When Tom Felton was cast in The Flash Season 3, many fans were wondering who he could be playing. After his iconic role as Draco Malfoy in Harry Potter, he seemed to fit a villainous role perfectly, and our money was on Felton taking up the much-anticipated role of Mirror Master.
But now we know who the main villain of Season 3 will be, and he's somewhat more obscure — along with the Black Racer, the main antagonist will be Doctor Alchemy, which has interesting implications for the plot.
There have been a few characters to take up the mantle of Doctor Alchemy in the comics, so it's difficult to know which one The Flash writers will choose. But traditionally, Alchemy suffers from Dissociative Identity Disorder, meaning he has two different personalities. The disorder can manifest in different ways, so it's possible that one personality may be totally unaware of what the other is doing — think Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, but with fewer juggernaut rampages... but possibly just as much scientific experimentation, if Tom Felton really is playing this character.
CSI By Day, Villain By Night
At SDCC, Felton was revealed to be playing a character by the name of Julian Dorn. Granted, this is not the name that the comic version of Dr Alchemy goes by, but considering the identity disorder — and the fact that The Flash has reinvented villains before — this doesn't necessarily rule Felton out as playing Dr Alchemy.
Comicbook.com asked Felton about this directly, wondering whether his experience playing the antagonistic Malfoy lead The Flash casting directors to consider him for a villainous role. Felton did not confirm or deny anything, but did say "they came to me for a reason," which is delightfully vague but may hint towards a villainous role. Felton did reveal that when it comes to the workplace, Barry and Julian aren't exactly bffs.
"He's as smart as Barry. At least in the forensic world, Barry's not used to having a mind as sharp as his around — and he has a smug air of superiority, I think, over Barry. It lends itself to many different choices and many different storylines."
So will this relationship go beyond tense rivalry to full on nemeses?
It's certainly possible, and all signs point towards Season 3 using the same slow-reveal for the identity of the villain — and if the previous seasons are anything to go by, that villain will probably turn out to be someone close to Barry in his personal life.
A Timeline Shift
But Julian's potential to secretly be Dr Alchemy isn't the only interesting thing about Felton's character, as his existence may be reliant on the new Flashpoint timeline.
"As far as I know, [my character] didn't exist in the previous timeline, so I'm glad that [Barry] has changed something, so now I'm alive!"
It's obvious that Barry's decision to save his mother had a huge affect on the timeline, but could this really lead someone to be born who didn't exist in the previous version of the timeline?
Actually, yes, but it depends which version of time travel theory the writers are going with. In the original comic Flashpoint, Barry's change caused a ripple affect throughout the timeline, resulting in differentiations that he could not have directly caused, eg: Thomas Wayne becoming Batman instead of his son Bruce.
It's possible that The Flash Season 3 will follow this theory, as Barry's change causes fractures in the very fabric of time itself. That could be why the Black Racer is chasing Barry down — as the physical manifestation of death, the Black Racer has a far more mythological role in DC's multiverse than your standard villainous rogue.
We could be seeing Barry consider the serious metaphysical implications of his timeline-altering decision. To bring it back to Felton's character, Julian might be a personal reminder to Barry that his decision to save his mother had life-changing effects. And if Barry decides to reset the timeline back to the one we know from seasons 1 and 2, he'd have to face the fact that he would be erasing Julian from existence entirely — the two may be rivals, but that's a pretty harsh consequence for poor Julian.
Only time will tell on this one, but suffice to say that Felton's role in The Flash Season 3 could be very interesting.
Do you think Felton is playing Dr Alchemy?