NCIS

The NCIS Star You Least Expect Is Returning For The Prequel — And They Have Ties To [Spoiler]

The NCIS universe is expanding with a prequel series based on a young Leroy Jethro Gibbs, and he’s not the only original character that will be featured in the new show. Keep reading for all the details on the NCIS: Origins cast.

NCIS: Origins will open in 1991 and will follow the young Gibbs as a newly installed agent at the Camp Pendleton NCIS office, where he forges his place on a gritty, ragtag team led by NCIS legend Mike Franks (a role that was played by Muse Watson in the mothership). The show, which will be a part of the 2024-25 broadcast season, will be narrated by none other than Gibbs himself: Mark Harmon, who starred on the flagship series for the first 19 seasons before exiting in 2021. The actor will also serve as an executive producer along with his son, Sean Harmon, who played a young version of Gibbs on NCIS.

While fans will get to see younger versions of both Gibbs and Franks, what other original characters will NCIS: Origins explore? So far, we have learned that at least one other character will be joining the prequel series. According to TVLine, Special Agent Vera Strickland, who was portrayed by actress Roma Maffia over a decade ago, is set to appear on the new show. Strickland’s first and only NCIS appearance came in the Season 11 episode “Under the Radar.” In the episode, it was explained that she was Franks’ last partner before he retired in 1996. Strickland also told Anthony DiNozzo (Michael Weatherly) that she and Franks had a very special relationship, which suggested that there was more back story there. The actors for young Gibbs, Franks and Strictland have not yet been determined, but a search for the lead is underway.

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The series will likely explore the origin of several other characters. Since it is set in the ’90s, fans are hoping to see more of Gibbs’ late wife Shannon (who was played by Darby Stanchfield in flashback scenes) and later daughter Kelly (played by Mary Mouser). The two were murdered by a cartel drug leader in 1991 and Franks, who was investigating their case, helped Gibbs exact his revenge on the killer. Fans would also love to see a young Dr. Donald “Ducky” Mallard. Gibbs first met the medical examiner in the ’80s, when he was abducted by Vito Zucado and saved by Ducky. David McCallum, who portrayed Ducky on NCIS for 20 seasons, died in September 2023 at age 90. He will be in honored in the upcoming Season 21 in a tribute episode, in which his character will be written off.

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