NCIS shares emotional details about Ducky's tribute episode

The procedural drama is pulling out all the stops for Dr. Mallard

"In a Nutshell" -- As the NCIS team investigates the death of a Navy officer murdered the same way as his parents a decade ago, they stumble across a storage container filled with dollhouses that display recreations of murder scenes. Also, the team agrees to clean out their living spaces, but some have a harder time saying goodbye to their possessions than others, on NCIS, Tuesday, March 10 (8:00-9:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network. Pictured: David McCallum as Dr. Donald "Ducky"
"In a Nutshell" -- As the NCIS team investigates the death of a Navy officer murdered the same way as his parents a decade ago, they stumble across a storage container filled with dollhouses that display recreations of murder scenes. Also, the team agrees to clean out their living spaces, but some have a harder time saying goodbye to their possessions than others, on NCIS, Tuesday, March 10 (8:00-9:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network. Pictured: David McCallum as Dr. Donald "Ducky" /
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NCIS lost a major presence between seasons. David McCallum, the actor who plays Donald "Ducky" Mallard, died, and several cast members, past and present, took to social media to praise the actor and send best wishes to his family.

Now, it's NCIS' turn. The procedural drama has finally released details for the Ducky tribute episode, and they sound as though they are going to hit us right in the feels.

Ducky is confirmed to have died offscreen

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"Ephemera" -- While investigating the suicide of a retired Navy officer who left a rare, valuable -- and possibly stolen -- coin to the National Museum of the Navy, the team imagines themselves in his life story in order to piece together how the coin ended up in his possession, on NCIS, Tuesday, Feb. 18 (8:00-9:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network. Pictured: Mark Harmon as NCIS Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs, David McCallum as Dr. Donald "Ducky" Mallard, Nike Doukas as NHHC Deputy /

The synopsis for the show, titled "The Stories We Leave Behind" is as follows:

"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."

It's a classic secondary plot by NCIS standards, but the focus of the episode will undoubtedly be on Ducky and the huge impact he had on the rest of the characters.

Related: Will Mark Harmon return for NCIS spin-off?

"The Stories We Leave Behind" will be co-written by executive producer Scott Williams and Brian Dietzen, who spent over a decade as Ducky's protege, Dr. Jimmy Walker.

Ducky will help solve one final case

Birds of a Feather
“Birds of a Feather” – When Agent Parker is framed for murder, the team puts their jobs and lives on the line in order to buy time and uncover the truth on the 19th season finale of CBS Original Series NCIS, Monday, May 23 (9:00-10:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network and available to stream live and on demand on Paramount+*. Pictured: Sean Murray as Special Agent Timothy McGee and David McCallum as Dr. Donald "Ducky" Mallard. Photo: Robert Voets/CBS ©2022 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All /

Little has been said about the specific way in which the NCIS team mourns Ducky, or how the character passed offscreen, but NCIS showrunners Steven D. Binder and David North gave us a glimpse of what to expect when they issued a statement to TV Line that read:

"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."

Dietzen did not issue an official statement, but he did take to Instagram following McCallum's death to reflect on his relationship with the actor and the ways in which their dynamic reflected that of their characters.

The actor/writer considered McCallum to be one of the finest actors he's ever worked with, and notes that he will never truly be forgotten by NCIS fans. "Thank you David," he wrote at the end of his tender caption. "Love you my friend. I’ll miss you."

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