I suppose I should disclose a couple things about me, in particular, writing this article. The first is that I haven’t watched the last couple seasons of 24. Furthermore, for all the fanfare the show gets, it prescribes to the same cookie cutter formula every season. That’s why I dubbed the show “twenty-formulaic.” Every season is just as good as the last; which basically means the series has been exactly the same since season two. Oh, I can just hear angry 24 fans starting to write emails to me.
The second point is that I’m still pretty angry from the laughable conclusion to Battlestar Galactica. Yes, I’m one of those guys who thought Ron Moore and company pretty much gave up trying to provide logical closure to the show in favor of whatever you want to call that mess that was the end of the show. Again, I can hear you typing.
Now, even with those points noted there’s nothing to say I can’t provide a very objective take on Katee Sackhoff’s new gig on 24. Alright, maybe not the most objective but I’ll give it my all. Which is to say, I’ll limit my ranting because I could go on forever.
While there was a lot of unnecessary controversy about Sackhoff playing Starbuck on the new BSG (a role originally played by clearly all-man Dirk Benedict) I thought she did a great job with the character. Even when the story got derailed some Sackhoff was faithful to her role, even if she herself wasn’t sure what she was. This is clearly evident in the somewhat labored explanation she provides to the show’s end:
“So when she at the end was saying goodbye to [Anders], I think that she was saying goodbye to their bodily forms,” she said. “I think she knew, especially if he says, ‘I’ll see you on the other side,’ I think she’s with him. I think they’re both dead, but I think she’s with him.
That was a decision that we made, because I selfishly wanted her at peace, and the only way to do that was to have her with someone at the end, or to be with the person she wanted to be with. I don’t know. That’s kind of where I think she is. She’s with Michael Trucco playing pyramid in the sky somewhere.”
Now, count the number of times she says “I think” in that explanation. Yes, six times. That’s a whole lot of guess work for a show highlighting antagonists who we were told very specifically had a plan from the very beginning Whoops, I said I wouldn’t rant didn’t I?
As Sackhoff makes the transition from a fleet in space to the counter-terrorism unit (CTU) in New York she’s definitely shedding the gun-totting, gruff exterior made famous on BSG:
“Katee plays Chloe’s boss. Chloe has never let authority stop her from getting the job done, but she’s never dealt with anyone like Dana before. “Dana is permanently happy,” Sackhoff said. “I think that also pisses Chloe off, because Dana’s like, ‘Oh, no, it’s totally fine that you don’t get it. Let me help you. It’s great. I’ll do that. It’s fine. You don’t need to figure it out, because I’m good enough to do both our jobs.’ So that really pisses Chloe off.”
This is a pretty interesting direction for the 24 creators to take Sackhoff. Even in the short-lived Bionic Woman TV reboot Sackhoff played a hot-headed variant of Starbuck. Putting her in an agreeable, dare I say nurturing, role will make for some interesting story telling.
Moreover, one thing that has made 24 such a hit is the internal strife between characters that are on the same side. It doesn’t take much to get Chloe pissed off so saddling her with an overly helpful, micro-managing boss is sure to reach a boiling point. That’s definitely something 24 fans can get into.
While seeing Sackhoff in this kind of role may not seem the most natural decision it’s perfect for 24. She’s sure to spur controversy and given her BSG background I wouldn’t rule out the possibility of her picking up a gun at some point and blasting a few baddies. Either way, Sackhoff will be a great addition to the show for sure.
24 returns January 17, 2010 on Fox. By the way, I can still hear you typing.