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wikiDeeks Exclusive! An Interview with Frank Military

Welcome to our latest exclusive wikiDeeks podcast. We have been truly humbled to be able to speak with so many of the people who help create NCIS: Los Angeles. Last week, with a little help from Eric Christian Olsen, we were thrilled to get a chance to pick the brain of executive producer, writer and director Frank Military, who’s been responsible for so many classic Deeks and Densi moments.

Our editor Karen P. talked to Frank about which character he was initially drawn to and which is “the most awesome,” what Eric Christian Olsen and Daniela Ruah bring to their roles, the showrunners’ long-term efforts to keep Densi interesting, whether his work should really be described as dark, how he approached writing “Descent” and filming the waterboarding scene in “Spoils of War,” the reasons behind Michelle Hanna’s death, how a wayward camel almost derailed his first NCIS:LA directorial attempt, and how his directorial style has evolved over time.

Hearing how busy Frank is makes us all the more grateful that he took time out of his busy schedule to talk to us. Thanks Frank!



Music in this podcast: NCIS: Los Angeles theme song by Bobby Morganstein, copyright 2010 Bobby Morganstein Productions

About Diane (427 Articles)
Founder, Writer and Contributing Editor of wikiDeeks. Always wanted to put together a talented team of writers and graphic designers who loved NCISLA and Marty Deeks in particular! My dream came true! Hope you enjoy what we have created!

26 Comments on wikiDeeks Exclusive! An Interview with Frank Military

  1. I am soooo excited to listen to this! Karen, I’m sure you knocked it out of the ballpark (okay yeah, I’m sure Frank Military helped too). Which is why it’s killing me that I probably won’t be able to listen until tomorrow morning (one benefit of a long drive to work!). Hopefully I’ll be able to leave a more meaningful comment after that.

    WikiDeeks is totally killing it this season!

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Roberto Chousa // February 10, 2019 at 6:17 AM // Reply

    Si el romance entre Kensi y Deeks no continua y terminan casados nuncas mirare la serie ncis los Angeles. No puedo imaginar a Kensi en brazos de otro hombre

    Liked by 2 people

  3. What a talented and interesting man. I was so impressed with what he had to say about all that is involved in putting on a show of this caliber. He certainly didn’t hold back in his praise of Eric as an actor. I was surprised that Eric took time off on a weekend to rehearse that famous scene with cleric and didn’t complain about not getting paid, but was all in to get the scene just right. That shows me he will do well with his other endeavors outside of NCIS. Thank you Diane for a wonderful interview and wow wikiDeeks is better than ever.

    Liked by 5 people

  4. deekskensidensifan // February 10, 2019 at 7:53 AM // Reply

    I loved listening to this interview! What an amazing man Frank is and so busy but still managed to make time for this interview to answer so many questions! Love love love it thank you! 😊💙😍

    Liked by 4 people

  5. What an incredible peek behind the curtain Frank Military gave us. That he was so willing to talk to us shows his generosity and his love for his job. Thanks to Karen for asking such great questions. Finding out the reason they decided to kill off such an incredible and fan favorite character as Michelle Hanna was an eye opener into the reality of television production. Although it still makes me sad to lose her, it’s now understandable.

    I wasn’t surprised how much he appreciates ECO as an actor. It shows in his many great scripts that showcase Eric’s ability to handle deeply emotional and dramatic scenes. His writing is inspirational, but his work as an executive producer was impressive. I really had no idea how much work that job entailed. Frank Military is simply the best man for all those jobs. Thank you for sharing your working life with us.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Oh my goodness, what an amazing and interesting interview! I could have listened to Mr. Military for hours. He gave us so much insight into how each episode takes shape, from the first germ of an idea to completion. It is amazing to me how much care is taken to even the most minute of details. I have always wondered what producers actually do, and now it is crystal clear how much work takes place behind the scenes of our favorite show, how much time and effort is spent by the writers, directors, and actors. From writing, storyboarding, pre-production, music, costuming, continuity, rehearsing, lighting, filming, post-production, etc., it is really a Herculean effort, but they make it look so effortless and magical.

    It was really interesting to learn about the technical difficulties and problem solving that goes into an episode, and how much discussion that goes into preparing the actor performances. He touched upon it briefly, but I would love to hear more about much the actors themselves influence how their characters are written. Perhaps in another podcast………

    I also agree and appreciate with Mr. Military’s opinion of ECO’s acting skills. I think that he is one of the finest actors on television. I am always surprised that he hasn’t been recognized at EMMY award time. I blame this on CBS, as their promotion for NCIS-LA is almost non-existent. I sincerely hope that he keeps coming up with fresh new ideas for Deeks each week for many more seasons to come. To me, Deeks is really the soul and conscience of the show, certainly the most interesting character. I am interested to see if marriage changes the dynamic of Deeks and Kensi. It will be interesting to see this married couple working in the field together. Hopefully, their romance continues!

    Thank you Mr. Military for your devotion to our favorite character of Marty Deeks, and to NCIS-LA, and for spending this time with us. And thank you Karen, for this extremely well done podcast.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. I just finished listening and it was amazing. Thank you to Frank Military to take the time to talk with us. Karen, your questions were really good. I learned a lot about how the show is put together. I had not realized Spoils of War was his first major directing. It was a great intense episode. Thanks to all of you for what you do ar Wikideeks.

    Liked by 3 people

  8. michelle mcnally // February 10, 2019 at 1:01 PM // Reply

    wonderful inter view. i love the praise he had for eco, i think he is a fine talented actor. i wish he got recognized more too. thanks to frank military for all the insights into the writing of the character etc. i look so forward to these interviews and especially with eric christian olsen who i think is totally amazing and adorable ❤

    Liked by 3 people

  9. Cheryl Molnar // February 10, 2019 at 1:19 PM // Reply

    That was awesome, and so insightful! So glad that Frank Military is part of the NCISLA team

    Liked by 3 people

  10. Roberto Chousa // February 10, 2019 at 1:37 PM // Reply

    Me encanto leer que la relacion de Kensi y Deeks terminara en matrimonio y que seguiran trabajando juntos.
    Esa pareja es increiblemente atractiva .
    No puede terminar de otra manera..!!!

    Liked by 2 people

  11. amusement345 // February 10, 2019 at 2:17 PM // Reply

    Great interview! He’s such a busy man, I’m grateful he took he time to give it. Kudos to those who came up with the questions, because they were spot on, and I could tell that, because his answers were so interesting. Hearing about his various roles as EP tells us how complex it is to put a show together. I loved the glimpse at what factors into making decisions about characters, and guest stars. I’ll join the chorus that enjoyed his comments on ECO (and thanks, ECO, for facilitating this), and loved learning how seriously they’d taken that one aspect of ‘Spoils of War’, that they’d all given up their weekend for it.

    It sounded to me like FM actually enjoyed himself, which makes me hopeful that he might want to come back and visit with us again. Thanks, Karen, for being on the front lines here, and thanks to all who contributed. Pretty amazing.

    Liked by 4 people

  12. Once again, a very nice interview. It was interesting to hear about the different processes that went into planning/making various episodes, particularly ‘Descent and Spoils of War’. I always wondered how the guest actors and ECO went about filming the ‘interrogation’ scene.

    I have to wonder (mostly kidding) if there’s anyone out there who does not like Eric or enjoy working with him. Can’t wait to see what you guys bring to us next. Thanks for all the wonderful content!

    Liked by 3 people

  13. Such a great interview. So appreciate his time to chat us via you guys. Such an interesting conversation and many topics covered. Love how the cast and crew of this great show are so open and happy to engage with the fans.

    Liked by 4 people

  14. This was incredible!
    Thanks so much, WikiDeeks, for this precious little unexpected gem. NCIS:LA fandom is so lucky to have you. You have always been amazing, but this year you are surpassing yourselves (I spent last summer brooding over WikiDeeks closing down, but you have found so many ways to be forgiven, I couldn’t harbor any grudge!).
    Many thanks, also, to Frank Military, I really appreciated he found some time in his – I guess – pretty busy schedule for WikiDeeks and your questions. I could have listened to him forever!
    Many of FM’s episodes are among my favorites, but “Descent” and “Spoils of war” will always have a special place in my heart, for many different reasons, and I will always be grateful he wrote such high-quality, heartwrenching, emotional, terrific hours of TV (as much as I still can’t totally forgive him for killing Michelle, even if I understood the reasons behind such choice, but, no, I think I will never be over it!).
    Thanks again, WikiDeeks, you are the best!

    Liked by 3 people

  15. What a great surprise!! To paraphrase ECO’s below tweet you are magical this season. Like many of your readers, I was also brooding about your closing down last summer, but you have been stronger then ever and still going strong. First the amazing interview with ECO (one of his best if not the best, if you ask me), then video and Q&A with ECO and now this excellent interview with the price of darkness himself – Frank Military. Wow, you are really the best.
    I enjoyed it! I know next to nothing about filming, producing, acting, writing etc…but I am in the international business and I know about business. It is at the same time demanding and relaxed, though and easy, mistakes could be terribly expensive or not (if you are lucky) and I know how much work and attention and passion and time one must invest in anything to go at least ok if not smoothly. NCIS LA machinery is huge and therefore thank you Mr. Military for making time in your schedule to talk to wikiDeeks and its readers.
    It is not wonder to me that ECO spent his weekend rehearsing the scene in Spoils of War because he is really professional and he appears as somebody who wants to give his best all the time. He appreciates very much the opportunity he has been given and I appreciate everything we have gotten from him in return.
    Thank you Frank Military, Karen and wikiDeeks for your great work!

    Liked by 4 people

  16. Love the show!!!! Will Callen ever find out the e truth about his past???


  17. Kim Calamari // February 11, 2019 at 1:42 PM // Reply

    What an intriguing man. I thouroughly enjoyed the interview and hearing about all that we don’t see behind the scenes. Thank you for your time and effort in this site!

    Liked by 3 people

  18. Thanks everyone! I once again find myself wondering how I got to be so lucky to have a chance to talk to someone whose work I admire so much. It’s truly surreal. I’m really glad you all enjoyed it. By far the most difficult part was not having another two hours so I could ask all the additional questions on our list, plus all the follow-up questions that sprung to mind as he talked. I hope I managed to hit a few of your questions. And again, many thanks go to ECO and to Frank for making this happen.

    My new wish is a Frank Military DVD commentary for “To Live and Die in Mexico.” I think any commentary featuring the show’s writers would be interesting, but this one would go to the top of my list.

    Liked by 2 people

  19. I finally got time to listen to this and it was just awesome. Karen you did a great job on this interview, a perfect set of questions. It was wonderful that Frank took the time to answer these questions for us fans . I certainly have a much better understanding of what he does and how the show comes together. Of course, I loved his comments about ECO and the Deeks character.

    Liked by 2 people

  20. Wow, and I thought I had a varied job in which no two days are the same! Thank you, Mr. Military, for such an in-depth look into your fascinating career. You are a man of many talents and a master of them all! How much did Eric wheedle you to say that Deeks is the most awesome character on the show, I wonder? 😉 Re: the Densi S9 “break-up,” I’m just grateful it was the shortest-lived one I’ve ever seen in a TV romance.

    Karen, so glad you asked about Michelle’s death. It was good to hear the explanation, and I’m relieved that the decision wasn’t made just to add some drama to Sam’s life, but will admit to still wishing her death didn’t have to be about revenge against Sam (i.e. she was a CIA agent; couldn’t one of her own old cases led to her death?).

    Such an interesting point that the “evolution” of television sets has resulted in more cinematic productions for TV shows, and really, so many other terrific moments in this interview. Thanks again, Frank, Karen, and wikiDeeks!

    Liked by 3 people

  21. Really interesting interview!! Mr. Military is a true renaissance man!! Very cool to learn all the behind the scenes info and how diverse his background is. A man of many talents,lucky for NCISLA. Great job WikiDeeks and Frank.

    Liked by 3 people

  22. Valentina Vella // March 12, 2019 at 3:22 PM // Reply

    Thanks Karen and thanks wikiDeeks for your amazing work, it’s really amazing that us, Deeks and Densi fans have the opportunity to get these great interviewes. I hope for more in the future so you can ask all your great question! Frank is really awesome 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  23. I’ve admired Frank Military’s work since Miami Vice (he wrote the scripts for Buddies and Little Miss Dangerous, two of my favorite episodes, and had a role in Nobody Lives Forever), and it was amazing to actually find an interview with him. I’ve always felt he has a fantastic feel for characters and the bits of them viewers will connect with. Deeks is my favorite character on the show, and I have really enjoyed how Deeks has blossomed sort of in line with Mr. Military’s expanding role on the show.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Glad you found us Robbie. I love your observation about his feel for the parts of characters viewers will connect with. I’ve long felt that he writes the best team episodes, where every character is shown at their best, but I’d never thought about it the way you describe.


      • Thanks! He did this with the two Miami Vice episodes I mentioned. He was the only writer to seriously explore Crockett’s time in Vietnam, and Little Miss Dangerous taps into Tubbs’ savior instincts perfectly. I’ve always admired his writing, and have enjoyed every LA episode he’s done. The whole Descent arc is one of my favorites. And as an aside, has anyone ever counted the number of times Deeks has come out of a hospital bed to save members of the team?

        Liked by 1 person

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