Equal parts JAG
does a formidable job of blending relevant military headlines with quirky characters who are tenaciously determined to solve a crime--even if it means having to sleep in the morgue to get a few minutes of shut eye. Created by Donald P. Bellisario (JAG, Quantum Leap
actually began as a two-part episode of JAG
in 2003. Later that year, the drama made its full-season debut on CBS in the States. On this six-disc set, which includes all 23 non-JAG
episodes plus optional commentary by Bellisario on the first episode, viewers are introduced to an elite squad of special agents, led by Leroy Jethro Gibbs (Mark Harmon). Gibbs is a hard-nosed investigator who doesn't say much. But when he does, an insult usually comes out of his mouth. He's brilliant when it comes to ferreting out the truth, but he's not savvy enough to figure out how to block his ex-wife's nagging phone calls. Instead, he makes do by destroying his cell phone. Gibbs' team is fleshed out by an eclectic and somewhat eccentric set of colleagues, including medical examiner Dr. Donald "Ducky" Mallard (David McCallum from The Man from U.N.C.L.E.
), wannabe playboy and former homicide detective Anthony DiNozzo (Michael Weatherly), forensics expert and resident Goth chick Abby Sciuto (Pauley Perrette), and former Secret Service agent Caitlin Todd (Sasha Alexander).
The murder of a peripheral NCIS agent halfway through the season is a taste of what's to come in future seasons when core characters leave the show (voluntarily or not). But in its first year, the show sets up a strong premise that (while not wholly original) is well executed. One of the more stickling aspects of the show is its reluctance to allow Tony to show signs of maturity. At times, he behaves more like a rambunctious puppy than an ace investigator. --Jae-Ha Kim
All 23 episodes of the action drama, following the exploits of the Naval Criminal Investigation Service, led by Special Agent Jethro Gibbs (Mark Harmon). In this series, the team investigate when a marine's parachute fails to open, Gibbs sets off for Cuba to look at a case of smuggling in a detention centre, and the team looks into a bizarre case where a widow receives a phone call from her dead marine husband. The episodes are: 'Yankee White'; 'Hung Out to Dry'; 'Seadog'; 'The Immortals'; 'The Curse'; 'High Seas'; 'Sub Rosa'; 'Minimum Security'; 'Marine Down'; 'Left for Dead'; 'Eye Spy'; 'My Other Left Foot'; 'One Shot, One Kill'; 'The Good Samaritan'; 'Enigma'; 'Bete Noire'; 'The Truth Is Out There'; 'UnSEALed'; 'Dead Man Talking'; 'Missing'; 'Split Decision'; 'A Weak Link'; and 'Reveille'.