West Wing Continuity Guide
path: Home / Third Season * Queries Raised by Third Season Episodes

Can you get into Vermont from Ontario, Canada? (from "Isaac and Ishmael")
Leslie Boot emailed us before we saw the episode to say: "One cannot enter the State of Vermont from the Province of Ontario. The Province of Quebec abuts Vermont." And a few minutes later, this was supported by Mike Bedard who wrote: "You can't get into Vermont from Ontario, only from Quebec." By the time we had finished watching the episode at least another dozen people had written to complain about the lack of geographic knowledge shown by this reference.

What was a 12 Ball doing on a pool table after a game of nine ball? (from "Manchester, pt. 1")
We heard from two people, within ten minutes of each other, the morning after this episode. Michael Norton wrote: "At the end of the scene where Toby and Charlie are playing nine ball, after the game is over, Toby picks up a ball from the table, and rolls it into the corner pocket as the final shot of the scene (close-up on ball). The problem is, it's the 12 ball, which should not be on the table in a game of nine ball!" And Peter M. Thibodeau, Ph.D wrote: "At the bar, Toby and Charlie were playing a game of nine-ball at the billiards table. This game uses the 8 solid balls, and the yellow striped ball (the 9-ball). At the end of the game, as Charlie walked away, Toby picked up a 12-ball off of the table and rolled it into a pocket toward the camera. This is inconsistent with the game played, which doesn't involve that ball."
But after we printed the above, we heard from others:
Tony Quirk wrote, "In a game of nine ball, where you only use balls 1-9, if Charlie ran the table, the only balls left in a bar-type pool table, would be the 10-15, thus having any striped balls left for Toby to roll would not be inconsistent."
Michael Murray wrote: "The 12-ball was not 'picked up off the table'. It was not on the table. Toby picked it up out of a side pocket. Balls 10 through 15 are put into the pockets before beginning a game of 9-ball. The side pockets are used much less than the corner pockets and in a single game of 9-ball may not be used at all. So when he reached down into the pocket, Toby found the 12-ball right there on top." And Jason Walling wrote, " Toby sits down next to the side pocket and unlike many pool tables in bars, this table actually had separate pockets. Not a series of tubes or "fastball return assembly" that brings all the balls hit into a pocket down to the side chamber." And also Chris Norris wrote "Toby picks the 12 ball out of the side pocket and then rolls it in. If you see where he's sitting on the table, it is right in front of the pocket. He looks down, reaches in and pulls it out."

Is there a Pease Air Force Base?
Tim Lasko writes, "They shut down Pease in 1991! It's the Pease Tradeport now. The only AF people there are doing environmental cleanup work. Yes, the runways are still there and the NH Air National Guard works out of there and I suppose they could bring in extra security but...but...well, it's just NOT an Air Force Base anymore and hasn't been for a decade." Ge also sent us a link to a website which discusses the closure: www.af.mil/news/Jul1997/n19970716_970858.html

Where were the outdoor scenes for the New Hampshire farm and Inn shot?
"The outdoor scenes depicting Manchester, New Hampshire were shot in Middleburg, VA, a small town located in the heart of northern Virginia's horse country (http://www.middleburgonline.com/), approximately fifty miles west of Washington, DC. The hotel on the corner which Josh and Donna pull up to in part 1, and where Leo and CJ are seen in part 2, is the Red Fox Inn which dates back to 1728 (http://www.redfox.com/index.html)."

What is fictional and what is real?
  • Qumar [#52]: Fictional Country (invented using the Taliban regime as a model for the government of a fictional "Gulf" country --- no country in "The Gulf" is this repressive: of course, the use of the idea of a base in this country was a plot device to have this affect C.J. directly)
  • Capitolscoop.com [#57]: Fictional Company But Stephen W. Phillips informed us that Warner Brothers bought the domain! And since they bought it on Jan 17, 2002, they must have purchased it just as they were filming the episode.
    Here are the basics of the registration information:
    Organization: Warner Bros. Domain Name Administrator
    4000 Warner Blvd. Burbank, CA 91522
    Created on..............: Thu, Jan 17, 2002
  • Lemonlyman.com [#60]: Fictional Website
    Here are the basics of the registration information:
    Organization: Warner Bros. Domain Name Administrator
    4000 Warner Blvd. Burbank, CA 91522
    Domain Name: LEMONLYMAN.COM
    Created on..............: Tue, Feb 19, 2002

Sorkin has a subplot about Josh responding to a website forum about him. Someone on the forum had claimed he mis-spoke when he talked about ordering a GAO report. Two websites have claimed that he got the idea for this subplot from things said therein and Sorkin has actually posted at the Television Without Pity "West Wing" forum.
  • GovExec.com says:
    "Call us egotistical, but is it possible that the writers and producers of West Wing are reading West Wing Watch? If not, how do you explain the subplot in this week's episode about Josh's obsession with a geeky Web site, "lemonlyman.com," that reports on his activities? Josh gets upset that the site makes fun of him for saying "we" (meaning, presumably, the White House) would order a GAO report on some subject or other. He angrily declares that he knows full well that only members of Congress, not the White House, can request GAO reports."
    "So how did the writers come upon this particular issue? We don't know, but we do know that we pointed out the Bartlet administration's apparent misunderstanding of GAO way back on Oct. 31."
  • Then there is the "West Wing" forum at Television Without Pity where Aaron Sorkin has actually posted and in trying to defend himself from comments that he makes glaring errors instead of putting a little effort into checking his facts, he has dug himself further and further into holes. His comments on this forum have made news like when he made reference to other writers on the show and more recently when he suggested that criticism of his factual misstatements weren't relevant since he was just "telling little stories." His postings had been criticized there for not following the rules of the forum and also for not understanding the problems created by having an erudite show like "The West Wing" make gross misstatements of facts at times while at other times obviously wanting to get out information that most of the viewers didn't know. He may have felt the frustration that Josh feels in not being able to get his point across.
  • Then there is the discussion group about the writing of Aaron Sorkin to which Sorkin has been able to answer questions without getting into trouble as he did with Television Without Pity.
The writers and posters at both above websites --- by and large --- loved the comments made in this subplot. Even the comments about some of the people on the forum not having taken their medications and about how they are like the inmates from "One Flew Over the Cookoo's Nest".
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