NCIS has been through its fair share of cast changes over the years, including seeing Mark Harmon and Pauley Perrette leave. Of course, Michael Weatherly and Cote de Pablo have escaped the NCIS world themselves. It might leave one to think that NCIS isn’t the same show it was when it started back in 2003 on CBS. David McCallum, who plays Dr. Donald “Ducky” Mallard on the show, is still around. His appearances have not been as many as in earlier seasons.
Back in November 2022, McCallum did an interview with Radio Times about his career, including his time on NCIS. But something has changed, especially since many of his costars have left. “When I go there, it’s like being in a different show [laughs], and it doesn’t quite make sense any more,” McCallum said. Yet the actor does still enjoy working on the series with the actors on there now.
‘NCIS’ Show Producers Didn’t Want To See David McCallum Retire From Show
Retirement might have been on his mind at one point, but show producers didn’t want to see him gone just yet. In an interview with The Television Academy, McCallum admits that he looked at the chance to retire. He figured that Mallard had been around on the show long enough. The actor said, “I sort of realized the character [Ducky] was becoming a little redundant. And I sort of decided to retire from the show. This is where showrunners stepped in and said something.
“And I sort of decided to leave the show,” McCallum adds. However, the showrunners saw a new path for Ducky. And they convinced McCallum to remain in the series…this time giving Ducky a new role.
“They said, ‘No, we’d like to make you the historian so that you’re just still a part of the show,'” McCallum said. “Which was very gratifying cause it meant that CBS liked that I was around!”
While many people know McCallum from his NCIS work, there are many others who remember him from his time on The Man From U.N.C.L.E. McCallum starred opposite Robert Vaughn in the spy-thriller TV series that ran between 1964 and 1968 on NBC. It was on during a time fraught with many different societal struggles.
“It was a very agonizing time in the United States because of the Vietnam War, the Cold War,” McCallum said in an interview with FOX411 back in 2016. “People managed to escape for an hour with a Russian working with an American which was totally unheard of in those days.” McCallum played Illya Kuryakin on the TV show. He became a pop culture favorite, garnering fans all over the world.