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NCIS MODERATORS' BLOG 27
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GIBBS AS FUTURE DIRECTOR OF NCIS
20th September 2009
I realize to many of you the proposition of Leroy Jethro Gibbs as a future director of NCIS is laughable, but let's take a good, hard look at the idea, shall we?
Realistically Gibbs can't have too many years left as a field agent. His reaction times will slow down making him a danger to himself and the rest of the team. He is too good an agent to lose to retirement, so another role needs to be found for him.
Yes, I know he made a pigs breakfast of being acting director when Jenny was in Paris. I feel though, that were a couple of reasons for this. He was already suspicious of Jenny's behavior, and was worried when told that she had given her security detail the slip. This alone would play havoc with his concentration. The other thing was the obvious antipathy between himself and Cynthia. Given a supportive secretary, Gibbs would have done a better job.
Nor is Gibbs adverse to the idea himself. At least twice during season 6 Leon Vance has challenged Gibbs about Gibbs wanting to "sit in the big chair". Gibbs did not deny it. On one occasion he simply replied, "....it's already occupied." on the other occasion he was challenged by Vance he didn't bother to reply at all. Being the man that he is, if Leroy Jethro Gibbs didn't want the position he would have told Vance that clearly and distinctly.
Early in the timeline of NCIS, I don't believe Gibbs would have countenanced the idea of being the Director. But things have changed. Jenny used the position for her own ends. Gibbs can see Vance doing the same things. He has already warned Vance that he won't let that happen again.
I think that somewhere along the line, Gibbs has realized that the only way he can protect the agency that he loves is to occupy the big chair himself. He has the political clout to obtain the position. Phillip Davenport, the SecNav, knows Gibbs well enough that Gibbs' has Davenport's number in his cellphone and Davenport is comfortable relaxing in Gibbs' basement drinking bourbon with him. Yet in "Cloak" it was as if they didn't know each other. A little charade put on for Vance's benefit? Remember also in "Cloak" Davenport telling Vance that he had let Vance convince him that he was suitable for the position. Obviously Davenport had someone else in mind for the position of Director of NCIS. Could that someone have been Leroy Jethro Gibbs?
LAST UPDATE ON 21st September 2009, 6.26AM
SUBMITTED BY MargyW
MY PENCHANT FOR THE VOICES ON NCIS
I think by now, most of you will have realised I have certain obsession with voices and how the way they sound affects my enjoyment. Don't worry today's blog is not about dubbing and voice synch for a change, mainly because Sunday's a day of rest and all that jazz.
Anyhow, yesterday evening I had my own NCIS marathon, I watched all 4 episodes and all the commentaries on the final DVD in the DVD set of Season 6, and well it's the fault of the 'extras' section that's got me on today's blog topic, I'm innocent I swear, although I know there are several members on this site who won't believe that affirmation, starting with my fellow blogger; but this time it's true. In fact to be more precise the fault lies with executive producer Chas. Floyd Johnson and his gorgeous voice. One of the reason why I enjoy the extras on the DVDs is for the pleasure of listening to his voice.
So, I was listening to this as well as watching, but I had this sudden realisation, that NCIS in particular is one of those series where a blind person wouldn't really lose out, because the voices of actors convey everything you need and more; and this is extremely uncommon today. A lot of series today have reduced or should I say 'minimalist' dialogues, leaving the image to do the talking, whereas on NCIS, the image, although necessary, it is not part of what the series is about. Obviously, of course there are moments where the image dominates and does the talking, but NCIS is essentially a dialogue based series with the images interspersed to link scenes and kick off new dialogues between the characters.
With another cast, this probably would not work so well, since the voice quality of actors is essential to bring this off; and we viewers are extremely lucky in this respect with the wide range of voices, accents and intonations, which complement each other and interlock to create a wonderful symbiosis of sound and in turn imagery. Furthermore, each one of the main cast members, likewise those of recurring actors, have distinctive voices. Try turning your back to the screen on an episode you've already viewed and you will immediately recognise each and every one of the actors speaking even without the mentioning of the character names; and that's unique. There are so many series today in whatever language, not only English, where the actors have nondescript voices, it's as if today's acting schools rather like the TV shows of American Idol or Operación Triunfo (Spanish equivalent of American Idol), where they tend to turn our bland sound alikes, whose facial expression is also very bland and non-descript. So this is yet another area, where NCIS stands out among the crowd. All the actors facial expressions are unique, not to mention they have no qualms about scrunching about their faces, and generally using all their facial muscles, unlike other actors who tend to be stiff and inexpressive, probably because they're afraid of wrinkles erupting as opposed to acting and reproducing believable characters.
However, getting back to the voices, I love the way they all play with their voices to express their dialogues as opposedly to blandly reciting them (thinking here of how Michael Weatherly hissed his anger in the scene with Tedros in Semper Fi, David McCallum's changes in timbre during Broken Bird, Mark Harmon's stark changes in modulation depending on the mood, etc., etc.) , which can be seen on too many series (and films) to mention on both sides of the Atlantic, in fact it's seems to be the general tonic, unlike on NCIS. I think a lot of this is due to what they themselves say on the commentaries, in that they're all like one big family and they have great fun in doing what they do, which in turn is transmitted to us the public, I think we end up becoming atune with them because this cohesion, synergy, symbiosis, call it what you will comes across on the screen.
Then of course, there are the commentaries, which are pure entertainment, plus you can hear how much they are enjoying watching the episode they've made, in addition to their filling you in on anecdotes, and of course, you also get another side to their voices, that of the viewer, i.e. their ordinary voices not their acting voices, which inadvertently adapt and adjust to the role they place. In the round table extra at the end of the last DVD of S6, their body language also showed how well they get on with each other, the absolute absence of diva-ism, they really were just like one happy family, having fun talking at a family meeting.
Getting back to my original comment about how a blind person would not miss anything from not having vision when viewing this series, it would be rather interesting if we could have a fun episode to experiment with this, I kind of new age Archers (long running radiophonic series on BBC Radio 4), to have a CD with excerpts from emblematic episodes of the various seasons, to create a kind of "Under Milk Wood" (radiophonic play by Dylan Thomas, starring Richard Burton as the narrator) à la NCIS; I'm sure we could still get a lot of enjoyment out of it. In fact, I think it would be a nice gesture towards the blind or those with poor eyesight to producing a 'hearing' collection of NCIS, I'm sure there would be an audience out there. The mere fact of David McCallum being one of the voices is sufficient, since he already records 'hearing books', so I think this might be an interesting sideline for the NCIS producers to look into, build up more audience.
With regard to the spin-off, I don't think the voices there are so distinctive, the actors are good at least from what we could see on the episodes Legend 1 and Legend 2, however, distinctive voices - only 2 stand out, that of LL J Cool and the actor who played the profile Nate, the rest were pretty non-descript, and that includes Chris O'Donnell, who is a good actor, but I've a feeling his voice is going to sound infinitely better in Spanish, that is, if it is ever shown on Spanish TV. So, I for one am not convinced about the spin-off, I hope I'm wrong given the time invested, but the voices are definitely not going to capture the audience they way they do in NCIS.
Nice to know that should I ever lose my sight (unlikely I hope - touch wood!), I will still be able to enjoy the series thanks to the wonderful voices of the cast and Chas Floyd Johnson (Apologies to Shane Brennan for his inclusion but there are only 3 male Australian voices I like: Rolf Harris, Geoffrey Rush and Anthony LaPaglia).
Y con esto y un bizcocho se acabó lo que se dió
LAST UPDATE ON 20th September 2009 3.45 PM - CET
SUBMITTED BY Sorgiña
SEASON 3 PERSONAL LOW POINTS
19th September 2009
Firstly let me add my apologies to Sorgina's for a lack of a blog entry yesterday. Mea Culpa, Mea Culpa, Mea Maxima Culpa.
My blog entry for today is a look at what are, to me, the low points of season 3.
- Paris Flashbacks. These were unnecessary. I am not a prude, but I felt they cut a little too close to the edge. There is a time and a place for erotica. Prime time television is neither.
- Dreams/Memories of Kate. Now these were just cringe invoking. Tony's demeaning "school girl Kate" fantasy was extremely tacky. I also had a hard time with "Kate" telling Gibbs he should kill himself. For me it just didn't work. Looking at "Kill Ari Parts 1 and 2" now, they look like a couple of bad episodes of "Ghost Whisperer".
- Gibbs being blown up. This sent me freak city. My favorite character in hospital. Then we are hit with the shock discovery that Gibbs had another wife and a child who were murdered. To me this was starting to push NCIS into the realm of the Bold and the Beautiful.
- Gibbs leaving NCIS. To say I was horrified would be an understatement. Note to writers: DON'T DO THAT AGAIN! You nearly sent me into cardiac arrest!
LAST UPDATE ON 20th September 2009, 10.43AM Australian Time
SUBMITTED BY MargyW
O.V. followed by DUBBED
Oops just realised you were left without a blog entry from either MargyW or I yesterday ¡cachís en la porra! Well as you can see we're human and have our lapses.
Anyhow, I have my entry ready today, another on O.V. versus dubbed, except that this time I've watched the original version before the dubbed version, as I said I would in a previous blog. This is thanks to the fact we still have some 7 episodes to go before S6 is finished here.
The episode in question was Hide and Seek, another great episode this season, which I enjoyed tremendously. They cast some really good kids in this series and the episode in question was no exception. As is usual with most episodes we get a whole range of emotions to keep our interest up, I particularly enjoyed McGee leading the way in the cross-country search for the missing body as the 'boy-scout leader'.
Well 2 days after watching the English version I watched the Spanish version, and in some ways the Spanish didn't sound too bad, but I was like mentally superimposing the English over the Spanish, however, it still came over as a totally different episode dialogue wise. A lot of the translations had nothing whatsoever to do with the original, the gags tended to fall in different places, etc. I do appreciate that translating gags is probably one of the most difficult things a translator has to deal with because humour is peculiar to each language/country, so is not necessarily translatable without giving a totally different translations using different euphemisms, etc., to convey the same meaning. This is often one of the reasons why Ziva's 'faux pas' come out a little odd to say the least, not that foreigners don't make amusing mistakes in Spanish, because they do, believe me - been there, done that, as DiNozzo would say. Unfortunately when translating, and here I'm going to go out on a limb for my translator colleagues who specialise in translating foreign TV and films, this becomes exceptionally difficult, because the reason for the humour is totally different in another language. For example in the episode Toxic Ziva said "It smells fish" instead of "It smells fishy" - translated into Spanish, means nothing at all, starting with the correct expression, since in Spanish the correct translation of "It smells fishy" would be either "Parece que hay gato encerrado" (lit. translation - there seems to be a cat locked in) or "Huele a chamusquina" (lit. translation - smells like something's been singed). Now the problem here, just with this simply 3 word expression in English is that the Spanish is totally different as you can see, the first has 5 words and the second 3 words, and although it has only 3 words there are more syllables. Why is that a problem you might ask? Well, in a theatre play it wouldn't be a problem because the original actors wouldn't be there only the Spanish actors, in this case, and the play on words or faux pas could be carried off without problems. However, when dealing with TV or films, the words used in the foreign language must neither over- nor understep the original; since part of the difficulty lies with voice synch, the big bugbear of the translator working in this speciality, and which needless to say requires enormous dexterity, not to mention an above excellence command of the 2 languages, i.e. English and whatever the foreign language is. Then of course, this is hindered by the factor time/speed, plus the fact we can't use copy and paste for this task.
I know I criticise dubbing a lot, but it's not the translator involved so much as the companies responsible for the same or rather the management thereof, who are totally oblivious to what the task requires, and whom I'm willing to bet are not only not translators but have no knowledge of a foreign language. The latter half of that sentence is no exaggeration but a crude reality, with which we translators are constantly battling against, since there exists the mistaken conception that if you know 2 languages you can translate something at the drop of the hat and in any register!! This misconception is not exclusive to the Spanish State, not by a long chalk, since we come across this misconception left, right and centre all round the world. People tend to forget that when translating you not only have to understand the words and meaning of the original text but that the translation must read like another original conveying the identical message; and this takes time and effort. Furthermore, both the UN and EU recommend translating a maximum of 3000 words per day, the fact we may do 8000 to 10,000 is irrelevant - inspiration sometimes helps, and a lot of proficiency when typing. However, 3000 is a feasible amount taking into account that we have to match register, meaning and produce a clean, error free text; yet the majority of clients/agencies don't understand this, and then you get the translations you get, as in the case of dubbing.
I've just talked about what's required for a written translation, when it comes to a translation for a series, as in the case of NCIS, where we often have episodes with lots of dialogue, such as in Broken Bird, you'd be amazed at the total word count for a whole episode, not to mention the different registers involved, this is no mean feat for the translator or translators, since I would imagine there would be a team of translators, one of whom would be acting as proofreader/editor. Furthermore, it's a known fact the translators employed in this area have to work against the clock constantly, and of course they won't be employed to translate solely NCIS, if they were we wouldn't get the faux pas that we do; no, they will also be translating for other series. And I think you'll all agree translating NCIS is not the same as translating Desperate Housewives for example, and of course if one series is considered more important than the other, then the translator will be required to interrrupt his/her work and concentrate on the other to the extent, that when they get back to the original this is now ultra urgent.
All in all, they do a pretty good job, and the ups and downs, which I notice in the dubbing is probably due largely to what I've explained above. However, this is rather said, since due to this slipshod manner of translation caused by having to working too fast, leaves the foreigner view with a mediocre result more often than not, which is rather sad, since just 10 years ago, dubbing was of a much better quality than it is today.
Y con esto y un bizcocho se acabó lo que se dió
PS: Those of you who haven't yet done so, please add your birthday wishes for David McCallum, who's "21" again :-)) today. There is page set up of this, in fact it's page Nº 2, since the first has already been completed, but then the gent deserves it. Zorionak David!!
LAST UPDATE ON 19th September 2009 11:40 AM - CET
SUBMITTED BY Sorgiña
Latest page update: made by MargyW
, Sep 20 2009, 4:33 PM EDT
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|Started By||Thread Subject||Replies||Last Post|
|Sorgiña||My penchant for the voices on NCIS||11||Sep 22 2009, 8:39 AM EDT by hicksi|
Thread started: Sep 20 2009, 9:42 AM EDT Watch
My entry today is on the voices of NCIS - the entire cast is endowed with unique voices that are a pleasure to listen to, and the same goes for recurring actors like: Joe Spano, Muse Watson or David Dayan Fisher. As always your feedback is welcome
|MargyW||Gibbs as Future Director of NCIS||10||Sep 21 2009, 4:16 PM EDT by MargyW|
Thread started: Sep 20 2009, 4:29 PM EDT Watch
My blog for today:
Once you've stopped choking, I would love your feedback.
|MargyW||Season 3 Personal Low Points||3||Sep 19 2009, 11:37 PM EDT by MargyW|
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