NCIS Season 18 will debut this month, and in new photos from the season premiere, Dr. Jimmy Palmer is seen sporting a head injury. In pictures from the episode, titled "Sturgeon Season," Palmer — played by Brian Dietzen — holds an ice pack on his head while he talks to NCIS Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs (Mark Harmon). While it is not entirely clear why Dr. Palmer is icing down his noggin, an official synopsis of the episodes reveals that the team will be dealing with the case of a missing cadaver from the NCIS autopsy room. It's possible that missing body and Dr. Palmer's head wound are related.
Fans will be able to find out for themselves when NCIS Season 18 premieres Tuesday, Nov. 17 at 8 p.m. ET on CBS. Also present in the scene is NCIS Special Agent Veronica "Ronnie" Tyler, who is played by Days of Our Lives alum Victoria Platt. Previously, Platt starred as Dr. Amanda Raynor in a handful of episodes on the daytime soap. Prior to that she appeared on Guiding Light as Vicky Spaulding. Notably, this is not her first time starring in an NCIS series, as she was on NCIS: New Orleans as IRS Agent Michelle Silveram, and on NCIS: Los Angeles as a character named Hannah Nessbaum.
Platt is not the only special guest set for the NCIS Season 18 premiere, as fan-favorite character T.C. Fornell — played by Joe Spano — is coming back as well. Fornell will be working with Gibbs on a case that's gotten personal for Fornell, who is a former FBI Special Agent. He and Gibbs have remained good friends, which leads him to occasionally team up with Gibbs' NCIS Major Case Response crew.
Fornell, who is now retired, works as a private investigator. In the Season 18 premiere of NCIS, he's coming back to get Gibbs' help with tracking down the leader of a drug ring who supplied drugs to his daughter. Teaser trailers from the episode indicate that fans are in for an intense ride when NCIS returns in a couple of weeks.
While fans are certainly excited to the show returning, they will not be getting as much of it this season. CBS has shortened the upcoming season of NCIS to 16 episodes. This is mostly due to delays caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Other shows impacted by the short season order include Blue Bloods and NCIS: New Orleans.