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NCIS MODERATORS' BLOG 25
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SEASON 6 - MURDER 2.0
15th September 2009
One of the joys of owning NCIS on DVD is being able to watch favorite episodes again. Last night I revisited "Murder 2.0", season 6's Halloween episode.
Written by one of the show's best writers, Steven D. Binder, "Murder 2.0" is one of my all time favorite episodes. It is a feast of memorable lines, and also a wonderful wander down NCIS' memory lane. The episode is peppered with references to past events. Abby's stalker. Her crazy assistant. McGee's equally crazy fan.
Ostensibly "Murder 2.0" is a battle of wits between Gibbs and a serial killer, Tommy Doyle (played by Patrick J. Adams). Tommy Doyle himself is a Halloween joke. Tommy Doyle, along with another character Sam Loomis, were characters in the Halloween movies. The "Psycho" like start with the shower of blood and Tony's obligatory Norman Bates impersonations set the tone for this episode. This episode also introduced the pink fluffy handcuffs that later mysteriously appeared in the Tony's desk drawer! Why do I get the feeling that those things were something of a joke on the set throughout season 6?
But don't think that "Murder 2.0" was just an excuse for cast and crew to have fun. There are some very solid development moments in the episode. The one that stands out for me is when Gibbs and Vance are watching the second video in MTAC. The video shows the second victim begging for his life and then being beaten to death with a baseball bat. Not a word is said by Gibbs and Vance, but the sick, angry looks that pass across both their faces says it all. We also see the compassionate side of Vance. He tells Gibbs to watch his back. Later, he is prepared to evacuate Washington Navy Yard just in case the killer has decided that it will be his new killing field. He trusts Gibbs instincts.
Then there is Rose. The lead singer of Tommy Doyle's band who fancies Gibbs, much to Tony's horror. She flirts like crazy, but does not get the desired response from Gibbs. When she is leaving after having brought a possible clue to them, Gibbs tells her to look after herself. Back comes Gibbs' own catchphrase "Workin' on it." Gibbs' expression is priceless.
Steven D Binder put some of the best exchanges and one-liners into the characters mouths in this episode:
McGee: Now my CPU is too small.
Tony: I'm going to let that slide.
Tony: Is that where they keep the killer nuns?
McGee: Look, all I'm saying is some of the nuns I knew could get extremely agitated.
Gibbs: Tell me you've got something other than agitated nuns?
Tony: Really wish you'd stayed in the car, Boss.
Gibbs: DiNozzo, would you shut up or I'm going to shoot you.
Tony: Mother! Blood! Blood!
Gibbs: He has his moments.
Tony: Someone wasn't hugged enough as a child.
The last one just about sums up the episode really.
LAST UPDATE ON 16th September 2009, 6.39AM Australian Time
SUBMITTED BY MargyW
VOICES - ACCENTS - DUBBING
I know I've mentioned dubbing again, but I promise it's not really a rant, more a series of comments. As most of you have probably realised by now, I have certain fascination with language, accents and related topics.
One of the sad things about dubbing as that you lose the richness of the original sound, the different voices, accents, variations in diction, modulation of voice. There is a marked tendency to use a neutral accent when dubbing, occasionally it's not a bad thing, martial arts films of series B starring the likes of Dragon Wilson or Cynthia Rothrock, it's actually an improvement on the original, since although the two people mentioned are excellent in their respective martial arts, and the fight choreographies good, the acting is non-existent, so this is where the dubbed version, however, bad is an improvement.
There are also some famous actors and actresses whose voices improve in the dubbed version, like Richard Gere or Sarah Jessica Parker, however, this is not so in the majority of cases, and in particular with NCIS. An awful lot of emotion, nuance, etc., is lost in the dubbed version, often conveying false impressions. As you may recall in a previous entry of mine, I mentioned Susanna Thompson, who played Hollis Mann, an excellent actress whose work was spoilt by the voice used. Likewise the other day when DiNozzo and McGee were sniping at a crime scene, which in my blog I said it sounded like this banter had crossed the lines, well, again that was the 'fault' of the dubbing or rather the portrayal of that scene by the actors who play the voices.
So, today when I was watching an episode on my DVD I locked into the voices again, and the wealth of sounds, accents, dictions with which we are regaled week after week is quite something. Furthermore, most of the actors have excellent modulation, thinking here in particular of Pauley, Michael and David, whose enunciation is extremely clear, and to a certain extent surprising if we look at their birthplaces - Pauley from New Orleans, Michael from New York (although not very good at distinguishing US accents, I'd say he doesn't have a New York accent, in that he doesn't sound like Woody Allen or similar) and David who's from Glasgow. Clearly David has had an upperclass education judging by the softness of his burr when talking not to mention the result of RADA.
Sean on the other hand has what I would classify as a "typical" US accent view from a British viewpoint in that it's very nasal and twangy, not the most pleasant of accents for the non-American ear, but we're fortunate in that Sean has good clear diction. I've noticed too that in recent years, Mark Harmon's voice has become more gravelly and with a certain lisp (maybe has false teeth?), and I'd classify it as a fairly neutral US accent likewise that of Brian Dietzen. Cote of course has a foreign accent, very slight but it's there, the intonation and certain vowel sounds give her away.
It's all these different voices and accents, which give us the emotions behind the stories told in each episode, not just the lines given by the scriptwriters, but also the way they give voice and expression. You may or may not have noticed that when the cast are giving commentaries on the DVDs or being interviewed their manner of speaking changes considerably, often the tone of voice too - take for example David McCallum, his voice becomes gentler, the sounds less marked. Mark Harmon and Michael Weatherly's tones become more fluid and less clipped, Pauley speaks softer, Cote's voice becomes harsher though less clipped. It's also interesting to note how the speed with which they speak also changes, which is rather curious too; and sadly all this is lost when dubbed into a foreign language, the subtleties are deleted and the lines often become void of emotion or the emotion changes because the actors putting the voices interpret the scenes differently, view the emotions differently, perhaps don't understand the original language, perhaps don't always dub the same actor.
I remember the UK series Upstairs and Downstairs, which had a myriad of accents like the NCIS cast, however, when dubbed into Spanish because the one was neutral, you could no longer distinguish the wealthy from the serving class, which was a pity since the dubbing was exceptional for that series.
No doubt I shall be coming back to this topic again some time in the future, I confess to being a little obsessed with this theme, since very often an actor's voice can make or break a series/film for me, although obviously with the case in hand, the actors comprising the cast have voices which lure you to sit in front of the set or the DVD player.
LAST UPDATE ON 15th September 2009 10:13 PM - CET
SUBMITTED BY Sorgiña
LEAST FAVORITE EPISODES OF SEASON 6
14th September 2009
This is going to be a fairly short blog today. Why? Because out of the 25 episodes that comprise season 6 I only have two that I don't particularly care for. How's that for a strike rate?
- Silent Night. The only really good part of this is the heartwarming phone call that Gibbs places to his dad Jackson at the end. My real complaint about this episode is Abby. Whiney, needy, childish rather than childlike. She annoyed the crap out of me! I wanted to reach through the screen and Gibbs-smack her into the middle of 2010. The scene in autopsy with the psychiatrist dressed as Father Christmas was cringe invoking to the nth degree. Not cute. Not funny. I was surprised that the psychiatrist didn't suggest that Abby be put away for her own safety. That was probably one of the worst scenes in NCIS history.
- Legend Part 1. The first part of Legend bored me witless. Too much boring geeky computer stuff and not enough good lines. Macy irritated me from the first moment she appeared on the screen. Maybe she reminded me too much of Hollis Mann. I don't know. The character was originally described as being a mother-hen figure. Macy was about as much like a mother hen as a cobra with PMS would be. The whizz bang computers gave me a headache too. Literally. The images whizzing about meant a lot of the time I could not look at my television without wanting to be sick. If NCIS: Los Angeles is going to have such a heavy reliance on computer wizardry then it is not going to have the same fan base as NCIS, and won't have the broad audience appeal that NCIS has. As much as I wish NCIS: Los Angeles well, I can't see it surviving very long.
LAST UPDATE ON 15th September 2009, 6.26AM Australian Time
SUBMITTED BY MargyW
I AM GETTING ANNOYED...
Why am I getting annoyed you might ask? Well, it seems I now have another quibble with Spanish version of this series, the image quality or lack thereof. I had originally thought it was my imagination, or I hadn't cleaned the TV screen, but no! Season 6 is being broadcast in good or decent quality image, however, the previous seasons, which are currently being repeated earlier in the day have poor quality image. I could understand this if the series were on tape, which I'm sure it isn't in this digital age, but will be on DVD or blu-ray format at the very least, so, how come the image that appears on the screen gives you the impression of seeing a series that was recorded over 10 years ago?
Today they were re-showing Iceman from S4 and I had the impression of watching a series that had been recorded in the 80s not in the 21st century! Even JAG has better quality images and the series is older. I don't watch this series, but as it's on just before NCIS in the early evening, well I sometimes catch 5 minutes of and today's episode of JAG was from one of the early seasons as the lead actor had darker hair and more of it. However, what really put my hackles up was the fact that the image quality was far better than that of Iceman from S4, and we're talking about the same TV production company for both series, since as we all know NCIS is a spin-off of JAG. So how can one series be of better quality than the other?
Why does this happen with NCIS (and one or two other series on other channels too)? How come series like Chuck Norris' Ranger Walker have better image quality? Is it not enough that we have to deal with bad dubbing, poor voice synch, poor translation quality, that on top of this we also get bad quality image?
One rather gets the impression that there is a certain amount of favouritism going on depending on the series involved, and if that's the case, how come JAG or the Unit get better treatment than NCIS? Particularly considering we're dealing with US military based series, whereas NCIS although military related is essentially a crime series in the line of CSI, Without a Trace, etc.
Matters were further aggravated as I re-watched Bounce - well first time in English, but second time of viewing. Several parts of the dialogue were totally different from the Spanish version and voice synch is not an excuse, there was a complete hash in several places, what happened to the proofreaders? It also explained a lot of the reason why voice synch is poor in Spanish, given the fact there were numerous cases where the English words were say monosyllabic and the Spanish was polysyllabic, etc. Considering the richness of the Spanish language this is not a valid excuse. I mean why is it, that series from the 80s got better dubbing, for example Reasonable Doubts, or even Dark Angel, which was much later. Why do CSI and Bones get better quality dubbing, at least from the translation viewpoint?
All this reeks of coveted interest, so does this mean each TV channel has its own team of dubbers/translators and depending on the series they wish to sell to the public the quality is better or worse? And again, where does this leave us with regard to image quality? How can S4 of NCIS have poorer image quality than S1, because it has believe me, likewise S3? At least the other seasons at the moment anyway have the image quality one would expect. Not only that, if my S4 DVD has good quality why hasn't the one shown on TV got good quality? Particularly as the quality was good when originally shown. Why should seasons 3 and 4 when being re-broadcast be of poorer quality than seasons 1 and 2 when re-shown, image-wise, that is?
One rather gets the impression the powers that be of LaSexta want to be rid of NCIS, and if so, why not sell it to Cuatro, where the series would get a better airing schedule, and mayhap better dubbing and image quality.
Well, that's my rant for the day.
LAST UPDATE ON 14th September 2009 10:10 PM CET
SUBMITTED BY Sorgiña
Latest page update: made by MargyW
, Sep 15 2009, 4:45 PM EDT
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|Started By||Thread Subject||Replies||Last Post|
|MargyW||Least Favorite Episodes of Season 6 (page: 1 2)||28||Nov 24 2009, 8:23 PM EST by rodney215|
|Sorgiña||Voices - accents - dubbing||14||Nov 13 2009, 10:23 AM EST by nathfromfrance|
Thread started: Sep 15 2009, 4:13 PM EDT Watch
My entry today is about the subject titles, one of my favourite topics, and one which I love to revisit with certain frequency. As always yoru feedback is appreciated
|MargyW||Season 6 - Murder 2.0||0||Sep 15 2009, 4:42 PM EDT by MargyW|
Thread started: Sep 15 2009, 4:42 PM EDT Watch
Today's blog is a look at one of my favorite episodes of season 6:
Any feedback/discussion would be great.
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