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December 19, 2014

Richard Schiff reveals more about what happened to The West Wing

by Bob Sassone, posted Feb 8th 2007 4:41PM

Richard Schiff, Sheila KelleyWe've said it here a million times (and by "we" I'm including TV Squad readers): Toby would never have leaked classified information the way he did in the last season of The West Wing. And in the off chance that he did, it would only be because he was covering for someone else. Now, Richard Schiff (in the pic on the right with his wife, actress Sheila Kelley) says he agrees (this is an addendum to an article from last year).

In an interesting interview in The Independent, Schiff says that he felt let down by the writers in the last season, and in fact to get through it he actually made a fictional plot in his head as to why Toby was acting the way that he was.

"I was sad for the show...I hated my storyline. Toby would never in 10 million years have betrayed the president in that fashion [in the seventh series, Toby is indicted for leaking classified information]. Even if he had, there would have been seven episodes' worth of fights before he did it... In the end, the only way I could make sense of my story was to come up with my own story - that Toby was covering for someone else. That, at least, made sense to me."

But he has no ill will towards the show at all, and looks at the first several years of the show very fondly. He even understands why he was let go, because the cast was large and expensive.

Schiff is in London to do the one man play Underneath The Lintel, about a Dutch librarian.

[via TV Tattle]

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Jim

I've never been one of the people to think this way about Toby. I always thought Toby would have done it. His self-loathing at many times stemmed from his own dislike of the military-industrial complex. Being an integral part of that system was exactly the kind of thing that made him different from his brother. Toby wanted to fight the system, even once he became the system. Toby is exactly the person in that White House who would have said "Damn the military policy, save the astronauts!"

Then again, I always thought Josh was way too smart to have a relationship with someone who worked for him, but the writers brought that out to disappoint me anyway. I always hated the whole Josh/Donna romantic angle because it destroyed the better parts of their relationship over time.

February 09 2007 at 4:01 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
tcc3

I think we were all dissapointed with the writers - starting right around Season 5 (thats about when Sorkin left right?) Man that show tanked fast.

February 09 2007 at 11:55 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
jensenmr

I was thinking today about all the cast members from TWW: Brought about by Allison Janney's guest spot on Two & a Half Men this coming Monday. Bradley Whitford has Studio 60, Dule Hill has Psych, Martin did The Departed, Josh Molina did some spots on Numbers, Rob Lowe is on Brothers and Sisters. Even Stockard Channing is lending her voice to the AIG commercials. Any updates on what Smits, Alda, Janel Moloney, or other cast members are working on?

I'm glad Richard is taking a break and doing "Underneath the Lintel." I read the script, and it's absolutely perfect for him. I would love to see him do it.

February 09 2007 at 12:25 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
David

I like Nick's idea, that would have worked.

And he wasn't in the finale because his storyline was wrapped.

February 08 2007 at 8:13 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
JeffL

This still doesn't answer why Richard Schiff was completely absent from the final episode. Everyone else got to say goodbye, why didn't Toby?

February 08 2007 at 8:02 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Nick

There was a rumour at one point that Toby was covering for Bartlet who, during an MS episode, accidentally leaked the information to a journalist. Under those circumstances I could easily see Toby taking the fall. And the scene where Bartlet finds out would have been brilliant.

February 08 2007 at 7:16 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
David

Why would his ex wife have this info?

I don't understand why they needed that storyline at all. They should have had it be someone much more minor that overheard Toby on the phone talknig about it or something. They should have just used Toby has someone in the show the first several episodes and then goes off with a job at some college.

February 08 2007 at 6:30 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
FAP


I thought he was covering for his ex-wife.

February 08 2007 at 5:04 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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