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Brian Dietzen leaves NCIS fans in tears with new trailer for David McCallum's tribute episode

The tribute will air on Monday, February 19 on CBS

David McCallum and Brian Dietzen on NCIS
Nicky Morris
TV and film writer
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NCIS star Brian Dietzen has shared a new trailer for upcoming tribute episode to the late David McCallum, which will air next Monday. The actor, who played Dr. Donald 'Ducky' Mallard from the very first episode, passed away in September at the age of 90. 

Taking to Instagram in a joint post with NCIS, Brian penned: "On Monday we'll remember, mourn and celebrate a beloved member of our family. We'll see you all then." Watch the emotional trailer below. 

WATCH: The moving trailer for NCIS' tribute episode to the late David McCallum

The trailer opens with Brian's character, Dr Jimmy Palmer, arriving at Ducky's house with two coffees. Walking through the door, Jimmy says, "Good morning Dr Mallard, just me," before being greeted by Ducky's corgi Tyson. In the next shot, he opens the curtains in Ducky's bedroom, where the doctor is lying in bed. 

"Dr Mallard?" he says, attempting to wake him. His voice then cracks a little as he realises that his mentor has passed: "Ducky?"

After checking his pulse, Jimmy rests his head against Ducky's before the trailer cuts to McGee (Sean Murray) looking at a Polaroid picture of him, Ducky and Agent Gibbs (Mark Harmon). 

David McCallum as Medical Examiner Dr. Donald "Ducky" Mallard in NCIS© CBS Photo Archive
The episode will honour David McCallum, who played Medical Examiner Dr. Donald "Ducky" Mallard

"It's so hard to believe man," says Torres (Wilmer Valderrama), before Vance (Rocky Carroll) adds: "He'd want us to celebrate more than anything."

A teary-eyed Kasie (Diona Reasonover) asks: "Any suggestions as to how to do that?"

In the next shot, McGee reads a note from Ducky - perhaps a clue to help them with their next investigation. "Palmer will be here in the AM. Our answer lies with the team, however cluttered it might be," he says. 

Brian Dietzen as Jimmy Palmer and David McCallum as Dr. Donald "Ducky" Mallard on NCIS © CBS Photo Archive
Brian Dietzen co-wrote the episode

It then cuts to Jimmy, who asks: "Why do we hold back on telling people how much they mean to us?"

After a series of flashbacks to old episodes, featuring appearances from Mark Harmon and Michael Weatherly, Ducky says: "Yesterday is over. Change is the essence of life."

Fans were left sobbing over the emotional trailer and shared their reactions in the comments section. "Oh boy. Grab the box of tissues. I'm already crying and it's just the trailer," wrote one person, while another added: "Gonna be crying until the end of time. Such a special man."

Sean Murray in NCIS© CBS
McGee reads a note from Ducky in the trailer

The upcoming episode, titled 'The Stories We Leave Behind', was co-written by Brian alongside executive producer Scott Williams and will see the team learn of Ducky's passing and reflect on their memories of him. 

Teasing the instalment, co-showrunners and executive producers 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 teased. "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."

Mark Harmon and David McCallum on NCIS© CBS Photo Archive
David starred in almost 500 episodes

While Steven and David remained tight-lipped over potential cameos from returning stars, they did note that there will be a "very touching and special moment you won't want to miss". 

The official synopsis 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 dishonourably discharged from the Marines."

David had appeared in almost 500 episodes of the show, starring as NCIS' chief medical examiner before decidin to semi-retire, allowing his protégé Jimmy to take the reins. 

NCIS season 21 airs on Monday evenings on CBS.

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