We Chat with The Chief -- DOOM PATROL Star Timothy Dalton

DC Universe

DC Universe

April 24, 2019


Timothy Dalton has run a rich gamut of roles throughout his career, playing everything from the heroic James Bond to Hot Fuzz’s villainous Simon Skinner. Now in DC Universe's Doom Patrol, Dalton maintains his own mysterious moral compass as Niles Caulder, better known as The Chief. Our reporter Sydney Bucksbaum recently sat down with the Welsh actor and learned about what drew him to DC, his deep, abiding love for co-star Alan Tudyk, and whether there are any James Bond Easter Eggs hidden in his new show…


On his first impressions of Doom Patrol


It’s not like all the other comic book shows. I read this thing and I was like, "I have never read anything like this before. It's bizarre! It's mad. It's insane. It's fantastically imaginative and above all, it's extremely moving." There are moments in it that are very moving and funny too. It really is different and that's why it works. Or rather, I hope if good people come to our comic book show with imagination then it will work.


On the difference between Doom Patrol the comic book and Doom Patrol the TV show...


You can't make the show the comic book, because that's a drawn image with a bubble coming out of it with one sentence. We have to be real people with much more dialogue than you can ever get into a comic and much more movement and action and personality. I have seen some of the comics now but they don't really give you enough. Your information is on the page of the script – what kind of person is he, what would he do, what he wouldn't do, his plans. Those things.


On what attracted him to Doom Patrol…


I'm not sure it was even the character of Chief that drew me particularly – it was the show that really fascinated me. But he is interesting… This is where I start to hesitate here, because I don't want to give too much away. It's based on the comics but it's only based on. You've got a team of six or seven different writers, a whole team of them responsible for the story, taking it all over the place every couple of weeks or so. So it was not the character, it was the nature of the beast that fascinated me. And I'm going to be honest, I'm not even sure that I know the full scope of what's going on!


On the bond between The Chief and the rest of the Doom Patrol…




They all really love him, don't they? And he loves them. He loves them because he's created them. He loves them because he's saved them and given them a home and tried to sort out their problems. They're his babies in a way. It's a very odd thing altogether.


On the dynamic between The Chief and Mr. Nobody…


It's so interesting, isn't it? When the team heads down to Paraguay you really get into that. I did something bad to him. We were all doing bad things — let's get really enigmatic now — we're all doing bad things, but you could say that he and I were in competition to see who could do the bad thing first. I won and he got terribly, terribly hurt and so he's out for revenge. But that's about as much as I can tell you about why we're enemies. [Laughs.]


On working with Alan Tudyk…


He's fabulous and I love him! He's just fantastic. I just love the fact that we are up against time and he comes in with terrific scenes, just like three full pages of dialogue to do, and he's got to do it in five minutes. He approaches it with such bravado and such marvelous imagination. Bit by bit, he hones it down and makes it completely part of himself and real and nasty and flamboyant and bold and brilliant. He comes up with a terrific performance every time, and that is hard to do! If you were working on a movie, you'd have a lot longer. If you were working in the theater, you'd have two or three weeks of rehearsals. He comes in and just gets it right away and he has fun with it. I really like him. And I just figured out why Chief hates him as a character – he's got more power than me. He can always get me and I know he's going to. And there's nothing I can do about it!


On if there will be any secret James Bond Easter eggs…




No. No. Absolutely not. And if there is, I'll throttle someone. [Laughs.]


Are you a fan of The Chief? Let us know in our Community!