NCIS: The Fourth Season (2006)

Genre(s): Action / Crime / Drama / Mystery
Paramount || NR - 1053 minutes - $64.99 || October 23, 2007
Reviewer: Brian Oliver || Posted On: 2007-10-22


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.:: F I L M ::.
The Film

S P E C I A L
.: F E A T U R E S :.

Special Features

A U D I O &
.:: V I D E O ::.

Audio and Video

.:: O V E R A L L ::.
Overall
.::MOVIE INFORMATION::.
Director: NA
Writer(s): Donald P. Bellisario (creator)
Cast: Mark Harmon, Michael Weatherly, Cote de Pablo, Pauley Perrette, Sean Murray, Lauren Holly, David McCallum, Brian Dietzen


.::DVD INFORMATION::.
Supplemental Material:
  • Cast and Crew Commentaries
  • Cast Roundtable Parts 1 and 2
  • Ducky's World
  • Behind the Set: The Production Design of NCIS
  • Dressed to Kill: Dressing the Set of NCIS
  • Prop Master
  • Picture Perfect: The Looks of NCIS
  • Season of Secrets


Technical Information:
  • Number of Discs: 6
  • Widescreen (1.78)
  • English (Dolby Digital 5.1), English (Stereo Surround)
  • Subtitles: None

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.::THE FILM::.

IMAGE

“NCIS” is yet another procedural CBS show, but it compliments “Criminal Minds”, “CSI” and “CSI: NY” very well and also adds a bit of comedy to the mystery. I assume if you’re reading this, you already know what it’s about so I’ll just dive into what this fourth season is about.

Season 3 ended with NCIS team leader Gibbs (Harmon) quitting after a major explosion that put him in a coma and released tragic memories in his past (namely the deaths of his wife and daughter). Season 4 finds goofball, but effective, Tony (Weatherly) leading the team (Murray, Pablo, Perrette) under the watchful eye of NCIS director Shepard (Holly). This only lasts for the season premiere after Gibbs is forced out of retirement and slowly but surely readjusts to his old self.

Where season 3 delved into Gibbs’ past and who he is, the fourth season centers more around DiNozzo and his relationship with Jeanne Benoit (Scottie Thompson), a doctor with her own secret. The others get their dues, like Ziva falling for a poisoned inspector in “Dead Man Walking” or McGee and his published novel that takes its liberties with the characters.

Although I still prefer “CSI” (and “NY”), “NCIS” is great entertainment that is better than 90% of the stuff on TV. Now, I’m a fan of the procedural rather than season-long storylines and “NCIS” builds its characters without having to watch every week.

Each of the cast members brings their own flair, but it’s Mark Harmon that makes the series so fun and interesting with room still to grow (and no signs of slowing down). I think people forget this was a spin-off of “JAG” and has after only 4 years, surpassed that series.

EPISODE BREAKDOWN:

01. Shalom
02. Escaped
03. Singled Out
04. Faking It
05. Dead and Unburied
06. Witch Hunt
07. Sandblast
08. Once a Hero
09. Twisted Sister
10. Smoked
11. Driven
12. Suspicion
13. Sharif Returns
14. Blowback
15. Friends & Lovers
16. Dead Man Walking
17. Skeletons
18. Iceman
19. Grace Period
20. Cover Story
21. Brothers in Arms
22. In the Dark
23. Trojan Horse
24. Angel of Death



.::SPECIAL FEATURES::.

Audio Commentaries – Select episodes come with commentary tracks with the cast and crew. Episodes include: “Twisted Sister” with actor Sean Murray (McGee) and director Terrence O’Hara; “Dead Man Walking” with actors Murray and Cote de Pablo (Ziva); “Skeletons” with actors Brian Dietzen (Palmer) and David McCallum (Ducky); “Grace Period” with actor Michael Weatherly (Tony); and “Angel of Death” with exec producer/writer Donald P. Bellisario. These set of tracks are actually the best commentaries out of the CBS library (“CSI: NY”, “Criminal Minds”, etc) this year. They’ve managed to get a good number of the cast to contribute and although some are a bit dry, it’s still fun to hear their thoughts on certain episodes.

Cast Roundtable: Parts 1 & 2 (35:10) – This “Dinner for Five”-like feature has the entire main cast eating at a nice restaurant (Smoke House), drinking beer and/or wine and taking questions submitted by the fans. As a fan of “Dinner for Five”, I enjoyed the hell out of this. Subjects go from their first paid acting job to similarities to their characters. This feature is split into two parts, each on a separate disc, unfortunately.

Ducky’s World (5:08) – Actor David McCallum takes the viewer on a tour of the morgue set describing instruments and other little tidbits.

I decided to cover the next few featurettes in one swoop because they’re all related to behind-the-scenes production design. First, Behind the Set: The Production Design of “NCIS” (9:26) is a slow but semi-interesting look at how the sets are put together via scripts and designs in previous episodes. Next is Dressed to Kill: Dressing the Sets of “NCIS” (5:46) which is really an off-shoot of ‘Behind the Set’ and follows another crew member around on a backstage/warehouse tour taking us from computers to lamps to furniture. Prop Master (6:52) is a cool entry with the prop master in his van of trinkets of jewelry, watches and guns. Last is Picture Perfect: The Looks of “NCIS” (9:25) which covers the director of photographer, William Webb as he explains his consistent style and the innovations brought onto the series.

Finally is a short interview called Season of Secrets (2:19) where executive producer Donald P. Bellisario runs through some of the storylines in season four and how a couple of them had to be altered to due unforeseen circumstances.



.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.

IMAGE

The show is presented in anamorphic widescreen and looks as clear as a current series should. A Dolby 5.1 mix is available along with a standard 2.0 stereo for those who either don’t care or want to use your TV speakers. Nothing outstanding in either mixes but certainly good enough.



.::OVERALL::.

“NCIS” is a top notch program that sometimes is overshadowed by its CBS brethren, especially “CSI”. While I think “CSI” is a better program overall, “NCIS” is still a damn good show that is deserving of the ratings it continues to get now. This DVD set is a must for fans of the series and those who haven’ seen it, it is well worth the money given some solid features and, most importantly, it’s a great show.