Alynda Wheat
January 05, 2007 AT 05:00 AM EST

BILL BUCHANAN
James Morrison

WHAT’S HIS STORY? The head of CTU’s Los Angeles office, Buchanan faces everything from traitor agents to political assassinations to fatal nerve-gas attacks on CTU headquarters. And then there are the power grabs, which are almost as common at CTU as traffic jams are on L.A.’s 405 freeway. (Though magically, the action on 24 is never slowed by a stalled car in the fast lane.) Through it all, no one is as stoic, levelheaded, or let’s-trust-Jack-on-this-one loyal as Buchanan.

BEST SCENE After being forced out of CTU by officious Homeland Security weasel Miles Papazian (Stephen Spinella) in season 5, Buchanan suddenly displayed bad-boy grit. With federal agents in pursuit, Bill hid CTU tech goddess Chloe in his house, giving her just enough time to feed Jack valuable intel — and boldly risking his own neck in the process.

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