By this time next week, Doom Patrol is going to be dipping its toe into the realm of magic — and what better guide than the King of Hell? Mark Sheppard is popping up on next week’s episode as Willoughby Kipling, a chaos magician and friend of Niles Caulder (Timothy Dalton) who likes drinking almost as much as he likes saving the world from apocalyptic death cults. The role reunites him with former Supernatural producer Jeremy Carver, who is now the Doom Patrol showrunner.
“If you haven’t seen it, prepare to have your mind blown! [Doom Patrol] is masterful,” Sheppard wrote in a tweet on Friday. “Carver and company have crafted an extraordinary tale. Great cast, great writing, the look and feel is beautiful. So proud to take a part! See you in episode 4!”
Like many characters and concepts on the DC Universe show, Kipling originates from writer Grant Morrison’s surrealist Doom Patrol comics of the ’80s. There, he helped the World’s Strangest Heroes prevent a group called the Cult of the Unwritten Book from summoning a giant eye called the Anti-God to destroy the world. Although things obviously change in adaptation, it looks like he’ll be up to something similar here. In the preview for next week’s episode, Robotman (Brendan Fraser) can be seen yelling “Nürnheim sucks!” after getting zapped by a hooded cult member. In the comics, Nürnheim was the secret city where the Cult resided. The episode, fittingly, will be titled “Cult Patrol.”
What’s that, you say? A hard-drinking man in a trench coat who knows a lot about magic sounds familiar to you? Kipling definitely shares some similarities with John Constantine, but back in the day, Morrison had to invent his own character because DC editorial wanted to keep Constantine solely in their more realistic Vertigo line. That’s still beneficial today, as it helps Doom Patrol do a magic story without crossing over with the CW superhero shows, where Constantine is played by Matt Ryan.
Watch the preview for “Cult Patrol” above. Below, check out preview photos of Kipling making himself at home in the Doom Patrol’s mansion.