NCIS (Naval Criminal Investigative Service). Season 1 [DVD]
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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'.
Equal parts JAG and C.S.I. , NCIS 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), NCIS 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
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Due to the fact that I had missed several of the episodes I purchased the box set and though the programme is great entertainment I was disappointed by the fact that there were no extras on the box set. I decided to take a leap of faith and ordered and purchased the box set from Amazon in the USA.
It arrived and I crossed my fingers as I put it in the DVD player on my computer. It didn't play; it just asked me if I wanted to change my player's region code from 2 to 1 (it never offers me zero).
This refusal to play means that the set is a region 1 embedded DVD and only playable in region 1 areas such as the USA or for people who have a region 1 or region 0 enabled DVD player. Fortunately for us I have a portable DVD player which has turned into a universal player. So I breathed a sigh of relief and settled myself down for hours of non stop (except for disc changes, the call of nature and coffee and snack breaks).
I admit that had I known that it was a JAG spin off I probably wouldn't have tried it. I've tried JAG on several occasions since it started but have never been able to take to it. This series, however, is different.
The team of investigators is lead by Leroy Jethro Gibbs (Mark Harmon Chicago Hope). I remember Mark Harmon in the hospital drama St Elsewhere from when I was a child, he was so pretty, and he has become more handsome with age.
Michael Weatherly ("Eyes Only" in Dark Angel) plays "Very" Special Agent Anthony DiNozzo.
Forensics are Dr Donald Mallard, aka "Ducky" (David "The Man From Uncle" McCallum) the pathologist and Abby Sciuto (Pauley Perrette) as the NCIS forensic scientist. Their boss is Director Tom Morrow (Alan Dale - anyone remember Jim Robinson from the early years of the Aussie soap Neighbours).
*** This next section may contain spoilers ***
The series consists of 23 episodes and opens with Yankee White where we are introduced to Presidential Security Agent Caitlin Todd (Sasha Alexander - Rizzoli & Isles). Agent Todd replaced Agent Vivian Blackadder (Robyn Lively) from the JAG Season 8 tester episodes Ice Queen and Meltdown (episodes 20 and 21).
I have never been able to take to Caitlin Todd as a character. She comes in to the team not from an investigation background but from a security detail background but by the end of episode 2 she is bossing DiNozzo about. In fact she is junior (would be a rookie trainee level member of the team) to DiNozzo. By the end of the series I started to wonder who was in charge of the team, and why anyone would allow that level of bullying from a person to another concerned me.
The episodes are:
Yankee White - when a sailor dies on board Air Force One there is a turf war between the FBI and NCIS for control of the investigation. The questions are: was this an attempt on the President; and is he now safe.
Hung Out to Dry - A marine dies during a parachute training exercise. It is up to Gibbs and his team to discover if this was it an accident, suicide or foul play.
Seadog - was a dead sailor really involved in drug dealing
Immortals - A sailor, who was believed to have gone AWOL, is found at the bottom of the sea by some divers. It seems that several of the sailors may have been involved in real-life battles based on a popular MMORPG video game.
Curse - the mummified remains of a sailor are found in an old jettisoned aircraft storage pod, without the money that he was believed to have stolen.
High Seas - when a member of an aircraft carrier flight deck crew is found naked in the ships freezer dosed up on methamphetamine Gibbs and the team are dispatched to discover what's going on.
Sub Rosa - after the murdered body of a submariner is found Gibbs and Kate Todd join the crew on board the submarine to investigate; while DiNozzo is left on dry land with an NCIS computer expert Timothy McGee (the introduction of Sean Murray - Hocus Pocus - to the show).
Minimum Security - when a sailor's body is found along with smuggled emeralds the team is off to Cuba and Guantanamo Bay
Marine Down - Gibbs and co must find out how a dead man could be contacting his wife when he was killed on a CIA linked black-ops mission in Colombia.
Left for Dead - a woman escapes from a shallow grave and is unable to remember anything except that there is a bomb on a Navy ship.
Eye Spy - some men misuse a spy satellite to spy on female personnel sunbathing on a naval bases beach when they see someone running away from a dead body.
My Other Left Foot - the lower part of someone's left leg is discovered in a dumpster bin, the only identifying marks are a tattoo "Semper Fi", a sock, a boot and a titanium ankle joint, but who is he and how did he die.
One Shot, One Kill - a marine recruiter is killed by a sniper Gibbs and team must try and discover if it is terrorist linked or if there is another reason.
Good Samaritan - the body of naval dentist is found bound and gagged. Gibbs has a battle on his hands to prove that there is a serial killer on the loose.
Enigma - Gibbs former USMC commanding officer is suspected of stealing a large amount of money which he was transporting for the US Government. Gibbs doesn't believe it is true, even after the body of a marine is found in his cabin tortured to death.
Bete Noire - Ducky and his assistant, Gerald, are taken hostage by a terrorist who infiltrated NCIS in a body bag. Will anyone realise what's going on and can they be rescued before things become worse.
The Truth is Out There - during a party a body falls out of a ceiling. Gibbs and his team are called into investigate.
UnSEALeD - a former US Navy Seal convicted of murdering his wife escapes from prison claiming he is innocent and is on the trail of the real killer.
Dead Man Talking - an NCIS agent is killed while investigating a cold case, Gibbs and his team take up the investigation.
Missing - a Gunnery Sergeant disappears after telling a journalist that he might be the next of a group of friends to vanish. The investigation puts one of the team in grave danger.
Split Decision - When the body of a Marine Staff Sergeant is discovered by a group of children Gibbs and his team are taken down the path of weapons smuggling and militia groups. This episode introduces Jimmy Palmer (Brian Dietzen) into the NCIS family.
A Weak Link - a SEAL on a special training mission is killed when he falls while repelling with his team. Due to the nature of the operation they were training for Gibbs and the team are asked to look into the death.
Reveille - Gibbs is still searching for the unknown terrorist who held Ducky and his assistant Gerald hostage, before escaping when things take an unexpected turn.
*** Spoilers over ***
SPECIAL FEATURES are:
- N.C.I.S Creating Season One
- N.C.I.S Building the Team
- N.C.I.S Defining the Look
EPISODE COMMENTARY: 'Yankee White' - Donald P. Bellisario
NCIS is a good detective series based around the US Navy and Marine Corpse. Please don't be put off by the military linkage as it is frequently done in the vaguest of ways.
On the region 1 release the soundtrack is English only and the subtitles are English and Spanish.
I'm not sorry I bought the season one box set (in fact I have sinced purchased several of the seasons), but I was fortunate enough to have a player that could play region 1 DVDs, if I hadn't I would have been very disappointed.
If you have a multi-region player and want to see the extras then I can recommend this box set.
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