24 (2001–2010)
9 user 1 critic

12:00 a.m.-1:00 a.m. 

Jack Bauer is called to his office because there's a threat on the life of a US Senator who's running for President; Jack also discovers that his daughter has skipped out her bedroom window.



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Episode cast overview, first billed only:


On the day of the California Presidential Primary, between midnight and 1:00 AM, the spy Victor Rovner sends a message from Kuala Lumpur to USA. Meanwhile, in Los Angeles, the Federal Agent Jack Bauer has returned to his family and is having trouble at home with his teenage daughter Kimberly, who blames her mother Teri for putting Jack out of the house. Teri and Jack decide to have a serious conversation with Kim, and they discover that the girl has run away home. While trying to solve his domestic problem, Jack is called to his Counter Terrorist Unit by his colleague Nina Myers for a meeting with their chief Richard Walsh, who discloses a menace against the life of Senator David Palmer, who is running for president, and they need to find the shooter. Later, Walsh has a private conversation with Jack and tells that there is a conspiracy in the agency against David Palmer, and assigns Jack to find the conspirators. When an airplane explodes over the Mojave Desert, Jack has one ... Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


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Release Date:

6 November 2001 (USA)  »

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?


The main shot of the 747 exploding was removed, the show had its premier delayed a month and this scene cut as well as further storyline changes, due to the attacks on the World Trade Center. Nearly all later references to the plane explosion were also removed. See more »


The show changed production designers after the pilot episode was filmed, resulting in a different appearance for CTU HQ in from the second hour onwards. See more »


Richard Walsh: If Palmer gets hit, the first African American with a real shot at the White House, it'll tear this country apart.
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Edited from Enemy of the State (1998) See more »


Live at E's
by Sublime
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User Reviews

"This is going to be the longest day of my life..."
2 December 2007 | by (Italy) – See all my reviews

"Addictive" is an adjective I've heard many times when talking of certain TV shows. Most recently, dramas like Lost, Heroes and Prison Break have earned that description. However, as compelling as they may be (and they really are) I can wait a few days before I see the next episode of either series, even Prison Break which some have lazily classified as "the new 24". With all due respect, there can be no such thing, and for a good reason: no other silver-screen thriller is based on a real-time structure. That's what sets 24 apart from any other show, and that's why I practically have to watch an entire season (on DVD) in seven days or less: once the frickin' clock starts ticking, it's impossible to tune out.

An episode whose events unfolded over the course of a single day was a trademark of NYPD Blue (and, more recently, Deadwood); having an entire season of a new series last 24 hours, one per ep (the actual running time is 41 minutes; the remaining 19 are occupied by commercials when the show airs on telly), was the most groundbreaking idea in mainstream television since Hill Street Blues introduced non-linear storytelling (a mandatory element nowadays). And it truly paid off.

Ironically enough, the original plan for the series was to make it revolve around a wedding (fortunately, creators Joel Surnow and Robert Cochran realized the format was more suitable for a conspiracy thriller), which is probably the reason the first glimpse we get of the hero suggests a cheerful atmosphere: looking extremely relaxed, Jack Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland) is enjoying a game of chess with his daughter Kimberly (Elisha Cuthbert) and, minutes later, being tender with Teri (Leslie Hope), the wife with whom he has just reconciled. As in The Sopranos, though, something unexpected and shocking is just behind the corner: not only has Kim snuck out of her room, Jack also receives a phone call urging him to get to work immediately. At midnight? I'm afraid so: Bauer is a CTU (Counter Terrorist Unit) agent, and his boss has acquired reliable intel about a possible hit on the life of David Palmer (Dennis Haysbert), an African-American Presidential candidate who will be in Los Angeles for the whole day (oh, right, I almost forgot: events occur on the day of the California Presidential Primary). No time for napping, then: Jack has to spend the next 24 hours working on the case. Unfortunately, he has a tendency to ignore protocol, and that doesn't sit well with George Mason (Xander Berkeley), a slimy man from Division who has been asked to interfere with the operation.

The plot is very dense, making the show hard to recommend for those with a short attention span, but anyone willing to take a look will be rewarded instantly: the writing is sharp and precise, the attention to detail unsurpassed, and the suspense is consistently sky-high, mainly thanks to the real-time trickery which considerably enhances the adrenaline level.

Another great quality of this pilot is the characterization: most genre shows (sci-fi and thriller) tend to simply introduce the key players and then define them later on (a textbook example is CSI, where character development is minimal, but then again that matches the show's unique style), whereas the series debut of 24 offers a rich array of fully rounded people, among whom Jack (Sutherland's best role

  • ever!) and Palmer (the real revelation of the show) stand out for

being perfectly described after one episode only (the former divided between job and family, reckless but humane, the latter honorable and endowed with great integrity). A couple of supporting parts border on stereotype (Mason and Tony Almeida especially), but two factors ought to be taken into account: a) this is the first episode; b) there's so much going on most viewers won't even complain about a "flaw" or two. After all, how many network programs manage to begin with a conspiracy, a missing teenager AND a huge explosion - and still have equally satisfying material for the rest of the season?

Tick, tock, tick, tock...

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