Robert Carlyle Talks 24 Movie Prequel

It sucks to be Jack Bauer’s friend. Hell, it sucks to live in the same city as Jack Bauer! For Scottish actor Robert Carlyle (pictured, left), it sucks to be Jack Bauer’s “best buddy” who turns out to be another one of his (in a long line of never-ending) nemesis. Carlyle recently spoke with Premiere magazine about the 24 TV movie prequel, set to air later this year and take place in Africa, and lead into the seventh season of FOX’s very clearly aging show 24.

Says Carlyle about his character:

My character’s called Carl Benton who is Jack Bauer’s best buddy and he hasn’t seen him for 10 years or something. Jack’s on his travels and he comes to see Carl and hang out with him and potentially change his life. Maybe…

And also according to Carlyle, Season 7 of 24 will actually only be 22 hours, with the first two hours taking place in the TV movie set in Africa.

Huh? How does that work? Will we have to sit on a plane with Jack Bauer for a couple of episodes as he flies back to Washington D.C., where Season 7 takes place? How fast does it take to fly from Africa to D.C., exactly?

I’m sure Carlyle was mistaken about the show’s timeline. From what I read, the 24 Movie does take place in real-time, but it doesn’t connect to the Season 7 in the sense that the first episode of Season 7 picks up the second where the movie leaves off. But I could be wrong.

Update: 6/26/08

TVGuide says I was right.

I caught wind of that Q&A via and Carlyle’s take didn’t seem kosher, so I checked with Fox and confirmed that Day 7 indeed will be the usual 24 episodes/hours, wholly supplementary to the TV-movie.

Carlyle also suggested that the final moments of the prequel will feed right into the opening scenes of Season 7, yet again, that is not exactly the case. The prequel itself picks up four years after the events of Day 6 — effectively planting Jack Bauer in the year 2017, if you have been keeping tabs — and then another few on-screen months will pass between the movie’s sure-to-be-thrilling climax and Jack’s appearance before Congress.

Told ya so.

24 Season 7