The President and NASA plan a TV event for a probe's landing on Mars; satellite photographs show a suspicious-looking fire in Russia; Leo asks Toby and Josh to decide on the next postage stamp; Sam and C.J. have personal reasons for not wanting to accompany the President to a concert.



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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Scott Tate
Charlotte Cornwell ...
Tad Whitney


The Gallileo V probe is scheduled to land on Mars, and NASA has set up live TV coverage featuring the President. Satellite photographs show a suspicious-looking fire at what the Russians implausibly call an "oil refinery". Leo asks Toby and Josh to decide who should be featured on the next stamp. Sam and C.J. accompany the President to a concert at the Kennedy Center which will also be attended by people they are hoping to avoid for personal reasons. Toby and C.J. disagree over whether a report of the President disliking green beans will turn into a major issue or not. Written by Murray Chapman

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Release Date:

29 November 2000 (USA)  »

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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?


The "Norwegian weather balloon incident" the President mentions to the Russian ambassador is based on a real incident in 1995 known as the "Black Brant Scare". Norwegian notifications on a scientific rocket launch were not passed on in the Russian command and control system, and an early warning radar station incorrectly identified it as a submarine launched Trident missile. As a result, Russian forces briefly entered the highest state of readiness, one step away from nuclear retaliation. See more »


The concert programme is improbable, compiled by someone who doesn't go to classical music concerts. A visiting orchestra will often play a work by a composer from the host country, but Barber's Second Symphony was suppressed by the composer, and is rarely performed. There is no work by Stravinsky called 'Variations on a Theme' - it could be 'Variations: Aldous Huxley in memoriam'. Schoenberg's Verklärte Nacht, being for strings alone, is unlikely for a tour, where the whole orchestra would be used as much as possible. On tour, an orchestra wouldn't bring a work by a 'new' composer - they would be fairly well-established in their own country, and unless there was to be much rearrangement of the platform for this piece, a new work is generally played in the first half, so the audience doesn't leave before it. See more »


Donna Moss: Philately's fun, Josh.
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West Wing Main Title
Written by W.G. Snuffy Walden
Performed by Pete Anthony
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User Reviews

No, there aren't any pictures of me and a call girl.
5 November 2012 | by (Jersey City) – See all my reviews

Another drop-in from Mallory, with the interplay between she and Sam as irresistible as ever. An ominous fire rages in a Russian missile silo, but their government maintains that it's an oil refinery. Charlie gets in trouble for saying the President doesn't like string beans. Jed is set up for a live interview as the unmanned Galileo V prepares to land on Mars...then telemetry is lost. Jed and Sam and C.J. wax idealistically poetic, and have some touchingly, sweetly beautiful moments. At the Kennedy Center, they hear a modern classical performance by the Reykjavik Symphony Orchestra. Bartlet pooh-poohs it presumptively, but is profoundly moved.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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