In addition to performing autopsies on the victims, Ducky composes a psychological profile on any potential suspects or criminals that the team encounter, having graduated after taking a forensic psychology course.
In March 2019, Ducky retired from his position as NCIS's Chief Medical Examiner with his former Assistant, Dr. James Palmer succeeding him. Following his retirement, he assumed the newfound position of NCIS Historian.
His parents later divorced with Joseph remarrying a woman named Lorraine with that marriage producing a son, Nicholas Mallard who is Ducky's half-brother.
He was educated at Eton College, and subsequently graduated from University of Edinburgh's Medical School.
He also attended King's College, Cambridge for a year before leaving to go to medical school. He started to study English Language and History.
Ducky also worked with several other other organizations including the British police and also served in the military during the Vietnam War although whether he served in the American military is unknown. Ducky also served as a Captain in the Royal Army Medical Corps (RAMC), a unit in the British Army.
In 1980, Ducky worked in a refugee camp in Afghanistan and while there, he became acquainted with Polish born CIA interrogator, Marcin Jerek who was known locally as "Mr. Pain."
As a result of this acquaintance Ducky was later mistakenly charged with war crimes for violating Article Four of the 1949 Geneva Conventions by the government of Afghanistan.
Jerek tortured an innocent man who would then be sent to Ducky for medical care.
Under stress, Ducky eventually made the decision to end the young man's suffering by giving him an overdose of morphine which apparently caused his death, a decision which would haunt Ducky for years.
After his time in Afghanistan, Ducky presumably headed to the United States in 1980, and eventually ended up having a car accident severe enough that he had his arm in a sling afterward due to unfamiliarity with the different driving customs between America and the United Kingdom. He also unintentionally saved an abducted Marine, Leroy Jethro Gibbs, in the same accident, due to the NIS investigating the crash due to the driver, Vito Zucudo of the Zucudo crime family, being involved in laundering money from the Navy and their discovering him in the trunk. It was from this event that they became friends. However, he and Gibbs eventually ended up abducted by the head of the Zucudos, Pete, as well as his right hand man Francis in order to track down the laundered Navy money due to Vito leaving him out of the cut, and attempted to torture Gibbs, although Ducky, mostly because he didn't wish to see Gibbs tortured further or killed, divulged everything he knew about what had transpired. Suspecting a mole within NIS, he eventually deduced that the mole was in fact one of the carpenters working on the then-under renovation bullpen, "Freckles", and told Dr. Walter Magnus this much when meeting him under the pretense of a potential job interview. It was presumably around this time that Mallard joined NIS.
While there, he worked a series of cases under the guidance of the Medical Examiner, Dr. Walter Magnus.
Once Magnus retired in December 1992 (Broken Bird), Ducky became his successor.
JAG Season 8
Ducky made his debut appearance in the JAG Season 8/NCIS backdoor pilot episode, Ice Queen where he was first seen examining the body of a woman that had been found in a tree at Potomac Park.
NCIS Season 1
NCIS Season 2
NCIS Season 3
NCIS Season 4
NCIS Season 5
NCIS Season 6
NCIS Season 7
NCIS Season 8
NCIS Season 9
NCIS Season 10
NCIS Season 11
NCIS Season 12
NCIS: New Orleans Season 1
NCIS Season 13
NCIS: New Orleans Season 2
NCIS Season 14
NCIS Season 15
NCIS Season 16
In Third Wheel, James Palmer informs Timothy McGee that Ducky's first book, which they don't name but apparently has the subtitle 'Volume One', is to be released 'next week'. Which presumably means it was released in mid- to late October 2018. In the same conversation, Jimmy enlists McGee's help to convince Ducky to go on a six-week signing tour. Apparently the book is only being released to certain colleges with a specialized Medical Examiner Program, one of which is located in Upper New York State.
Ducky is rather reluctant to go until McGee informs him that the fans enjoys putting a face to the words, and that he had groupies when he went on signing tours for Deep Six. Dr. Mallard seemed to be particularly interested in the groupies, and left to speak to his agent about the tour.
Ducky had his last day as the Chief Medical Examiner at the Navy Yard in Washington, D.C. in the episode Silent Service. At the end of the same episode he was he offered the position of NCIS Historian by Director Leon Vance, which he graciously accepted much to the happiness of his colleagues.
NCIS Season 17
NCIS Season 18
NCIS Season 19
The two brothers were very close despite the large age difference. However, Lorraine filed for divorce during Christmas in 1973 when Nicholas was eight and took him to Albania. Ducky lost all contact with him after that, and believed for decades that his brother and former stepmother had been killed in a car crash in Prague around 1980.
He became a U.S. citizen in 1987. Nicholas was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer's, presumably while in his 40's, and when Ducky finally found him in 2015 he was living in a nursing home outside Philadelphia. (Spinning Wheel).
In season 1's Hung Out to Dry he mentions that the last time he was high up on a ladder it was to hang a piñata for his nephew’s birthday party. He was mentioned again in season 9's Playing with Fire when Ducky had finished redrafting his last will and testament, and told Gibbs that he had given his nephew in Scotland several bequeaths.
In Call of Silence he mentions that he had a great-uncle William in Bristol, and an aunt Gertrude.
In Hiatus Part 1, while sitting beside Gibbs' hospital bed, he starts talking about how he and his mother visited her brother Carkin in the little town of Clagolaky. Apparently, Carkin worked at the cooperage where they made all the casks for the various distilleries.
In Season 13's Déjà Vu, Ducky mentions an uncle Duncan who gave him a warm and comfortable watch cap with ear flaps Duncan had worn to a mapping expedition to the Antarctic in 1933.
Ducky is a man of medium height in his eighties with short brown/greying hair and blue eyes.
As NCIS's Medical Examiner, Ducky is skilled at performing autopsies on the many victims that he examines with his findings often determining if the victim died of natural causes or if they were murdered.
Ducky also has a Psychological degree, enabling him to perform and create psychological profiles to determine the mindset of the suspects that the NCIS team are currently after which has often come in handy.
Ducky's specialty is performing autopsies with his results often helping the NCIS team pursue other lines of investigation with Ducky himself often determining if the death of a United States Marine Corps or Navy officer was natural or murder.
Having earned a Masters Degree in psychological profiling, Ducky is now capable of creating profiles in which will describe the suspect that the main NCIS team are searching for.
Despite being a Medical Examiner, Ducky's medical skills as a Doctor have often been a huge advantage to members of the NCIS team as he has often treated injuries that the NCIS team have often received in the field.
Relationships with NCIS Colleagues
Leroy Jethro Gibbs
Anthony "Tony" DiNozzo
Vivian "Viv" Blackadder
Abigail "Abby" Sciuto
Caitlin "Kate" Todd
James "Jimmy" Palmer
Jennifer "Jenny" Shepard
Eleanor "Ellie" Bishop
- When performing autopsies on murder victims, Ducky often talks to them and tells stories about his life.
- He rarely calls anyone by their nickname, calling Abby "Abigail", Ellie "Eleanor", and Kate "Caitlin."
- The British Army's culture places heavy emphasis on the pride and traditions of its constituent regiments, featuring marches, nicknames, flags and emblems- all unique. Regimental nicknames are not shared, so the fact that Ducky was in a British Army unit nicknamed "The Regiment" strongly implies he passed selection for and served in the Special Air Service.
- In Season 2, Episode 13 (Meat Puzzle) Agent Kate Todd asks Gibbs what Ducky looked like when he was younger. Gibbs says "Illya Kuryakin". This is a reference to David McCallum's role as Illya Kuryakin in The Man from U.N.C.L.E. television series.
- Starting in Season 15, Ducky has appeared less in the series, with Season 17 having him only appear in 6 episodes and Season 18 having him only appear in 3.
- Starting with Season 19, David McCallum is billed as "with David McCallum", being credited before Rocky Carroll, opposed to the usual "and David McCallum" and being credited after Rocky.
- His nickname is Ducky because his last name, Mallard, is a kind of duck. It might also be a reference to the cartoon duck, Donald Duck.
- Gibbs is the only one who is allowed to call him "Duck". In return, Ducky is among the few people who call him "Jethro".
For a more detailed list, see Donald Mallard/List of Appearances.