Tag Archives: David McCallum

NCIS – Catching up with the past?

I suppose it’d be too much to ask that more recent scriptwriter recruits sit down and watch the 350 odd episodes of NCIS they haven’t been part of? Just so they know what they are supposed to work on? Ten a day and you’d be done in a month. Almost.

Daughter and I tore NCIS to shreds on the phone a couple of days ago, and this is something we don’t do lightly. We love it too much, or have loved it too much, to want to do it. But what are they doing? Her theory for the lack of old favourite recurring characters not – well – recurring so much now, is that they don’t want to.

The actors, that is. They can’t all be too busy; Borin, SecNav, and so on. Fornell was there this season, but his part is getting too ridiculous, and maybe he only joined in out of kindness.

If there are some serious issues to do with Mark Harmon and why Pauley Perrette left, then it would explain a lot. Give rumours – or truth – enough of an airing and no one will want to touch what was until recently such a successful and happy show. Or was it?

We’re assuming there will be no season 17.

There could be. Get rid of Gibbs, tell McGee to mature back to where he was before, and give him a shave, and find a new boss. Borin, maybe. She’d work well with Torres.

I think I know why the acting is bad. The longer serving actors can’t be bothered, and perhaps neither can the directors. And could it be they no longer take on really good writers, or that there aren’t so many like that to choose from?

If this is the end, there’s probably no point in killing people. Otherwise I’d say kill a few to spice things up and have them replaced. Currently my favourites are Torres, Bishop and Kasie. Palmer when he’s allowed to be Palmerish rather than a pale copy of Ducky.

The threat against Vance; has it been forgotten or are we building up nicely to something magnificently bad? Two threats now, but not even a reminder of what might be coming, if only as a hint.

Kill Gibbs. That way Mark Harmon can keep his civilian hair, and I’m sure the man can negotiate enough money without actually appearing.

NCIS cast season 16

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NCIS – Love Thy Neighbour

‘How do we beat the meat puzzle?’ they asked. And then the NCIS scriptwriters came up with a sort of slow cooked meat soup. It did quite well, as long as you remembered to avert your eyes and perhaps not think about it too much.

Torres, Palmer and Gibbs

I am so proud of Palmer. He relished that soup. He really did. And then he went out and got involved in a fight. Go Jimmy!

‘Mummy Sloan’ and ‘Daddy Gibbs’ taught Torres a lesson. Because they care.

And then for good measure Gibbs stuck a knife in the interrogation room table. Someone must have realised that back in the day it was a fun thing when Gibbs did something a bit unusual or unreasonable. Although, he’s gone soft. Before, he’d have ordered someone to step into that hot tub.

Reeves got remembered and tears were almost shed. It’s as if someone went to some pains to think back to what has happened in the years since 2003. Remember it? It was a long time ago. Even Bishop has had five years.

And Ducky is back; almost his old self, while letting Palmer take the lead. I don’t know what full time acting does to David McCallum, but I am glad to see him.

Kasie is all right. She’s not Abby, but she’s not wrong.

And those neighbours. They were seriously weird.

(Photo © CBS)

Season of death

After a week of watching the season starters of Bull, NCIS and NCIS: Los Angeles, what do I think?

The latter two could have done better. Much better. And there is quite a lot of death, or the threat of death.

So Bull survived his heart attack, but is feeling vulnerable. The way he kept checking his pulse almost made me faint, and was an understated way of bringing home how he felt, mentally and physically. He’s not the same man he was. It would have been wrong to bring back a chirpy, same as always Bull. And being away from his team for so long also causes new friction between everyone.

What I fear will happen in NCIS: Los Angeles is that after so many injuries caused in the explosive end of season nine, the team will be – mostly – back to their normal bouncy selves next week. Why on earth did the team split up in the desert? Watching Kensi pulling Deeks was painful, as was seeing Sam and Callen dragging their collapsing bodies towards some kind of salvation. And that boy, just walking onto the scene like that? Honestly.

If Hetty is to disappear, which seems inevitable, I’d rather she retired, instead of hiding Linda Hunt’s absence by sending in all her old men friends to look angry for a week at a time. Is Mosley coming or going? She’ll need to grow up if she’s staying put. I’d rather they had sacrificed her than poor Hidoko.

There wasn’t much doubt that Director Vance was going to survive in NCIS. But did the man have to lose his marbles so completely over the fake agent he was taken in by? Especially as the team suddenly ‘knew’ everything towards the end, fooling the bad guys. We need to respect you if this is going to work, you know. We need to see you working things out, and not just spring a miracle solution out of the blue.

Bull’s first episode was about more deaths than what almost caught our hero in the spring. It made for painful watching, but it’s good to know that they don’t merely follow the same tracks as last year, or the year before.

I could give up on both the NCISes now. Probably won’t, but this is a thought I never believed I’d harbour. Bull, on the other hand, has not been around for long enough for the writing to deteriorate.

Cliffhangers-R-Us

Well.

Is it me, or is it them? Am I older, wiser and more cynical [only], or are they not writing such good end of season episodes any longer?

NCIS went out of their way to make Mark Harmon – or do I mean Gibbs? – seem nicer. A sort of ‘I’ll share my worst moment if you’ll share yours.’ Things are so bad that I almost like Kasie in Abby’s lab. That’s without a period of grace having passed.

It made more sense having Sloane go crazy on screen than reading about it beforehand. But I’m still not sure about everyone seemingly having a big, awful past.

Anyway, the end of season 15 of NCIS made such an impression on me that two days later I had to ask Daughter how it had ended. I just didn’t remember without a prompt. And I will not spend all summer worrying about the Director.

Which brings me to who I will spend all summer not worrying about in NCIS: Los Angeles. Hidoko, I will worry about. I don’t feel it was conclusive what happened, except it probably did. Odd that nothing was shown, though.

But all the rest? Nah, not worrying. There was too much; personal quarrels, lots of bangs and far too much fire. And Mosley… She’s gone from quite OK and providing some fresh input, to being stir crazy, rather like Sloane. It’s great to have another woman boss, and a black one at that. But did they have to portray her like this? She could have worried about her son while still being lucid and professional. Is it men writing women?

But this being mean and unprofessional, while demanding sympathy and dressing to the nines? Was sending Hetty to Vietnam a test to see if Mosley could take over? Granger could have. Now Hetty is back, and she’s the only one who acts normal.

Sam walked just fine whenever he lost the stick. Unless finding yourself in a vehicle on fire will put an end to any walking, good or otherwise.

We’ll see when September comes.

The one she doesn’t mention

We are not really any the wiser regarding why Pauley Perrette left NCIS. But it’s always possible to deduce something that may be close to the truth. After Abby’s last episode it was as if Pauley had to get it out of her system and she tweeted some very cryptical stuff.

I can see that she wants to save the jobs of her friends still working on the show. Whether the secret is so big and so bad that knowing about it would bring NCIS down is anybody’s guess. Or if she just thinks it would. Pauley had the opportunity of keeping quiet, but I can see that doesn’t sit well with her.

On the other hand, if she really wanted to have a go at someone, she’d have done better to get her act together to say something more lucid and meaningful. That opportunity is now lost.

But, OK, there are tweets saying nice things about most of her co-workers. We can start making our own deductions based on who is not mentioned. In fact, the most interesting tweet was Pauley saying she’d had a long conversation with Don Bellisario.

Because we know how Bellisario was shunted off his own creation. It was always something I felt uncomfortable about, even if he was a slave-driver. But what if he wasn’t?

And who got rid of Pancho Demmings? In fact, who was it who thought that practical jokes were good to play on their fellow actors on the show? Could that have had anything to do with Sasha Alexander leaving?

It’s one thing to have Gibbs the boss in the fictional team, but why should the actor playing him be boss of the team of actors away from the cameras. I felt uncomfortable when David McCallum spoke about Mark Harmon as though he was the one they all looked up to, the one who looked after his gang. If there was any looking up to be done, it ought to be the younger actors to Ilya Kuryakin. He’s the real deal here.

I have clearly read too much celebrity gossip, but there have been one or two bits of information about Mark’s personal past behaviour that always made me wonder what he thought he was doing.

And then there was Dave, the dog.

He is still being blamed for the break-up. But if it was him, there is no explanation for those badly written tweets in the last week. I wish Pauley had taken more care over those. Much can be said while avoiding being libellous.

If it’s actually so bad at NCIS that many wanted to complain but didn’t dare, so it was left to the one who was popular enough that she could, then someone needs to take a deeper look at what’s wrong. On who is wrong.

Whichever way this ends; if CBS had finished the show after season 14, the fans could have looked back and mourned their loss. Now, we will be mourning something far worse, something that will take away any pleasure we’ve had from NCIS over a decade and a half. Either we will [eventually] know, or we will have to keep guessing. I don’t know which will be worst.

NCIS – One Step Forward, Two Steps Back

After suspecting the scriptwriters on NCIS: Los Angeles of being on drugs this week, it looked rather like their colleagues over at NCIS had taken some as well, even if the effect was short-lived. That was one unlikely and jolly poker game chez Gibbs!

Then it turned more into a greatest hits, with every Fornell, former dead agent and every jailed bad guy doing a cameo. The more the merrier?

They did their best to scare us into thinking the worst, but I can see through those tricks by now. Doesn’t mean there wasn’t bad stuff happening. In fact, are they reading this blog? If not, it’s either a case of great minds think alike, or that the world is full of people putting forward the same opinions as me. That’s two characters I’ve been wanting to see off, who are now gone. Not saying I dislike the actors; just that their characters have been a bad fit.

Well, either Gibbs really did come to Abby’s sickbed, or they did ‘it with mirrors’ the way I suspected earlier. Last week there was another kiss. From McGee. And apart from the hospital scene, Mark Harmon and Pauley Perrette stayed firmly separate to the bitter end. That teary goodbye at the Navy Yard, but without Gibbs? Expected, but wrong.

I hadn’t wanted to speculate on how Abby would leave, but this felt just about right. At least it suited her personality.

And oh, that coffin! Priceless.

(Shame that they waited so long before inviting us into Abby’s home. That was a lot of gothic for a few minutes’ worth.)

NCIS – Sight Unseen; 350 and counting

After 350 episodes, they decide to ‘celebrate’ by having Abby not know how to break into a mobile phone? Is she not the genius forensic scientist who has hacked her way into every techy item she’s been brought for the last fifteen years?

I ask, because at times maybe it was made to look too easy, but in fiction we don’t mind this, when it’s someone we love. What’s more, after the difficulty of accessing the information hidden on this phone, it proved to have almost no relevance, but was mainly a way of using up screen time for Abby.

If this is her level of [in]competence, it’s easy to see that they will need to replace her. But please God make it someone other than Ducky’s friend from a few weeks ago! I liked the actress well enough, but once the scriptwriters have ruined her character’s personality, it’s too late to make a first impression again. Hugging everyone in sight is not a prerequisite for a forensic scientist. It’s an Abby thing.

I can’t help but think back to the 100th episode, or the 250th, and the pride we felt at having supported NCIS this far. Compare that with my reaction on reading that season 16 had been given the go-ahead. I wished they hadn’t.

And was that some possible true romances for Bishop and Torres, or were they merely making each other jealous? We don’t need more team romantic entanglements.