- To hell with the pig... I'm going to Switzerland.

NCIS Location Woes (Tuesday, January 17, 2006)

Okay, so I'm watching NCIS, and I'm just dying, because it's supposed to take place here in the DC metro area, but it's just funny how they change the the geography of the region to make it more suitable. Last season, there was an episode that supposedly took place at Bull Run Park (or maybe Manassas National Battlefield, depending on what side of Bull Run they were on), but the geography was completely wrong — the vegetation, the terrain... I mean, I live by Bull Run Park, and it was just wrong.

So in tonight's episode, they're analyzing a map to see where their victim had gone. So they're talking about "Braddock Mall", which of course does not really exist. Then they're talking about it being on Ox Rd, and they show a map. "Braddock Mall" is located where George Mason University's campus is. But they've neatly covered over it for the show. And then they have localized the sound of driving over railroad tracks, so they show another map where they went over the tracks... it's been labeled Ox Rd, but it's actually Roberts Parkway near Premier Court (where Capital Gymnastics is).

Finally, they cut to another shot where Ox Rd "ends" in this luxury community. Of course, Ox Rd ends when it hits Route 1 on the other side of Interstate 95 in Woodbridge. But they've neatly drawn over that map too, so it ends in Burke, south of Fairfax County Parkway, near Little Ox Rd. The funny thing is that the name of the community is improbable for the region, and the roads in that community are straight and at weird angles to each other. Except there's not a straight road in all of Burke — even ones like Premier Court which are all three hundred feet long are curved!

Anyway, interesting stuff to feed my map addiction.

—Brian (1/17/2006 9:55 PM)


The series appears to be shot in Southern California but the locations are scouted and shot so carefully that with a little imagination and some ignorance of Southern CA and DC-area geography one might not notice anything amiss.

-- Bob (10/15/2008 12:07 AM)


-- Larry (2/3/2013 5:24 PM)

Every time that episode airs, at least a dozen people visit this page, searching for "Braddock Mall". It may be fiction, but it's fun to pick apart details, and think about things.

-- Brian (2/3/2013 6:28 PM)

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