Forget Frank Underwood and Nicholas Brody - 24's back and so is our original tortured hero Jack Bauer

Jack Bauer has shot his way back onto our TV with 24: Live Another Day – and about blimming time.

A double bill of the first two episodes was aired in the early hours last night (to tie in with the US) but makes its real debut at 9pm on Sky One on Wednesday.

And without wanting to give spoilers, we have just one thing to say: Welcome back, Jack!’

Now, we love our House of Cards, Homeland, Game of Thrones and all those TV shows that have kept us busy since Kiefer Sutherland wandered off into the sunset in 2010 at the end of season eight.

But, let’s face it, nothing has been quite the same as poor tortured soul Jack Bauer saving the world – over and over and over again.

This new 12-part season still tells events in real time but shakes up the format by seemingly giving Jack half the day off, or at least a leisurely lunch break.

And more excitingly it also brings the action to our shores – setting the show in London. So not only do we get to see Kiefer looking pretty damn fine as one of the greatest TV action heroes EVER, we also get to see him doing it on the same tube line we travel on every day. Swoon.

Now, hands up, give me any US thriller shows and it only takes me a few episodes to turn into a bit of a fangirl.

But nothing really captured my imagination as much as 24.

It hit screens in November 2001 – a risky move just two months after the atrocities of 9/11. And for eight seasons and a mini-film Redemption (courtesy of the 2008 Writers’ Strike) it battered the TV opposition with fast-moving, convoluted and knuckle-biting plots.

It even managed to weather the storm when it was accused of glamourising torture and had to change its stance a tad (although to be honest, if it meant getting in a room with Jack Bauer, I wouldn’t object to a bit of waterboarding).

Yet its success is mainly down to Kiefer and the intensity that he brought to the role of the screwed up hero Jack that really made the show a success.

I was sad to see some people knocking the new episodes already calling it a ‘tired’ format. And yes, it may be true that by season nine, we’re all a bit used to the formula.

But having Jack back is not only exciting so we can see what happens next – it’s also like a little comfort blanket. The world seemed a safer place when Jack was around – even if only on our TV screens.

And in my mind, Firefly aside, there’s nothing that could make a more welcome comeback.