Quentin Jerome Tarantino is an American filmmaker, actor, film critic, and author. His films are distinguished by frequent references to popular culture and film history, nonlinear storylines, dark humor, stylized violence, extended dialogue, profanity, cameos, and ensemble casts. But did you know that Quentin Tarantino directed an episode of CSI?
Quentin Tarantino directed an episode of CSI in 2005 after word of his fandom reached the show’s producers.
The CSI Fan-Boy
CSI was a global phenomenon when it first aired, attracting dozens of guest stars during its run. It even piqued the interest of filmmaker Quentin Tarantino. Tarantino returned to television ten years after directing an episode of ER to direct the 2005 CSI two-parter Grave Danger, earning an Emmy nomination for directing. Tarantino did not direct the episode for the sake of a quick buck.
It wasn’t a challenge in that regard because I like the show. I just wanted to do my episode of it. So the format was all the stuff I embrace. I just wanted it to be bigger, to feel in some way like a CSI movie.Quentin Tarantino, Director
He even came up with the plot. It was titled Vol. 1 and Vol. 2 in reference to his most recent film, Kill Bill.
Tarantino watched episodes of CSI while filming parts of Kill Bill on location in China, demonstrating the show’s global reach at the time. The forensic angle of the show fascinated the Pulp Fiction director, who called Petersen’s Gil Grissom the best detective on television since Columbo.
Word spread like wildfire that Quentin Tarantino was watching and we all took such pride in that, and eventually we started to think if he’s such a big fan, why don’t we ask him to write and direct a show.Carol Mendelsohn, CSI Executive Producer
Tarantino accepted a chance to direct after William Petersen approached him. Grave Danger was supposed to be a one-hour film, but it was expanded to a two-parter after filming began. (Source: Today)
Quentin Tarantino’s Grave Danger
Tarantino’s unabashed love for the series led to his participation in the season finale.
Grave Danger shares several characteristics with Tarantino’s more well-known feature film work, including cameos from past Hollywood icons. Both Tony Curtis and Frank Gorshin played themselves. The episode was dedicated to Gorshin, who died just two days before the episode aired. John Saxon, who died last year, appeared in a prominent role as the episode’s criminal, going toe-to-toe with Grissom. Like Uma Thurman’s The Bride in Kill Bill, George Eads’ Nick Stokes was buried alive.
The episode received critical acclaim and aired during Season 5 of CSI. In 2005, Tarantino received an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series, but he was up against J.J. Abrams, who won for directing the Lost pilot that year. Since then, Tarantino has not directed a single television episode. He most recently directed Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, for which he also wrote a novelization earlier this year. (Source: Today)
Image from Looper