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Debate Camp

Original Airdate 10-16-02

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As the West Wingers prep for the presidential debates at a North Carolina conference center, a vexing question about a failed attorney-general nomination (amid charges of racial profiling) leads to flashbacks of the administration's first weeks in office.
At that time, Toby's marriage to Rep. Andrea Wyatt (Kathleen York) was about to end, but now he wants a reconciliation with his ex-wife and Sam and Charlie are helping him in the effort to win her back. Meanwhile, the Israeli Air Force weighs in on the Qumari matter; and Joey Lucas (Marlee Matlin) reports that the president is likely to lose New Hampshire.
From NBC:
While on a weekend retreat to prepare for the crucial debates, the President (Martin Sheen) is confronted with an Israeli air attack on Qumar that could enflame the Mideast -- but his accompanying staff has time to recall the Bartlet administration's first error-prone days in Washington, D.C. Bartlet also bitterly remembers the period for his failed nominee for Attorney General and Josh (Bradley Whitford) reminds Donna (Janel Moloney) of how her naivete almost cost her the job over a national security issue. Back in the present, Toby (Richard Schiff) ponders parenthood and Sam (Rob Lowe) makes a radical campaign suggestion.
From Warner Bros.:
While on a weekend retreat to prepare for the crucial upcoming debates, Bartlet must also deal with an Israeli air attack on Qumar that could cause havoc in the Mideast. Meanwhile, Bartlet's staff recalls the administration's first error-prone days in office.


Rob Lowe as Sam (Samuel Norman) Seaborn Deputy Communications Director
Dulé Hill as Charlie (Charles) Young Personal Aide to the President
Allison Janney as C.J. (Claudia Jean) Cregg Press Secretary
Janel Moloney as Donna (Donnatella) Moss Assistant to Deputy Chief of Staff
Richard Schiff as Toby (Tobias Zachary) Ziegler Communications Director
John Spencer as Leo Thomas McGarry Chief of Staff
Bradley Whitford as Josh (Joshua) Lyman Deputy Chief of Staff
Martin Sheen as
Jed (Josiah Edward) Bartlet President of the United States
Special Guest Star
Mary-Louise Parker as
Amy (Amelia) Gardner Political Operative
John Amos as
Admiral Percy "Fitz" Fitzwallace Chairman of the Joint Chiefs
Marlee Matlin as
Joey (Josephine) Lucas Pollster
Guest Starring    
Kathryn Joosten as Mrs. Delores Landingham President's Secretary
Kathleen York as Rep. Andy (Andrea) Wyatt Congresswoman
NiCole Robinson as Margaret Hooper (last name) /
Assistant to Chief of Staff
Bill O'Brien as Kenny Thurman Sign Language Interpreter
Glenn Morshower as Mike Chysler  
Thomas Kopache as Assisant Secretary of State Bob "Bobby" Slatterly
Jeffrey Pierce as Jeff Johnson Donna's predecessor
Bruce French as Bill Stark Kingspeak Reporter
Eyal Podell as Michael Gordon "NSA"
Melissa Fitzgerald as Carol Fitzpatrick (last name)
Assistant to the Press Secretary
Bill Ferrell as Guard  
Nicole Lyn as Intern Stacy
Kim Webster as Ginger Assistant to Communications' Director
William Duffy as Larry Congressional Liaison
Peter James Smith as Ed Congressional Liaison
Rick Cramer as Aide  
Lance Baldwin as Date Peter Harlow

Information Links



DGA Awards

Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Dramatic Series Night Nomination for
Paris Barclay

Media Quotes

"You're going to see opposition on the show, and you're going to see them making strong, compelling arguments. In our parallel West Wing universe, which is two years off from the actual universe, Bartlet's going to need to start running for re-election. And he's facing all kinds of opposition -- including, by the way, opposition to his left." - Aaron Sorkin

"New opponents to besiege 'West Wing'"
by Eric Deggans
February 6, 2001
St. Petersburg Times

He [Aaron Sorkin] also hopes to put Bartlet on a train for the first six episodes of that fourth season, taking the show on the road for a series of whistle-stops "all over the country."

"Sorkin's drug subplot ending"
by Ed Bark
July 22, 2001
Dallas Morning News

"When candidates are on the stump or in debates and you're watching, how often do you say, 'He should have said this,' or, 'Why didn't he say that?' We're going to have some fun with that." - Aaron Sorkin

"Reality intrudes on West Wing"
by Tom Jicha
January 21 2002
South Florida Sun-Sentinel

At this point in production, episode four is being filmed on the Warner Bros. lot. That requires creative scheduling to accommodate the days cast members will be in the Pittsburgh area filming.

"We've tried to put the trip over a weekend to be able to have some characters here only a day," Misiano said. "Hopefully [when you're watching episode four] you won't really feel like people have departed [to film these scenes in episode one]."

"'West Wing' filming in district creates a buzz"
by Rob Owen
August 21, 2002
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Lyman and Schiff's communications director Toby Ziegler will each have romances...

"Shaking the chill of the attacks"
by Eric Deggans
September 8, 2002
St. Petersburg Times

"We finally had a table read on Episode 4 Monday, and we'd already started shooting it on Friday." - Aaron Sorkin

""West Wing" creator is eager for new season"
by Gail Pennington
September 10, 2002
St. Louis Post-Dispatch

ThinkFilm producers Stephanie Antosca and Jonathan Zurer managed all aspects of the local filming, including location scouting, casting extras, hiring crew and renting equipment. The September trip included scenes with actress Mary-Louise Parker riding a bike (attached to a golf cart rig designed by Key Grip Tom Nichols and Brian Leach) near the Jefferson Memorial, having dinner with a date (local actor Lance Baldwin) at Signatures Restaurant at Market Square and entering her apartment in Dupont Circle.

"ThinkFilm, Inc. Going National"
by Unknown
November 2002

"I think some of that was the election [story line], some of these were not our best episodes, some of it was that we got hit with 'The Bachelor' and people started to leave, given an excuse," [Thomas] Schlamme said.

"Shedding light on murky look of 'West Wing'"
by Phil Rosenthal
January 15, 2003
Chicago Sun-Times

He is a fictitious U.S. president but Jed Bartlet from The West Wing may well teach Premier Bernard Landry a few tricks before the Quebec leaders' debate.

Some members of Landry's entourage happen to be fans of the hit TV show and in particular an episode where Bartlet gets to practise his pithy one-liners for the leaders' debate.

They watched the show for ideas and will have Landry do the same sometime before the debate on Monday, March 31, between Liberal leader Jean Charest and Action d?mocratique du Quebec leader Mario Dumont.

"Yes, I plan to have him watch it," Landry's press aide Hubert Bolduc said yesterday. "I have the tape."

The episode, Debate Camp, features Bartlet and his key staff preparing for the debate in a rustic North Carolina conference centre. Senior staff play the various roles including star Sam Seaborn, who gets the job of being Robert Ritchie, the Republican Party candidate.

"Debating, West Wing style"
by Phillip Authier
March 22, 2003
Montreal Gazette

"There were some decisions made about the election that didn't have much dramatic punch," says [John] Wells. "You knew Bartlet was coming back. And that story line coincided with a wave of successful reality-TV programming."

"The West Wing"
by Allison Hope Weiner
September 12, 2003
Entertainment Weekly

For more information about this episode:
Continuity Guide to "The West Wing"
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