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Life on Mars

Original Airdate 04-30-03 Rerun 09-03-03

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On his first day at work, assistant White House counsel Joe Quincy (Matthew Perry) receives three pieces of information that lead to an unsettling discovery---and then to a scandal---when he pieces them together. Meanwhile, Vice President Hoynes (Tim Matheson) resigns.
From NBC:
A seemingly benign press leak begins a day and night long journey that ends with the discovery of a scandal that affects the uppermost levels of the administration, though what the staff doesn't yet know is that this is merely the match that lights the fuse and that things are about to get considerably worse. Matthew Perry guest-stars as a newly hired White House attorney who has the bad luck of discovering the problem.
From Warner Bros.:
A seemingly benign press leak begins a journey that lasts for a day and a night and ends with the discovery of a scandal affecting the uppermost levels of the administration. What the staff doesn't yet know is this is merely the beginning of a chain reaction--and things are about to get considerably worse. Matthew Perry appears as Joe Quincy, a newly hired White House attorney who has the bad luck of finding the problem.


Dulé Hill as Charlie (Charles) Young Personal Aide to the President
Allison Janney as C.J. (Claudia Jean) Cregg Press Secretary
Joshua Malina as Will (William) Bailey Deputy Communications Director
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
Matthew Perry as
Joe (Joseph) Quincy Associate Counsel
Tim Matheson as
John Hoynes Vice President
Guest Starring    
Kiersten Warren as Blair Spoonhour Counsel's Office Staffer
Claire Coffee as Cassie Tatum Intern
NiCole Robinson as Margaret Hooper (last name) /
Assistant to Chief of Staff
John Apicella as Ralph Gish Washington Post Science Editor
Andy Umberger as Stevie Vice President's Chief of Staff
Lara Phillips as Lauren Romano Intern
Kimberlee Peterson as Lauren Shelby Intern
Catherine Kwong as Lauren Chin Intern
Mandy Freund as Claire Huddle (last name)
Andy Milder as Aide #1 Mark
Melissa Fitzgerald as Carol Fitzpatrick (last name)
Assistant to the Press Secretary
Kris Murphy as Katie Witt (last name) /
Washington Post Reporter
Mindy Seeger as Chris Reporter
Timothy Davis-Reed as Mark O'Donnell (last name) / Reporter
Jeff Mooring as Phil Reporter
Sam Pancake (uncredited) as Stu Winkle Gossip Colunmist /
voice only

Information Links



Emmy Awards

Submitted for consideration for Outstanding Drama Series Win

Media Quotes

But there's good news for those concerned that "Wing" President Jed Bartlet has been going it alone for too long. "I'm going to go back in March and do an episode," [Tim] Matheson said.

"Busy Matheson has to phone it in"
by Jill Vejnoska
January 7, 2003
Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Right now, are you still filming episodes for "The West Wing"?

Josh [Malina]: We're currently shooting 20 of 22.

"ON THE PHONE with Joshua Malina"
by Thomas Chau
March 31, 2003
Cinema Confidential News

Wary of revealing too many plot twists, Perry does admit that Quincy "finds out something pretty huge" while pursuing an associate-council position in the White House.

"West Wing Rocked by Chandlergate!"
by Michael Ausiello
April 14, 2003
TV Guide Online

I know this West Wing experience has been great. The degree of difficulty was high. It was a really great challenge, and [I had] a very good, tired feeling driving home, which we all kind of like. - Matthew Perry

"Perry Mulls West Wing Return"
by Michael Ausiello
April 23, 2003
TV Guide Online

[Kris] Murphy -- she was Kristy Zlock growing up in Broward County -- has appeared in 45 episodes (15 this season) of the hit NBC series as Katie Witt, one of the reporters who pepper Allison Janney's C.J. Craig [Cregg] with questions. Most of her appearances have been limited to quick hits as a voice in the crowd. Tonight Murphy is more prominent as Katie and C.J., the White House press secretary, engage in a heated exchange.

"Lauderdale alum flies on West Wing"
by Tom Jicha
April 30, 2003
South Florida Sun-Sentinel

Sources say the network believed the characters were too liberal for a country that had seemingly veered to the right in recent years. NBC also reportedly wanted juicier story lines.


Sorkin apparently tried to give the network what it wanted. He wrote parts for guest stars like Matthew Perry and concocted a riveting May sweeps story arc that saw Vice President Hoynes, played by Tim Matheson, resign over a sex scandal.

"Broken Wing"
by Mary Murphy and Mark Schwed
May 31, 2003
TV Guide (American edition)

He's one of the stars of TV's most-watched comedy, but this year he's nominated for a guest shot on "The West Wing." "Interesting for funny sitcom boy to be nominated for a drama, isn't it," joked Matthew Perry from London, where he is starring opposite Hank Azaria in a stage production of David Mamet's "Sexual Perversity in Chicago."..."Especially with 'Friends' coming to an end, I'm interested in pursuing some dramatic stuff in films," Perry said. "This (the 'West Wing' role) was a great way to put my foot in that world."

"Emmys: Nominees react"
by Cynthia Littleton, Nellie Andreeva and Andrew Wallenstein
July 18, 2003
Hollywood Reporter

On Hoynes:
He said he loves Tim and only wrote him out to set up that finale. He always knew that finale was coming.

Posted at
by AJ
September 12, 2003
Message 31492
Notes from "A Conversation with Aaron Sorkin" at the Museum of Television and Radio in Beverly Hills

"Part of the notion between the vice president resigning and the president's daughter being kidnapped," [John] Wells said, "was to find some way to strike at the core of the national sense of security in some way that would mirror what happened in the real world, yet not be in any way demeaning to the real events that are happening."

"West Wingers still proud of what they do"
by Tom Jicha
January 28, 2004
South Florida Sun-Sentinel

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