NCIS Details David McCallum Tribute Episode: A‘Legendary Actor’

Photo from NCIS’ Instagram

NCIS Details David McCallum Tribute Episode: A‘Legendary Actor’

By Movieguide® Contributor 

NCIS’ tribute episode to David McCallum, who played Dr. Donald “Ducky” Mallard, will air on Feb. 19. 

McCallum died on Sep. 25, 2024, at the age of 90.

Movieguide® reported: 

Beloved actor David McCallum died of natural causes on Monday while surrounded by loved ones at a New York hospital.

“He was the kindest coolest, most patient and loving father,” said his son Peter in a statement on behalf of the family. “He always put family before self. He looked forward to any chance to connect with his grandchildren.”

McCallum is best known for his role as Dr. Donald ‘Ducky’ Mallard on CBS’s crime drama NCIS, a character he played for 20 years.

NCIS’ executive producers and co-showrunners Steven D. Binder and David North told TV Line, “Everyone at NCIS felt it was important to do an episode that honors such a legendary actor, not to mention a dear friend.”

“In the episode, the team will learn of Ducky’s passing and reflect on their memories of him as they grieve,” they said. “And true to Ducky’s meticulous and compassionate nature, even after he’s gone, he still manages to solve one last crime with the team. There will also be a very touching and special moment you won’t want to miss.” 

A synopsis of the tribute episode, called “The Stories We Leave Behind,” reads, “As NCIS mourns the loss of Ducky, the agents find comfort in working on one of his unfinished cases involving a woman whose father was dishonorably discharged from the Marines.” 

Binder and North reflected on McCallum’s legacy and time on the show.

“For over 20 years, David McCallum endeared himself to audiences around the world playing the wise, quirky, and sometimes enigmatic, Dr. Donald ‘Ducky’ Mallard,” they said in a statement at the time of McCallum’s death. “But as much as his fans may have loved him, those who worked side by side with David loved him that much more …. From Day 1, it was an honor to work with him and he never let us down. He was, quite simply, a legend.”

NCIS’ Season 21 premiere will air on Monday, Feb. 12.

Movieguide® previously reported on NCIS:

Mark Harmon will return to the NCIS universe in the spinoff series NCIS: ORIGINS.  

The series is a prequel to the long-running drama and will shed some light on Leroy Gibbs’ history.

“NCIS: ORIGINS is really different than any of the other NCIS‘s; it makes me feel so old to say it’s period when it’s set in the ‘90s, kill me now, right?” said CBS Entertainment president Amy Reisenbach.

“It’s a little edgier and grittier than previous NCIS‘s, it’s got a serialized element of it that we’re really excited about. And whereas I would say NCIS: SYDNEY too really had its own identity, it was very uniquely Australian and told stories that can only be told in Australia, so I feel like they’re both opportunities to gain new audiences while also being true to the DNA and loyal fan base of those shows,” she added. 

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