The commencement of the 2023-24 television season has been delayed due to the conclusion of the SAG-AFTRA strike. However, there’s good news for fans eagerly awaiting the 21st season of “NCIS,” set to premiere on February 12. Following the resolution of the strike, actors are gearing up to resume filming.

Regrettably, the “NCIS” cast will be without a longtime member, as David McCallum, who portrayed Ducky from the beginning, passed away on September 25.

Despite the loss of David McCallum, the show remains steadfast. Brian Dietzen, who plays Jimmy Palmer, hinted at a tribute for the esteemed actor. In a celebratory post about the end of the SAG-AFTRA strike, Dietzen assured fans that a tribute was in the works, though specific details are yet to be revealed. Speculation suggests a dedicated episode honoring McCallum, potentially addressing Ducky’s absence and delivering an emotional moment for viewers.

With Ducky’s character likely to follow suit due to McCallum’s passing, poignant scenes may unfold as characters reflect on the significance of Ducky in their lives. This could also provide an opportunity for the actors to collectively mourn McCallum’s loss.

“NCIS” enthusiasts have their own ideas about the potential significance of such a moment, particularly if the show reintroduces familiar characters. Some fans express the desire for former cast members to return for a Ducky homage. Suggestions include having everyone come back for the funeral, with mentions of the impactful return of characters like Abby Sciuto (Pauley Perrette) or Bishop.

Over the years, “NCIS” has seen numerous characters come and go, a natural progression for a series that has been on the air for more than two decades. However, the passing of David McCallum provides a unique opportunity for the show to pay tribute to his legacy.

An episode centered around Ducky’s burial could also serve as a platform for Mark Harmon, who portrayed Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs until Season 19, to make a return. Such comebacks could generate significant buzz and potentially rekindle interest among viewers who haven’t tuned in to “NCIS” in a while. Regardless of how “NCIS” chooses to memorialize McCallum, it is expected to be a fitting tribute to his immense talent.

By chrysos