Review of "NCIS Season 1 (DVD)"

published 03/04/2017 | Secre
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NCIS Season 1 (DVD)

NCIS Season 1 (DVD)

NCIS is a show I have followed for a number of years; originally because my mother used to watch the same episodes on loop, but then because I realised it is simply a darn fine show. Recently, myself and my fiancé have gone all the way back to the start of the show and been watching the episodes in order… that in turn gives me something new to review… and so, NCIS Season 1.

Series Background

For those who are unaware, NCIS stands for the Naval Criminal Investigative Service who it may surprise you to find out, investigate naval crime. This can be anything from murder kidnap to terrorism to murder to fraud to well, more murder. There is admittedly quite a lot of murder going around. The NCIS is the primary law enforcement and counterintelligence arm for the navy, including the Marine Corp however they frequently end up in tussels with other law enforcement agencies over jurisdiction, with the obvious one being the FBI.

The first season aired in 2003 and whilst it is character driven, it can be watched in any order with no overriding plot line to mess up if you skip around a lot. By the time you hit the latest seasons though this is no longer the case and it’s seriously a case of you will miss vital information if you miss an episode and won’t have a clue what is going on anymore! With twenty three episodes of about an hour each in Season 1… and a current total of 13 Seasons… this is a series that will keep you going for a while though!

The NCIS team is led by Leroy Jethro Gibbs, played by Mark Harmon, and honestly if pressed I might have to name him as my favorite character ever in the history of mankind. It’s a toss-up between Gibbs, Professor McGonagall (Harry Potter) and Rupert Giles (Buffy) and that’s some tight competition. Gibbs is a no nonsense agent, demanding and organised with what appears to be a knack for reading minds…or at least reading his people. And let there be no mistake; they are his people. Somewhat of a technophobe, he relies on the team to deal with gadgets and gizmo’s, has little patience with meandering explanations often cutting people to the point or demanding it in English. Undoubtedly a workaholic and a hard task maker, he also has an innate read on people and clearly cares deeply about them.

Anthony DiNozzo is the original Special Agent of Gibb’s Team and has apparently been working with him for two years by the first season. He is the senior field agent and is undoubtedly cocky and arrogant and very much aware of his good looks. He is chauvinistic and somehow manages to flit between being smarmy and sarcastic with being strangely charismatic. It took far longer than the first series for the character to grow on me I have to admit, however he isn’t off-putting at this point… merely mildly annoying! He’s well played by Michael Weatherly though and there is certainly an aspect to his character which is quite engaging.

Caitlin Todd is a Secret Service Agent recruited to NCIS in the first episode and played by Sasha Alexander. She adds a much needed softer complement to Tony’s masculine show boating and is more than capable of giving as good as she gets. She is often disparaging of Tony’s chauvinistic attitude and his lack of respect of personal boundaries and makes a competent and stable field agent with a good eye although perhaps a little naive.

Abby Shiuto however is one of my next favourite characters in the series and is the forensic specialist attached to NCIS played by Pauley Perrette this small, gothlike character works as a wonderful counterpart to Ducky Mallard, the Chief Medical Examiner played by David McCullum. Both characters are very different, with Ducky being an academic and scholar as much as Abby is an eccentric genius. Both are in fact genius in their own rights.

There are then supporting cast such as Timothy McGee as a Probationary Agent who becomes a larger part of the team in later series, Tobias Fornell played by Joe Spano as the Senior FBI Special Agent who is constantly butting heads with Gibbs and their love-hate relationship leads a fair few episodes and finally the NCIS Director Thomas Morrow, who is worth mentioning in passing at least!

It is the characters that really pulled me into the series and it is why I have never managed to get involved in any of the other NCIS spin offs; I can’t watch it without the characters. Gibbs is the absolute star of the show as far as I’m concerned, but the team as a whole works wonderfully well together throughout and the dialogue and characterisations within the season kept me coming back for more.


However an awesome cast can carry a show, without at least interesting episodes it simply isn’t going to keep your attention. And if there’s one thing I can say about NCIS, it certainly has its fair share of excellent plot lines. Within these initial series the episodes are very much singular in nature, with very few crossing over more than one episode and although character relationships run throughout the series, there is nothing to make you watch it in order. Each episode very much works as a stand alone that you can enjoy whether or not you have seen the episodes previous to it. Of course, the episodes previous to it are also awesome and so I fully recommend watching all of them!

Episodes are crime based and so the focus of each one is in the solving of a specific crime. Season 1 has quite a few plots which focus around stopping terrorist threats and working with (mostly!) other criminal agencies to get the best results. I can’t help but wonder if this was almost a propaganda aspect after 9/11 to try to convince the American populace that they were safe from terror threats and the people in charge knew what they are doing. Either way, examples of episodes include:
  • A marine is killed in a night-time jump and it looks like an incident with a faulty parachute rather than foul play, however something isn’t sitting right with Gibbs and closer investigations are done leading to some interesting by-play with the other marines
  • A sea-man is found at the bottom of the ocean with weights tied to him. Upon investigation it turns out that he was obsessed with a role playing game online and another player was also on-board the ship. The lines between reality and fantasy blur as our technophobe Gibbs tries to get a handle on the worlds of MMORPG’s.
  • A decomposing body of a man is found in a tub of acid and is linked to the crew of a submarine…except the crew is full and the identity of the man is unknown. Questions about whether an interloper has managed to get onboard the sub arise and if so, what he is planning on doing? Gibbs and his team end up in a frantic battle against time to discover what is going on.
  • A young lady turns up with memory loss in a shallow grave claiming that the only thing she remembers is that there is a bomb in a navy ship.
  • A severed leg is found in a dumpster, not older than 24 hours… however the Marine it should have been attached to was reported dead two years ago and there wasn’t an autopsy. Gibbs and team investigate exactly what happened…

If you are watching really carefully then you can catch some screen bloopers within the series but not many and they certainly don’t impact on the experience. One for example has a wad of money with ‘For Motion Picture Use Only’ printed on them, there’s a factual blooper regarding American geography in another, a round of bullets that the American military never used in one of Ducky’s stories and Australian insignia on an American helicopter crew. All in all though, you either need to be paying attention remarkably closely, or you look them up like I did for this review!
Enjoyable Watching?

It’s going to come as no surprise after all that, that I really enjoy watching NCIS and have very much enjoyed going back and watching all of the initial episodes that I watched patchily on TV re-runs. Many of them I remembered but others were completely new to me and it was amazing just how many of these I had missed over the many, many replays on whichever TV channel gets the rights!

I did find it strange going back to Season 1 in some ways though; in particular the distinct lack of an overriding plot was odd as this is something I have become used to in the later series. I can understand why this wasn’t incorporated until later though as with a series that is just trying to find its feet, you don’t want people feeling they’ve missed something and switching off never to return.

The character dynamics are still really engaging though and the wide variety of cases means that you certainly won’t get bored. This is also one of those shows where I don’t usually figure out what is going on half way through and wait to be proven correct; if anything it regularly throws spanners in my guesses and proves me hopelessly wrong time and time again.

I therefore really enjoy watching NCIS and have enjoyed re-watching NCIS Season 1 from the start because of the interesting and innovative plot lines as well as the character portrayals. It’s even more impressive that the episodes can be watched repeatedly with no loss of enjoyment even though you know what is going to happen; that is the mark of fantastic acting.

Do We Recommend?

Indeed we do and I look forward to moving on to watch Season 2 from beginning to end in our marathon watching escapades during the evening. It is often a show you have to concentrate on but it is also a show that is well worth concentrating on!!

Community evaluation

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Comments on this review

  • jb0077 published 21/05/2017
    Another E review.
  • jo-1976 published 06/04/2017
    Not a show I've ever heard of
  • euphie published 06/04/2017
    e :o)
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Product Information : NCIS Season 1 (DVD)

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Product Details

Franchise Name: N.C.I.S. - Naval Criminal Investigative Service

DVD Region: DVD

EAN: 5014437972538

Genre: Thriller

Classification: 15 years and over


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