Will Ducky Die? Is David McCallum Leaving NCIS?

Image Credit: Cliff Lipson/CBS

David McCallum’s Dr. Donald “Ducky” Mallard is one of the most featured characters in CBS’ thriller seriesNCIS.’ As the chief medical examiner at NCIS, Ducky gets involved in several high-profile cases along with his colleague and friend Leroy Jethro Gibbs. Ducky’s illustrious ME career at NCIS comes to an end when he officially retires in the sixteenth season of the show. After his retirement, he stays back at the NCIS on a part-time basis as the NCIS historian. Since then, Ducky’s screentime in the show has reduced considerably, alarming the viewers. So, will the character get killed off in the twentieth season of the show? Let us share our thoughts regarding the same! SPOILERS AHEAD.

Will Ducky Die?

After retiring as the chief medical officer, Ducky stays away from the enthralling investigations of NCIS barring occasional involvement to advise his former colleagues and subordinates. In between, he also suffers from a heart attack, which indicates his depleting health. Since Ducky is in his old age, the viewers are not wrong to fear the beloved character’s possible death. However, narrative-wise, there isn’t any indication that Ducky’s death is imminent. He is still a part of NCIS as a historian and we can hope that he will remain the same, staying away from death.

Image Credit: Michael Yarish/CBS

As of yet, showrunner Steven D. Binder hasn’t given any updates concerning killing off Ducky. Since the character has been a part of the show’s narrative since the first season, an unexpected killing-off is extremely unlikely as well. Still, the possibility of Ducky’s death must have alarmed the viewers concerning David McCallum’s future in the show. Is the actor’s reduced screen time an indication of his supposed departure? Let’s find out!

Is David McCallum Leaving NCIS?

Neither CBS nor David McCallum has announced the departure of the actor from ‘NCIS.’ Furthermore, Steven D. Binder has already revealed that we will see McCallum’s Ducky as much as the character features in the previous season or possibly more. “At a bare minimum, you’ll see him [McCallum] the same amount and hopefully we’ll be able to, when we do see him, use him in a way that’s more effective, much like Mark Harmon,” Binder revealed to TV Insider. “The fans can probably tell when we put him in things and he’s just another star on the show versus when we actually devote our energies to making a story more about him, and those are always fantastic,” the showrunner added.

Image Credit: Ron P. Jaffe/CBS

Binder’s words indicate that we are yet to see the completion of Ducky’s arc in the show although he is not the chief medical officer anymore. Considering the showrunner’s revelation, it is also clear that we don’t have to worry about the admirable character’s death anytime soon. As far as Binder is concerned, McCallum is still an integral part of the show. “And David McCallum, I say to him all the time, ‘you are this magical pixie dust, wherever we put you, you’re just this magical being who elevates every scene he’s in with that David McCallum gravitas.’ So we would love to have more [of him],” the showrunner said in the same TV Insider interview.

Considering these factors, we believe that David McCallum will continue featuring in ‘NCIS.’ In the upcoming episodes, we can expect him to drop by Jimmy Palmer’s office once in a while to offer valuable advice and guidance during significant investigations.

Read More: Why Did Mark Harmon’s Gibbs Leave NCIS? Will He Return in Season 20?