NCIS: The Sixth Season (2008)

Genre(s): Action / Drama / Thriller
Paramount || NR - 1086 minutes - $55.98 || August 25, 2009
Reviewer: Brian Oliver || Posted On: 2009-09-26


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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

.:: V I D E O ::.
Video

.:: A U D I O ::.
Audio

.:: O V E R A L L ::.
Overall
.::MOVIE INFORMATION::.
Director: NA
Writer(s): Don McGill and Donald P. Bellisario (created by)
Cast: Mark Harmon, Michael Weatherly, Pauley Perrette, David McCallum, Sean Murray, Cote de Pablo, Rocky Carroll


.::DVD INFORMATION::.
Supplemental Material:
  • Select Episode Commentaries
  • 6 Featurettes


Technical Information:
  • Number of Discs: 6
  • Widescreen (1.78)
  • English (Dolby Digital 5.1), English (Stereo)
  • Subtitles: English

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.::THE FILM::.

CBS’ “NCIS” has shown itself to be the networks biggest show surpassing “CSI” and all other shows in ratings, especially in its sixth season... and for good reason.

Like previous seasons, “NCIS” has found the perfect formula: the show balances self contained episodes while still developing a season-long arc for the ensemble cast. Earlier seasons gave ample stories for each of the main cast. One season focused on Tony and his secret mission that had him falling in love; another was with Gibbs and giving us his back-story concerning the death of his wife and daughter; McGee got some character development concerning his sister accused of murder; Abby got a killer stalker years ago; and even Ducky got his due time with a killer out for revenge. Now season six, it is Ziva’s turn. Although we got to know her better over the four years since her introduction, this is the season that everything gets shaken up for the team.

“NCIS” The Sixth Season isn’t the best one yet for the series but still has plenty of strong episodes that had me glued every Tuesday. The season starts out concluding season five’s cliffhanger in which new NCIS Director Leon Vance (Rocky Carroll) had broken up Gibbs’ team, giving them new assignments. We find DiNozzo (Michael Weatherly) serving on an aircraft carrier, Ziva (Cote de Pablo) back in Israel working for Mossad and McGee in the computer division. Meanwhile, we are introduced to his three new team members including Michelle Lee (Liza Lapira) from the legal department. We later discover it was all a rouse to root out a possible traitor within NCIS. Alright, a little questionable, and maybe a way for them to get out of a jam, but it works as a good story and starting up season six’s bigger story arc (it gets resolved in episode 9, ‘Dagger’) before setting up for season seven in ‘Legend’.

Speaking of the two-part ‘Legend’ episode, in a move that proved successful for the “CSI” franchise, we are introduced to the “NCIS: Los Angeles” crew consisting of Agents Callen (Chris O’Donnell) and Hanna (LL Cool J), along with – though she was not included with the spin-off series – Louise Lombard as the team’s leader. The two-parter does a good job with showing us that the future spin-off was not going to be just a copy of the original, though having just watched the pilot, they could’ve taken a cue from it. In any case, what these episodes did (and the subsequent two episodes) was giving an interesting back story for Ziva involving Mossad Officer Michael Rivkin who was also Ziva’s first true love.

EPISODE LISTING:
01. Last Man Standing
02. Agent Afloat
03. Capitol Offense
04. Heartland
05. Nine Lives
06. Murder 2.0
07. Collateral Damage
08. Cloak
09. Dagger
10. Road Kill
11. Silent Night
12. Caged
13. Broken Bird
14. Love & War
15. Deliverance
16. Bounce
17. South by Southwest
18. Knockout
19. Hide and Seek
20. Dead Reckoning
21. Toxic
22. Legend (Part 1)
23. Legend (Part 2)
24. Semper Fidelis
25. Aliyah



.::SPECIAL FEATURES::.

The season set comes on 6 discs housed in 3 double disc slimline cases with an outer slim case. Features-wise, this is basically on par with previous season sets, which is a good thing when other Paramount/CBS releases seem to be cutting down on them.

Select Episode Commentaries – 3 episodes get commentary tracks, the first on ‘Broken Bird’ with Actor David McCallum (Ducky) and Director James Whitmore, Jr.; ‘Bounce’ with Actor Michael Weatherly; and ‘Toxic’ with Actors Pauley Perrette and Sean Murray.

Bodies of Work (16:19) – This featurette, hosted by actor Brian Dietzen (Jimmy Palmer), takes a look at how the bodies – and body parts – used on the show are created. Not bad info especially with a series going on this long, it’s tough to come up with new material for the fans.

Fear: A DVD Exclusive (7:01) featurette checks out Pauley Perrette’s acoustic version of her band’s song, “Fear”, which is featured on the “NCIS” soundtrack. Pretty good song, but I actually prefer the rock version on the soundtrack, unfortunately it cannot be downloaded by itself (the download costs $13.99 on Amazon).

Starting with a Bang (10:09) – Cast and crew talk about the shakeup with the beginning of season six and breaking up the team (for the one episode at least). The featurette gets you into the writer’s minds about where they went with the story after a surprising cliffhanger season five finale.

Horsin’ Around (9:22) takes a look at the ‘South by Southwest’ episode and filming on location (vs. on sets where they normally film) and getting Mark Harmon and Michael Weatherly on horseback.

Season Six: Cruising Along (15:33) – This is I guess a ‘making-of’ sort of featurette that looks at the season as a whole with comments from the cast and crew talking about the success of season six.

Six Degrees of Conversation (16:55) – Kevin Frasier from “Entertainment Tonight” hosts a little get together with the cast as they watch season six highlights followed by a little Q&A session. Personally, I still love the “Dinner for Five” like feature they did on the season four set.

Altogether there are six featurettes totaling around 75-minutes to go along with the commentaries.



.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.

One of the things that rarely disappoints with CBS’ TV on DVD releases are the video and audio qualities. The picture is presented with a 1.78 aspect ratio and all in all, and for the format, it looks pretty good. There is a little pixilation here and there but I was impressed with the colors and detail levels. Although it might not be on par with the HD version, it’s still close enough.

Equally good is the Dolby Digital 5.1 track. Now, outside of the occasional explosion and gunfire, this is pretty much a dialogue driven series along with Brian Kirk’s score. Not much more to say other than you’re not exactly going to be blown away, but for a TV series, it’s not bad at all.



.::OVERALL::.

“NCIS” is like a fine wine, it just keeps getting better with age. Where some series see a steady decline with each new season (even though I still like the show, “CSI” is on the decline), this one outperforms the previous season and then some. And it’s not the stories that are doing it; it is the ensemble cast that just works so well together and arguably have the best chemistry currently on television.