NCIS David McCallum’s final scene as bosses hoped for Duck return

Trailer for NCIS Season 20 two-part finale

NCIS star David McCallum tragically died on Monday due to natural causes at the age of 90, and was surrounded by his loved ones in his final moments.

The Hollywood star was the last remaining original cast member on the long-running crime show, having appeared in over 500 episodes as NCIS historian Dr Donald ‘Ducky’ Mallard, although his role had gone from series regular to occassional appearances over the years.

In what would become his final ever scene on the CBS show, the actor appeared in the season 20 finale episode titled Black Sky in May with a pivotal piece of dialogue cementing the moment among the series’ best.

Warning: NCIS season 20 spoilers ahead

The finale of the show’s latest season saw Wilmer Valderrama’s character getting in a bit too deep undercover as he played the role of cellmate to the team’s target; Russian terrorist Yuri Valkov.

READ MORE: David McCallum worked less on NCIS before death to spend time with loved ones

Over the years it had become more common for David’s character to avoid the on-the-ground action, instead sharing insights and a helping hand remotely, which is precisely what his final scene entailed as he was screened into the NCIS offices via a video link.

As Wilmer’s Agent Torres character manages to sneak the serial number to Yuri’s burner phone to the team, Dr Ducky reveals what the terrorist group’s real plan is.

In his final NCIS appearance, David was the cast member to utter the episode’s title, explaining that the group is planning a “Black Sky event”, a complete shutdown of the country’s electrical grid that would cause “a total breakdown of society as we know it”.

Many fans felt this would be David’s last appearance on the show as they believed his character would retire from the team and similarly, the actor from the set.

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David only made two other appearances in the 20th season of NCIS, although his name is credited during the opening title of every episode.

However, even following the conclusion of the last season, David never formally announced he would be stepping back from the series entirely and even NCIS bosses teased just days ago that he could be making a return.

Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter in an article published on Monday, executive producer Charles Floyd Johnson shared: “David McCallum doesn’t do that much in the series anymore. David (just turned 90), and he lives in New York.

“He may come back and do four or five episodes. It’s much too hard on him now, and I think he’s ready to retire. But he was amazing from the day he came on.”

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