First and foremost, Cole used the interview with TV Insider to make clear that no one is actually replacing Gibbs. Though Parker will fill his seat in the NCIS squad room and he will lead the team, the character of Alden Parker is very different from Gibbs. Cole said, “I’m not trying to be [Gibbs]. The writers made that distinction.”
Additionally, Cole revealed that Parker is most different to Gibbs in his approach to technology. Gibbs, famously a luddite of the highest order, clung to his flip phone for as long as possible and despised most new gadgets. Cole said, “He’s not as old school,” adding that Parker tries to impress his colleagues with the newest gadgets around. Cole also said that while Parker “isn’t overly chatty,” he is more verbal than Gibbs. Most interestingly, however, Cole revealed one thing that Parker has in common with Gibbs: tragedy.
When asked if there are any skeletons in Parker’s closet, Cole responded, “There’s a situation that did not go according to plan, and something tragic happened. He’s purposely kind of an enigma.”