The West Wing: Season 1, Episode 10

In Excelsis Deo (15 Dec. 1999)

TV Episode  -   -  Drama
8.9
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When a homeless veteran dies on the National Mall and his body remains uncollected for hours, Toby becomes fixated on getting him a proper burial.

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Title: In Excelsis Deo (15 Dec 1999)

In Excelsis Deo (15 Dec 1999) on IMDb 8.9/10

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Cast

Episode cast overview, first billed only:
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Paul Austin ...
George Huffnagle
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Tom Quinn ...
John Noonan
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Nancy (as Renee Estevez)
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Homeless Man
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Storyline

When a homeless veteran dies on the National Mall and his body remains uncollected for hours, Toby becomes fixated on getting him a proper burial.

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Drama

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Release Date:

15 December 1999 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

After Aaron Sorkin and Rick Cleveland won an Emmy for writing the episode "In Excelsis Deo," only Sorkin spoke at the awards ceremony. Cleveland published an article in Writers Guild Magazine expressing his disappointment at not being allowed to speak because the homeless veteran aspect of the episode's plot was based on Cleveland's own father, who was a veteran who died a homeless alcoholic. Sorkin (writing under the user name "Benjamin," his real-life middle name) posted on the TV message board mightybigtv.com (later renamed televisionwithoutpity.com) that he had written most of the episode and had only given Cleveland a co-writing credit as a courtesy because Cleveland had worked on a previous draft that, according to Sorkin, bore no resemblance to the final shooting script. Sorkin also said that this was true of almost all of the The West Wing (1999) scripts written up to that point (mid-2001), that he was the true and only writer of nearly all West Wing episodes, and the rest of the writing staff only helped him with research and "kick[ing] ideas around" - so he gave "them each a Story by credit on a rotating basis...by way of a gratuity." This internet posting attracted a great deal of mainstream press attention, which lead Sorkin to post again, this time retracting his claim of exclusive writing credit. The "LemonLymon.com" subplot in the season 3 episode "The U.S. Poet Laureate" (in which Josh posts on a website dedicated to his fans and sees it come back to haunt him) is based on this series of events. See more »

Goofs

While Josh gives Donna her Christmas present, Josh is wearing the belt pack for a wireless microphone. The pack can be seen in the middle of his back clipped to his belt. It has an antenna on the left side and a wire on the right extending towards his right arm. When seen from the front, Josh is wearing his beeper on the front of his belt on his right side. See more »

Quotes

Brittany 'Laurie' Rollins: You're the good guys. You should act like it.
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Soundtracks

Deck the Halls
(uncredited)
Written by Traditional
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User Reviews

 
I agree with the previous poster.
2 January 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I am a very conservative guy, and not a big fan of West Wing, BUT I happened to catch this episode in a hospital waiting room one day. I think this episode is the best thing I have ever seen on TV, period. The montage between the Arlington funeral and the children's choir in the White House was some of the best production I have ever seen anywhere. Pure genius! If it weren't for the show's generally liberal bias I would have become a big fan based on this episode alone. I have to give my props to the creative writers. I wish they had left out the political commentary and had been more balanced (over the entirety of the series). It wouldn't have hurt the quality of the series and this episode shows what they were capable of, if they would just entertain and not try to preach.


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