Top positive review
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As vibrant as the finished TV show
on June 25, 2002
Two very important things first: this has six scripts, not the eight it was planned to and it doesn't include the episode In Excelsis Deo; also, people who have claimed that the scripts are available online are mistaken. It appears that a version of the pilot is, but the rest are transcripts. That's like comparing a symphonic score to the instructions to key music into your mobile phone. These published scripts come complete not just with deft scene-setting but also errors that give you a sense of a working document and, reproduced here as they were given to the cast, their inate sense of pacing and rhythm is kept. It's difficult not to hear the cast's voices as you read but that's a measure of how distinctive each character is and the scripts work quite marvellously on their own. Then, too, Sorkin's introduction and later short notes probably contain more information than we've had on The West Wing DVD extras here in England and if there's anything you'd wish for in the book, it would just be for a Volume 2.