Movies & TV

Brian Dietzen Shares Touching Detail About NCIS’s David McCallum Tribute

NCIS aired a heartfelt episode last night, paying homage to David McCallum, the beloved actor who portrayed Dr. Donald “Ducky” Mallard for two decades. While Ducky’s passing wasn’t a surprise due to McCallum’s real-life passing in September 2023, the episode offered a touching twist.

Instead of the usual fast-paced opening, we saw Dr. Jimmy Palmer (Brian Dietzen) delivering coffee to Ducky’s house, only to discover his tragic passing in his sleep. This somber scene was followed by a deliberate fade into the show’s intro, played at a noticeably slower tempo.

VALENCIA, CA – SEPTEMBER 04: NCIS cast members (L-R) Michael Weatherly, Lauren Holly, Brian Deitzen, Pauley Perrette, David McCallum, Sean Murray, Cote de Pablo, and Mark Harmon at the NCIS 100th Episode Celebration at Valencia Studios on September 4, 2007 in Valencia, California. (Photo by John Shearer/WireImage)

This unique choice, though challenging to execute, was a conscious decision to reflect the episode’s serious tone. Dietzen, who plays Palmer, shared the team’s struggle to segue from the emotional opening to the usual action-packed intro. He felt it wouldn’t resonate with the episode’s gravity.


Dietzen praised the slowed-down intro, calling it a “beautiful” way to honor both McCallum and Ducky. He expressed his satisfaction with the tribute and invited viewers to share their thoughts on the episode’s approach.

This rewrite offers a more concise and impactful summary, emphasizing the emotional core of the episode and Dietzen’s key message about the tribute’s significance.

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  1. I’m sorry I didn’t get to see that episode. Love that show Ducky was the best. A real man in everyone’s life ❤️👍👍❤️❤️🥰🥰🥰

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