The West Wing

NBC (ended 2006)




  • Season 1 Episode 14: Take This Sabbath Day

  • This wasn't the first time Martin Sheen and Karl Malden had worked together. They previously had worked together on the TV series The Streets of San Francisco in the episode "Betrayed" in 1973.

  • This episode was a 2001 WGA Award Winner and a 2000 Award Winner of the Humanitas Prize in the 60 Minute category.

  • Toby: "Even two thousand years ago, the rabbis of the Talmud couldn't stomach it."

    Toby tells the President that the ancient rabbis were averse to the death penalty. This is fairly true since the Talmud states that the fundumental difference between capital crimes and property crimes is sentence reversibility. A miscarriage of justice in the latter can be reversed by returning the property to its rightful owner. But a miscarriage of justice in a capital crime can never be reversed and the Talmud warns the rabbis that the blood of the accused, and the blood of all his progeny will be upon them till the end of time. As a result they instituted impossible conditions that the state had to meet in order to execute a person (that it can be proven that he was warned that is actions carry the death penalty, that the witnesses know that if they are caught lying they will receive the same punishment they intended for the accused, that the witnesses actually saw him commit the crime, etc.).

    This is taken from the Babylonian Talmud's chapter "Sanhedrin". There are many more procedural restrictions mentioned there regarding witness examination, witness reliability, the judges involved etc.

  • Father Cavanaugh says to the President that God, "...sent you a priest, a rabbi, and a Quaker...." How did he know about Toby's rabbi and Joey Lucas (the Quaker)? Cavanaugh appears in only one scene with no breaks, during which the president does not mention either rabbi or Quaker. Maybe that part of the conversation was cut from the final.

  • Season 1 Episode 15: Celestial Navigation

  • This is the first episode of the series to contain flashbacks.

  • Season 1 Episode 16: 20 Hours in L.A.

  • In this episode Jorja Fox appears as Zoey's Secret Service agent, although her name is mispelled on the credits she is listed as Jorjan Fox.

  • Marlee Matlin (Joey Lucas) and Elizabeth Moss (Zoey Bartlet) have guest starred in many of ths same series. The have both had recurring roles on, of course, The West Wing, and Picket Fences. They have even appeared on Law & Order, albeit on seperate series of the francise (Matlin on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and Moss on Law & Order: Trial By Jury). What's most interesting is that with the frequent recurrence in these roles they have never shared a scene on The West Wing or in Picket Fences. Take this episode for example in which they both appear but not together.

  • When Donna and Josh are checking in to the hotel, Josh has trouble opening his door with his key card. Years later, in the episode "King Corn", after they have both left the White House, they are checking in to rooms that are across from each other and as he is having trouble with his key card yet again, she comes over and helps him.

  • While Josh is talking to Joey Lucas with Kenny, Kenny says what Joey is signing a few signs before she even signed the word he said.

  • As the President boards Air Force One, the entire port wing is visible, including the six-foot vertical winglet at the end. The plane commonly used as Air Force One is one of two modified Boeing 747-200s; Boeing didn't add the winglet until the 747-400 model.

  • Season 1 Episode 18: Six Meetings Before Lunch

  • Goof: The Andrew Johnson fireplace in "Mural Room" - (room with the big fireplace and the painted walls) is lid in the scene with Josh and Donna while in season 02 episode 11 "Leadership Breakfast" opening scene it has been welled shut since 1896.

  • Sam's middle name is Norman.

  • Season 1 Episode 19: Let Bartlet Be Bartlet

  • Goof: Since Mandy's memo is a work product of her contract with Russell, it would be owned by him, and therefore she could not legally show it to the Bartlet administration. (She could, however, create a new memo for them which said essentially the same thing.)

  • Goof: Sam says that he got the weather update from a Coast Guard First Lieutentant, but there is no such rank. The Coast Guard follows Navy ranks which would be either a Lieutenant or a Lieutenant Junior Grade.

  • Season 1 Episode 21: Lies, Damn Lies and Stati...

  • CJ's Fish bowl decoration is a telephone.

  • Season 1 Episode 22: What Kind of Day Has It B...

  • Martin Sheen is seen drinking out of a University of Dayton Flyers coffee mug. Sheen grew up in Dayton, Ohio. He has said that he failed his entrance exam there so he could pursue acting. He likes to give shout outs to his hometown from time to time.

  • The title of this episode, "What Kind of Day Has It Been?" is also uttered by Leo in the episode "Commencement."

  • Goof: You clearly see a secret service agent grab CJ and push her down in one shot. As they cut away to the next shot, you see Sam taking her down, not the secret service agent.

  • CJ's fish bowl decoration: The Space Shuttle, (one of the subplots of the episode is a problem on the shuttle mission Toby's brother is on)

  • The departure of Mandy Hampton after this episode is never really explained.

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Politics, Classics