Why David McCallum Nearly Quit NCIS Forever


“NCIS” is one of those shows that you can’t ignore if you’ve ever spent any amount of time in front of a television.The classic police procedural – a spin-off of “JAG” – created by Donald P. Bellisario and Don McGill has been on the air since 2003 and has ascended to the top of the genre.

As a result, its stories and characters have entered TV folklore. However, when it comes to the cast, a few individuals have achieved a level of recognition that they are unlikely to lose, regardless of whether they are still on the show or have left it.

No matter how big a fan you are, a few names come to mind when you think of the “NCIS” cast. The first and most obvious candidate is Mark Harmon, who played Leroy Jethro Gibbs from Season 1 through Season 19, leading the Naval Cr1m1nal Investigative Service to considerable success over the years.

Abby Sciuto (Pauley Perrette), Ziva David (Cote de Pablo), and Donald “Ducky” Mallard (David McCallum) appeared beside him. McCallum has the distinction of being one of the few original cast members left on the show during Season 20.

David McCallum almost gave up on his quest to earn this prestigious honor. Here’s what nearly prompted him to leave “NCIS” for good, and how the show’s creators drew him back in.

McCallum was concerned that Ducky had become stagnant.

Despite the fact that he is still considered a primary cast member, David McCallum has featured significantly less frequently on “NCIS” in recent seasons. Ducky Mallard, it turns out, isn’t as significant on the show as he once was, and it all comes down to McCallum’s interpretation of the character.

“Now that he’s retired, I sort of realized the character was becoming a little redundant,” he explained (via Express), adding that when he told those in charge of the show that he’d like to finish up, they responded by offering him a part-time job with Ducky serving as a historian instead of the lead medical examiner.


There’s no doubting that Ducky is a mainstay of “NCIS,” and David McCallum has nailed the part every time he appears. However, McCallum isn’t the only one who has brought Ducky to life on “NCIS.” Adam Campbell has played a younger Ducky in a few episodes, most notably in Season 18’s “Everything Starts Somewhere” episode, opposite Mark Harmon’s son, Sean. Sean Harmon played a younger version of Gibbs, and seeing him interact with Campbell’s Ducky prompted fans to demand a prequel series about their exploits.

Adam Campbell has done an excellent job as Ducky, and he’d undoubtedly thrive alongside Sean Harmon’s Gibbs on their own program. At the same time, no one can deny that David McCallum is Ducky. One can only hope he appears on “NCIS” on a semi-regular basis for the foreseeable future.

Related News – Be sure to get some more news when it comes to NCIS.

One Comment

Leave a Reply
  1. I have known about David McCallun since growing up in England, always a fabulous actor, but ( Ducky) well he owns the character and a supreme performance every time,
    I always wished I could have met him, Thanks David.

Leave a Reply


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *