Is David McCallum leaving NCIS, and the character Ducky a.k.a. Dr. Mallard for good? There’s a reason to wonder that.
During tonight’s new episode, we saw the return of McCallum’s fan-favorite character, who has been absent for the better part of the past several episodes. He came back in order to take part in the latest investigation, and we do know that we’re going to see the character around for at least another couple of episodes. Beyond that, though, things are very much in doubt — so much so that Ducky told Gibbs that he should make Jimmy Palmer the permanent medical examiner. Why? He does not envision NCIS to be a part of his permanent future.
McCallum is one of the few remaining original cast members for NCIS so obviously, we don’t speculate on these things lightly. We more than understand that he brings nostalgia to this show not just for fans of Ducky, but fans of his work spanning the next several decades. He’s a beloved part of the team and of course, everyone should want to see him forever!
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Yet, you can easily argue that the writing has been on the wall for Ducky the character for a while now, mostly because he’s doing more work elsewhere within the literary world and finding new ways to educate and inform. There are other horizons that have opened up for him and clearly, these are things that he is eager to explore more than anything.
Remember this, though…
While it is easy to see what happened tonight as strong evidence that McCallum will be leaving NCIS the show, we don’t think that this is necessarily that cut and dry. Ducky the character may be perceiving him handing the reins over to Palmer as the right thing, a.k.a. something that has been a long time coming. He’s not there and the office needs to have stability. That doesn’t rule out his ability to come on board and assist/share some of his wisdom. This is something that we could see happening for the run of the series.
For the immediate future, we do at least know that McCallum is going to be a series regular for the remainder of this season. He inked that deal prior to this fall, with the intention that he would do a batch of episodes rather than the full 24 as to better spend some time with his family and enjoy his life. After his long career to date, he deserves it.
As we mentioned, though, you’ll for sure see Ducky for some time still this season — the character’s not saying goodbye just yet, if he even is at all…
What do you think about tonight’s NCIS, and are you worried about the future of Ducky? Be sure to share some of your thoughts in the comments! Once there is more news out there, we’ll have it for you here. (Photo: CBS.)