NCIS: 10 Things From Season 1 That Could Never Happen Today

Much has changed in the world since NCIS season 1. Even ardent fans of the series might not recognize some of the characters from the pilot season of the show. What’s more, many of the narratives which seemed natural and logical in season 1 might not wash with today’s audiences.

RELATED:NCIS: 10 Episodes To Rewatch If You Miss Tony And Ziva

For example, there are things that today’s technology could have either prevented or assisted. There are also twists and turns in the characters’ lives which would have been very different had the show started in 2020.

10Agent Todd’s Palm Pilot

In the first season of NCIS, Agent Todd demonstrates extreme mastery of her time and shows superior self-management. As part of her strategy to plan her time and manage her life, she goes everywhere with her Palm Pilot. Today, she would probably trade her Palm Pilot in for an iPhone or even iPad in order to keep track of her day.

9The Telling Click Of A Camera

Remember the scene in season 1 where Tony and Ducky pose for pictures in front of the presidential seal? Gibbs and team, however, don’t take long to figure out what Tony and Ducky are doing at Air Force One. This is because they hear the camera clicks and realize the pair are standing there in order to pose for photographs.

Today, photos are so easy to take with any device and clicks can be turned to silent (in most countries), which would have meant Ducky and Tony would have had an easier time hiding their activities today.

8Searching For A Kidnapper

In season 1, Gibbs is tasked with tracking down the perpetrator who held Ducky and Todd hostage. A lot of time and energy could have been saved had today’s technology been accessible, which includes the interconnection of criminal intelligence systems, as well as online resources, such as social media platforms.

RELATED:NCIS: 10 Major Ways Gibbs Has Changed Since Season 1

Gibbs’ obsession with finding the infiltrator might not have been so intense or lasted as long, had he had access to today’s network.

7Social Media Could Have Prevented Relationship Demise

Remember how at the beginning of NCISAbby and McGee were in a relationship? The two remained friends, however, one has to wonder if a better connection in terms of social media and instant messaging services would have allowed them to connect more frequently during their busy workday and keep their relationship alive.


By season 2, their relationship had already started to fizzle and many fans have now forgotten they were even once an item.

6DiNozzo’s Cockiness

With today’s push to respect people of different backgrounds, cultures and creeds, although there is still a long way to go, it’s hard to imagine that Tony DiNozzo’s obnoxious temperament and cockiness would have been written into the script had the series begun in 2020.

In 2003, this attitude could possibly have passed. However, today, DiNozzo’s attitude would be highlighted as unacceptable and wouldn’t win him popularity.

5Trial By Media

In season 1, a boat without a driver and some bodies wash up onto the beach, causing a media frenzy. Among the bodies is that of a naval commander. The media quickly comes to the verdict that this commander was linked with drug trafficking.

RELATED:10 Things You Never Knew About The Cast Of NCIS

Gibbs, however, decides he will clear the commander’s name, believing him to be innocent, and stumbles across a hidden rivalry between two drug gangs in his efforts. Today, the media wouldn’t be so successful in smearing the commander’s name, with social media meaning that readers are more active in expressing their opinions and countering media claims.

4The Phone In The Jar

In the second episode of season 1, Gibbs puts his phone into a jar of paint thinner so that it won’t ring. This seems quite radical, however, he does this because his ex phones him each year on their former anniversary, and the phone rings throughout the day. Placing the phone in the jar is his way of keeping it silent.

Today, there are so many ring tone options, not to mention airplane mode or just turning your ringer off altogether, so Gibbs would never have needed to put his phone in the jar and destroy it had the scene happened in 2020.

3Social Media Takes The Reins

With Facebook and other social media channels, it seems unlikely that DiNozzo would have had to visit Gibbs to give him updates on the cases he was working on when his phone was destroyed (in the jar of paint thinner). Today, a quick group message on a social media channel, such as Facebook or WhatsApp, or an email notification on a laptop would have just as easily done the trick.

2Off-The-Cuff Meetings

Remember in episode 20, when a marine goes missing after going on a date with a reporter? It is suspected a serial killer is at work, as three other members of the same unit are discovered dead.

Today, much has been said to caution people when meeting those one doesn’t know, so this blind date scenario in episode 20 would be very unlikely. People today have become more cautious about going for interviews or blind dates with strangers or meeting people one has met from social media.

1Surveillance And Security In The Spotlight

In the very first episode of NCIS, a naval officer dies after having lunch with the President. This is believed to have been an attempt on the President’s life.

It is highly unlikely, however, with today’s hi-tech security and beefed-up surveillance equipment, that this incident would have occurred in the first place. Shortly after the officer’s death, another marine dies in the same way, and Gibbs is on hand to solve the crime.