The West Wing: Season 1, Episode 10

In Excelsis Deo (15 Dec. 1999)

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


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.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis







Release Date:

15 December 1999 (USA)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


The story line for Lowell Lydell was taken from real life. A gay college student named Matthew Shepard in Laramie, Wyoming, was beaten, pistol whipped and hung on a fence post and left overnight. He died and the country cried out for more Hate Crime Legislation. (See also the The Laramie Project (2002)) See more »


At the beginning of the episode, Toby Ziegler is called to the Korean War Memorial about his business card having been found in a dead man's pocket. In the shots of the Mall, the Washington Monument is surrounded by scaffolding that was in place during 1999-2000 for renovation. But in a later shot showing the White House at night, the Monument in the background suddenly has no scaffolding. See more »


C.J. Cregg: What's your secret service code name?
Sam Seaborn: They just changed it.
C.J. Cregg: I know. What's yours?
Sam Seaborn: Princeton.
C.J. Cregg: Mine's "Flamingo".
Sam Seaborn: That's nice.
C.J. Cregg: No, it's not nice.
Sam Seaborn: Flamingo's a nice-looking bird.
C.J. Cregg: A flamingo is a ridiculous-looking bird.
Sam Seaborn: You're not ridiculous-looking.
See more »


Little Drummer Boy
Written by Harry Simeone, Katherine Davis, Henry Onorati
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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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