Filming of the latest season of real-time thriller 24 has been plunged into jeopardy today, after Chinese intelligence officials revealed that hard-boiled American hero Jack Bauer had defected to the People’s Republic on the promise of regular toilet breaks.
According to studio insiders, TV bosses have been denying Bauer even daily comfort breaks during filming of the high-octane TV show since the first episode. ‘Viewers of 24 can follow Jack’s latest battle, minute for minute. The action never lets up, so- pausing operations against Islamic terrorists in order to water the horse doesn’t exactly make for compelling drama,’ admitted one of the show’s producers.
24 is not the first long-running series to be hit by such problems: producers of the X-Files were famously forced to suspend production during series 4, after sinister government agent ‘Cancer Man’ refused to continue until provided with a properly covered, designated smoking area. Filming was also disrupted to accommodate Agent Mulder’s weekly acting lessons.
Actors union Equity has fully supported Bauer’s defection, despite the growing number of implausible plots against the western world by terrorists, rogue agents and evil agencies. ‘Expecting people, now matter how well-trained, to endure convoluted plotlines without giving them some kind of comfort break is simply too much to ask,’ said one shop-steward, ‘American producers are the worst offenders – recently the entire cast of Lost downed tools until they received concrete assurances from the writers that they weren’t just making it up as they went along.’