“NCIS”: The Twelfth Season is another solid year for the venerable series that excels mostly to the ensemble cast which, for the most part, has been together since the beginning. The stories also remain compelling with new and different obstacles for the team including a deadly antagonist to start the season out with a bang.
“NCIS”: THE TWELFTH SEASON
Genre(s): Drama, Crime
Paramount | NR – 1030 min. – $55.98 | August 18, 2015
THE MOVIE – 3.75/5
“NCIS” now making through twelve seasons could easily be considered one of the most successful spin-offs perhaps rivaling “Frasier” though even that show began to wane in its twilight years while “NCIS” has thrived being one of the highest rated shows on television. What’s the reason for its success? Who the hell knows. Sure, part of it is the ensemble cast but story wise, while entertaining; I thought previous seasons were a bit better.
The twelfth season opens with what will be, in part, the season-long storyline. In the premiere, Gibbs (MARK HARMON) and McGee (SEAN MURRAY) are escorting a squirrelly systems admin out of Russia when their chopper is shot down by a terrorist named Sergei Mishnev (ALEX VEADOV), a man who has a personal vendetta against Gibbs for killing his friend, Ari Haswan. Sergei makes for an interesting foe even if his motives are rather basic, though the results are brutal and personal.
The season also gives further insight into the supporting characters, new and old. We get a touching episode, ‘So It Goes’, where Doctor Mallard (DAVID MCCALLUM) travels to England to investigate the death of a childhood friend which dredges memories of lost love. In a variety of episodes, we also finally meet Ellie Bishop’s (EMILY WICKERSHAM) elusive husband, Jake Malloy (JAMIE BAMBER) and some potential issues within their marriage now working for different agencies as both previously worked for the NSA. The year also finds the return of DiNozzo’s skirt-chasing father, Tony Sr. played by the venerable Robert Wagner.
Season 12 might not be the strongest in the series’ history but it’s still entertaining especially thanks to the ensemble cast though the change in Gibbs personality is a bit strange compared with his early years, though I suppose the things that happened to the character might make for a good reason for a lighter, less serious version. I also like the Ellie Bishop character portrayed by Emily Wickersham having integrating herself well enough to the group and only time will tell if she’ll gel along the same levels as Sasha Alexander and Cote de Pablo and thankfully the character is married if only to avoid any BS potential relationships with either McGee or DiNozzo.
- Twenty Klicks
- Kill the Messenger
- So It Goes
- Choke Hold
- The San Dominick
- Parental Guidance Suggested
- The Searchers
- Semper Fortis
- House Rules
- The Enemy Within
- We Build, We Fight
- Cabin Fever
- Blast from the Past
- The Artful Detective
- Status Update
- No Good Deed
- Lost in Translation
- The Lost Boys
SPECIAL FEATURES – 4.0/5
Despite the spin-offs getting (slightly) shelf space-saving cases, Paramount is keeping this one consistent with previous seasons housing the 6 discs inside 3 thin cases tucked inside a matted slip case.
‘House Rules’ – Actor Sean Murray, Director Terrence O’Hara and Writer Christopher J. Waild
‘We Build, We Fight’ – Director/Actor Rocky Carroll, Writer Jennifer Corbett and Executive Producer Mark Horowitz
‘Cabin Fever’ – Executive Producer/Actor Mark Harmon, Actor Joe Spano (Fornell), Director Bethany Rooney
Although there are only three commentaries, I do like the variety of participants with no duplicates and each include at least one cast member. These tracks are generally informative delving into their respective episodes, primarily covering the story or writing more than anything.
Pre-Flight Jitters: Shooting on Location (9:54) looks at not only filming on a closed airport terminal (in Ontario) but establishing Jake (Bishop’s husband) and features interviews with a few cast and crew members.
Bad to the Bone (11:18) examines the primary bad guy, Sergei Mishnev, and a profile on the character and the actor who portrayed him.
Rocky Carroll: Director (6:45) covers the actor’s debut directing the episode ‘We Build, We Fight’.
Inside Season 12 (24:56) is a relatively extensive overview, including a behind-the-scenes look at the season premiere, of the twelfth season, the characters and storylines.
Table for Ten (30:19) is a fun roundtable discussion with the entire main cast and the executive producer as they discuss the series and its successes.
#1 Drama in the World (7:10) touts the show’s success in its twelfth season.
VIDEO – 3.75/5 | AUDIO – 3.75/5
“NCIS” never looked that good on television but I have to wonder if they either switched cameras or if the cinematography budget was cut because often times, exterior scenes especially, look incredibly cheap and have strange movements (kind of sped up). Colors aren’t especially bright but that’s the show’s tone sticking with more natural tones.
The Dolby Digital 5.1 track is, as with previous seasons, pretty good with a spattering of depth in particular on the opening theme and dialogue levels are clear and sound effects are fairly decent though hardly expansive. It’s a fine track that is more or less in keeping with how the show aired. (Copied from “NCIS” Season 11 DVD Review)
OVERALL – 3.75/5
Overall, “NCIS”: The Twelfth Season is another solid year for the venerable series that excels mostly to the ensemble cast which, for the most part, has been together since the beginning. The stories also remain compelling with new and different obstacles for the team including a deadly antagonist to start the season out with a bang. The DVD released by Paramount is well stacked with bonus material to go along with decent video and audio transfers.
Brian Oliver aka The Movieman