The trailer for Fox’s Jack Bauer-less spin-off 24: Legacy has arrived – along with an announcement that the show is getting the plum post-Super Bowl spot on Sunday, Feb. 5.
Corey Hawkins (The Walking Dead) stars as Eric Carter, the U.S. Army Ranger who becomes TV’s next crusading hero when terrorists expose his team and seek vengeance for the death of their leader six months earlier. Here’s the trailer with plenty of Carter in action:
There’s all sorts of cool things in here, including Carter and his wife Nicole (Anna Diop, The Messengers) fighting off home invaders, a building blowing up, a squad of helicopters and a couple of fistfights. Based on these two and a half minutes, Legacy looks like everything that you’d expect from an action show.
But it doesn’t really feel like 24.
If Fox had called this show anything else it would be at least intriguing – especially because TV is in dire need of a pure action drama since the end of Strike Back and the cancellation of Agent X. But by calling it 24: Legacy, that raises the bar. You can’t just serve up fight sequences and grim looks from Carter’s boss (Miranda Otto, not too far removed from her work on Homeland) and say it’s 24, because that’s not all that 24 was.
What the trailer for Legacy doesn’t show is the character and emotion that drives the story. 24 was full of action, but ultimately it was the arc of Jack Bauer and all the crap he went through just to save our bacon, and we really cared about him. Eric Carter, right now, is just another guy with a gun talking about how he’s “the only one I can trust.”
He’s saying and doing all the expected things but he’s not taking it to that next level.
By contrast, check out the trailer for season one of 24:
It’s been almost 15 years since then and this trailer still holds up. Even in one minute (which is less than half the length of the Legacy spot), we could tell that Sutherland was taking things up to 11 and Jack was going to be a character to watch. We were intrigued by Nina (Sarah Clarke), even though we didn’t know the half of what was going on with her character. There was so much that stood out other than just the action, and there was an intensity that was already present.
This current trailer doesn’t have that. It might be ticking off all the boxes, but it doesn’t have those intangibles that made 24 a real thriller ride. And because it has those two numbers in front of its title that’s what has to be there. It needs another hero who’s almost larger than life, and a pace that keeps us on the edge of our seat. And we don’t get any sense of how the show is going to handle the real-time aspect.
Legacy might wind up being a good show – and we’ll reserve final judgment until we actually get to see the series premiere in just under nine months – but right now it doesn’t seem as if it’s upholding the legacy of 24.
The good news is that the producing team from 24 is on board with Legacy, and that includes Kiefer Sutherland, so at least this spin-off is being overseen by the right group of people. They should understand how much the fans will expect from the series come February and what it needs to be successful. Yet based on this small sample, Eric Carter has a long way to go to get out of Jack Bauer’s shadow.