We give you the background on this ''24'' character

By Lynette Rice
Updated January 05, 2007 at 05:00 AM EST

Peter MacNicol

FIRST APPEARANCE Episode 1, season 6

WHAT’S HIS STORY? As President Wayne Palmer’s chief of staff, Lennox is the architect behind the administration’s tough security plan to combat terrorists. But his strident views don’t seem to jibe with certain adherents to the Constitution, namely Sandra Palmer (Regina King), the president’s sister, who’s a civil rights lawyer. ”He’s very much a neocon,” explains MacNicol, who filmed his role as nerdy crime solver Dr. Larry Fleinhardt on Numb3rs and the first few episodes of his 24 gig simultaneously. ”He believes in taking draconian measures.”

WHAT THE PRODUCERS SAY Gordon says 24 exists in a parallel universe, so nobody — not even, say, Vice President Dick Cheney — served as an inspiration for Lennox. Still, this prickly dude sure seems familiar. ”He’s the presidential adviser, so he’s a little bit like a Vulcan,” explains Gordon. ”He provides the cold, calculated analysis of the situation, but sometimes the finer points of emotion and kindness are lost on him. He has a big blind spot.” Again, not based on anybody.

JUST TELL HIM WHERE TO STAND MacNicol was one of the last actors cast for season 6 — and only had a few days to screen the first five seasons — before he had to jump aboard Jack Bauer’s crazy train. He began his stint without knowing much more than his character’s name, not to mention whether he’ll turn into another damn, dirty liar in the White House who wants Jack dead. ”I’m sure it’s fun for the producers,” admits MacNicol. ”It’s fun for me, but it is a very curious way of working. It’s a bit like painting a self-portrait with the easel in front of you but the canvas behind you. You really don’t know where you’re going.”

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