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Original Airdate 11-29-00 Rerun 04-11-01

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Crises come in all shapes and sizes during one hectic day at the White House. The biggest fire to be put out is just that. It's in a Russian missile silo and the Russian government is covering it up ("Your paranoia was a lot sexier when you guys were Communists," Bartlet tells the ambassador). Other crises range from a missing U.S. fighter plane to a news report that the President (Martin Sheen) doesn't like green beans. But through it all, he's looking forward to a satellite hookup with schoolchildren during which they'll examine images from a Martian probe. First, though, he wants C.J. (Allison Janney) to come up with a "broader theme" for the event.
From NBC:
President Bartlet (Martin Sheen) prepares to address thousands of elementary students nationwide as a NASA space probe descends on Mars, but a host of thorny problems suddenly land on his doorstep, including a fire in a Russian nuclear missile silo, a missing F-15 fighter whose pilot is AWOL -- and a last-minute loss of communication with the Mars spacecraft. In addition: the Icelandic ambassador is peeved at the President for missing their meeting; Josh (Bradley Whitford) is still smarting after being delegated the responsibility of choosing the subject of the next official stamp; a reluctant C.J. (Allison Janney) is forced to attend a concert where she will encounter some angry applicants whom she rejected as her new press deputy; and an embarrassed Sam (Rob Lowe) is confronted by former date-mate Mallory (Allison Smith) at the concert.


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
Guest Starring    
Allison Smith as Mallory O'Brian Teacher / Leo McGarry's daughter
Troy Ruptash as Scott Tate NASA Public Affairs
John Carroll Lynch as Jack Reese (last name from
Charlotte Cornwell as Nadia Kozlowski (last name from /
Russian Ambassador
Colm Feore as Tad Whitney  
Kathryn Joosten as Mrs. Landingham President's Secretary /
Delores (first name)
NiCole Robinson as Margaret Hooper (last name) /
Assistant to Chief of Staff
Melissa Fitzgerald as Carol Fitzpatrick (last name)
Assistant to the Press Secretary
Duffy Epstein as Aide #1  
Nigel Gibbs as Aide #2  
Molly Schaffer as Staffer  
Tom Hall as Officer Mike  
Nina Hodoruk as Military Aide  
Ann Lim as Staff Aide  
Steve Shih as Man #1  
John Leslie Wolfe as Man #2  
Matthew Dickens as Man #3 Benny

Information Links

NASA's Galileo Project


Emmy Awards

Submitted for consideration for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series Win by
Allison Janney
Submitted for consideration for Outstanding Drama Series Win

Media Quotes

My 16-year-old daughter, Elizabeth, has recently given up Dawson's Creek for The West Wing. While you may not think this is of get-clean-for-Gene magnitude, that could be because you did not live through the grip of Dawson's Creek last year.

When we stood together the other evening at the Kennedy Center, where President Bartlet had gone to hear the Icelandic Symphony (he had, in his sharp and straightforward way, insulted the Icelandic ambassador and was now making amends), my studious but glamour-inclined daughter compared the moment, with only slightly conscious irony, to when Bill Clinton came to Washington and met John Kennedy.

Watching all of elite Washington turn out for the Kennedy Center event -- the men with trench coats over black tie, the women in gray gowns, the various Secret Service details and swarms of D.C. motorcycle cops, along with Sam Seaborn, the president's deputy director of communications, outside on a cell phone, and C. J. Cregg, the White House press secretary, checking her makeup -- I was startled to suddenly remember the time my own father had brought me to Washington. I remembered the feeling, the message: This was it; you could get no higher, do no better, achieve no more.

"Everyone have their mark?" screamed an assistant director to elite Washington, which, having exited the Kennedy Center regally once, backed up and exited regally again.

"Our Remote-Control President"
by Michael Wolff
December 4, 2000
New York Magazine

President Clinton allowed use of his President's Box at the Kennedy Center for scenes of a concert.

"The Rocco Effect on Florida Recounts"
by Leah Garchik
December 13, 2000
San Francisco Chronicle

Presidents rarely become involved in stamp issues, PMG [Post Master General] William Henderson noted in an interview with Linn's Dec. 5. But that's not how writers of the series were planning it.

On Oct. 27, Henderson was in Beverly Hills to unveil next year's Diabetes Awareness stamp design at the Carousel of Hope Ball, a celebrity-packed event that has raised millions of dollars for diabetes research.

"The West Wing cast came over to me and they said, 'Tell us about the Citizens' Stamp Advisory Committee,'" Henderson said. "I said, 'What?'" They said, "We're going to be filming an episode, and we don't know anything about it.'"

The actors complained that they thought their writers "had it wrong" about CSAC, because the actors were assuming that Congress approves stamps, Henderson said. "I said, 'No, it's the Citizens' Stamp Advisory Committee,'" the PMG said. "And they said, 'Oh, God, what is that?'"

Once Henderson set the actors straight, Azeezaly Jaffer, the Postal Service vice president of public affairs and communications, followed up with more material to the show's writers.

Henderson said he hadn't seen the show that often and didn't recognize the stars who approached him at the Beverly Hills event.

When told that the script that aired had a line referring to CSAC as "the dork squad," Henderson threw his hand to his head and exclaimed "Oh, don't say that. Don't say that. The odd thing is that the White House doesn't have anything to do with stamps," Henderson said.


A spokeswoman for West Wing told Linn's that the dork remark, made by the actor portraying Josh Lyman (Bradley Whitford), a youthful aide to the president, was "just a joke" and shouldn't be taken seriously.

She said the proposal for a stamp for the Puerto Rican statehood advocate was a fictitious one.

But the show did mention a real episode -- the repeated and unsuccessful efforts of the Jewish War Veterans to gain a stamp for their organization. The Postal Service rejected the stamp proposal on the grounds that the group was a religious, not a patriotic, organization, a claim that the Jewish War Veterans denied.

"'West Wing' included subplot for citizens stamp committee"
by Bill McAllister
Dec. 25, 2000
Linn's Stamp News

It seems like the world is coming to an end every week on The West Wing. How 'bout the mushroom cloud promo for Galileo 'cause there was a fire in a Russian missle silo? - Aaron "Benjamin" Sorkin

Posted at Forum
by Aaron "Benjamin" Sorkin
March 5, 2001

... Kevin [Falls] coming up with the stamps and the Russian Silo for Galileo ... - Aaron "Benjamin" Sorkin

Posted at Forum
by Aaron "Benjamin" Sorkin
July 22, 2001

They try to never mention any president after Eisenhower, and according to a co-executive producer, Kevin Falls, who runs the writers' room, "When we talk about the Kennedy Center on 'West Wing,' we're referring to George Kennedy."

"Aaron Sorkin Works His Way Through the Crisis"
by Peter de Jonge
October 28, 2001
New York Times

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