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The Promise of Peace (And Some Explosions): "24" Panel at Comic-Con 2009

The big news coming out of the 24 panel at Comic-Con 2009: CTU is back in a major way, Jack is happy, and Katee Sackhoff slides into the action-adventure series like a glove. Just don't expect her character, Dana Walsh, to be anything like Starbuck.

Three of the series' newest cast members--Sackhoff, Freddie Prinze Jr., and Anil Kapoor--were on hand along with what seemed like a zillion writer/producer types on the series and Kiefer Sutherland and Mary Lynn Rajskub, of course.

Last season was about "getting Jack to a place where living mattered," said executive producer Howard Gordon. "Day Seven and Day Eight are probably, more than others, really connected together."

So where do we start on Day Eight?

Manny Coto joked that Day Eight takes place "30 years later." But really it starts with "Jack happy" with his daughter and granddaughter. But don't expect Jack to get all mushy. "It won't last," promised executive producer David Fury.

"There's a sense of reality that almost brings us back full circle to Season One," said Kiefer Sutherland, who later said that next season isn't all sunshine and roses. "We do still blow sh*t up."

Howard Gordon jokes that this season is about "more redemption." Rajskub jokes it's party and make lemonade.

So what brings Jack Bauer back into the fold?

The threat this year on 24 is set at a peace conference at the UN with the President of the United States and the President of Iran.

While an assassination attempt is more than likely, the possibility of peace hangs over Day Eight of 24, said Howard Gordon. But no worries about 24 taking a turn for the upbeat, as "it takes a lot to keep the peace."

For Prinze Jr., who plays CTU agent Cole Ortiz, the chance to join the cast of 24 was a dream come true as he's been a fan of the series since the very beginning. Recounting that he and his wife (that would be Sarah Michelle Gellar, natch) watched it together, Prinze was stunned by the eruption of applause at the mere mention of the former Buffy star. "I forgot she's big here," said Prinze downplaying the audience's excitement.

Sackhoff said that she called her manager and said, "get me on 24!" She's playing CTU analyst Dana Walsh (Sackhoff joked when asked about who she was playing: "I play Starbuck!") More serious, Sackhoff said that Dana is the "sweeter side" of herself "for a while" anyway, though she did admit to telling producers that she needed them to give Dana a gun.

Pressed for details, Sackhoff refused to say more as she joked that, with the high body count on 24, there's precious little job security on the series. "Seriously, I might be fired," she said. On 24, you have no job security. I might get my head cut off and put in a duffel bag for evidence!"

Sackhoff's Dana will be causing trouble for Rajskub's Chloe, as seen in the clip that the producers previewed for the crowd for Day Eight. Rajskub said that Day Eight finds Chloe a little bit behind, "if you can believe that for me being a genius," said Rajskub, who said that Chloe will have to "relearn stuff at CTU."

And then there's CTU itself.

The luscious clip that producers offered the assembled crowd not only showed Jack eliciting some crucial information out of a wounded man named Victor (The Shield's Benito Martinez) in his own inimitable way, Sackhoff's Dana and her fiance Cole (Prinze) discussing wedding plans, and Chloe getting fussy with her keyboard, but also gave us a glimpse at the new CTU: an ultra-modern, sleek structure made out of glass and steel that seems more like a downtown Manhattan luxury hotel than the dark CTU of older days.

Don't hold your breath waiting for Donald Sutherland to appear on the series, despite an aborted attempt--due to scheduling conflicts--to have Sutherland appear on the series during Day Six. "The man's been in over a hundred some odd movies, you can see him anytime you want," joked Sutherland.

And what about those persistent rumors about a 24 feature film?

"We are aware that there is some interest out there and we would love to make it," said Sutherland. However, there are still no firm plans to do anything of the sort.

Day Eight of 24 kicks off in January on FOX.


susie que said…
The addition of Sackhoff to the cast is almost enough to make me watch 24...almost.

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