NCIS season 21 teaser sparks emotional response from fans

NCIS new poster for the upcoming 21st season has prompted an emotional reaction from fans following the death of a cast member.

Scottish actor David McCallum, known to the NBC’s long-standing procedural’s fans for playing Dr Donald ‘Ducky’ Mallard, sadly passed away last September at the age of 90.

Shared to Instagram, the promotional shot for the new chapter features the current cast, including Gary Cole, Wilmer Valderrama, Diona Reasonover and Katrina Law, and is one of the first official images without McCallum’s Ducky.

Upon seeing the poster, fans commented on Ducky’s absence, hoping the show would honour him and McCallum in the new season.

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“I hope that they give Ducky a special send off,” someone noted. “He’s going to be so very missed.”

“Ducky is gonna leave a big hole,” was another comment.

“The first picture without Ducky [teary emoji],” one fan added.

“So strange not seeing David in the cast photo. I’m sure going to miss him. I look forward to seeing the tribute to him,” someone else said.

Some even called for the NCIS stalwarts who’ve left the show to return to mark the sad moment.

“I could already imagine Ducky’s funeral scene with Tony and Ziva along with their daughter Tali attending. The final shot would have Gibbs’ cameo saying goodbye to his friend,” one person wrote.

“I just don’t see how they [can] properly honor Ducky without incorporating the original cast into it somehow. Even in a small way,” one NCIS lover suggested. “Like in Tony’s last episode, when he was packing his desk up and they showed a picture of him and Kate.”

“I guess it’s going to be a farewell to Ducky. Hope they all come back for that, it’s the right thing to do!!” was another idea for the new season.

david mccallum, ncis 

CBS//Getty Images

Related: NCIS and FBI shows land premiere dates on CBS

Last December, it was announced that the new batch of episodes will feature a tribute to McCallum. The news was confirmed by co-showrunners David North and Steven D. Binder in a joint statement obtained by TVLine at the time.

“Everyone at NCIS felt it was important to do an episode that honours such a legendary actor, not to mention a dear friend,” they said.

“In the episode, the team will learn of Ducky’s passing and reflect on their memories of him as they grieve. And true to Ducky’s meticulous and compassionate nature, even after he’s gone, he still manages to solve one last crime with the team.”

NCIS airs on CBS in the US. Seasons 1-20 are streaming on Disney+ in the UK.

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