‘NCIS’: How the Show’s First Technical Advisor Helped Shape the Show

by Jonathan Howard

Before NCIS was put on the TV screen the show’s producers did a lot to make sure they got the law enforcement aspects right.

The first technical advisor for the show, Richard Warmack was working for NCIS Los Angeles Field Office when he got a call. HQ wanted him to see a TV producer. So, he met up with Donald P. Bellisario. The man wanted to do a show based on the agency.

When his higher-ups sent him in, Warmack said they told him two things. “Get our name right, and we are never the bad guys.” And off he went. He met up with “Don” and the two got to work on bringing the show to life.

Bellisario had been trying to get a show about NCIS done for years. He just hadn’t been able to get the resources together. He had his successful series JAG instead on the first go around. However, in 2003, he got his chance to turn his attention towards the Naval Criminal Investigative Service.

It started out with meeting Don. He gave an overview of what the agency does and what they stand for. Then, he was thrust into a room with over 10 writers. He spent hours answering questions and telling stories about the past. That was all before he met the star of the show himself, Mark Harmon.

Meeting Mark Harmon and Creating Gibbs

If it weren’t for this technical advisor, Gibbs wouldn’t be Gibbs. After meeting with the writing team, Warmack met up with Harmon to talk bout the special agent in charge. Bellisario wanted him to talk with Harmon and, “tell him how an agent thinks and acts.” That’s exactly what he did.

In fact, Harmon wanted to go so in-depth that he met the real-life agent at his own home. He wanted the full picture, not just the surface-level stuff. One of the things that Harmon noticed was the clothes Warmack was wearing. He usually wears a suit, however, when the two met he was in more casual clothing due to a situation at work that day.

Without his work with the NCIS team, the show wouldn’t be what it is today. From the producers to the writing team and also the star of the show. Warmack had a hand in developing just about all aspects of the show.

The fall finale aired this week and we saw a very interesting clue that helped solve a case.

‘NCIS’ Shows Sandra Holdren via Hologram

The team was having trouble with the case during the finale. Sandra Holdren had been killed and there was no clear answer at first. However, thanks to Holdren putting together a hologram message for her daughter, the team was able to answer questions they had.

It turns out that Sandra was taking money from her financial clients. However, it didn’t really add up. What really happened was that Holdren’s attorney had been the one stealing money. He was also the one killing the potential loose ends. Sandra’s name was cleared and her family was able to move on.