Exclusive Podcast: ’24’ Enters Witching Hour

Apr 24, 2007  •  Post A Comment

“You never know what’s real on this show,” co-executive producer Manny Coto teased in this week’s exclusive “24” Backlot Talk.

Such was the case with Monday’s episode, which embraced the witching hour of midnight to 1 a.m. by showing a balance-beam act with Tom Lennox, a very un-Chloe-like Chloe and an Audrey who seems to have paid a difficult price for love.

Forums and blogs talked about Lennox’s regression from a heroic persona as he continues to be contrasted with Vice President Daniels on the show, which Mr. Coto said is all part of the character’s arc.

“We thought that to pair him up with someone like the vice president…. It’s almost like Lennox sees his own scenario come to fruition, [and] he doesn’t like what he sees,” Mr. Coto said. “So it’s kind of a process of growth on his part and ultimately coming around to the other side, so to speak.”

As for Chloe, the producers thought it would be both interesting and surprising to see the always dependable character go against her boss for once and hold tight to protocol.

“Every year, Chloe’s always the one who’s secretly working with Jack; and Jack goes to her, and she’s usually the one underneath her boss’s gaze to help Jack achieve whatever he wanted to achieve,” Mr. Coto said. “We’re always trying to find something surprising that we haven’t done before.”

Such as bringing a character back?

“There was a lot of discussion about what to do with Audrey and what situation to leave her in (a) at the end of this episode and (b) toward the rest of the season,” Mr. Coto said. “At one point, Audrey wasn’t supposed to have even gone to China, and ultimately we decided that she would never abandon Jack and that she would follow Jack to the ends of the earth.”

That journey undoubtedly will lead Audrey down a slow path to recovery, as Jack discovered he wasn’t the only one to endure the torture of being brainwashed in China.

“Jack went through two years with the Chinese, and he’s a much stronger individual as far as these things go,” the producer explained. “And Audrey, if she went through the same thing, she’s not going to come out the same way that Jack did. Again, it’s searching for a place to go with that character that is unexpected and makes sense with what she would’ve endured. I think it would be hard to imagine her coming out of it with the same kind of mental structure as Jack did.”

As the show reaches its season finale, Mr. Coto said the writing is all finished except for one scene, and only 10 days of filming separate the cast and crew from a weeklong hiatus. Then it’s back to the infamous “24” writers’ room.

To listen to the complete interview, go to TVWeek.com’s Backlot Talk for the full podcast.

(Editor: Horowitz)