Tag Archives: David McCallum

Bishop to NCIS; being the new girl

Most of us may well learn to love her. Eventually. But I have to admit to more resistance to Ziva’s replacement than I had expected to have. I am open to a replacement. I had just hoped to cringe a bit less on introduction. Ideally I’d have liked someone older and less perfect looking. Maybe not white. Certainly not blonde.

Emily Wickersham as Ellie Bishop is nice to look at. The trouble is, I had heard she appeared in The Bridge, which I’ve not seen. I did watch three episodes of Bron, and had to stop because the female, aspie detective was so cringe-worthy I almost blushed (which is not normal for me when watching television). By association, Bishop looks very similar, though I understand she did not play that role in The Bridge. But here she is; behaving oddly to say the least, and in what my aspie radar suggest is almost pure copycat casting. ‘To food associate’ is not enough of a quirky excuse. None of Gibbs’s earlier recruits; Kate, McGee, Ziva, have been absurd choices for the job of Special Agent. Bishop doesn’t seem to know what the job entails. She appears dense.

But, this is fiction, and I’m sure any dense-ness will have been magically removed by the next episode. Hopefully, or I’ll soon be blushing my way through more NCIS. To put if briefly; Bishop is not in the slightest an original character. And that’s disappointing.

I have heard complaints that she sidelined Abby and McGee too much. She did, but with a bit of luck that was merely for introductory purposes. Nell in NCIS: Los Angeles seemed to duplicate Eric’s job, but a few years on here we are, most of us happily seeing their twin nerds geeking away.

Bishop and McGee

OK, that’s enough moaning about Bishop. Unless she sinks NCIS, in its 11th season. The plot of Gut Check was far better than I’d been led to believe. The description of it beforehand had me thinking Bishop was a clairvoyant, which really would be taking the biscuit.

I like the new SecNav. She’s growing on me. She could even have a fling with Gibbs if she wanted, although that would be unseemly (in real life, anyway).

Better Angels and The Livelong Day

Two good episodes from both NCIS and LA this week, and interestingly both seemed to be on the same track as my reading at the moment. War in NCIS and trains in LA. How did they know? Actually, the war angle is not so strange. We are all working towards Remembrance Sunday (whatever that is in the US, WWI still ended at this time of year, no matter where you are/were) tomorrow.

The sentiment in Better Angels is a great one, but the wartime scenario felt a little farfetched. Admittedly, I had just read a similar Allied soldier/German soldier thing, but this one featuring pilots with Gibbs Sr was weird. Where were they?

We already knew Jackson had been in the war, but it makes him as old as Ralph Waite, or older. The ‘what if?’ premise is a good one, though. If that had happened, then none of this would have been possible.

As for LA, in real life Sam Hannah would have been dead. Most likely, anyway. But it makes for good entertainment, when you know he won’t die, on account of being a main character. It’s nice to have episode characters with, well, character. Kept wondering about Dead Man’s Switch, but the Resident IT Consultant reckoned they might not have them on US trains.

That aside, this episode was very nicely train-centric, especially for something set in California and not on the East Coast. They were a little mean to Deeks, but then he has gone a bit funny and seems to veer from one strange idea to another.

I suppose what I’m saying is that neither episode counts as stupidly outlandish. Hoping Eric will be officially permitted to wear shorts, and that the NCIS office will never be quite as empty as it was this week. Camp fire between two agents? That’s just sad.

NCIS – the women have it

So, we’re back to season three mode, with various women being borrowed for a week at a time, to fill the gap Ziva left behind. Whether it’s because they really haven’t found the right replacement, or if they want to give us – and themselves – some time to breathe, and grieve, I have no idea. It’s good that they haven’t rushed into finding just any female to fill the David boots.

Abby and Abby

Though I almost wondered if Agent Borin was going to be the – surprise – one. That would have been novel, letting an existing character take over. Especially one we like. When she left Gibbs’s basement last week, I thought it could be a double bluff. Or they are waiting to see what viewers’ reactions are.

That old partner of Mike’s who turned up for two weeks before retiring, was so clearly marked that no one would ever fear she’d be ‘the one.’ But Agent Grady? Not that I had realised she was an agent. I thought she just attached equipment to Gibbs’s trousers and was awkward.

Maybe we’ll see – far too much – more of McGee’s Delilah? Anyone who can give DiNozzo a heart attack is halfway there.


And the dear new SecNav. Gibbs had his suspicions about her. Not that she’d demote herself to Agent, but interfering is another thing. It was quite funny when he gave her the elevator treatment. ‘Urban legend!’ Hah.

SecNav and Gibbs

I wonder how long we’ll have women dangled tantalisingly in front of us? If we are to have a slightly used character, my money is on Abigail Borin. I enjoyed the Gabse/Gabbs pairing, except they are perhaps too alike.

Gibbs and Borin

And speaking of women, I hadn’t thought before, but in Mike’s granddaughter, they have given Gibbs a replacement daughter. Might explain why he’s mellowed.

(Photos © CBS)

Abby Halloween, everyone!

McGee and Abby

That was some necklace Abby wore for Halloween. It looked suspiciously as if she’d had another spider web tattoo done.


Someone was playing tricks on people. No treats, though. Poor Ducky, having to ask the corpse if he could hear anything.

McGee's desk

McGee’s woes were not too serious, unless you count his encounter with the fire in the lab.


Abby had decorated her workplace with her usual finesse (how does the woman find the time?), and herself as well.

McGee and Abby

DiNozzo got his just deserts. If it was him. Maybe it was Gibbs?



(Photos © CBS)

NCIS – Past, Present, Future

DiNozzo and Ziva

So she lived. That makes a difference in a series where few women are written out alive. Ziva could come back, if only to visit.

And we have a new woman on board, the SecNav. (Stereotype, women are secretaries…) Unless they start something weird between her and Gibbs, she’ll be fine. There is no reason why they should. I’m guessing the looks were there anyway?


The second part of the start to season eleven wasn’t too bad in the end. Not being a Tiva fan, I didn’t cry. Except possibly over Tony’s beard which made him look startlingly like Borgen’s Kasper.

Who’d have thought Ziva wanted to be a ballerina? Although, most girls want that at some point or other. I hope she gets an opportunity to try something from that list of hers.

Ziva's will

And yes, I’m sure Ari had some good points, and in a way it was ‘nice’ that he was allowed in, if only for a moment.

Abby mentioned Captain Kirk. Gibbs asked ‘Captain Who?’ (That should be Doctor Who…)


Fornell needs banana pancakes in a crisis. I’d say he should have eaten many more of those, and not even the extra extra bacon helped. But of course Gibbs didn’t shoot him. At least, not most of him. Poor Tobias.

Fornell and Gibbs

I had been warned I’d find Gibbs’s vampire eye disturbing. Strangely, I didn’t. I suspect because it wasn’t real.


Right now it looks like the new season could be OK. But it will depend on the writing. And on who replaces Ziva. She will be a hard act to follow.

NCIS – Whiskey Tango Foxtrot

To be continued

As season beginnings go, this was pretty good. They avoided the issue of Gibbs seemingly shooting Fornell by having one of those ‘to be continued’ endings. Oh, well.

Abby, Ducky and Palmer

Almost no one was at their post, as season ten ended with lots of badges being handed in. They were obviously handed back out again after a suitable amount of action, but it was quite sweet to find Ducky at Gibbs’s desk, ordering Abby and Palmer to do their bit. And poor Palmer, who – just like me – is not good with hunger strikes.

Director Morrow

The early fireworks made me wonder just how many actors they were trying to do away with, but we still have some left. Am thinking they will have to kill Ziva now, because with a kill list that long and most of the agents needing to survive, they probably will kill any volunteers. But DiNozzo is showing worrying signs of being smitten. He’s not allowed to be!


Parsons stopped being obnoxious, which is good, as I liked him. But he looks so like McGee, they could do with wearing name badges. Doing ‘the right thing for the wrong reason.’ Even with a farfetched plot, I didn’t quite get why Gibbs went away, or why he wore such strange clothes to ‘blend in.’.


I’m quite looking forward to next week, and not just for the ‘to be continued’ reason. But they need to keep this up. No soppyness. No slacking.


I worried about Kate the goldfish for a moment…

(Photos © CBS)

A very happy 80th birthday to David McCallum!

We’ve had a run of blog posts featuring digits here, so what’s one more among friends?

It’s a very special day today. David McCallum is 80, and who would believe it? He looks as fresh as he has done for years, and as Ducky he certainly doesn’t look anywhere near retirement age. As David he clearly shows he doesn’t do retirement. (If it was me I’d want to rest and do nothing.) Filming can’t always be a bed of roses, but I hope there will be many more years of both David and Ducky on small and big screens.

Thanksgiving at Ducky's © CBS

I’d normally have opted for a picture of David McCallum, but this one of Ducky is suitably festive for a birthday. Let’s hope he doesn’t have to work out anything complicated to do with the numbers of candles on his cake.

Skål & grattis!

Ten in one go

I can recall hearing people who watched several seasons of NCIS in one go, say that it was much better that way, than when taken once a week for years. I can sort of see what they mean now.

We spent the last couple of weeks wading though most of season ten to prepare for the new season start in two weeks. It has taken diligence and perseverance, but that’s something Daughter and I possess when it has to do with NCIS.

And I discovered two things. 1) It really is better to get a complete view by watching episodes close together. 2) By having too little time, as well as little inclination, to watch episodes a second time throughout the season, most of them felt almost brand new, and I’m sure that added to the pleasure now.

So, taken together, there is more cohesion than I’d imagined. You still notice that some episodes are better written, by someone with a good background of what’s gone before. But still.

(When I offered the Resident IT Consultant to share the last remaining episodes he was adamant he couldn’t be bothered. So no repeats for him.)

Here’s to eleven!


(Fun link to a very brief summary of the last ten years. At least once you’ve suffered through the ad at the beginning.)

Seasons zero, eleven and five

So, as September approaches, we get no Red at all. I’m neither upset over, nor surprised by, the lack of success of Red in the NCIS stable. Where I felt NCIS: LA was viable after the two pilot episodes, I never saw Red as anywhere near the same.

I didn’t need LA to happen, but I enjoy it. Red I really don’t believe I would have watched, unless CBS had cleverly inserted some real NCIS here and there, ‘forcing’ me to join in. But it seems CBS want to protect what they’ve got, and not dilute their efforts on the mobile team.

The real NCIS. Yes. We’ll have to see how that goes. Season ten started with OK stuff and then ran out of anything really stirring. The last episode was sort of exciting, but if you remove the threat of all the agents leaving, and the fact that they really can’t have Gibbs shooting Fornell (at least for real), there is very little left, except how they get them back again.

I’m hoping they won’t kill Ziva. It would be refreshing to have someone retire and still live.

And then there’s LA. That was some cliffhanger they gave us. More literally than most occasions when you use the word cliffhanger. My second-in-command keeps saying that either Deeks or Kensi will have to go. I disagree. I don’t think they’ll do that. How to solve the kiss conundrum, though, I don’t know.

As for Mrs Hannah, I suppose they could kill her off. Hope not, because then we will have another agent with a dead wife. A motherless child.

NCIS: LA - 100th cake and team

I can’t believe that LA have already reached (at least while filming) its 100th episode. They are a mere baby! But since big brother will celebrate its 250th, I suppose they really are that old.

One month to go. Might have to rerun season ten, to get in the mood properly.

NCIS – Recoil

Ziva, Recoil

Now that Ziva will be disappearing (nicely, I hope) I watched Recoil from season five, again. It’s one I like, although it’s painful to see Ziva slowly unravelling in a most un-Ziva like manner.

Ziva, Recoil

I’d forgotten how fast things turn bad in Recoil. When I think back it seems like the first few minutes should last through half the show.

NCIS - Recoil

But for someone who kills all the time (or so it seems), while showing little compunction (or so it seems), here Ziva clearly can’t sleep, if the shadows under her eyes are anything to go by.

Ziva, Recoil

She leaves her hair down. Not only down, but seductively curly. Except one morning when the hair looks a little flat, rather like poor Ziva.

Ziva, Recoil

It’s a great episode for several reasons. We have two good main suspects; one who seems nice (but we know that nice is often quite bad) and one who looks shifty (and has some reason to, but no more than that). And then it turns out that neither of them did it.

Ziva, Recoil

At the end you can tell Ziva’s feeling better, because her hair is under control again. Unfortunately. Although I suppose federal agents can’t go round with seductive hair all the time. Except, she wasn’t a fed at the time. Mossad. They might have even stricter hair-rules.

Ziva ans Gibbs, Recoil

Photos © CBS