‘NCIS’: Here’s Why Alden Parker Will Never Have a Friendship with Ducky Like Gibbs

by Madison Miller

Over on “NCIS,” Agent Alden Parker (Gary Cole) is basically the replacement for the famous Leroy Jethro Gibbs (Mark Harmon).

Gibbs left the show earlier this season in an incredibly emotional moment for both viewers at home and characters within the “NCIS” universe itself. Since then, Agent Parker, who had a habit of butting heads with Gibbs, is now the team leader.

He has worked alongside Agent McGee, Agent Torres, and Agent Knight as they continue to solve some pretty gruesome crimes. Gibbs was on the show for the 18 seasons that came before. His character had met every new face of the “NCIS” world along the way, which includes stars of “NCIS: Los Angeles” and “NCIS: New Orleans.”

Agent Alden Parker and Ducky on ‘NCIS’

Agent Parker, on the other hand, has only briefly met a very important long-standing character. The “NCIS” historian Donald “Ducky” Mallard (David McCallum) has been around since the very beginning of the popular procedural drama. His role has changed since then. He was originally the chief medical examiner but became the historian during season 16.

Ducky also hasn’t appeared as much these past few seasons. However, he was in the fourth and fifth episodes this season. During episode four he spent most of his time talking with his dear friend Gibbs before his departure. Then, in episode five, he was working down in the medical examiner’s office.

Given his limited screen time, Ducky and Parker will likely never get the same deep-level bond as he had with Gibbs. Also, that relationship was built on a lot of history and almost 20 years together on the show.

According to Deadline, McCallum decided to limit his appearances on”NCIS” in 2016. He shared that he wanted to appear less in order to spend more time with his family. He has only appeared in two episodes this season and a total of three episodes last season.

Gary Cole Talks Replacing Gibbs

Many fans haven’t exactly taken Gibbs leaving the show very well. Although there have been many character departures on the long-running program, watching Gibbs say farewell perhaps was the hardest goodbye.

Gary Cole has gotten a lot of the frustration from viewers thrown his way due to his role as the replacement. He recently spoke to TV Insider about his role and his separation from a legendary character like Gibbs.

“I’ve done a lot of dropping into shows, [usually] as a recurring character. Part of my job description is to get comfortable, whatever that takes. I’m not trying to be [Gibbs]. The writers made that distinction,” Cole said.

While he may be replacing his duty on the show, no one can really replace Gibbs’ overall presence.