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NCIS: Review

Updated on April 12, 2016
The cast in Hollywood when Mark Harmon was awarded his star on the Walk of Fame.
The cast in Hollywood when Mark Harmon was awarded his star on the Walk of Fame. | Source

If you're one of my followers, you already know I like Criminal Minds. Another of my favorite shows is NCIS. I like most shows on TV for their intrinsic value but have to admit as far as crime shows go, Criminal Minds and NCIS are my favorites (I'm not counting comedy shows in this generalization). Since I've already written about Criminal Minds, and one of my friends (AuFait) suggested I write about NCIS, here I am writing about NCIS.

Probably long forgotten, NCIS is a spinoff of the TV show JAG (Judge Advocate General). JAG ran for a total of ten seasons and NCIS and NCIS: Los Angeles are spinoffs. In 2003 (JAG's eighth season) a two part series focused around the NCIS (Naval Criminal Investigative Service) which is what led to the spinoff. While JAG was about courtroom drama, NCIS is about criminal investigations.

According to Wikipedia, many actors played roles on JAG and later on NCIS. The one most notable would be; "Special Agent Timothy McGee in NCIS, played two characters – Ensign Guitry, an ensign on trial from Season 4 Episode "Innocence", and "Danny Walden", the son of one of Admiral Chegwidden's many girlfriends." Both characters are out of character for our McGee, but more on McGee later.

The two JAG episodes that introduced NCIS were edited into an hour long pilot named "NCIS – The Beginning" and so it began.

Leroy Jethro Gibbs

Played by Mark Harmon
Played by Mark Harmon | Source

Leroy Jethro Gibbs

The main character in NCIS is our beloved Leroy Jethro Gibbs played by our beloved Mark Harmon. There's much to tell about Gibbs and yet....He is from Pennsylvania where his father still lives. He was named after his father's friend and business partner. He left PA to join the Marines and didn't go back for thirty years. Seems Leroy was a delinquent growing up and he and his father didn't get along too well. His mother committed suicide when she was dying of cancer. She didn't want her family to see her suffer.

Gibbs is a bit of a hard head...disciplined like a good Marine, but also very demanding. He wants to do things his way (which of course is always the right way) and wants everyone to follow his lead. He was also an excellent marksman in the Marines.

Gibbs was married four times, operative word being "was". His first wife and daughter were murdered. Something Gibbs has a hard time with. She had witnessed a drug cartel killing and she and her daughter were killed as a result. Even though Abby and Director Vance found out that Gibbs killed the Mexican cartel leader in revenge for his wife and daughter's death, nothing was done about it. Director Vance filed the paper work in the back of the extensive file room where no one would ever see it.

Woodworking is what relaxes him and we've seen him building a sailboat in his basement. Seems he's finished it three may come back again. We're never let in on the secret of how he gets the twenty-five foot sailboats out of his basement. I keep looking for a concealed outside door but haven't seen one yet.

As with any show Gibbs' past is a part of the show, cropping up in different episodes that introduce us to different people from his past. Such as one of the episodes with one of his ex-wives. Interestingly enough, each of his wives was a redhead...and his mother was a redhead. Another episode introduced us to his namesake and the history he had with Gibbs' mother and father.

He is protective of his team and treats Abby and Ziva as if they were his daughter's. It is Ducky, however, that he has the closest relationship with. It seems he has known Ducky the longest. He will let no one treat his team badly and defends them whenever necessary.

We love Gibbs....hard head and all. Speaking of heads, he frequently slaps his team in the back of the head...DiNozzo says it's a sign of affection. Gibbs once said, "A slap to the face would be humiliating. Back of the head is a wake-up call."

Not surprisingly Gibbs speaks other languages and also signs (American Sign Language).

If you've watched NCIS you know I could write this whole hub just about Gibbs but there are other characters to explore. If you haven't watched maybe you might want to stop by just to see Gibbs.


Dr. Donald Mallard, the Medical Examiner, is affectionately known as "Ducky". Of course, once you know his full name it is easy to see how the knickname Ducky came about. A surprising fact I learned in researching about Ducky, David McCallum tried to become an expert in forensics and even attended conventions to learn more, all in preparation for his part.

Back to Ducky. In addition to his forensic abilities he is also able to psychologically profile potential suspects having gotten a degree in Forensic Psychology. Ducky lived with his mother until she died a few seasons back. The only other family member mentioned is a nephew.

Ducky is a truly beloved character. When he is visited during an autopsy he is not above breaking into anecdotes that seem to go on and on. Gibbs has been known to subtly bring him back on track on many occasions. He also speaks to the bodies he is autopsying. To listen to him you would think the dead person was alive. A quote from Ducky while examining a corpse; " I'll have to research the predatory, manipulative, grandiose nature of this behavior, but my first impression is that we're dealing with a complete loon."

As I mentioned earlier Ducky and Gibbs are good friends. Ducky is the only one currently on NCIS that calls Gibbs Jethro. I would say his next 'best' friend would be Abby. They both seem at ease with each other and considering their jobs that isn't always possible with everyone.

Ducky worked for the British police before he started working for NCIS. He also served during the Vietnam War but I'm not sure if he was an American soldier or a British soldier. He has been with NCIS now for around seventeen years, the character of course.

Jimmy, who works with Ducky is like a son. Their relationship is obvious as you watch the two perform an autopsy or examination. There is great respect between the two. The funny thing is that Jimmy is taking after his mentor and has begun storytelling, like Ducky.

Tony Dinozzo

Played by Michael Weatherly
Played by Michael Weatherly | Source

Anthony Dinozzo

Someone with Tony's confidence must be, and is, an only child...and from a wealthy Long Island family to boot. Though one would think he had an ideal childhood, one would be wrong. His mother died in the hospital when he was eight, while they were watching a movie together. His father was rather neglectful and once left him in a hotel room for two days while he attended a business meeting. Most of his childhood was spent in boarding camps and summer school.

He was a basketball player and is a college graduate. Tony worked with three different police departments before joining NCIS. If you've ever watched NCIS you know Tony is an incurable flirt. He also seems to compare everything to a movie he's seen and often quotes from movies when he feels it fits the situation. His many female relationships have been covered in several episodes spanning several years.

His relationship with Ziva is interesting. They constantly seem to be trying to best each other and yet there also seems to be an undercurrent of emotions between them.

Tony is a Senior Field Officer and does his job well in spite of his constant clowning. He gets along well with all of the team though he is prone to give McGee a hard time, things like calling him 'Probie'. He is always looking for Gibbs' approval, and is never really put off by the slaps to his head. states; "From Season 1 of "NCIS" to Season 5, DiNozzo was written as a multidimensional character. One moment, Tony would be using his inquisitive nature to snoop around his co-worker's desk or listen in to private conversations in order to find out more about them, and the next moment he would be using that same inquisitive nature to find a break in the case the team was working on."

Though he sometimes drives the team crazy, he is loyal to them as they are to him.

Tim McGee

Played by Sean Murry
Played by Sean Murry | Source

Timothy "Tim" McGee

McGee is a lovable computer nerd. He has lost a considerable amount of weight since the show began and seems to be gaining some confidence along with the weight loss. His father and sister are the only family mentioned to date though he did once say he was raised in a traditional family. His father was a naval officer.

According to Wikipedia, " He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in biomedical engineering from Johns Hopkins University and a Master of Science degree in computer forensics from MIT." He originally worked in the NCIS field office before being transferred to headquarters. He is Gibbs computer consultant.

There is a chemistry between McGee and Abby. In the past they dated but nothing more has been actually shown about a relationship between them. Tony and Ziva often tease McGee as he is the junior member of the team. Another of the many knicknames Dinozzo uses for McGee is, "McGeek". Ziva is more protective of McGee than any of the others on the team.

One of McGee's most famous quotes is " You don't just get over irrational fears. They're irrational!"

Ziva David

Played by Cote de Pablo
Played by Cote de Pablo | Source

Ziva David

Ziva is Israeli citizen and daughter of the Mossad Director, assigned to NCIS as a liaison officer. After being captured by terrorists she was saved by the NCIS team. She became a US citizen and serving two years with NCIS she was sworn in as an agent. She is at odds with her father over their differing beliefs. She is a sharpshooter and is known at NCIS for her crazy driving.

Ziva had a half-brother and sister. She attempted to save her half-brother but later, when she found out what he was doing, wound up killing him. She speaks seven languages fluently and has a basic knowledge of three other languages. She has some difficulty with the American language and it's sayings which is sometimes used as comic relief.

She and Tony always seem to be competing with each other...not only in NCIS but in life. As I mentioned earlier though, there is an undercurrent of affection between them that is never truly talked about. Fans seem to think Ziva and Tony belong together. Though she starts out not trusting Abby they wind up being friends. She is very much like Gibbs though neither admits it. They both have great respect for each other. She has a different friendship with McGee. He respects her and she treats him like a little brother. She and Ducky are friends as well. She has been seen confiding in Ducky.

Ziva is a talented agent that is really friends with her whole team. We seem to root for her because of her talents and likability.

Abigail Sciuto

Played by Pauly Perrette
Played by Pauly Perrette | Source

Abigail Sciuto

Abby is the Goth-like forensic scientist on the NCIS team. She has tattoos in many places, drinks very large cups of soda all the time, and prefers to work alone. Amazingly she is a Roman Catholic. According to QScore she is the most popular female artist on television! She is totally interested in death and the supernatural but has an always bubbly personality. Oh, and she sleeps in a coffin!

Abby has a younger brother and a niece, though she was adopted and didn't find this out until later in life. She grew up in New Orleans and knows sign language because both of her [adoptive] parents were deaf. According to Wikipedia, "Abby graduated with full honors from LSU with a triple major in sociology, criminology and psychology. She earned her master's degree from Georgia State University in criminology and forensic science. Sciuto's interest in forensics came from living near a wrecking yard and being intrigued by the cause and effect of the wrecks."

She has good relationships with everyone on the team and seems to share Tony's love of movies. Her relationship with Gibbs appears to be a special one. You don't see him kissing anyone on the cheek, except 'Abbs'. She confides in Gibbs and he treats her like a daughter. Her relationship with McGee is much like Ziva and Tony's but with more emotion and caring. She is obsessively loyal to the NCIS team and becomes very upset when any of them are in danger.

Abby is brilliant in her career and seems to never be stumped by anything Gibbs brings her. The entire team loves Abby, they respect her and they're protective of her.


I know, I didn't write about Director Vance and Assistant ME Jimmy Parker, but I'm just running out of room here. I've given you a few highlights but you're just going to have to watch the show to get the rest. named NCIS "The Most Popular Crime Show on Television", IMDb rates it eleventh in the most popular crime shows of all time, rates it number five (all time best), voted America's favorite television show in 2011, you get the picture. If you haven't watched it, now might be the time.

Please leave a comment and let us know what you think.

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    • profile image


      2 years ago

      I read somewhere that Paulie died. Whaaa?

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      5 years ago from New York

      Glad you found and enjoyed my hub but I have to admit my favorite part of your comment Mr. Archer is your dogs' names. Not only pure genius but cute too!

      I think they are trying to get people to like and accept the new girl but may not realize pushing her down our throats is not the answer. They are going to do a tribute show for Ralph Waite so watch for it, it should be good. I'm always happy to know a friend is as rabid a fan as I am ;)

    • Mr Archer profile image

      Mr Archer 

      5 years ago from Missouri

      Well, Mary; another reason to like you even more. I am a died in the wool NCIS fan. As a matter of fact it is the only show I do watch consistently. We have two Labrador Retrievers, Duckie and Abbie. I wanted to name the male Gibbs or Jethro but my wife would have none of it!

      You did very well here. I was actually going to do a hub on the show and decided to research what might have already have been written. You saved me a lot of time by beating me to the punch!

      What are your thoughts on the show this year? I am not too fond of the new girl or how they are playing her. Seems like every show is built around her, getting her into the swing of things and having the others take a back seat. I don't like that.

      Anyway, great job here on a subject dear to my heart. Take care and Blessings to you and yours.

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      5 years ago from New York

      You are most welcome gypsumgirl. It is definitely a winner with a great cast. Can you tell I'm a fan too ;)

    • gypsumgirl profile image


      5 years ago from Vail Valley, Colorado

      Thanks for the informative hub! I love this show and am a huge fan.

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      5 years ago from New York

      Me too cjarosz. It is a great show and the actors have such a great rapport at a crime scene or off.

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Great review!! I love this show. I have watched every single episode all the way up to the recent on tv

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      6 years ago from New York

      I know what you mean is truly an addictive show to watch. Great characters and actors that really entertain...of course you are so right about Mark Harmon!

    • profile image

      Tina Truelove 

      6 years ago

      I LOVE NCIS! I get nothing done on those marathon days and I don't recall who said it in the comments above, but to say that Mark Harmon is "easy on the eyes" is a major understatement! :)

      Time has treated him very, very well.

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      6 years ago from New York

      Jami, Pauley is certainly a character to love, and Mark Harmon is just plain great. Thank you for reading...hope you had a Happy Easter.

    • profile image

      Jami P. 

      6 years ago

      One of my all time fav's! I gave this HUB a big thumbs up. My fav's on the show are pauley perrette and Mark Harmon .. the others are good, but those, they're the best charcters to me. This hub is so well written and versed, informative and just all the way around enticing to finish! Thank s for sharing! Happy Easter to you! Always, Jami

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      6 years ago from New York

      Thanks SS....who doesn't love Jethro ;) Great TV show for sure!

    • Sunshine625 profile image

      Linda Bilyeu 

      6 years ago from Orlando, FL

      I like NCIS, mostly because I get to see Jethro Gibbs! :) Fabulous review, if anyone wasn't a fan of this show they should be now. I'm going to check out your Criminal Minds review now.

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      6 years ago from New York

      Thanks loveofnight....did you see my Criminal Minds Review? These two shows are tops and the characters are just like family. Glad you enjoyed.

    • loveofnight profile image


      6 years ago from Baltimore, Maryland

      This is a very good review, my favorite is Criminal Minds with NCIS bringing up the rear. You have given me more information than I originally knew about my favorite characters.Thanks for the review.

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      6 years ago from New York

      So glad you enjoyed the hub you inspired ;) Now, however we have a slight problem. I watch CSI Miami occasionally but I'm not a big fan. I do however, like CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (Vegas). Thanks for reading and when I get to the next TV review hope you enjoy it.

    • Au fait profile image

      C E Clark 

      6 years ago from North Texas

      This is an awesome hub! I love both Criminal Minds and really enjoyed your hubs on it, but I love this show (NCIS) too, and that is why I thought you should write about it. Next, write about CSI Miami. ;)

      Ziva is my favorite character of all and she is brought to life so well by Coté de Pablo. All of the characters in this program are tops, but I really admire Ziva because she is sensible (doesn't wear ridiculous clothes while she's working, like 4" heels, etc.), practical, well versed in her craft (trained executioner, sorry, but that's what her father trained her to be and she's superb at it) and she's beautiful besides. A good example of the many qualities and talents many women possess.

      Voted up, interesting, AWESOME, and will share!

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      6 years ago from New York

      I hate to admit it but I only saw JAG a few times. Everyone has their favorites on this show which is probably why it is so popular...great characters along with the great scripts.

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish MS 

      6 years ago from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation

      Jethro and Abby are my favorite NCIS characters, but I remember Sean Murray on "Harts of the West" with Beau and Lloyd Bridges. I think Ducky is David MaCallum's best part since his Russian spy on "The Man From Uncle" - Illya Kuryakin I think. I miss "JAG", though.

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      6 years ago from New York

      I think that's what makes both shows so good...the human side of the teams!

    • Millionaire Tips profile image

      Shasta Matova 

      6 years ago from USA

      I really enjoy NCIS, just like Criminal Minds. Both can get gory, but they both show the warmth of the team, and the thought and intelligence (as well as gadgets) that go into solving cases. I like Abby and McGee the best! Voted up.

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      6 years ago from New York

      Sorry to hear you can't watch it anymore Nell but appreciate you reading this anyway!

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 

      6 years ago from England

      Hi Mary, I did watch NCIS a few times, but for some reason they the powers that be decided in their wisdom that it would be put on a station that I couldn't get after a while! figures! lol! great review though, and voted up! nell

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      6 years ago from New York

      Thanks husband I watch it every week too!

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 

      6 years ago from Sunny Florida

      This is a great review of one of my favorite shows. I also watched JAG. My husband and I never miss an episode. You did an awesome job of covering the main characters. Voted up and awesome!

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      6 years ago from New York

      It is a fun show Effer...all the laughs mixed in with the 'serious' content. Gotta love Abby, her quirkiness it was makes her the best. Of course it wouldn't be the same without Dinozzo! Thanks for the vote & share GF!

      Glimmer, it is the kind of show you get addicted to. The cast is just so good.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image

      Claudia Mitchell 

      6 years ago

      Love this show and this hub! My husband turned me on to NCIS and now I am a show addict! Love the relationship between Tony & Ziva and Mark Harmon is incredibly easy on the eyes! Fun hub.

    • fpherj48 profile image


      6 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Another fabulous program...another awesome hub by our one-of-a-kind, Rock Star, Tillie. This is a fun show. The group seem to relate so well to one another, we can get lost in the show, as if it's happening with US in the middle of it all.. I love that adorable freaky genius, Abbey.....she's so cute....and that naughty Dinozzo.....the classic office trouble-maker.

      My husband and I both love this one. Thanks so much for the interesting info!! UP & shared

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      6 years ago from New York

      I agree SG, Tony and Ziva need to hook up. There is an undercurrent but that's all we're getting so far! Thanks for the votes!

    • sgbrown profile image

      Sheila Brown 

      6 years ago from Southern Oklahoma

      NCIS is my favorite. Although I have watched every episode aired, I can still sit and watch the reruns and marathons all day. My favorite is Ziva. Her confusion with some of the English language cracks me up. She is smart and man can she "Kick Ass"! I think her and Tony need to get together again. It is only hinted that they slept together in France, but I love seeng the two of them together. Great job here! Voting this up and interesting! :)

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      6 years ago from New York

      Oh Eddy, how nice you found this hub a treat! Hope you enjoy your day as well.

      Whonunuwho, as I think I said, the characters are a great choice and the actors who play them really make it work. I know what you mean about them being like family. answer to whonunuwho fits your comment as well. As for Abby, she is just a sweetheart. Her peculiarities and sunny nature just make her more lovable.

    • mperrottet profile image

      Margaret Perrottet 

      6 years ago from San Antonio, FL

      NCIS is one of my absolute favorite shows, and I think it's because of the great characters and their interaction with each other. You've done such a great job at delving into each character's background. Although I love all of the characters, Abby is my favorite. It seems that Gibbs treats her as the daughter that he lost. This was a great read - voted up!

    • whonunuwho profile image


      6 years ago from United States

      Nice hub and well done, tillsontitan. This show is one of my favorites and I don't think that they could have done a better job in choosing the characters. You actually feel like you are a part of each show and they are like family.

    • Eiddwen profile image


      6 years ago from Wales

      Oh how I loved this review I am an avid fan of NCIS so this wonderful hub of yours is indeed a treat. A vote up here without a doubt.

      Take care and enjoy your day.


    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      6 years ago from New York

      Guess we think alike Moonlake! To my surprise this was my mother's favorite show....I think she liked Mark Harmon. Ziva was a pleasant surprise, I can't imagine the show without her now.

    • moonlake profile image


      6 years ago from America

      Good review on our favorite show. I have always liked Mark Hamon in anything. We didn't think anyone could replace Kate but Ziva has. She is so funny. We also like Criminal Minds. Never miss either one. Voted up and shared.

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      6 years ago from New York

      I know Alecia, it was driving me crazy throughout the show wondering what happened between such good friends! Of course the happy ending brought tears to my eyes!

      Jools, it really is a great show with a great cast. They play off each other so well I sometimes forget I'm watching a crime show.

      That is truly a compliment to this show Billy! I really do enjoy it myself and recommended it to anyone as you can tell.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      6 years ago from Olympia, WA

      This is one of the rare shows that I miss greatly from not having a tv...I used to watch it weakly back in 2006 and loved it. Sigh! Now I need to buy it on DVD after this review. Great job, Mary, about a really good tv show.

    • Jools99 profile image

      Jools Hogg 

      6 years ago from North-East UK

      Mary, great review - we have this in the UK but I have never seen it until my daughter is watching it. You have convinced me to give it more attendtion :o) Voted up etc.

    • Alecia Murphy profile image

      Alecia Murphy 

      6 years ago from Wilmington, North Carolina

      I'm an avid NCIS watcher. It's probably one of my favorite shows to watch on marathons. My favorite characters are probably Palmer and McGee- both nerdy but both so sweet.

      I loved last week's episode with Gibbs' namesake. That was so touching. Even though the show is popular, I'm wondering how long it's going to last- usually shows don't go much longer than 10 seasons nowadays.

      Thanks for this awesome hub and thanks to Au Fait for suggesting it!


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