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Thursday, 4 October, 2001, 17:34 GMT 18:34 UK
West Wing airs attacks show
The cast of The West Wing
The cast are donating their week's wages to charity
Emmy award-winning TV drama, The West Wing, has broadcast a special episode responding to the events of 11 September.

The programme, which tells the inside story of a fictitious White House, attempted to confront fears and concerns following the attacks on the Pentagon and World Trade Centre.

The episode entitled Isaac and Ishmael, was written by the show's creator Aaron Sorkin, and was completed in less than three weeks.

The script made no reference to the events which inspired its creation.

Underlying reasons

The storyline placed the show's fictitious White House staff in a lock-out crisis mode following a breach of security.

An Arab-America man is arrested on suspicion of plotting some kind of terrorist activity, and is later found to be innocent.

Meanwhile, Josh Lyman, the deputy chief of staff, finds himself locked in a cafeteria with a group of visiting high school children.

They look to him for answers to questions similar to those asked by many Americans over the past few weeks.

The West Wing creator Aaron Sorkin
Aaron Sorkin (right) won a TV Critics award in July
Sorking used this opportunity to present his take on the underlying reason for the attacks through his characters.

The stand alone episode displaced the debut of the programme's new series.

The separate and ongoing storyline of President Bartlet's re-election bid will continue from 10 October.

Martin Sheen, who plays Bartlet, and other members of the cast, introduced the special episode out of character.

And the opening credits were replaced with phone numbers and addresses for the Twin Towers Fund and the Red Cross.

Warner Brothers, which produces the show, is donating any profits from the episode to funds for helping the families of police officers and fire-fighters who lost their lives in the disaster.

Cast members from The West Wing are also donating their week's pay to charity.

See also:

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Sheen gets three years' probation
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03 May 01 | TV and Radio
West Wing creator pleads innocent
11 Sep 00 | Entertainment
The West Wing sweeps Emmys
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