The West Wing: Season 1, Episode 1

Pilot (22 Sep. 1999)

TV Episode  -   -  Drama
8.7
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Ratings: 8.7/10 from 503 users  
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The West Wing staffers are introduced as each learns via phone or pager that the President was in a cycling accident. Josh faces the possible loss of his job after an on-air insult of a ... See full summary »

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Title: Pilot (22 Sep 1999)

Pilot (22 Sep 1999) on IMDb 8.7/10

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Storyline

The West Wing staffers are introduced as each learns via phone or pager that the President was in a cycling accident. Josh faces the possible loss of his job after an on-air insult of a political opponent, which Toby tries to prevent by having Josh make a personal apology. Sam's fling the previous night with Laurie, who unbeknownst to Sam is a call girl, puts him in hot water, which he compounds when ineptly lecturing a class of 4th-graders about the White House and then asking their teacher which child is Leo's daughter. Leo must deal with the fallout from Josh's blunder, as well as 137 Cuban refugees who escaped on rafts and are seeking asylum. The president walks in during during Josh's apology, recites the First Commandment, and lambastes three Christian pols for not denouncing a fringe group. Written by Anonymous

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Drama

Certificate:

TV-14
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22 September 1999 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Rob Lowe says the line, "Alger Hiss just walked in with my secret pumpkin." Hiss was a State Department official in the 1940s accused of spying for the Soviet Union. His accuser was Whittaker Chambers, who hid copies of government files in a pumpkin on his farm before giving them to then Rep. Richard Nixon, a member of the House Un-American Activities Committee. The line most likely refers not to the original incident, but to North by Northwest (1959), in which Cary Grant's character asks, "Did you get the pumpkin?". See more »

Goofs

Sam speaks to Mallory for the first time, not knowing she is Leo's daughter. When he says the line, "And it turns out, I accidentally slept with a prostitute last night," his mouth does not match his words. See more »

Quotes

Toby Ziegler: We're flying in a Lockheed Eagle series L1011. It came off the line 20 months ago. It carries a Sim-5 Transponder tracking system. Are you telling me I can still flummox this thing with something I bought at Radio Shack?
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Moment of Weakness
Written by Bif Naked and Peter Karroll
Performed by Bif Naked
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User Reviews

 
A typical day at The West Wing
23 January 2008 | by (Australia) – See all my reviews

In this fairly light and fun introduction to The West Wing: Josh faces losing his job after offending Christians during an appearance on a talk show.

Leo must deal with 137 Cuban refugees who escaped on rafts and are seeking asylum.

Each character is introduced finding out on phone or pager about the President having a bicycle accident. This was a wonderful way of introducing the characters, it briefly shared some character traits and boasted a few nice looking sets.

The set of The West Wing was wonderfully put together and looked genuine. There is a long tracking shot through many rooms of the set and I was very impressed by their detail and that the rooms were all connected.

The character of Sam holds the episodes melodrama by accidentally sleeping with a call girl then telling unknowingly tells Leo's daughter about it. This may put his career on the line.

The pilot had a very upbeat and comedic tone. The dialogue was fast-paced and witty. The characters were interesting and they are the main reason I shall continue watching. The nature of the show allows them to deal with very serious subject matter which I am sure they will. This episode didn't delve into anything of great depth, but the light-hearted comedy was interesting enough. However, the great dialogue mixed with character-study and serious political subject matter is what I am hoping for.


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