PopMatters is moving to WordPress. We will publish a few essays daily while we develop the new site. We hope the beta will be up sometime late next week.

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.


Please Donate to Help Save PopMatters

PopMatters have been informed by our current technology and hosting provider that we have less than a month, until November 6, to move PopMatters off their service or we will be shut down. We are moving to WordPress and a new host, but we really need your help to save the site.





Laura Veirs Talks to Herself on 'My Echo'

The thematic connections between these 10 Laura Veirs songs and our current situation are somewhat coincidental, or maybe just the result of kismet or karmic or something in the zeitgeist.


15 Classic Horror Films That Just Won't Die

Those lucky enough to be warped by these 15 classic horror films, now available on Blu-ray from The Criterion Collection and Kino Lorber, never got over them.


Sixteen Years Later Wayne Payne Follows Up His Debut

Waylon Payne details a journey from addiction to redemption on Blue Eyes, The Harlot, The Queer, The Pusher & Me, his first album since his 2004 debut.


Every Song on the Phoenix Foundation's 'Friend Ship' Is a Stand-Out

Friend Ship is the Phoenix Foundation's most personal work and also their most engaging since their 2010 classic, Buffalo.


Kevin Morby Gets Back to Basics on 'Sundowner'

On Sundowner, Kevin Morby sings of valleys, broken stars, pale nights, and the midwestern American sun. Most of the time, he's alone with his guitar and a haunting mellotron.


Lydia Loveless Creates Her Most Personal Album with 'Daughter'

Given the turmoil of the era, you might expect Lydia Loveless to lean into the anger, amplifying the electric guitar side of her cowpunk. Instead, she created a personal record with a full range of moods, still full of her typical wit.


Flowers for Hermes: An Interview with Performing Activist André De Shields

From creating the title role in The Wiz to winning an Emmy for Ain't Misbehavin', André De Shields reflects on his roles in more than four decades of iconic musicals, including the GRAMMY and Tony Award-winning Hadestown.


The 13 Greatest Horror Directors of All Time

In honor of Halloween, here are 13 fascinating fright mavens who've made scary movies that much more meaningful.


British Jazz and Soul Artists Interpret the Classics on '​Blue Note Re:imagined'

Blue Note Re:imagined provides an entrance for new audiences to hear what's going on in British jazz today as well as to go back to the past and enjoy old glories.


Bill Murray and Rashida Jones Add Another Shot to 'On the Rocks'

Sofia Coppola's domestic malaise comedy On the Rocks doesn't drown in its sorrows -- it simply pours another round, to which we raise our glass.


​Patrick Cowley Remade Funk and Disco on 'Some Funkettes'

Patrick Cowley's Some Funkettes sports instrumental renditions from between 1975-1977 of songs previously made popular by Donna Summer, Herbie Hancock, the Temptations, and others.


The Top 10 Definitive Breakup Albums

When you feel bombarded with overpriced consumerism disguised as love, here are ten albums that look at love's hangover.


Dustin Laurenzi's Natural Language Digs Deep Into the Jazz Quartet Format with 'A Time and a Place'

Restless tenor saxophonist Dustin Laurenzi runs his four-piece combo through some thrilling jazz excursions on a fascinating new album, A Time and a Place.


How 'Watchmen' and 'The Boys' Deconstruct American Fascism

Superhero media has a history of critiquing the dark side of power, hero worship, and vigilantism, but none have done so as radically as Watchmen and The Boys.


Floodlights' 'From a View' Is Classicist Antipodal Indie Guitar Pop

Aussie indie rockers, Floodlights' debut From a View is a very cleanly, crisply-produced and mixed collection of shambolic, do-it-yourself indie guitar music.


CF Watkins Embraces a Cool, Sophisticated Twang on 'Babygirl'

CF Watkins has pulled off the unique trick of creating an album that is imbued with the warmth of the American South as well as the urban sophistication of New York.


Helena Deland Suggests Imagination Is More Rewarding Than Reality on 'Something New'

Canadian singer-songwriter Helena Deland's first full-length release Someone New reveals her considerable creative talents.


While the Sun Shines: An Interview with Composer Joe Wong

Joe Wong, the composer behind Netflix's Russian Doll and Master of None, articulates personal grief and grappling with artistic fulfillment into a sweeping debut album.

Collapse Expand Reviews

Collapse Expand Features

PM Picks
Collapse Expand Pm Picks

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