NCIS has arranged a final farewell episode to pay tribute to its longtime star David McCallum, who passed away in September at the age of 90.

The Scottish actor, beloved for his portrayal of the gentle and wise Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Donald ‘Ducky’ Mallard for two decades, succumbed to natural causes on September 25.

Before his demise, McCallum made his last remote appearances in the final two episodes of the recent season, which aired in May.

As the show gears up for its season 21 return on February 12, 2024, co-showrunners/executive producers Steven D Binder and David North detailed how the forthcoming season would address McCallum’s death.

“Everyone at NCIS felt it was important to do an episode that honors such a legendary actor, not to mention a dear friend,” they conveyed to TVLine in a statement. “In the episode, the team will learn of Ducky’s passing and reflect on their memories of him as they grieve. True to Ducky’s meticulous and compassionate nature, even after he’s gone, he still manages to solve one last crime with the team.”

They hinted at a “very touching and special moment you won’t want to miss.”

McCallum, the last remaining original cast member of the long-running CBS procedural crime drama, joined the cast in 2003. Recognizing his dedication to studying forensics for the role, producer Donald P Bellisario mentioned in 2006 that McCallum’s knowledge had become so vast that he was considering making him a technical adviser on the show.

Following his death, the network and NCIS studio CBS Studios jointly expressed deep sorrow, acknowledging McCallum’s remarkable life and lasting legacy through his family and extensive contributions to film and television.

“We will miss his warmth and endearing sense of humor that lit up any room or soundstage he stepped onto, as well as the brilliant stories he often shared from a life well-lived. Our hearts go out to his wife Katherine and his entire family, and all those who knew and loved David.”

In addition to his fan-favorite character Ducky, McCallum was also renowned for his starring role in the Sixties spy drama The Man From UNCLE.

NCIS is set to return with season 21 on February 12, 2024, on CBS at 9pm ET, with McCallum’s special tribute episode airing on February 19.

By chrysos