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’24’ Backlot Talk

Feb 20, 2007  •  Post A Comment

Chuck Ross: Hi again everybody, it’s Chuck Ross, editorial director here at TelevisionWeek, and we’re here on the phone to talk about Day 6 and hour 3 to 4 with showrunner Howard Gordon. How ya doing Howard?
Howard Gordon: Hey Chuck. I’m well, thank you.
Mr. Ross: Well I have to tell you: this season I think, on a week to week basis, really seems to have more twists and turns. It’s almost hard to keep up with everything.
Mr. Gordon: It’s a little dizzying.
Mr. Ross: Needless to say, [there were] a couple real interesting turns last night, wondering what was going to happen with Jack and his dad and the relationship with Mary Lynn: was Mary Lynn going to tell Jack exactly what’s been going on, and obviously she did. Then we had a couple of real interesting scenes with Lennox and deciding what’s going to happen with the president, and we’re on pins and needles to see if the nefarious forces are going to rule out there. But let me ask you a couple of things about last night’s episode. One of the things that I thought was interesting was again the line you have going with Chloe and her husband and what’s going on with him, and I want to know how that evolved with Morris. We had him maybe drinking last night but he spit it out and all that.
Mr. Gordon: Well it’s just an evolution of the story, continuing the story of what happens in the wake of having done what was very human but ultimately what might yet lead to the arming of these nuclear weapons and another nuclear attack. I guess it’s in that subgenre of those dilemmas we use all the time: what happens when your duty collides with some human aspect, whether it’s vulnerability, whether it’s love. It’s just telling that story and I think Carlo did a fantastic job, and so did Mary Lynn.
Mr. Ross: How do you decide when to slow it down and put in those moments of what’s going on, for example, last night between Morris and Chloe? Amongst all this action that’s going on, and this tenseness of…you can’t waste a second because the nuclear bomb. But then you guys do slow it down. How do you decide to do that?
Mr. Gordon: It’s really by feel. Sometimes it’s just like the tempo in a musical piece: you’ve really got a lot of velocity and you’re exhausted and it gets to be too much and you want to slow it down, or something demands explanation. It’s really by feel. It’s not designed; it’s not architectural; it’s not mathematic. We don’t do three fast ones and one slow one or two and two, it’s just we feel like we’ve had enough motion, and sometimes it’s time to catch up emotionally and take stock of where all these characters are.
Mr. Ross: Then we had the further revelations last night of Jack realizing what his father’s really done and who his father really is, though his dad is still trying to get out of it somewhat. It’s very interesting as Jack continues his journey this week and I think Kiefer has been handling that really well.
Mr. Gordon: Me too, and as confusing as it is, we’ve finally gotten through the muck of these twists and turns and laid all our cards on the table and from Kiefer’s point of view, now he knows it was not Graem acting alone, but Graem at the hest of his father, who was behind all the terrible stuff that happened last season and obviously this season as well. And the father has come clean that he is doing this, in his mind, to preserve this legacy which Jack betrayed.
Mr. Ross: Then we have the hook at the end of the show where it looks like we’re going to get President Logan back, which is pretty interesting. One of the things that’s been sort of a continuing controversy this season…is the torture scenes. We talked a little bit about it last week, and I bring it up because we actually editorialized about it this week. And Howard, I saw that last week you also mentioned in an article that maybe we would see a little toning down of it. Is there anything you can tell us about that? I know you’re sort of talked out on the subject…
Mr. Gordon: Yeah, I’m pretty talked out on the subject to be honest with you and I feel like a lot of inaccuracies have been flying back and forth and it does seem to be becoming something that’s greater than the issue itself. So I’d rather not comment on it.
Mr. Ross: Ok, absolutely not a problem. Well Howard, we’re so appreciative of your explaining the emotional ups and downs and how you guys do that every week and we’re certainly looking forward to talking to you next week.
Mr. Gordon: Thanks Chuck, me too. I’ve got a couple good ones coming up, so I look forward to talking to you.
Mr. Ross: We sure appreciate it. Thanks Howard.
Mr. Gordon: Thanks. Bye bye.

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