David McCallum, the star of NCIS, first appeared on the show in 2003. He’s evolved into a series staple and fan favorite since first appearing as Dr. Donald “Ducky” Mallard. McCallum, on the other hand, recently spoke out about his decision to leave NCIS.
McCallum elaborated on his decision in recent interviews. “He’s now retired. “I realized the character was getting a little old.”
It’s understandable that a character played for nearly two decades could become overwrought or repetitive. McCallum continues, explaining the alternative provided by the network.
“I was about to leave the show when they told me, ‘No, we’d like to make you the historian so you’re still a part of the show.'”
Showrunner Steven Binder created a unique role for McCallum, allowing him to return to episodes less frequently while not completely losing the character. Binder and the network did not want fans to miss out on future great “Ducky” moments if the character was permanently retired. So, in the show, Dr. Mallard retires and his assistant Jimmy Palmer takes over as Chief Medical Examiner. The team’s historian, “Ducky,” then takes a step back.
“Because it meant CBS liked having me around.” So I played the historian in a fantastic episode. And one of the things that Steven Binder, an extraordinary writer, did was to have Ducky imagine his younger self at one point.”
McCallum’s reference to Young Ducky was first introduced in Season 12. (2014-15). Adam Campbell played Young Ducky in the episode “So It Goes.”
David McCallum’s Notable Spy Role
David McCallum was born and raised in Glasgow, Scotland. At the age of 18, he enlisted in the British Army’s 3rd Battalion, the Middlesex Regiment. In 1954, he was promoted to Lieutenant. After leaving the military, he enrolled in the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art.
While his early career included minor successes and stage management roles, he shot to stardom when he was cast as Illya Kuryakin in The Man from U.N.C.L.E. McCallum turned his minor role in the fictional spy TV series into one that catapulted him to co-star status.
McCallum’s performance in the series earned him two Emmy nominations. McCallum reflected on the role during an interview for a television special. He revealed that he was once honored with an invitation to the White House. He claims that while being escorted to meet the President, one Secret Service agent leaned in and told him, “you’re the reason I got this job.”
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