What is The Final Episode of David McCallum as ‘Ducky’ on NCIS?

The news that “NCIS” star David McCallum had d1ed at the age of 90 stunned and saddened the world.

McCallum, a lifelong actor, made waves in the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s as Illya Kuryakin on “The Man From U.N.C.L.E.

,” Simon Carter on “Colditz,” and Steel on “Sapphire & Steel.” McCallum’s portrayal as Dr. Donald “Ducky” Mallard on the long-running CBS procedural series “NCIS” solidified his position as one of the most prolific TV actors of his generation.

Unfortunately, McCallum was never given the same kind of send-off on “NCIS” as his co-star Mark Harmon when he left the show in 2021. On the contrary, McCallum appeared as Ducky intermittently during the most recent season of “NCIS.” He even makes a brief appearance in the Season 20 finale, “Black Sky.” Because of McCallum’s d3ath, his appearance in the episode is his final performance as Ducky Mallard.

McCallum has a minor part in the episode, but he does supply Alden Parker (Gary Cole) and Leon Vance (Rocky Carroll) with some crucial new information about their latest target. While it’s unfortunate that the actor didn’t get a better send-off on the show, it’s worth noting that Ducky’s presence on “NCIS” had already reduced significantly in the years preceding McCallum’s final appearance.

Ducky, played by David McCallum, appears in only a few episodes of NCIS Season 20.

Ducky Mallard, played by David McCallum, appears in only four episodes of “NCIS” Season 20, and the same is true for the prior season. In fact, McCallum last appeared in more than half of a “NCIS” season’s episodes during the show’s 16th season, which aired from 2018 to 2019. Following the conclusion of that season, the actor began to appear in fewer episodes each year.

In a November 2022 interview with Radio Times, McCallum acknowledged how bizarre it felt to continue appearing on “NCIS” after many of his prior co-stars had left. “When I go there, it’s like being in a different show,” the actor admitted. “It doesn’t quite make sense any more.” In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter before to McCallum’s d3ath, “NCIS” executive producer Charles Floyd Johnson acknowledged the actor’s decreased presence in the show’s most recent seasons.

“David McCallum doesn’t do that much in the series anymore,” stated Johnson. “He could return for four or five episodes.” It’s become far too difficult for him, and I believe he’s ready to retire.” Notably, McCallum never officially left “NCIS” or retired before his d3ath. Because of this year’s WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes, which delayed the production of any new “NCIS” episodes, he never got the chance to record any additional sequences for the show after his appearance in the Season 20 finale.

Whether he was going to or not is a question that may never be addressed. In any case, “NCIS” viewers can exult in the sheer number of episodes in which McCallum’s Ducky appeared during the course of his 20-year tenure on the show.

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