NCIS: Origins’ Cliff Walker Casting Creates A Plot Hole For The Franchise


NCIS: Origins has chosen who will portray Cliff Walker, Special Agent in Charge of the Camp Pendelton Field Office, but the casting decision creates a plot hole for the NCIS franchise.

The expansion series is a spinoff of the original NCIS, created to explore the backstory of the series’ central character, Leroy Jethro Gibbs. The announced NCIS: Origins cast has included some highly anticipated casting choices ahead of its fall premiere. Kyle Schmid was chosen to portray a younger version of Special Agent Mike Franks, with Austin Stowell brought on board to play a younger Gibbs.

The spinoff further develops the shared NCIS universe, which has a 21-year history of commanding network television. The franchise’s central character, Jethro Gibbs, was originally introduced in a backdoor pilot for the original NCIS series in season 8, episodes 20 & 21 of Jag. Mark Harmon would play the role on the main show for two decades until Gibbs’ exit in NCIS season 19. NCIS: Origins will transport audiences back to 1991 when Gibbs was just getting started at NCIS (then NIS). Cliff Walker will play a significant role in the young Gibbs’ life as his boss.

NCIS: Origins Cliff Walker Actor Patrick Fischler Appeared In NCIS: Hawai’i

Actor Patrick Fischler, known for his roles in Mad Men and American Fiction, was chosen to play the role of Special Agent in Charge Cliff Walker. Cliff Walker serves as Gibbs’ supervisor, placing him in a powerful position to influence Gibbs as the fledgling office’s agent in charge. Cliff Walker will likely play a major role in the young Gibbs’ development, and therefore, his character could be reminiscent of parts of the older Gibbs. However, the role of Cliff Walker won’t be Patrick Fischler’s first appearance in the NCIS franchise.

Patrick Fischler appeared as Glen Smith in NCIS: Hawai’i in season 1, episode 14, “Broken” in 2022 and his role in the episode is substantial. Glen is with the CIA’s Office of the Inspector General. He works with the Special Agent in Charge of the NCIS Hawai’i Field Office, Jane Tennant (Vanessa Lachey) to gather details about Maggie Shaw and her relationship to Jane and her kids. He brings to Jane’s attention that her family friend could have been maintaining her relationship with Tennant so that Maggie could gain access to sensitive cases and operations in the Pacific region.


What Cliff Walker’s Latest Casting Means For The Franchise (& How It Creates A Plot Hole)

Patrick Fischler’s NCIS: Origins casting creates a plot hole for the franchise because Fischler already represents a character in the NCISverse. Although it’s not uncommon for a popular actor to star in one of the NCIS shows, it complicates the NCIS universe when an actor takes on a second character. The NCISverse connects all the past and current NCIS shows in one timeline, so usually, a character is accessing different parts of the NCISverse when appearing across multiple shows, not portraying multiple characters. To watchful fans of the franchise, Patrick Fischler already represents Glen Smith, according to the NCIS: Hawai’i timeline.

NCIS: Origins’ Casting Plot Hole Continues A Series Trend.

The NCIS: Origins casting plot hole created by casting Cliff Walker continues a trend for the series. Earlier this year, when the role of a young Vera Strickland was being cast, showrunners went Diany Rodriguez, and it wasn’t Rodriguez’s first venture into the NCISverse either. She had previously portrayed Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Agent Garcia in NCIS: New Orleans season 4, episode 1, “Rogue Nation.” Similarly, casting Diany Rodriguez created a similar plot hole for the franchise.