Designated Survivor Pilot – Kiefer Sutherland (aka Jack Bauer) Serves as President

January 9, 2017 2 Comments

For TV addicts, when worlds collide (even if only as an “ideal” situation), we’re bound to be curious. Such is the case with ABCs latest political drama hopeful, Designated Survivor. It stars Kiefer Sutherland, who is best known for his super agent character, Jack Bauer.

Designated Survivor
As a low-level Secretary (of Housing and Development) in the President’s cabinet, Tom Kirkland (Sutherland) isn’t always in a position to have his policies taken seriously. Today is one of those days. In fact, today Tom is being asked to resign and is offered an ambassador position as an alternative. His wife (Natasha Mc) argues against this change. Their kids are settled, and they’re settled. A move from D.C. wouldn’t be in anyone’s best interest. All of this seems important and life altering until a horrific attack on the Capitol changes everything.

The worst attack on U.S. soil kills hundreds, including the President of the United States and his entire cabinet. This leaves only the Designated Survivor to succeed him. That man is Tom Kirkland.

As the FBI, including Agent Hannah West (Maggie Q), and military rush to discover who is behind the attack, Tom must decide what his first act as President will say. And more importantly what he will do with his presidency.

From the moment I read Sutherland was going to star in a new series, I knew it’d be one I’d have to check out. As the kick-butt Jack Bauer, Sutherland established himself as TV royalty. But the repetitive hand Jack was dealt time and again was disingenuous ingratitude. No matter the times he took a bullet. No matter how many times he “died.” No matter who he lost, there was always someone (sometimes several “someones”) who doubted, questioned or disavowed him. His loyalty to America and its safety knew no bounds and yet despite this, he was hung out to dry time and again. This is why seeing Sutherland star as the president is a kind of sweet full circle and fitting homage – even though, yes, I realize he is not playing the same character.

Beyond my obvious fangirling over Jack Bauer, I absolutely loved everyone in this cast. I felt like no one really “stood out” as being a breakout because this one, largely, center on Sutherland’s Tom. The emotions he experiences, the fear, the questions, everything is touched on in this mere hour. The set up for Tom’s (presumably) troubled teenage son could be interesting and I thought Maggie Q’s character has the potential to become a major player in this new show. Although I can admit to being biased since the two shows I’ve seen her on, I’ve loved.

Those who enjoy political thrillers may find in Designated Survivor an interesting study in character, and politics, both. For me, I cannot say that this works on every level. It’s vastly different than the mindset of 24 and because of this, the message isn’t the same. While I suspect this might not be something I keep current with (it already isn’t), I may binge watch it when I’m looking for something to watch. I don’t see this becoming my favorite new show of the seasonal offerings, but I can honestly say, its pilot was good.

(Content: there is some commonplace profanity, and thematic elements that may trouble some viewers. The show is rated TV14.)

About Rissi JC

amateur photog. #bookblogger. downton abbey. inspys. internet-photo-shy. writer. the aspiration is to someday write professionally. a girl can dream, right?

Rissi JC

amateur photog. #bookblogger. downton abbey. inspys. internet-photo-shy. writer. the aspiration is to someday write professionally. a girl can dream, right?

All posts


  • Rachel Hoyt January 10, 2017 at 1:31 AM

    I agree on all counts! I watched the pilot not long after it aired, but I've made no effort to keep up–even though it was good and I was interested! I imagine that when it comes on Netflix for me to watch at my own pace I'll get more into it. :)

    • Rissi January 10, 2017 at 8:47 PM

      Ditto. This will probably be something I binge once I finish some of my other series, but for now, I'm too wrapped up in others to keep up with this one too! :)

      Thanks, as always, for visiting, Rachel. :)

    Leave a Reply

    (Enter your URL then click here to include a link to one of your blog posts.)

    Bonjour and Welcome!

    Welcome | thank you for visiting and reading. if you like, you are invited to join our conversations and follow along – join us.  You’re most welcome.
    Read more about Finding Wonderland

    ps: please excuse the “disorder.” you can read more about Finding Wonderland’s changes, new follow options and why archive posts are a mess in my “Disorder + Feedback” post!

    Finding Wonderland Elsewhere!

    Finding Wonderland in your Inbox!

    Subscribe! Have Finding Wonderland's new content sent to your inbox; sign up for our once (or twice) monthly round up of new content. If you'd like to have this newsletter sent to your inbox, you can enter your email address here. Please note, this does require a sign-up confirmation via email, and that email may be sent to a junk or spam folder.

    RSS Feed

    Enter your email address:

    Shop our Etsy Store



    Some of the links on this blog are affiliate links, which means that if you click on a product link, I may receive (a small) compensation. This compensation comes at no additional cost to you.

    Rissi JC ( is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to

    All written content (unless noted) is © Copyright Rissi JC and Finding Wonderland (


    %d bloggers like this: