The Technology of 24 is a special feature found on the Season Six DVD. It consists of soundbites from interviews with the cast and crew, intercut with clips of technology from the first six seasons of the show.
The Technology of 24
The feature opens with Manny Coto mentioning that technology is a huge part of the series. Howard Gordon runs through several aspects of the technology on the show, including surveillance, communications and seeing things from remote locations. The feature is then presented in several sections.
Science and science fiction
Mary Lynn Rajskub explains that technology is an essential tool for making teams of people work together. Jon Cassar says that they advance real life technology a little, but most of what is on the show does exist. Howard Gordon relates that in the early days of the show they were constantly getting notes from the studio that certain bits of their tech were unrealistic. Mark Marcum says that in Season 1 and 2 they used video and GPS before that technology was properly in use. Michael Loceff admits that they would invent gizmos that they imagined were around in the present or near future that would be viable in the story. Howard Gordon explains that they take prototypes and make them fully functional, and sometimes find out after the fact that such technology does exist in the real world.
Jon Cassar says that main difference between reality and 24 is that on the show everything happens much more quickly. Manny Coto gives the example that in real life, pulling up satellite images takes hours rather than seconds. Cassar explains that companies often come to them with a cutting edge product and ask that it is highlighted on the show. Loceff gives examples of Cisco Systems technology that was featured, and they speak about the telepresence suite shown in Season 6.
Eyes and ears of CTU
Mary Lynn Rajskub says it is hard to hide from eyes that can see through walls and track you from outer space. Cassar explains that in cities there are cameras everywhere, and they gave CTU access to all of those cameras. Loceff says that the ability to track people by satellite is the most integral piece of technology to their storyline. Olivier Benamou expresses his fear at the ability to track anyone in the world in a matter of seconds. Coto speaks about the infra-red satellite that can see through buildings. Gordon says that the technology works glitch free, except when they need them to glitch for storyline reasons.
The art of technology
Gordon claims they have managed to make computer screens interesting in a way other shows have not managed to do. Jon Cassar explains that they rarely build any props for the good guys, and most of their prop builds are bombs or terrorist technology. Sterling Rush relates how he is always having to find new and interesting ways to blow things up. He shows the blueprints for a nuclear trigger from Season 6, and goes through the process of drawing and designing a prop. He talks about the suitcase nukes, and Coto explains there is debate whether such a device could exist.
Jack's cell phone
Mark Marcum says that Jack Bauer has two things, a phone and a black bag. Manny Coto goes through how Jack used his phone to detonate Ibrim's explosive vest. He explains that if they need a cell phone to do something and they can reasonably postulate a cell phone could do that, then they will go with it.
The light and the darkness
Coto explains that they try to counterbalance the dark side of technology with the good. Marcum talks about the smart bad guys who have used technology as weapons. Loceff says that when their villains get their hands on technology, it has scarily real effects.
The feature wraps up by saying that technology is a tool, and that 24 is just enough in the future that it can break the rules.