One of the most favorite medical examiners to ever play on the small screen is Ducky Mallard on NCIS. Whether it is in his efforts to quickly solve crimes, or find hidden evidence in his autopsies, he was most beloved for the way that he talked to each of the bodies during the autopsy. There is reference that he has worked for nearly two decades as a medical examiner, specifically for NCIS, as was made evident in “Silent Night” in the sixth season.
On the show, Dr. Mallard had attended both Eton College and the renowned University of Edinburgh’s Medical School. Along the way (by season four), he also acquired his forensic psychology master’s degree, which became obviously useful in helping the team at NCIS solve its many crimes. Part of his education involved the years he spent employed by the British police and for his service to his country in the Vietnam War. It was in the ninth episode of the fourth season that Ducky made reference that he had served in the British SAS as an officer.1
His Early Years
Many episodes make reference of Dr. Mallard living in a mansion with his mother for years. However, she is known to have succumbed back in 2010 even though it was not made publicly known to his associates. It was at that time he put the mansion up for sale and gave his mother’s four dogs (Corgis) a way to a better home. It was then that he purchased a three-story Georgetown brownstone in the Washington DC area to call his new home.
His Personal Relationships
It is not just because he has known Jethro Gibbs for years that Ducky calls him by his first name. He tends to refer to every member of the team, save for Jimmy Palmer, by their first names, often blurting out “Timothy, Abigail, Anthony, Caitlin” and “Jethro.” For the most part, he is always on good terms in his relationship with every member of the team and the remaining staff. Even when Kate met her demise after the first few seasons, it was his decision to perform her autopsy even though they were close friends.
As Jimmy Palmer’s mentor, Dr. Mallard tends to exchange formal address with him. This is often referred to when he continually blames Jimmy for arriving late to the episode’s crime scene. He still continues to hold a high level of respect for his protégé. In addition to his relationships with the staff and team, he at one point had a romance with Jordan Hampton, a fellow medical examiner.
Even though he is formally called Dr. Donald Mallard, reference to “Ducky” is made more affectionately by his colleagues and friends. His personality is developed from coming from a wealthy, well-to-do family where he was waited on by numerous servants. Although his exact age is never mentioned in the show, it is believed that his life spans the episodes from approximately his late 50s to his mid-60s.
He tends to walk with a noticeable limp. His behavior is more old-fashioned in style, where he remains extremely courteous to everyone. He believes strongly in providing protection for women, as was exposed in the episode of Kate’s death. He makes references to playing cricket when becoming a doctor at the University of Edinburgh.
Even though he never is forthcoming about any possible siblings in his life, he does make a reference to having a nephew during season one. Any evidence of a sibling tends to be lacking, especially when his home with his mother is viewed. It is obvious that his father has long been deceased and that the parents had been divorced for a significant amount of time. Reference is made that the divorce is a result of the miserly actions of his father.
The large mansion that he resided in with his mother until her demise at nearly 100 years of age is in Reston, Virginia just outside of Washington, DC. Before his mother’s death, he makes reference to her suffering from Alzheimer’s.
There is never any reference made that Ducky has ever married or even been a part of a long-term relationship. Even his sexual orientation is never established although he does make reference in a couple of stories about lady friends of his in the past. However, these stories tend to be about his courtesy and gallantry toward the ladies and not about direct relationships.
David McCallum stars in the NCIS (Naval Criminal Investigation Service) role as Ducky Mallard. The scriptwriters take advantage of his dark and quirky sense of humor. David was born in Scotland and arrived in America back in the early 60s when he was hired to play Judas Iscariot In “The Greatest Story Ever Told.” Before NCIS, he was most likely best known for his performance in “Man from U.N.C.L.E.”