NCIS: David McCallum’s Final Episode as ‘Ducky’ – Prepare Yourself for an Unforgettable Goodbye!

The world mourned the loss of David McCallum, a veteran actor whose career spanned decades and left an unforgettable impression on television.

While he was known for his appearances in the 1960s and 1970s, his depiction of Dr. Donald “Ducky” Mallard on the long-running CBS procedural series “NCIS” cemented his legacy in the hearts of audiences.

David McCallum’s death at the age of 90 was a sorrowful event for fans, as his character Ducky had become iconic.

However, unlike his co-star Mark Harmon, who received a heartfelt farewell when he left the show in 2021, McCallum’s exit from “NCIS” lacked a similar send-off. His last appearance on the program was in the Season 20 finale, “Black Sky,” when he gave Alden Parker (Gary Cole) and Leon Vance (Rocky Carroll) critical information on their current target.

Despite the length of his farewell appearance, it’s worth noting that Ducky’s prominence on “NCIS” has gradually faded in the years preceding McCallum’s final performance. McCallum appears in only four episodes in Season 20, continuing a trend from prior seasons.

His last significant appearance in more than half of a season’s episodes happened during the 16th season, which ran from 2018 to 2019.

In a November 2022 interview with Radio Times, McCallum mentioned a sense of separation upon returning to “NCIS,” particularly after several of his original co-stars had left the show. He described feeling as if he were in a different show that no longer made sense.

Executive producer Charles Floyd Johnson also noted McCallum’s diminished position, adding that it had grown difficult for him and that retirement was close.

Despite never officially resigning or retiring from “NCIS” before his death, McCallum’s brief appearances in recent seasons reflected the difficulties he experienced. The WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes in 2023 produced delays that prevented him from filming additional scenes for the show.

Whether he intended to return or not is uncertain, but fans may appreciate the large number of episodes in which McCallum’s Ducky appeared over his incredible 20-year run on the show.

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