‘NCIS’: How Gary Cole Thinks Alden Parker Feels About Mark Harmon’s Gibbs

by Keeli Parkey
Photo: Cliff Lipson/CBS ©2021 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

A new face has recently joined the “NCIS” universe and he has some big shoes to fill.

That new face is actor Gary Cole. He has joined the very popular CBS drama as the character Alden Parker. And he has some pretty gigantic shoes to fill. See, Parker has been put in charge of the Naval Criminal Investigative Service.

More importantly, Parker is taking over from a legend. As fans of “NCIS” are aware, that legend is Leroy Jethro Gibbs. The famous character was played by Mark Harmon for almost two decades. With Harmon’s – and Gibbs’ – exit from the series, a new leader was needed.

So, Cole’s character Alden Parker was brought on board. Parker is a former FBI man, but was fired from the famous law enforcement agency. Parker will begin working as the new leader of the “NCIS” team during the upcoming episode, “False Start,” on Monday, Nov. 1, according to TV Insider.

New ‘NCIS” Leader Said Gibbs Was a Rule Breaker and That His Character Only ‘Bends’ the Rules

Obviously, fans will be comparing Parker to Gibbs. That’s inevitable. So, how does Gary Cole feel about his character in comparison to Mark Harmon’s Gibbs?

According to what the 65-year-old Cole said during a recent TV Insider interview, there are differences between the two men. For example, how they communicate is different. “Parker isn’t overly chatty, but he is more verbal,” Cole also said of his “NCIS” character.

Cole also said that his “NCIS” character is going to try to make a good impression on the people he will be working with. “He’s not as old school (as Gibbs); he tries to get his hands on new tech gadgets and impress everybody. He’s trying to fit in with the rest of the team,” Cole shared.

The actor also said that there are qualities about Gibbs that Parker appreciates. And it is possible that Parker might begin reacting like Gibbs in some situations as time goes along. “Although he may be reluctant to voice it, he admires that Gibbs breaks rules. Parker bends them. We’ll see if it gets to the point of breaking,” Gary Cole also said.

“NCIS” airs on Mondays on CBS. It hits the small screen at 9 p.m. (Eastern) and 8 p.m. (Central). You can watch the preview of the upcoming “False Start” episode below.

The short clip shows an effort Alden Parker makes to get on the good side of his new team. Wisely, he brings in food. “The new guy is trying to score some brownie points,” says McGee (played by Sean Murray) in the promo.

In the clip, one difference between Parker and Gibbs becomes clear. “Would you rather I only bark orders?” Parker wants to know. “It’s what we’re used to,” McGee then says.