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

The world was deeply saddened by the passing of “NCIS” star David McCallum at the age of 90. McCallum, known for his iconic roles in the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s, including Illya Kuryakin on “The Man From U.N.C.L.E.,” Simon Carter on “Colditz,” and Steel on “Sapphire & Steel,” had become a prolific figure in television. His portrayal of Dr. Donald “Ducky” Mallard on “NCIS” was a significant part of his legacy.

Unfortunately, McCallum’s exit from “NCIS” didn’t receive the same grand farewell as his co-star Mark Harmon’s departure in 2021. Instead, McCallum made intermittent appearances as Ducky during the last season of “NCIS,” with his final performance occurring in the Season 20 finale, “Black Sky.” Although his role in the episode was minor, he provided vital information to Alden Parker (Gary Cole) and Leon Vance (Rocky Carroll) regarding their latest target. It’s regrettable that McCallum didn’t get a more substantial farewell, but it’s worth mentioning that Ducky’s presence on “NCIS” had already diminished in the years leading up to McCallum’s final appearance.

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

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In “NCIS” Season 20, Ducky Mallard, portrayed by David McCallum, made appearances in just four episodes, mirroring his limited presence in the preceding season. His last notable involvement in over half of a season’s episodes occurred in Season 16, which aired from 2018 to 2019. However, following that season, the actor’s role gradually diminished, resulting in fewer annual appearances.

In a November 2022 Radio Times interview, David McCallum expressed his feeling of disconnection while continuing to work on “NCIS” as many of his former co-stars had departed. He mentioned that being on set felt like being in a different show due to the changing dynamics.

“NCIS” executive producer Charles Floyd Johnson acknowledged McCallum’s reduced role in the series, stating that he might return for a few episodes, but his readiness for retirement was apparent. Notably, McCallum never formally left or retired from “NCIS” before his passing. Unfortunately, due to the WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes, he didn’t have the opportunity to film additional scenes after his appearance in the Season 20 finale.

The question of whether he had plans to return remains unanswered. Nevertheless, fans of “NCIS” can appreciate the significant number of episodes in which McCallum’s character, Ducky, appeared during his 20-year tenure on the show.

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