NCIS is a spin-off, of sorts, from the popular military lawyer show JAG. You could say that NCIS is the Order to JAG’s Law. The NCIS is a real government agency that deals with criminal activity inside or involving the US Navy or Marine Corps. The series has an incredibly global feel and honestly looks damn good for television. Production values are high, and the location stuff is out of this world, or at least all over it.
Special Agent Gibbs (Harmon) heads up this group of criminal investigators. Harmon has always been good, but I dare you to find a character he’s played better. He just eats up the part. You won’t have any trouble believing that Gibbs is the seasoned veteran investigator leading this team. Special Agent DiNozzo (Weatherly) is a former
NCIS combines elements from many types of genre shows which make it such a fresh series to watch. There’s a little bit of CSI along with a touch of Law & Order. You won’t have to look too hard to also see elements of JAG in there as well. While the soap opera aspects of the show run deeper than I like, I don’t find the relationship stuff here to be as intrusive as it was in JAG. You will also find that season 5 eases up on the big mythology arcs and offers far more standalone episodes. While I still would not recommend you jump in with season 5, you will be able to enjoy the show for what it is. If you don’t wish to go all the way back to the first season, you should at least check out the fourth before getting this set. Much of this year’s episodes deal with some heavy things that went down in the previous year.
There are some strong moments in this season, and there is a rather sweet milestone. The show celebrated its 100th episode with Chimera, which happened to fall at Halloween. How about a mysterious ghost ship to float your spooky holiday? Secret government experiment conspiracies always work on these kinds of shows. Corporal Punishment deals with a man who still thinks he’s fighting in
Each episode of NCIS is presented in its original broadcast 1.85:1 aspect ratio. At the time of airing you might not have been watching in HD, so these prints will be a welcome treat for you. While there is at times a bit of grain, the presentation is mostly pretty solid. There’s some sweet ocean scenes that appear to shine in color and depth. There’s a lot of earth tones here, so don’t look for a particularly bright mood in the presentation.
The Dolby Digital 5.1 offers a few nice ambient moments, but mostly you’re getting dialog here. It’s all fine and well placed; just don’t look for too much ear candy.
There are a handful of cast and crew Audio Commentary tracks on select episodes.
NCIS Season 5 Stem To Stern: Cast and crew talk about how the show has evolved over the first five years. There’s a lot of Harmon, and he appears very down to earth about the show. The 100th episode celebration is included as a nice touch.
The Dressing Room – The Costumes And Wardrobe Of NCIS: If you’re into clothes, you will appreciate the detail provided here. If you’re not, these 14 minutes will appear overlong. At least you don’t HAVE to watch it.
NCIS On Location: This 10 minute piece takes you on a nice tour of all of the logistics of shooting on any location. The feature covers everything from scouting to getting everyone to the location.
From Pauley To Abby – Hairspray, Lipstick, and Tattoos: Pauley Perrette takes you on her makeup experience transforming into Abby. It’s quite a process.
I like NCIS a lot more than its mother show. The characters are more compelling, and the stories are far more interesting. This team functions better as a unit, and I like the sheer diversity of stories and situations. The cast is almost too good for television. I just like every aspect of the show. Is it great? No, not even close to great, but it hits on more cylinders than average television show, and there really isn’t a bad episode in the box. You can’t go wrong deciding to collect these DVD sets. It’s become an overused cliché in television that each episode is like a mini movie. I hear it so many times I want to scream. Rarely it’s true. Here it is. All shows should adopt these kinds of production values. “If it’s not a rule, it should be.”