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’24’ Day Seven’s star-studded new cast

For a television show so obsessed with a ticking clock, 24 has certainly kept us waiting for a long, long time for its seventh season. The writers’ strike late last year scuppered plans for the proposed January launch, as network bosses opted against screening the eight filmed episodes followed by an extended hiatus. However, Jack Bauer will be back firing on all cylinders this autumn with a two-hour special followed, finally, by the fully-filmed seventh season in 2009. Here’s a rundown of the latest additions to the cast…

Jon Voight

Depending on who you speak to, Voight is either the Oscar-winning actor from Midnight Cowboy, or the old geezer who helped to create Angelina Jolie. The veteran star is set to play the Big Bad in the latter half of the seventh season and the prequel movie beforehand, locking horns with Jack Bauer in South Africa. 24 bosses did well to lure Voight, as he has not appeared in a TV series since the late 1960s.

Robert Carlyle

Best known for a string of film roles in the likes of The Full Monty and Trainspotting, Carlyle is a surprise addition to the cast for the forthcoming television movie. But will he be a friend or foe? Early word rules out the latter, as Carlyle supposedly plays Bauer’s friend and mentor Benton. They are set to fight alongside each other in Africa. Sounds good, but wouldn’t it be fun to see Bauer take on Begbie?

Carlos Bernard

Hang on, didn’t Bernard’s iconic character Tony Almeida die in Day Five of 24 of a lethal injection? Well, apparently not. He’s back, but not as the good CTU-loving chap that we grew to worship. Jack Bauer is set to go on trial in the seventh season and discover that not only is Almeida alive, but he poses a serious threat to his future. We can’t wait to see Tony go bad.

Cherry Jones

Move over Barack Obama, President David Palmer was the one we really wanted. Following his tragic demise and his brother Wayne’s short-lived succession, there’s a new President in town. Doing what Hillary Clinton couldn’t do by getting a woman to rule America, President Allison Taylor is set to play a big part early on in the seventh season. Her son will also figure prominently.

Taylor is played by Cherry Jones, best known for her Tony Award-winning stage work in America. She’s also racked up some recent supporting roles in films like The Perfect Storm, Ocean’s Twelve, Signs and The Village.

Tony Todd

Candyman, Candyman, Candyman, Candyman, Candyman. Don’t dare repeat those words in front of a mirror, or Tony Todd’s iconic hook-handed character may emerge to make you say farewell to your flesh. The horror legend will play cruel African dictator General Juma in both the two-hour prequel movie and the ensuing season, in what sounds like an inspired piece of casting.

Recently, Todd has played a CIA director in the television series Chuck, and is recognisable for his roles in the Final Destination franchise and the 1990 Night Of The Living Dead remake.

Also cast to the prequel film, scheduled to air on November 23 in the US, are The L Word’s Eric Lively as the new president’s son and Ally McBeal’s Gil Bellows as a State Department officer charged with summoning Bauer to appear before the Senate.

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