DVD Review: 24: season one special edition

Fox Home Entertainment

Seven-disc set with 24 episodes
SRP $59.98

Stars: Kiefer Sutherland, Dennis Haysbert, Sarah Clarke, Leslie Hope, Elisha Cuthbert

When 24 first debuted, it captured the attention of most of the country. Now, after several seasons, the novelty has worn off and, while the show still has a strong following, it is just one of many action dramas on television.

So here we have that first season, the one that everyone simply HAD to watch. I think it is safe to say that pretty much anyone that is thinking about buying this set already knows what it is about. The real reason that one might buy it is the bonus features, so let us take a look.
Truthfully, the extras on this “special edition” are in lines with the extras from most of the DVD sets for the other seasons. So really, this is not so much a special edition as “the edition that should have been done in the first place.”

There are two commentary tracks, one for the pilot and one for the season finale.. The former features director Stephen Hopkins and director of photography Peter Levy. This track gives us an idea of how the show was thought up and how hard it was to shoot such a complex show (and concept). They discuss some changes that occurred between the filming and eventual broadcast.
The latter track has Hopkins and actress Leslie Hope (Teri Bauer, wife of Jack). One interesting note is that this was the first time that Hope had actually watched the episode! This track is a little less technical and the two seems to have a little more chemistry then Hopkins and Levy.

There are twenty-five deleted/extended scenes here that end up running a little over twenty-six minutes in length. While nothing really rocked me, some of the changes are interesting enough to watch. We also get the alternate ending, which, if my memory is not letting me down, was on the original release. This is about two and a half minutes long and has an optional commentary by show producer Joel Surnow, explaining why they used the ending they did.
The Genesis of 24: clocking in at almost twenty-five minutes, Genesis looks the creation of the show and has the cast and crew talking about the concept behind it. Finally, we get a couple of shorts of The Rookie. These feature “the rookie” of CTU as he foils a couple of crimes while running errands for the higher-ups.

Fans of 24 will almost certainly enjoy this set. If you are a fan of extras, you will have fun. If you are a casual fan and already own the original release, I don’t know if you need to spring for this double dip. First time buys will have fun with both the packaging (a metal case with a working digital time!) and the contents.

Continuity issues interfere hinder my level of enjoyment, but the freshness of the series still makes it a fun watch.

Order 24 from Amazon.

Jeremy Lynch
For more reviews from myself, and the rest of the Crimespree crew, check out the index of reviews.