‘NCIS’: Is David McCallum Coming Back?

Faithful viewers of NCIS look forward to seeing familiar faces each week. Fans have come to know and love Leroy Jethro Gibbs (played by Mark Harmon), Timothy McGee (played by Sean Murray), Eleanor Bishop (played by Emily Wikersham), and Nick Torres (played by Wilmer Valderrama). Another fan favorite is Ducky, played by actor David McCallum. However, much to fans’ dismay, McCallum hasn’t had as much screen time as before. What’s going on with McCallum’s character, Ducky? Is David McCallum leaving NCIS? Here’s what we know.    

How long David McCallum has played Ducky

David McCallum| Bill Inoshita/CBS via Getty Images
David McCallum| Bill Inoshita/CBS via Getty Images

David McCallum first appeared on NCIS in a 2003 episode titled “Yankee White.” His character, Dr. Donald “Ducky” Mallard, is the chief medical examiner. One of Ducky’s quirks is talking to the cadavers while he works on them. During season 6 episode 17, in an episode titled “South by Southwest,” Ducky said dead bodies tell him a lot about the cases, so it’s only fair for him to talk back. “Their bodies tell me a great deal, it helps to reciprocate,” he said. Ducky is also known for having long-winded discussions with his co-workers and sharing stories from the past. Before NCIS, McCallum appeared on the series The Education of Max Bickford from 2001 to 2002. He played the character Walter Thornhill.

Is David McCallum coming back to NCIS?

David McCallum| Sonja Flemming/CBS via Getty Images
David McCallum| Sonja Flemming/CBS via Getty Images

In season 16, episode 17 (titled “Silent Service”), Ducky is seen preparing for his last day with NCIS. His hope was to begin his retirement and finally relax. However, in a later scene, Director Leon Vance, played by actor Rocky Carroll, offers Ducky a new position. He offers to make him NCIS’ historian. “FBI and CIA have agency historians, whose purpose is to ensure that the collective knowledge of those institutions live on for future generations,” said the director. He told Ducky he could work part time as NCIS’ historian and come and go as he pleases instead of retiring. Ducky agreed and accepted the offer.

 The show’s writers left the door open for McCallum to make an occasional appearance. Since his character isn’t dead, and he didn’t fully retire, fans can expect to see Ducky show up in some episodes. It doesn’t seem like McCallum is gone for good. He still appears in the show’s opening credits, so that’s a good sign that he will be making some stops by the NCIS offices now and then.

Is Cote de Pablo returning to NCIS?

Cote de Pablo|Jacopo Raule/Getty Images
Cote de Pablo|Jacopo Raule/Getty Images

Another character fans have questions about is Ziva David, who is played by actress Cote de Pablo. After being absent for a few years, viewers were excited but confused to see Ziva unexpectedly show up in a recent episode since her character was supposed to be dead. Those who have been following the show for a long time are hoping her character will be resurrected. As of this writing, there’s no word about what will become of Ziva’s character.

Read more: ‘NCIS’: Is Mark Harmon Taking a Break from the Show?

Check out The Cheat Sheet on Facebook!