Scoop: ‘NCIS’ Planning Special Two-Part PTSD Episode for Thanksgiving

by | September 14, 2012 at 12:32 PM | Fall TV Preview 2012, Interviews, NCIS

Mark Harmon in the Season 10 premiere of "NCIS" (CBS)

When “NCIS” returns for its 10th season on Tuesday, Sept. 25, the theme for the year will be fallen heroes. It began when Ducky (David McCallum) was literally felled by a heart attack while on the beach for Jimmy Palmer’s (Brian Dietzen) wedding in the season finale. Now, in the premiere, he literally has to rise up out of a hospital bed to resume his life.

DVR the Season Premiere of “NCIS”

“That [theme], whether it is directly touched upon or indirectly, does sort of carry through in a lot of the storylines that we are doing,” says executive producer Gary Glasberg in a one-on-one interview with XfinityTV.com.

An example where the theme will be obvious is a special two-part episode that Glasberg says will air in November sweeps around Thanksgiving that is a very “significant” post-traumatic stress disorder story featuring the Marine Corps.

“In this two-parter, we have done some terrific casting,” Glasberg says. “We’ve got an actor named Brad Beyer who was on ‘Jericho.’ He plays a Marine opposite Gibbs and they have some terrific stuff together. We are filming that now and I am excited about it. Also in that episode is an actor named Mark Rolston, who many people recognize from ‘Shawshank Redemption.’ He is a really gifted actor. I am thrilled to have him, too.”

Preview the Season 10 Premiere of “NCIS”:

Beyer will play Marine Captain Joe Westcott, who is back from a tour of duty in Afghanistan during which he saw the deaths of his best friend and several more men in his company, TVGuide.com reports. As Westcott is questioned, it becomes apparent that he is showing signs of PTSD. The magazine goes on to say that Westcott issues may have also stem from his relationship with his father (Rolston), a former Marine.

Also in the cast for the two-parter is Glen Powell, who will play Westcott’s brother Marine Sergeant Luke Westcott.

The indirect aspects of the fallen heroes theme will show in more subtle ways, according to Glasberg, as something that the characters will be going through. For example, in the season opener, Director Vance (Rocky Carroll) is putting a tremendous amount of weight on his own shoulders for being the one who inadvertently drove the bomb that Harper Dearing (Richard Schiff) had hidden in his car into the Navy yard.

Glasberg also revealed to XfinityTV.com that Diane Neal, who has played Special Agent Abigail Borin, a Coast Guard investigator, in a couple of previous episodes, will return in the October 23rd episode.

The tenth season premiere of “NCIS” airs Tuesday, Sept. 25 at 8 p.m. on CBS.