I just got season five of 24 from my local library. I't might be a long wait before I can get the other seasons, although I want to see them all eventually.

Will it ruin the storyline if I start from season 5?

How much of a continuing plot is there between seasons?

  • I can tell you off-hand that they're all somewhat different time eras between each season. Not having seen the series myself, however, I'm not sure how much this affects the overall viewing of the series.
    – Tablemaker
    Apr 22, 2012 at 4:49
  • 24 is a great tv show with huge twists and turns and surprises. If you care at all about spoilers I'll implore you to refrain from watching the series out of order. It will drastically affect your experience. Mar 2, 2015 at 21:00
  • The problem is that especially with season five you will not really appreciate the events unless you've watched previous seasons. (I'm trying really hard not to spoil you here.)
    – BCdotWEB
    Mar 3, 2015 at 13:24
  • 2.5 years after I asked this question, I've just recently finished the series. I watched it very nearly in order. I suggest anyone starting out watch 24 is the correct order for the best experience.
    – Chris A
    Mar 16, 2015 at 17:23

3 Answers 3


24 is one show that I would not recommend starting in the middle. While each season is one complete day in the life of Jack Bauer, making each one mostly a self-contained story, there are going to be major spoilers for earlier seasons. At the very least you'll learn who lives and who dies in earlier seasons, but there are also double agents, double-crosses and betrayals in 24 that will not be nearly as gripping if you already know who's on what side. I think you'll enjoy the show a lot more if you start at season one and watch them in order.


I would recommend that you watch them in order if possible, but do allow some time in between each season (i.e., don't watch one season and continue on to the next immediately).

There a few things that do carry forward from one season to the next and they certainly add to the events that are taking place. The show will still be great if you watch them out of order, just that you will miss out on some of the subtle sub plots.


By all means begin watching 24 from series 5.

There are some storylines which carry forward, generally regarding Jack and his family and his colleagues/friends etc.

You may find out things that are spoilers for the other earlier series, however this should be minimal and you'll be more interested in watching the earlier series to find out how it happened etc.

24 is fantastic, don't even consider holding off watching it if you have it!

  • 1
    Utterly disagree. The impact of certain events in S5 will be severely lacking unless you've first seen previous seasons.
    – BCdotWEB
    Mar 3, 2015 at 13:26

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