24: The Complete Series
On December 14, 2010, 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment released 24: The Complete Series, a 57-disc box set encompassing Seasons One – Eight, including Redemption and an exclusive Bonus Disc which contains several retrospective featurettes and an outtake from Season Eight titled Chloe’s Arrest.
The Packaging: 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment ensconces the 57 DVDs that comprise Seasons One – Eight and Redemption in nine multi-disc plastic cases. These are contained in a slipcover package made of resilient (but hardly indestructible) cardboard. The slipcover features the series’ “digital clock” 24logo in yellow superimposed on a photo of a pistol-wielding Kiefer Sutherland. The discs come in the “inner box” that you slide out of the slipcover’s outer shell and are arranged in chronological order.
There is a small slot in one corner of the inner box which contains the Complete Series’ bonus disc. Unlike the other DVDs in the set, this disc is protected by a laminated envelope which has a resealable flap.
The Content: The nine plastic multi-disc cases, of course, contain all of the series’ 192 one-hour episodes plus the Season Seven prequel Redemption. The first six seasons come in seven disc sets (six which contain four episodes each; the seventh DVD holds the extra features). Redemption is a two-disc set: Disc One contains the broadcast version of the TV movie; Disc Two contains a slightly longer version of the movie and the extra features. Seasons Seven and Eight come in six-disc sets.
Because 24 is a serial drama, the box sets are presented in the show’s internal chronology:
24: Season One
24: Season Two
24: Season Three
24: Season Four
24: Season Five
24: Season Six
24: Season Seven
24: Season Eight
24 Complete Series Bonus Disc:
Comic-Con 2009 Panel
Season 8 Wrap Party Reel
Eight Days (4 Segments)
Jack Bauer: Evolution of a Hero
Presidents Friends and Villains
Memories and Moments
My Take: Though 20th Centuty Fox Home Entertainment has released the entire series’ individual seasons (and Redemption) in separate box sets, its 2010 24: The Complete Series is a convenient – if perhaps a bit pricey – way for either fans or new viewers to own and enjoy Fox’s landmark series on DVD. (As of this writing, there is no Blu-ray equivalent to this box set.)
If you own any or all of Fox’s individual season sets, there might be no incentive to purchase 24: The Complete Series if your original DVDs are still in good condition. The main content (the 192 episodes and the TV movie) are essentially unchanged from their broadcast versions.
The one exception worth mentioning is that the Season One set in 24: The Complete Series is not identical to the 2002 release, which had a somewhat disappointing Extra Features disc. Rather, 24: The Complete Series offers viewers the 2007 “Special Edition” reissue, which comes with the following extras:
Season One Introduction by Kiefer Sutherland
Audio Commentary on the Series Premiere Episode by Director Stephen Hopkins and Director of Photography Peter Levy
Audio Commentary on the Season Finale Episode by Actress Leslie Hope and Director Stephen Hopkins
Extended and Deleted Scenes
Alternate Ending to the Season Finale Episode
The Genesis of 24
The Rookie Vignettes
The only major difference between this set and the 2007 Season One: Special Edition is that the one in 24: The Complete Series comes in a plastic box and not in a steel one.
Though 24: The Complete Series contains all the dramatic content of the individual season sets and most of their extra features (deleted scenes, making-of featutettes, audio commentary by cast and crew on selected episodes), it doesn’t come with the episode guides that are included in the box sets for Seasons One-Five. (20th Century Fox Home Entertainment refrained from including these handy booklets when they switched from the bulky cardboard-and-plastic accordion-type packages to the thinner “slim packs” in 2007) This isn’t a big issue if you decide to watch the series on a regular basis within a short time frame. However, if you have to take a long break and don’t remember where you left off (as far Seasons One – Five go, anyway), the episode guides do help jog your memory when you read the brief plot descriptions. You’d think that if 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment wants to charge $350 a pop for this set, such an episode guide would have been included.
I’m also a bit disappointed that the box set’s exclusive extra features disc comes in an envelope rather than in a plastic slim cover. Granted, if you’re careful and have had experience at handling DVDs with slim cardboard covers this is not a major flaw. However, it would have been nice if Fox had ensconced the bonus disc in more durable – and easier to locate – packaging.
Nevertheless, 24: The Complete Series is a convenient – if maybe a bit expensive – way to collect this high-octane and addictive TV series. If you’re a new viewer of 24 and can’t wait for the Blu-ray set, 24: The Complete Series might be a better option than buying individual season sets or watching them online.
Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Box set, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
Dubbed: English, Spanish
Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada)
Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1
Number of discs: 57
Rated: NR (Not Rated)
Studio: 20th Century Fox
DVD Release Date: December 14, 2010
Run Time: 6844 minutes