represent the first 6 hours
of the day. It's before dawn, and most of the
scenes are all shrouded in darkness or dimly lit.
Through all of this, picture remains well detailed.
In fact, being that these shows were shot on film,
the transfer has a nice warmness to it with deep
colors of blue, green and black. Noise levels
are kept at a minimal, often seen in walls and
mirrors. There even seems to be a certain amount
of intentional grain added in a few scenes to give
a more gritty feel to the action. Otherwise, this
is a very pleasing transfer.
The Dolby surround mix is above average. Dialogue
stays mostly in the center channel (with slight bleed
to the fronts) while the front channels provide
clean, deep, robust sound. The show's instrumental
soundtrack gets some nice support by the rears. It's
lowest chords sent some chilling bass through the
LFE channel adding deep response the show's suspense.
What I did find odd is that the rears really do
nothing for the film's effects. Most all the action
remains in the front two channels.
You must understand that I don't have the final
packaging in front me, although I do have all 6
discs that make up the entire season one set.
Each of the discs holds 4 episodes. Each of these
episodes represents one hour of time within the
entire span of a day. There are no chapter stops
here. You cannot jump from scene to scene. Once
an episode finishes, it returns to the menu where
it automatically highlights the next episode.
The Special Features can be found on
Disc 6. What is sort of odd is that a
personal introduction to the series by Kiefer
Sutherland is buried in the supplemental area.
This should have been placed on the first disc,
especially since it is the actor's intent to
introduce you to the series. The introduction
lasts a mere 1.3 minutes, and basically talks
about how real time plays such an effective role
in the series.
There is an alternative ending also
presented in this area that you can play with
or without commentary by Executive Producer Joel
Surnow. I apologize for not even looking at this
extra feature -- I will save it for when I completely
finish watching the entire season.
Subtitles: English & Spanish
Damn those folks at Fox! They first ruined my
life with the DVD release of THE X-FILES that
I had never previously watched, but became addicted
on with the first season set. From that point on,
it has cost me plenty of time and money to keep
the addiction going.
Fox has done it again. They sent me a series that
I was totally unfamiliar with. One single episode
led to 6 episodes. Those 6 episodes alone have given
me enough faith to give the entire membership a
hard sell on a series that is nominated for 10
Emmy Awards, and a winner of a Golden Globe for
Kiefer Sutherland (Best Performance by an actor in
a Television Drama) and two Television Critics
Association Awards (Outstanding New Program of the
Year and Program of the Year).
But you know what? The best critique often comes
from the most unlikely sources, and for once, I
urge all of you to trust this source and purchase
the most remarkable television series I ever thought
a broadcast network was ever capable of producing.
Trust me -- I'm buying a set as well since these
generic black cases will not be the way I choose
to preserve this set in my collection. I wish I
had final packaging to show to you all, and perhaps
Fox will rethink their strategies of supplying
review product in the future.
Now, if you'll excuse me, there are still 18
more hours of this show's day that I need to
catch up on.
Release Date: September 17, 2002