NCIS will give a final farewell to the late David McCallum in a special tribute episode planned for February 19 on CBS.
The episode will explain the absence of Dr. Donald “Ducky” Mallard in an episode co-written by Brian Dietzen, who plays Dr. Jimmy Palmer on the drama, TVLine reports. Executive Producer Scott Williams also helped to pen the episode.
Everyone at NCIS felt it was important to do an episode that honors such a legendary actor, not to mention a dear friend,” said NCIS co-showrunners/executive producers Steven D. Binder and David North in statement given to TVLine. “In the episode, the team will learn of Ducky’s passing and reflect on their memories of him as they grieve. 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.”
The showrunners also added, “there will also be a very touching and special moment you won’t want to miss.”
McCallum died September 25 at the age of 90. A fan favorite, McCallum was the last remaining original cast member on NCIS, in which he played an eccentric but highly efficient investigator with a knack for psychological profiling for two decades.
“For over 20 years, David McCallum endeared himself to audiences around the world playing the wise, quirky, and sometimes enigmatic, Dr. Donald ‘Ducky’ Mallard,” Binder and North said at the time. “But as much as his fans may have loved him, those who worked side by side with David loved him that much more. He was a scholar and a gentleman, always gracious, a consummate professional, and never one to pass up a joke. From Day 1, it was an honor to work with him and he never let us down. He was, quite simply, a legend. He was also family and will be deeply missed.”
Season 21 of NCIS returns Feb. 12.