NCIS Prequel Series Risks Ruining What Made Leroy Jethro Gibbs So Special


  • NCIS: Origins could risk revealing too much about Gibbs, potentially ruining the mysterious charm of his character.
  • Actor Mark Harmon will return as the narrator in NCIS: Origins, with Austin Stowell portraying a young Gibbs.
  • Despite the excitement of exploring Gibbs’ adventurous background, there is a massive risk in making him the central character of the prequel series.

The upcoming prequel series NCIS: Origins could very easily ruin what makes Leroy Jethro Gibbs so special. The crime drama NCIS follows Special Agent Gibbs and the rest of the people who work in the Naval Criminal Investigative Services, investigating crimes connected to the Navy and Marine Corps. This show has spurred many NCIS series located in different parts of the world – Los Angeles, New Orleans, Hawai’i, and Sydney. However, an upcoming spinoff will break the mold by focusing on a single character from the original series – Leroy Jethro Gibbs.

After Mark Harmon left the series in NCIS season 19, the character will return to the screen in NCIS: Origins. The show will follow Gibbs’s life in 1991 before the events of NCIS. Actor Mark Harmon will return as the narrator, and Austin Stowell will play young Gibbs. Based on Stowell’s past roles, it’s likely the series will include more action than the original, going in a different direction than NCIS. This is an exciting prospect with Gibbs’ adventurous background; however, there’s also a massive risk to making him the central character.

Austin Stowell is best known for his roles in
Bridge of Spies
Fantasy Island
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Leroy Jethro Gibbs’ Mystery Was Part Of What Made Him Great In NCIS

Gibbs is the primary NCIS character returning in NCIS: Origins; however, this poses a major issue. One of the best aspects of Gibbs in NCIS is the fact that he’s mysterious. His team doesn’t seem to know much about him. Gibbs’ backstory with his first wife is revealed in the finale of season 3. NCIS doesn’t reveal when Gibbs was born, where he grew up, or why he left until season 6.


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Gibbs murdering Pedro Hernandez is revealed across later seasons of the show, finally wrapping up the story of his first wife. In NCIS season 10, episode 5, “The Namesake,” the audience learns that Gibbs’ mom had cancer and died in a tragic way. However, multiple secrets and mysteries about Gibbs are never solved. NCIS: Origins needs to maintain some of these mysteries, rather than revealing everything about the character.

The NCIS Prequel Series Risks Revealing Too Much Of Who Gibbs Is

Mark Harmon as Gibbs reaching into his jacket pocket with police tape behind him in NCIS

The idea of a TV series focused on Gibbs is fun to think about. After all, he’s one of the most beloved NCIS main characters. Despite his gruff, can-do attitude and Gibbs’s rules, he has a soft side that makes him lovable. However, the choice to make the show a prequel is concerning. Part of the appeal of Gibbs is the fact that he’s a mystery. The ambiguity surrounding his background makes his other personality traits more enjoyable.

NCIS: Origins could retroactively ruin his character in NCIS by killing that mystery. The show will probably reveal too much information about how Gibbs became who he is, based on the premise. This gamble could pay off if the writers both remain loyal to his background from the original series and expand upon his character in a way that feels authentic. However, NCIS: Origins could also fail if the writing isn’t perfect.

NCIS Origins Temp Logo Poster

NCIS: Origins

Mark Harmon


Gina Lucita Monreal , David J. North

Mark Harmon , Sean Harmon