Trivia / JAG

  • Actor Allusion:
    • Before playing Admiral Chegwidden, John M. Jackson played Captain West in the film version of A Few Good Men.
    • Before playing Secretary of the Navy Nelson, Paul Collins played a Pentagon official also named Nelson in Executive Decision.
    • And Dean Stockwell was the Secretary of Defense in Air Force One.
  • Actor-Shared Background: Sarah "Mac" MacKenzie is partially of Iranian heritage and speaks Farsi, as is and does actress Catherine Bell too.
  • And Starring: David James Elliott (Harmon Rabb) had the "starring" for all ten seasons, "and John M. Jackson as Admiral Chegwidden" at the end for the eight seasons (2-9) in which he appeared in the opening titles.
  • Backed by the Pentagon: The U.S. Marine Corps supported this series early on, but it took a while for the U.S. Navy to get behind it. They were allowed to film on location with their actors at several military installations in California, such as Camp Pendleton, Point Mugu Naval Air Station, and at Naval installations in San Diego. They also filmed aboard the frigate USS John A. Moore (FFG-19) for the season 3 episode "Tiger, Tiger", aboard the aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis (CVN-74) off the coast of California for the first episodes of season 5, and aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Peleliu (LHA-5) for season 6 episodes. After the events of 9/11 Bellisario said it became increasingly more difficult to shoot on location than it had been before.
    • Following the cancellation in 2005, Commander Bob Anderson of the Navy's Office of Information Agency West is quoted to have said that in JAG "the Navy never looks bad".
  • Break Out Role: For Catherine Bell as a lead actress in television.
  • The Cast Showoff: Harm plays the guitar just like David James Elliott, and Mac does kick-boxing and speaks Farsi just like Catherine Bell.
  • Cast the Expert:
    • Retired Marine Corps Master Sergeant Matt Sigloch, originally hired for a small part in the Pilot Movie, became the on-set military technical advisor for all the 227 episodes.
    • Admiral Chegwidden’s replacement as Judge Advocate General in the final 10th season, General Cresswell, is played by actor David Andrews, who is a graduate of Stanford Law School and was a practicing attorney before becoming an actor.
    • Retired Marine Captain Dale Dye plays a Marine senior NCO in "Desert Son". Of course, Dale Dye has made a career as a character actor playing in military roles.
  • Completely Different Title: JAG has a different title in Sweden because the word Jag in the Swedish language is the first-person pronoun (i.e. I in English.) Probably not coincidentally, the movie A Few Good Men also shares the same title: "På heder och samvete", which is a phrase taken from the Swedish witness oath and literally means "by honor and conscience".
  • Channel Hop / Network to the Rescue: From NBC to CBS. NBC canned it after the first season but it got picked up by CBS and the rest is history.
  • Creator Cameo:
    • Donald P. Bellisario: First As Himself at a Quantum Leap Fan Convention in "Father's Day", as Hugh Blackadder in "To Russia With Love", and later on in the ninth season, his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame is directly shown.
    • Co-Executive Producer (season 2-10) Charles Floyd Johnson has a small recurring part as toxicologist Dr. Bruce Gasden.
    • The voice of Producer David Bellisario is several times heard through PA systems and communication radios.
  • Directed by Cast Member: David James Elliott (Harm) directed three episodes: "Lifeline", "Take It Like A Man", and "There Goes The Neighborhood".
  • DVD Commentary: Only a few episodes in seasons one and two of JAG have audio commentaries and since they were recorded nine to ten years after the episodes were made, they best can be characterized as remembrance style.
  • Ending Theme: JAG has a different orchestral end theme for its first season. Later seasons used a version of the opening theme.
  • Fake American: David James Elliott hails from Canada. However, he did become a U.S. Citizen during the show's run.
  • Fake Russian:
    • Harmon Rabb's half brother Sergei Zhukov is played by Canadian Jade Carter. Evidently he won the part over several Russian actors.
    • A disgruntled Russian submarine captain hired by Al Qaeda is played by Swedish actor Bo Svenson.
    • American actor Rex Linn plays a Russian KGB officer who speaks English like a native Texan. The in-universe explanation for this is that he grew up in Texas where his parents spied on the U.S. space program.
  • Foreign Language Title: JAG had only one: Pas de Deux.
  • Hey, It's That Place!: The building used as the exterior of JAG Headquarters in Falls Church, Virginia is in reality the Cravens Estate in Pasadena, California and owned by the American Red Cross. It has also been used for many other series like; 24, Bones, Commander In Chief, Judging Amy; and movies like Enemy of the State, Rush Hour 3, Swordfish and Traffic.
  • In Memoriam: When Trevor Goddard, actor who played Mic Brumby, died in June 2003 the season 9 premiere episode "A Tangled Webb" part 2 ended with one of these showing a clip from "Life or Death" (5.13) of the JAG family singing Mic "Waltzing Matilda" as he left to return to Australia.
  • Literary Allusion Title: The second season episode "We the People", taken from the U.S. Constitution, although the story is about the Declaration of Independence.
  • Milestone Celebration: JAG celebrated its 100th episode "Boomerang (Part I)" by filming it on location in Australia, and the 200th episode was a What If?.
  • Name's the Same: Harm's Boeing Stearman biplane is named Sarah, named for his grandmother. This causes a bit of confusion for Major Sarah "Mac" MacKenzie when Harm is taking her for a ride and she thinks he has started calling her by her first name.
  • Out of Order: The first season episode "Boot" was meant to air after "Defensive Action", the episode where Harm is promoted to Lieutenant Commander. Due to being aired sooner, Harm gets a one-episode promotion before being promptly demoted again without anyone noticing.
  • Playing Against Type: Faran Tahir initially plays to type when he appears as an Al Qaida-aligned terrorist in the NCIS pilot episodes, but makes a second appearance on the program as a different character, a CIA operative who Harm manages to smuggle out of Libya.
  • Prop Recycling: The Submarine set in the episode "Shadow" was the one built for Crimson Tide.
  • Recycled Script: "Scimitar" in season 1 and "The Black Jet" in season 4 both feature an American service member captured by a hostile government on their soil, subjected to a Kangaroo Court, and ultimately set free by Harmon Rabb.
  • Retroactive Recognition: Sam Worthington played an Australian sailor in the 60's in the season five episode "Boomerang: Part I".
    • Joe Spano plays a Navy Captain in the season 3 episode "Clipped Wings." He's more famous as Special Agent Tobias Fornell on NCIS.
    • Joel Mc Kinnon Miller appeared in the Season 5 episode "Front and Center", and is most noticeable as Detective Hitchcock on Brooklyn Nine-Nine.
    • The USS Seahawk's CAG in Season 8 is played by Tony Dennison, better known as Lt. Andy Flynn on The Closer and Major Crimes.
  • Romance on the Set: Patrick Labyorteaux (Bud) fell in love with production manager Tina Albanese.
  • Sleeper Hit: JAG was a sleeper hit which hardly received any press coverage until the fourth season when it entered the top 15 ratings.
  • Technology Marches On:
    • In 1st season episode "Sightings" (1996), Harm asks a ten year old girl: Do you know how to operate a cellular phone?
    • In 3rd season episode "Impact" (1998), when escaping from the Bradenhurst facility, Harm captures a 3.5" floppy disc containing digital photos of the UFO-like UCAV, taken directly out from a digital camera.
  • Unintentional Period Piece
  • West Coast Team: Back in 2005 there were plans for a JAG: San Diego. The concept was introduced in a season ten backdoor pilot episode, but the series never got made.
  • Written by Cast Member: Patrick Labyorteaux (Bud) wrote the season 6 episode "JAG TV".
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