Howard Gordon inks alter ego to Jack Bauer

Verne Gay
Newsday (MCT)

The ninth season of "24" should have been starting just about now — except, of course, "24" ended (sob ... sob again) last year. There may be a "24" movie someday, but in the meantime, bereaved fans may wish to consult "Gideon's War," a new novel by Howard Gordon, the show's longtime executive producer.

Gordon, 49, began writing this thriller — out this week from Touchstone — during the 2007 writers' strike. Gordon had time on his hands, and had dreamed of writing novels since graduating Princeton.

The result is "Gideon's War," a particularly well-written page-turner about two brothers — one supremely good, the other not — whose lives were forged by the horror of their parents' murder-suicide.

And here's the kicker: Gideon Davis is the anti-Jack Bauer, a pacifist who can't even look at guns. A sequel, "Allegiance," is due to come out next year.

We caught up with Gordon — a veteran TV writer ("Beauty and the Beast," "The X-Files") — last week by phone.

Q. What have you done since "24" wrapped — besides finishing "Gideon's War"?

A. I really enjoyed a couple months off, but I couldn't help myself and got back into the swing of it. I'm shooting a pilot in North Carolina (with Clare Danes) starting next week, and I just finished another one for NBC.

Q. Why a Cain-Abel tale?

A. I'm the oldest of three brothers myself, so the dynamic has always been a fascinating one for me — a rich, dramatic relationship that is variously competitive and loving. I was also very interested in telling the story of a guy who was incredibly capable but had sworn himself to a life of non violence.

Q. Is Gideon the anti-Jack?

A. Very much so. Jack is Jack, and for me, the history is so indelibly in my head and in the head of others that I wanted to do something different.

Q. Will there be a "24" movie, even though Fox just passed on the Billy Ray ("State of Play") script?

A. As of now, there isn't, but I hope there is. We're still discussing it, but we still have to find the right idea.

Q. Any regrets wrapping "24" after the eighth day — after all, Jack's story isn't over, right?

A. I have no regrets at all. I was extremely happy with how we ended and that we ended. Everything does have its time, and my greatest fear was staying an episode too late, although some people might say we did. But we stayed excited and engaged and were very, very concerned about making it as good as we could make it. I had lunch with Kiefer a month ago, and he had exactly the same feeling.

Q. Had there been a thought to having Jack die at the end?

A. I thought about that and Kiefer did, too, but decided not to and not for the mercenary reason of keeping him alive to fight another day. But there was something about his death that was very tragic and sad, which would have left viewers with kind of ... I don't know what the word is — maybe just too much of a downer.

That's why I think there should be a movie. While the series is over, the character has life in him, and he can live in another medium, maybe even a Jack Bauer novel.

Q. Thought of writing one?

A. Maybe. If nothing ever happens with the movie. I kind of have an idea.





How the Template for Modern Combat Journalism Developed

The superbly researched Journalism and the Russo-Japanese War tells readers how Japan pioneered modern techniques of propaganda and censorship in the Russo-Japanese War.


From Horrifying Comedy to Darkly Funny Horror: Bob Clark Films

What if I told you that the director of one of the most heartwarming and beloved Christmas movies of all time is the same director as probably the most terrifying and disturbing yuletide horror films of all time?


The 50 Best Songs of 2007

Journey back 13 years to a stellar year for Rihanna, M.I.A., Arcade Fire, and Kanye West. From hip-hop to indie rock and everywhere in between, PopMatters picks the best 50 songs of 2007.


'Modern' Is the Pinnacle of Post-Comeback Buzzcocks' Records

Presented as part of the new Buzzcocks' box-set, Sell You Everything, Modern showed a band that wasn't interested in just repeating itself or playing to nostalgia.


​Nearly 50 and Nearly Unplugged: 'ChangesNowBowie' Is a Glimpse Into a Brilliant Mind

Nine tracks, recorded by the BBC in 1996 show David Bowie in a relaxed and playful mood. ChangesNowBowie is a glimpse into a brilliant mind.


Reaching for the Sky: An Interview with Singer-Songwriter Bruce Sudano

How did Bruce Sudano become a superhero? PopMatters has the answer as Sudano celebrates the release of Spirals and reflects on his career from Brooklyn Dreams to Broadway.


Inventions Conjure Mystery and Hope with the Intensely Creative 'Continuous Portrait'

Instrumental duo Matthew Robert Cooper (Eluvium) and Mark T. Smith (Explosions in the Sky) release their first album in five years as Inventions. Continuous Portrait is both sonically thrilling and oddly soothing.


Esperanza Spalding and Fred Hersch Are 'Live at the Village Vanguard' to Raise Money for Musicians

Esperanza Spalding and Fred Hersch release a live recording from a 2018 show to raise money for a good cause: other jazz musicians.


Lady Gaga's 'Chromatica' Hides Its True Intentions Behind Dancefloor Exuberance

Lady Gaga's Chromatica is the most lively and consistent record she's made since Born This Way, embracing everything great about her dance-pop early days and giving it a fresh twist.

Love in the Time of Coronavirus

Street Art As Sprayed Solidarity: Global Corona Graffiti

COVID-19-related street art functions as a vehicle for political critique and social engagement. It offers a form of global solidarity in a time of crisis.


Gretchen Peters Honors Mickey Newbury With "The Sailor" and New Album (premiere + interview)

Gretchen Peters' latest album, The Night You Wrote That Song: The Songs of Mickey Newbury, celebrates one of American songwriting's most underappreciated artists. Hear Peters' new single "The Sailor" as she talks about her latest project.


Okkyung Lee Goes From Classical to Noise on the Stellar 'Yeo-Neun'

Cellist Okkyung Lee walks a fine line between classical and noise on the splendid, minimalist excursion Yeo-Neun.

Collapse Expand Reviews

Collapse Expand Features
PM Picks
Collapse Expand Pm Picks

© 1999-2020 All rights reserved.
PopMatters is wholly independent, women-owned and operated.