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Original Airdate 05-12-04

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Donna is seriously injured in a terrorist car bombing while on a congressional fact-finding mission in Gaza. Three Americans are killed. And as the president and staffers struggle to deal with the tragedy emotionally, they must also craft a response. In flashbacks, Donna learns firsthand why the conflict between the Israelis and Palestinians is, as Toby puts it, "a 50-year sinkhole of hopelessness and despair." She also meets a dashing British photojournalist (Jason Isaacs).
From NBC:
A fact-finding tour to the hotly disputed Gaza Strip includes Donna (Janel Moloney), Admiral Fitzwallace (John Amos) and a few congressmen as they sort through the thicket of rival issues between the Palestinians and Israelis -- but the killing fields soon claim some of the delegation when a deadly bomb shatters their vehicle and has the President (Martin Sheen) considering targets for military action. In flashbacks, Donna is attracted to a dashing British photojournalist (Jason Isaacs) who opens her eyes to his graphic world of recording mankin's most heinous acts of violence.


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 Vice President's Chief of Staff
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 Stars    
Mary McCormack as Kate (Katherine) Harper Deputy National Security Advisor
Jason Isaacs as Colin Ayres Photojournalist
John Amos as
Admiral Percy "Fitz" Fitzwallace Former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs
Guest Starring    
Terry O'Quinn as General Nicholas Alexander Chairman of the Joint Chiefs
Kathleen York as Rep. Andy (Andrea) Wyatt Congresswoman
Ron Canada as Theodore "Ted" Barrow Under Secretary of State
Steve Ryan as Miles Hutchinson Secretary of Defense
Ryan Cutrona as George Sliger previously Rollie / CIA Director
Zach Cohen as Yossi Israeli Soldier
Tim Lounibos as Colonel Leahy Surgeon
Makram J. Khoury (uncredited) as Chairman Nizar Farad on phone
Melissa Fitzgerald as Carol Fitzpatrick (last name)
Assistant to the Press Secretary
Kris Murphy as Katie Witt (last name) / Reporter
Charles Noland as Steve Reporter
Tom W. Chick as Gordon Reporter
Keith Sellon-Wright as Congressman Korb Thomas (first name)
Traber Burns as Congressman DeSantos Daniel (first name)
Novella Nelson as Gail Fitzwallace Adm. Fitzwallace's Wife
Elena K. Smith as Eliat Itzhaki Israeli Settler
David Koff as Yoav Itzhaki Israeli Settler
Anthony Batarse as Fatah Translator  
Sayed Badreya as Fatah Official #2  
Ghassan Mashini as Fatah Official #1  
Sam Aylia Sako as Ashraf Murad Palestinian Electrician
Ken Weiler as Military Aide  
Remo J. Braydi as Backgammon Player  
Zina Zaflow as Suicide Bomber  
Kamel Haddad as CoDel Translator  
Andrea Helene as Stewardess  

Information Links



Emmy Awards

Outstanding Art Direction for a Single-Camera Series Nomination for
Kenneth Hardy
Ellen Totleben
Outstanding Single-Camera Sound Mixing for a Series Nomination for
Gary D. Rogers
Dan Hiland
Patrick Hanson, C.A.S.
Submitted for consideration after Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series Nomination by
Janel Moloney

ASC Awards

Outstanding Achievement in Cinematography in Episodic TV Series Nomination for
Thomas Del Ruth, A.S.C.

Media Quotes

"There are rumors of Adm. Fitzwallace meeting his demise. Who knows? Anything is possible." - John Amos

"Stars and strife"
by Dave Walker
August 9, 2003
New Orleans Times-Picayune

"The West Wing" is shooting an episode about the Gaza Strip and needs extras to look like Palestinians and Israelis. Auditioners should have dark hair (preferably curly, short hair on the men) and an olive to dark complexion. Males and females from age 10 and older are needed.

Casting agent Judy Bell asks that you bring two forms of ID, a pen to fill out forms, a close-up photo and resume. No experience is required but you must be professional and be available for three consecutive days during the last week of March.

"Now's your chance to be on 'West Wing'"
by Bruce Fessier
March 6, 2004
Desert Sun

White House officials are looking for a new leader for the Palestinian Authority. This time, its not about a new plan by President Bush to bring peace to the Middle East, but a new initiative of recruiting an Israeli actor to play the role of the Palestinian leader in the drama series "The West Wing". According to the script, the 'new' chairman will be engaged for several episodes in a heated dialogue with the US president, played by Martin Sheen.

Production representatives have already turned to cast assembler, Yael Aviv. "They wanted me to find them an actor, Arab or Israeli, who would play a charismatic role," she said.

Aviv already has several candidates for the position. Shooting is scheduled to take place next month.

""West Wing" looking for Israeli actor to play Palestinian leader"
by Ruti Zuaretz
March 6, 2004
Maariv International

An open casting call for NBC's "The West Wing" brought hundreds of local residents to Morris Desert Media Saturday morning as casting assistants herded a swerving line out in the parking lot.

The requirements were specific: Auditioners must look like Palestinians and Israelis for a new episode about the Gaza Strip. Approximately 200 extras will be selected.


[Judy] Bell said those selected to be extras can expect to get a call in about 10 days.

"'The West Wing' casting call draws hopefuls
Auditions held for episode to be filmed near the Salton Sea"
by Michelle Woo
March 7, 2004
Desert Sun

My day as an extra in the filming of an episode of "The West Wing" began at 2 a.m. I drove to Indio and found the bus that would take me and the other actors-for-the-day to the set.


First stop was wardrobe. I was fitted in Israeli army fatigues, while others were being transformed into Palestinian guards, civilians and schoolchildren.

Next were props. I was assigned an M-16 assault rifle, a revolver and an army belt. Clipping that around my hips was definitely a new sensation.

No time for breakfast, as they wanted us on the set NOW. We worked all morning, patrolling, guarding and looking as tough as possible.

Palestinian shopkeepers and market-goers did their thing. Principal characters from the show came in for various dialogue scenes and were gone.

As the day wore on, I found myself back in Israel, standing on an army base in the middle of the Negev -- after all, I had served as a volunteer for Israel back in 1993, and had worn this same uniform and gone to target practice with this same rifle (which, just between you and me, is outdated. Maybe that's why they're using them here as props.)

There were three actors who had actually served in the Israeli army, and we all agreed that this set looked quite authentic.

With only five more working hours to go, here we were, sitting in our only refuge, being told to get back on set. As I pulled myself back to my feet, I looked around and saw a subtle excitement in the faces of my comrades.

"'West Wing' set takes extra back to days in Israeli army"
by Arayna Thomas
April 2, 2004
Desert Sun

Jason Isaacs has landed a three-episode arc on NBC's "The West Wing." He will play a photojournalist and a love interest for Donna Moss (Janel Moloney).

"'NYPD Blue' Adds New Detective"
April 7, 2004

One student asked when Josh and Donna will get together (to some applause); Goffman told us to watch the last three episodes of the season, as the show will be "playing this out" -- he may have mentioned the first two S6 eps too, but don't quote me. That being said, Goffman continued, the convention in the business is that once the characters kiss, it's tough to continue the storyline -- and he didn't leave the impression that such a resolution was imminent. But *that* being said, he noted that he knew that a story can't be drawn out indefinitely. "But, yeah, I think they have great chemistry," he concluded.

Posted at Forum
by EustBev
April 24, 2004
Notes from seminar at Harvard with Mark Goffman

"I think three-quarters of the fun is just, you definitely wanting them to get together," she [Janel Moloney] says. "One of the incredibly artful things about this accident and him coming to Germany is you get to see the relationship become very intimate. There's an intimacy and an emotionality that you haven't seen between them that's pretty fun, I think.

"'West Wing' Romance?"
by Rick Porter
May 19, 2004

His character was killed during an overseas mission at the end of this season. And when people see him, they sometimes feel like they're seeing a ghost. This has happened several times at the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center.

"I have to reassure people that I'm all right and they're all right," he said yesterday, laughing.

John also said there was no ceremony to the end of his five-year run on The West Wing. He said he was on some steps reading a newspaper and eating a breakfast burrito when one of the show's directors approached him.

"He said, 'Hey John, how's the burrito? Oh, hey, did I tell you we're killing Fitzwallace?' It was just like that," John said.

"I said, 'Why's that?' 'We wanted to create a cliffhanger,' " John said.

"Well, I don't know about that. Cliffhanger. I'm sure my creditors and ex-wife are going to have a cliffhanger wondering if they're going to get the next checks."

"Hey dude, like, aren't you dead?"
by Brad Schmitt
June 26, 2004

"To be nominated with Stockard (Channing) is just really thrilling," said Janel Moloney, who, along with Channing received a supporting actress nomination for her work on "The West Wing."


Moloney credited the nom to the show's writers. "I had such wonderful storylines this year, and I think I had a chance to do as much as I could with my roles," she said. "So maybe that is what it has to do with more than anything is the writing and the storylines."

"Famous faces with their eyes on the Emmy prize"
by Addie Morfoot
July 15, 2004

A few days later, sitting in his trailer on the set of The West Wing between takes of a scene in which Josh is trying to keep his cool after a terrorist attack on his assistant, Whitford ate fried chicken and mused on the state of American politics with an easy charm that a political consultant would kill to capture. He said he finds it "kind of pathetic" that he is not only often asked to make appearances with Democratic candidates but also encouraged to run for office himself. (His reply: "I don't want to have to act that much.")

"The Hollywood Campaign"
by Eric Alterman
September 2004
Atlantic Monthly

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