My JAG Files
The Pilot - A New Life
I have always made up stories in my head about television programmes that I watch. I have started to try and write some of them down. I will publish them here as they are ready. I state categorically that "JAG" and its characters do not belong to me but to Donald P Bellisario, Paramount and CBS. I thank them for letting me borrow them.
The programme was created by Donald P. Bellisario, the man behind "Quantum Leap", and it firsted aired on NBC in 1995/6. After that network dropped it, CBS bought the programme and it will enter its 8th season in September 2002.
Apart from Harm, there have been a few changes in the cast.
Harm has always had a female sidekick. The pilot co-starred Andrea Parker, as Naval Lt Caitlin Pike. Andrea later went on to star in the TV series, "The Pretender". The first season co-starred Tracey Needham as Naval Lt j.g. Meg Austin, a tall feisty blonde Texan computer and weapons expert. As part of the switch to CBS, Meg disappeared with little explanation and Marine Major Sarah ("Mac") Mackenzie arrived, played by Catherine Bell.
In the pilot, Harm's chain of command included Admiral Bravo, played by Kevin Dunn, but he resigned so, as season one opens, his second in command, Commander Teddy Lindsey, W. K. Stratton, is acting JAG. Later in season one, just as Harm is promoted from Lieutenant to Lieutenant Commander, we meet Commander Alison Krennick, played by Andrea Thompson (hot from "Babylon 5"'s PsyCorp and before she hits "NYPD Blue"). Krennick is an ambitious, competitive man-eater. Immediately after she arrives, a new JAG is appointed, ex-SEAL two-star Admiral A J Chegwidden, played by John M Jackson.
Jackson and Elliott were pretty much the only two to survive the transfer to CBS. They open season two in the White House Rose Garden where the President presents Harm with his Distinguished Flying Cross. Lt j.g. Bud Roberts, played by Patrick Labyorteaux, whom we met in the pilot is re-introduced as another side-kick and, to a certain extent, figure of fun. In season two, they also get a much prettier office in Falls Church, VA, rather than in downtown Washington. During the course of season two, we meet Ensign Harriet Simms, played by Karri Turner, who becomes a regular in season three. From season two onwards, there are more interactions with other officers and lawyers in the JAG Corps.
There are a few important and recurring guest stars. Terry O'Quinn plays Captain Thomas Boone from the pilot onwards, being promoted to Admiral along the way. During season one, Marine Col rtd Oliver North appears as himself and the suspect forces of the State Department are represented by Steven Anderson as Asst. Secretary David Bair. Bair is replaced from the first episode of season two onwards Clayton Webb, played by Stephen Culp, who later "comes out" as a CIA officer.
For other cast questions, see the individual reviews.