NCIS star David McCallum Speaks Out About Ducky’s Departure as He Discusses His Retirement Plans
David McCallum, who plays Donald ‘Ducky’ Mallard on NCIS, has revealed how many episodes he’ll appear in over the next few months.
Donald ‘Ducky’ Mallard (played by David McCallum), a long-serving medical expert and now NCIS historian, has been a member of the main team for the past 20 years. Could another core member of the cast be about to leave the hit CBS drama now that it has entered its next era following the departure of stalwart team leader Leroy Gibbs (Mark Harmon)?
David, a recurring character, has confirmed that he only has a couple of NCIS episodes left before his current contract expires.
In his most recent interview, he stated, “I have two shows left on this contract.”
It’s unclear whether the two episodes will air in the same season.
Ducky could appear in just one more episode of the current season and then another in season 21 if they have yet to be filmed.
So far in season 20, he has only appeared in two episodes: Unearth and Leave No Trace.
Ducky is still being filmed for NCIS’s 2022-23 season, so he could make an appearance in the second half of the season next year.
“If and when they need me, I’ll be going out to shoot it,” he told the RadioTimes.
The 89-year-old actor and his wife Katherine have confirmed that they are still working, though they have begun to make plans for full retirement.
“Retirement is, shall we say, a work in progress!” he joked.
Ducky’s NCIS story appears to be far from over, as he will continue to make appearances to assist the team with their current missions.
Unfortunately, it’s clear that his appearances will be far less frequent than they were during the show’s heyday.
With so many of the original main cast members leaving over the last few years, Ducky is one of the only current team members who has been with the show since the beginning.
He also had to play a smaller role last season due to restrictions imposed during the C0V1D 19 pand3mic.
Now that filming is much safer, showrunner Steven D Binder hinted that fans might see Ducky more frequently in the future.
“I think it’ll be about the same [as season 19], possibly more,” he said at the start of season 20 to TV Insider.
“One of the challenges last season was that there was no regular season.”
“It began with all of our energies focused on how to get Gibbs off the show.” How do we get him out for the time being?
“And that requires a lot of energy, a lot of time, and a lot of oxygen.”
NCIS had to give the show’s iconic lead, Gibbs, a proper send-off in addition to introducing new agents Jessica Knight (Katrina Law) and Alden Parker (Gary Cole).
Ducky should have plenty of opportunities to get involved in the action before his eventual retirement now that the new team is more established.