NCIS: David McCallum Can’t Pick A Favorite Episode (But He Has Favorite Moments)
“NCIS” is one of those shows that keeps going and going and going, kind of like the Energizer Bunny but for dead government employees. For anyone keeping score, that’s over 450 episodes with the Naval Criminal Investigative Service and, more importantly, over 450 episodes with David McCallum as Dr. Donald “Ducky” Mallard. At the time of writing, the Scottish actor holds the record for appearing in more episodes of “NCIS” than any other actor and, for that very reason, it’s understandable that he can’t really pick a single, favorite episode. But he has some favorite moments!
In an interview with Buzzy Mag, McCallum said, “There are so many, many, many that no, I can’t [pick a favorite]. Not anymore. I used to say I loved ‘My Left Foot,’ but that was like in the second season, way back. And there were things that happened –- there was one scene with Brian Dietzen, when we have three or four bodies scattered all over the room, we think we have three and then we discover we have four and then five, and it’s a very funny exchange. I mean, there are just moments that you remember that are very special.”
The actor may have shared this information way back in 2013, so it’s wildly out of date, but it’s McCallum we’re talking about. And everything that national treasure says is worth a nostalgic perusal.
True to form, David McCallum likes … The Meat Puzzle
The episode that David McCallum first referred to in that quote is actually called “My Other Left Foot” and it’s not from Season 2, but rather from Season 1 (Episode 12, for the curious). But he was close enough, and the fact that he remembered that much approximate information about a single episode a decade after it was created is truly astonishing.
Now, onto the truly cursed content that McCallum shared … his favorite moment, the one where he and Brian Dietzen filmed a scene with way too many fake corpses. He’s most likely talking about Season 2 Episode 13 … “The Meat Puzzle.” Yes, it’s as wretched as it sounds. While nothing quite like what McCallum described in his interview with Buzzy Mag occurs in the episode, “The Meat Puzzle” does feature, uh, corpse pieces that have been meshed together by a demented k****r.
And Ducky, along with Jimmy Palmer (Dietzen), discovers that the v*****s are contextually related to the head doctor because one of them has a recognizable toe thumb. That’s not an insult, as the corpse literally has a toe for a thumb — it’s a surgery thing. “NCIS” is weird, man. But it’s the right kind of weird for McCallum. Or at least it was, since the Scottish actor has hinted that his tenure as Ducky is nearly at an end.
And if that proves to be true, enjoy that retirement, Ducky. You’ve earned it.