NCIS: Season 8
DVD | Box Set
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NCIS (Naval Criminal Investigative Service) is more than just an action drama. With liberal doses of humor, it's a show that focuses on the sometimes complex and always amusing dynamics of a team of special agents forced to work together in high-stress situations. From murder and espionage to terrorism and stolen submarines, these special agents travel the globe to investigate all crimes with Navy or Marine Corps ties.
It's no wonder that NCIS is such a wildly popular series. The show takes an irresistible and mysterious setting--the behind-the-scenes world of military criminal investigation--and sets engaging crime procedurals within it, with a dream cast. Mark Harmon, never better, is Special Agent Gibbs, a flinty ex-marine who brooks no nonsense but who also inspires deep devotion from his team. Assisting him are his sometime sidekick Agent DiNozzo (Michael Weatherly), lab specialist Abby (the perky-goth Pauley Perrette), computer whiz Agent McGee (Sean Murray), cool-as-ice Ziva (Cote de Pablo), and criminal pathologist Dr. Mallard, a.k.a. Ducky (David McCallum). This season also sees much more of the nerdy, earnest Jimmy Palmer (Brian Dietzen), who's coming into his own as a cast member. Season eight of NCIS resolves the cliffhanger from the last season before diving into the deep end of some heavy-duty investigations, but always leavened by humor and camaraderie. This season the team tackles a seemingly random child kidnapping, a horrifying serial killer (the "Port-to-Port Killer") seeming to target the navy, terrorist threads real and potential, the infiltration of interns, and lots of intrigue, subterfuge, and double and even triple agents. Guest stars include Robert Wagner, William Devane, and Bob Newhart. The action is all heightened with the backdrop of a very real war, and very real battle-scarred sailors and marines returning home to a new, challenging home landscape.
Yet somehow the talented writers of NCIS can tell these taxing plots with plenty of humor and wisecracking. This set contains six discs and all 24 episodes (including the directorial debut episode of Weatherly, which happens to be very well done), and tons of extras. It's delightful to see that the chemistry of the cast is as real and affable off-screen as on-screen. Features include a look at the entire story arc of NCIS Director Vance (the steely Rocky Carroll); a conversation with NCIS writers; and a fascinating interview with Leon Carroll Jr., a technical adviser to the series. One engaging feature involves questions from the fans, in which each cast member answers a direct question. When one fan asks Weatherly how he would characterize DiNozzo's relationship with Gibbs, Weatherly cracks up, and says, "Well, it's a little bit father-son, a little bit Butch and Sundance--though I'm not sure who is who--and a little bit Turner and Hooch." Which is exactly why fans of NCIS keep coming back for more. --A.T. Hurley
- Cast & Crew Commentaries on Selected Episodes
- Very Special Effects
- "Grab Your Gear": A Look at Season 8
- "Lights! Camera! Weatherly!": Michael Weatherly Directs an Episode
- "I Have A Question For...": Questions from the Fans
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[I added the following subsequent to my original review.]
I contacted Paramount Home Entertainment and submitted a claim that the product was inferior. After a few weeks, I found a new NCIS:S8 in the mail. This one was authored in the proper resolution for DVDs. Long story short, they fixed it.
The UPC on the good NCIS:S8 and the bad NCIS:S8 are identical, but packaging is different. The bad one is in paper cardboard case with 3 small plastic DVD covers containing all the disks. The good one has a plastic case that houses all the disks in a smaller unit, about the size of a standard DVD movie case.
NCIS continued to tell entertaining stories of course. However, I couldn’t help but think that as we watched how close the bad guys came to the NCIS team that we might lose one of this core of actors that has really ramped NCIS into high gear for a six to seven year period call it season four to ten. The writers do a good job in making the viewer feel as though no member of the cast is safe and that things could change in a moment.
Good storytelling + utilization of the unknown continues to make NCIS a winner.
The first set of Season Eight arrived in the clear DVD case so I notified Amazon that it wasn't "boxed" as the description states so they sent me a return shipping label and a replacement was sent out, which was supposed to be the "boxed" set.....it wasn't. It was the same clear DVD case.
I give up ordering these sets off Amazon....it's a crap-shoot ...you don't know what you're going to get.
I bought an episode through the Instant Video section, and none of those problems seem to exist with the HD streaming version - it is as crisp and clear as I'd recalled it being on broadcast day, so apparently it's not the source that is/was the problem. I do not know what they did while transferring these to DVD, but I hope they don't do it again with season 9. It's a great show - c'mon, CBS, don't sell it short by issuing such poor-quality transfers as this again.
NCIS is just the best.