STUDIO: Paramount
MSRP: $35.49
RATED: Not rated
RUNNING TIME: 1086 minutes

- Cast and crew commentaries on selected episodes
- Bodies of Work featurette
- Fear: A DVD Exclusive
- Starting With A Bang featurette
- Horsin’ Around featurette
- Season 6: Cruising Along featurette
- Six Degrees of Conversation

The Pitch

Insert CSI joke here.

The Humans

Mark Harmon, Michael Weatherly, Cote de Pablo, Pauley Perrette, Sean Murray, David McCallum, Rocky Carroll.

The Nutshell

stands for Naval Criminal Investigative Service and is the Navy and
Marine Corps’ own personal federal agency that investigates crimes
falling under those two jurisdictions.  The investigative team
is headed up by former Marine and supervisory agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs
(Harmon).  Gibbs has a short attention span for bullshit and
an even shorter tolerance for crime.  Once he’s on a case he’s
a bulldog, who frequently takes bites out of the asses of his own team
when they’re not living up to the high standard he demands. 
That team consists of jokester Anthony DiNozzo (Weatherly), former
Mossad assassin and liaison officer Ziva David (de Pablo) and techie
Tim McGee (Murray).  Together with his forensics ace and goth
wild child Abby Sciuto (Perrette) and medical examiner Donald “Ducky”
Mallard, Gibbs and his team get to the bottom of a variety of cases, no
matter how bizarre the circumstances. 

“Gibbs, I just found some evidence from a cold case that points right at Ted Bundy.”

“Uh, how about we just forget we found that, shall we…?”

The Lowdown

I’ve been a steady viewer and fan of Donald Bellisario’s shows going
back all the way to the original Battlestar Galactica.  Yet
for some reason I had slept on NCIS
However, after mainlining nearly the entire six seasons this summer,
a decided fan and this sixth season keeps things rolling right along.  The signature of the show, much like it’s sorta namesake, CSI, is that it builds its stories around a variety of bizarre cases, most of them murders of an unusual nature.  Mixing that with the chemistry of the characters, especially Harmon, Weatherly amd Perrette, and NCIS usually makes for a pretty entertaining fortysomething minutes of TV.

Co-starring Cote de Pablo…

Typically an episode starts out with a body found in an uncommonly compromising position, which leads to the NCIS team to have to track down why the body was found in the state it was and then sniff out the evildoers.  Past episodes included finding a Civil War body in its coffin…with a cell phone; another featured bodies hacked up and stuffed into a barrel; a Marine who called his wife months after being confirmed dead, then being found in his grave; and so on.  Season 6 included finding a body in a crate full of dry ice (“Cloak”); another episode, “Road Kill,” dealt with a Petty Officer who emerged from a car crash all bloody and bruised, but not from the accident; and “Murder 2.0″ dealt with a cyber killer who fancied himself the next villain ala John from Se7en.

Many of the episodes are stand alone, but there are several storylines that have carried over from previous seasons.  Season 6 started out with Gibbs having to break in a new team after McGee, Ziva and Tony were all reassigned by the new director (Carroll).  Season 6 also featured the backdoor two-part pilot for the upcoming spinoff show, NCIS: Los Angeles (“Legend, Parts 1 & 2″).  That story had Gibbs and McGee on the trail of a terror cell in LA and assisting the NCIS branch there, of which LL Cool J and Chris O’Donnell’s characters are members.  Those episodes lead to the season finale where DiNozzo was forced to kill Ziva’s lover, Mossad agent Michael Rivkin (Merik Tadros) who was apparently in touch with a terror cell.  This lead to Ziva leaving NCIS for a covert mission in the season finale.    

“Tony, this is the fifteenth time you’ve asked me to do a background check on Cash Warren.  Is there something I should know?

“No, why do you ask…?”?

In addition to the unusual cases, the show is buoyed by the portrayals of the stars.  Mark Harmon is affecting as the gruff Gibbs, whose tech savvy ends at woodworking tools, and single-minded determination to solve cases has no time for DiNozzo’s childish antics, McGee’s and Abby’s tendency to go geek lingo and Ducky’s penchant for regaling with the useless anecdote or factoid.  Weatherly is the comic relief of the show, as he frequently makes quips about women and his prowess in the dating arena.  He likes to torment McGee, who is the junior agent and that is usually the source for many of the lighter-hearted moments in the show.  Perrette is also fun as goth forensics deviant Abby.  NCIS also features some good writing as the cases never lack for originality and there’s enough forensic and anecdotal instances to jeep things interesting.  I’d recommend getting caught up on the show and then checking this season out.

The Package

This is a pretty good set as the transfer is crisp and the show looks good in 16:9 widescreen with Dolby 5.1 and Surround.  There ar, however, no subtitles of any kind.  There are commentaries on three episodes: “Bounce” by Michael Weatherly, “Broken Bird” with David McCallum and James Whitmore, Jr. and “Toxic” by Pauley Perrette and Sean Murray.  There are also a number of featurettes, including Bodies of Work, which runs at 16 minutes and covers the special effects work on creating the bodies that are featured in the morgue every episode. 

Fear: A DVD Exclusive
runs seven minutes and features using Pauley Perrette’s music in the show.  Starting With A bang runs ten minutes and is an overview of the Season 6 story arcs.  Horsin’ Around runs ten minutes and is a behind-the-scenes about shooting on horseback in the desert for the episode “South By Southwest.” 
Season 6: Cruising Along is a
fifteen minute overview of the season and Six Degrees of Conversation
is a 17-minute roundtable discussion from the entire cast about various
clips from Season 6. 

 7.6 out of 10