Commander in Chief (2005): S01E01 – Pilot


Commander in Chief is an American political drama television series that focused on the fictional administration and family of Mackenzie Allen (portrayed by Geena Davis), the first female President of the United States, who ascends to the post from the Vice Presidency after the death of the sitting President from a sudden cerebral aneurysm.


While on a diplomatic mission in Paris, Vice President Mackenzie Allen is informed that President Teddy Bridges has suffered a possibly fatal stroke. Since it is very unlikely, that Teddy Bridges will be able to remain in office, Jim Gardner asks Mac to resign. That way Speaker of the House Nathan Templeton would assume the presidency.

Mac visits President Bridges in the hospital and he asks her to resign, too. Upon the President’s death, Allen is again asked by Templeton to step aside. Even though she holds her resignation speech in her hands, she chooses to take the oath of office.

As her first action in office, Allen finishes a mission she championed as Vice President. She negotiates to free a Nigerian woman who is sentenced to death by stoning for having sex outside of marriage. While the first female President speaks to Congress, the Nigerians quietly hand their prisoner over to the US military and she is flown out of the country.

The episode contains several inaccuracies about Nigeria; for instance, Nigeria has a President as both head of state and head of government, therefore it does not have a Prime Minister as is mentioned in the series. Like the United States, Nigeria is a federal republic and most domestic laws are state, and not nationally set. Hence, while Sharia law is existent in a minority of states, Lagos, in which the woman is apparently imprisoned in this episode, is not one of them.

Commander in Chief Series

You can find a full index and overview of Commander in Chief here.

Production & Filming Details

  • Release Date: 27 September 2005.
  • Running Time: 42 minutes (per episode).
  • Rating: TV-PG.
  • Country: US.
  • Language: English.

YouTube Link

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