The West Wing 1/22/2006 (S07E12) "Duck & Cover"

Discussion in 'Now Playing - TV Show Talk' started by dswallow, Jan 22, 2006.

  1. dswallow

    dswallow Save the ModeratŠ¾r TCF Club

    Dec 3, 2000


    Really nice episode. I completely disagree with every single complaint they expressed about nuclear power. But other than that, nice way to even out the election.
  2. Maui

    Maui Well-Known Member

    Apr 22, 2000
    Decatur, IL
    I thought it was well done also. It brought the President and both the candidates into the episode and meshed them very well.
  3. edc

    edc Active Member

    Mar 24, 2002
    Very nicely done. *That's* the way a "ticking clock" episode should be done. Makes me even more disappointed the show is cancelled at the end of the season, as they seem to have picked up their "second wind."
  4. RegBarc

    RegBarc Well-Known Member

    Feb 18, 2003
    I don't even have to post my own thoughts.

    [James Carville in Old School] That was perfect. [/James Carville in Old School]
  5. Peter000

    Peter000 Well-Known Member TCF Club

    Apr 15, 2002
    Red Wing, MN


    Well that was the POINT. To show both sides of it. Even though they showed the "disaster" side, I thought that Vinnik made a good argument for his stance. And their have been some pretty bad nuclear accidents in our time. They presented a pretty good "worst case" scenerio that avoided a complete meltdown, IMO.

    I'm not trying to start an argument for or against Nuclear Power here. Don't want one, not gonna get into one. I'll live with it until a better alternative is found, since I have no choice anyway. ;)
  6. RGM1138

    RGM1138 I wanna Rock

    Oct 6, 1999
    Gulfport, MS
    Intense episode. Couple of chuckles. though. The first when Bartlet announced that "My FEMA Director is right here." (Yeah, that ought to inspire confidence).

    Also, when the President was telling Claudia Jean about "Duck and Cover." Most of you guys are probably too young to remember but back in the 50's, "D & C" was all the rage. Even had tv spots with a catchy jingle.

    We were so blissfully ignorant back then.

  7. mrpantstm

    mrpantstm Well aren't you

    Jan 25, 2005
    I think this plus the Kazikstan elections seems a bit over the top for me but eh.

    Pretty nicely done and it's certainly evened the field for the election. I really like Will as the press secretary.
  8. modnar

    modnar Active Member

    Oct 15, 2000
    Arkansas, USA
    Another excellent episode!

    It's nice to see we can have suspense on television without having an actual countdown clock showing us exactly how many seconds until something bad happens (such as on Commander in Chief recently).
  9. newsposter

    newsposter Poster of News

    Aug 18, 2002
    SE PA
    I've seen the clips on the blooper shows. Timmy the turtle or some such character?

    well i'm sure you'll be upset that it's your only choice next year.

    I thought they were so secondary to the main plot i didnt even find it worth listening for some reason. I wondered if josh ever found out that donna didn't leak the story?

    where's toby? :) they can include him now in some way interesting to the plot.
  10. bdlucas

    bdlucas Right side up again.

    Feb 15, 2004
    Sounds like I may be in the minority, but I thought the nuclear accident was much too hokey and unrealistic in its handling, even by WW standards. I find it hard to believe the president would (or should) actually be calling the shots like that, found it hard to believe that it's not possible to safely send workers into a containment building that's suffered from a release of steam, and so on. Kind of on a par with the episode where they solved the whole middle eastern problem over a game of basketball, in my view.
  11. jgickler

    jgickler Mr. Rolleyes

    Apr 7, 2000
    Princeton, Iowa
    I had a couple of problems with the incident as well. I find it very difficult to believe that there was not backup pipe in case the primary pipe or a valve failed. There are multiple redundancies built into the system, and I find it hard to believe that the cooling water did not have some redundancy. I also find it difficult to believe that these types of situations were not planned for and that there would not be a plan in place to vent the steam to somewhere other then a building not designed to contain hot radioactive gas.

    Also, living near a nuclear power plant ( I can see it out my office window), I can also tell you that they are very good about letting you know where your designated shelters are, evacuation routes, what to do in the event of an incident etc. I get a mailing every year telling us all the necessary information. They would not have been getting a plan together, they would have been executing a plan that local residents are aware of.

    But I guess that it was inevitable that Sheen would try to share his anti-nuclear opinions with the WW viewers.
  12. tetspa

    tetspa New Member

    Mar 17, 2005
    What would have made the episode more riveting would have been to have the President talking via speaker-phone directly to the two engineers inside the reactor, and explain to them that he wanted them to sacrifice themselves to stay inside longer to try to shut off the other valve. Reminded me of the old movie "Fail Safe"
  13. aindik

    aindik Well-Known Member

    Jan 23, 2002
    When they showed the "previously on," Kate talking about the nuclear disaster imminent, I was waiting for it to say "the following takes place between 9 p.m. and 10 p.m." :) When CJ was in the situation room saying "we're running out of time," I, again, forgot what show I was supposed to be watching.

    Line of the night, for me. (Paraphrased from my memory)

    Even though they're cancelling the show, I still hope they don't treat the Leo character they way they treated him in this episode ("he's on a charter to Ohio.") I know this was filmed before John Spencer died, but this seems like a way they might try to avoid having the character die, and just have him "elsewhere" until the series ends. I think that would be a mistake.
  14. cheerdude

    cheerdude Reed & Juliet's CPA

    Feb 27, 2001
    Las Vegas, NV
    One thing that I was a bit confused on... the elections in Kazikstan

    The first time it was mentioned by Kate... it sounded like the polls were just opening. A couple of hours later, she mentioned that they are closed and someone is declaring himself the winner.

    Maybe I misheard - but that sounded awful quick.
  15. Jonathan_S

    Jonathan_S Well-Known Member

    Oct 23, 2001
    If the steam was seriously radioactive then it wouldn't be possible to safely send in workers. There is no such thing as a radiation proof suit (well, something like powered armor with 1+ foot of lead might be a good start). There is anti-contamination gear, but that is mainly to prevent radioactive material from sticking to you or your clothing. The lower energy particles can be blocked, but those aren't the ones that are dangerous.

    However, that danger is why robots are developed to work in highly radioactive environments. Because you don't really care how "hot" a robot gets.

    One thing I noticed is that, the dosages that were mentioned to not match up at all to the coma and death of the worker. He died way too quickly.

    The announced radiation in the vent stack was, IIRC 1,200 milliREM, and it was stated that the radiation in the containment building was "4 or 5 times that". Even assuming that it was 5 times that, that is only 6000 milliREM, or 6 REM. According to Wikipedia article (which does match my own vague memory), 6 REM falls into the "No symptoms. Potential for cancer and mutation of genetic material, according to the LNT model. This is disputed" level.

    Although REM is an accumulated measurement, not an instantaneous reading. You need a duration time to figure out the actual dose.
    If it was 6 REM per hour, then the dosage is even lower, and makes even less sense.
    If it was 6 REM per minute, then over the 32 minutes the engineers were in the containment building they would have picked up 192 REM. Which is on the upper end of "Light radiation poisoning, 10% fatality after 30 days (LD 10/30). "
    If it was 6 REM per second, then it would have been 11520 REM, which is way over the instant death level.

    But looking at the chart, it's hard to see a dosage that would have killed within 24 hours, but would still have left the engineers capable enough to even try to work on the second valve and then make their way out of the facility.

    All that said, in an actual hot environment, where you did have to expose people to it, they go in with absolutely fixed duration time. It it was 15 minutes, then at the 15 minute mark they are out the door heading for decontamination, if the work isn't done the next crew runs in for their 15 minutes.
  16. IJustLikeTivo

    IJustLikeTivo Active Member

    Oct 3, 2001
    Does anyone still have this on their Tivo that can burn a copy?

    My standalone got hosed and when I redid the guided setup, I forget to disable the cable setup so it tried to record from their instead of the satellite. The result was an hour of I can record Live TV.......... Grrrrrrrr.
  17. busyba

    busyba The Funcooker

    Feb 5, 2003
    Me too, but it just occured to me that CJ "dragooned" him to take Toby's job, WH Communications Director, not Press Secretary. Kristen Chenowith seemed to be Press Secretary, but of course she's with the VP campaign.

    Maybe Will is pulling double duty? That's seems like an awful lot to put on one plate.
  18. aindik

    aindik Well-Known Member

    Jan 23, 2002
    There hasn't been a Press Secretary since Leo's heart attack. When CJ was promoted, Toby (who had been CJ's boss) began doing the briefings. Annabeth (Kristen Chenoweth's character) was too nervous to do them. Toby continued doing the briefings until he was fired.
  19. aindik

    aindik Well-Known Member

    Jan 23, 2002
    Replying to myself to point out that an article to which I posted a link in the cancellation thread discusses (i.e. spoils) whether or not this happens.
  20. frombhto323

    frombhto323 Member

    Jan 24, 2002
    Washington, DC
    I think the point was to contrast Bartlett's response to the response during the Katrina crisis. One of the criticisms made about the Homeland Security Act before it was enacted was that critical mission agencies, such as FEMA, were being swallowed into the larger bureaucracy, which would make rapid response more difficult.

    Having the FEMA Director right there in the White House working directly with the Pres., rather than having the FEMA Director report to the Sec'y for Homeland Security, who then reports to the Pres., is meant to illustrate that point, I believe.

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