Following the news of Pauley Perrette’s departure after NCIS Season 15, fans are worried that another core character is set to leave. Dr. Donald “Ducky” Mallard, who’s been part of the cast since 2003, is believed to be the next one to leave the series.
The speculation started after NCIS Season 15’s third episode, titled “Exit Strategy,” in which the NCIS official medical examiner was invited as a guest lecturer at his former school in Scotland. There, Ducky explained about his previous cases, particularly one that involved the remains of a victim inside a man’s body. The students were in awe and questions and answers started pouring in.
It can be seen that Ducky has a lot of valuable lessons to share with the students, which is why his old friend Cadence Darwin, played by NCIS Season 15 guest star, Susan Blakely, tried to ask him to consider sharing more of his expertise and continue with more lectures.
Given how Ducky was able to keep the students interested and fascinated, it’s easy to see that teaching would be a piece of cake for him. Cadence is also trying to present Ducky an opportunity that could mean he’ll get a permanent job as a lecturer at a university.
Fans start to speculate that this could be the plot that the production will use to explain Ducky’s potential exit from NCIS. Ducky initially declined Cadence’s offer of a semester to teach at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York. But at the end of NCIS Season 15 Episode 3, he did accept it after realizing that he could write a reference book related to crimes.
After returning to Washington, Ducky told Palmer (Brian Dietzen) about his plans of lying low from dissecting corpses. Gibbs (Mark Harmon) is already aware of Ducky’s opportunity and gave his blessings willingly. This had fans wondering if David McCallum will indeed be the next NCIS actor to leave.
So far, CBS has not announced any news regarding McCallum’s potential departure from NCIS but according to Hidden Remote, it’s likely that the news could be announced in the coming weeks or months before the veteran actor is set to make his final appearance.
On the other hand, it’s also possible that Ducky will remain on NCIS. After all, New York isn’t that far; it would only be three hours away by train. Without Ducky as the official ME, this would also give more attention to Palmer.