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Monday, July 18, 2016

GOTHAM Casts Benedict Samuel as The Mad Hatter


Twinkle, twinkle, little bat...How I wonder what you're at...

Deadline has confirmed that the Fox TV series Gotham has cast Benedict Samuel in the role of Jervis Tetch, better known to DC Comics fans as The Mad Hatter.  Samuel will be a series regular in Season 3.

The article describes The Mad Hatter as "a talented hypnotist teetering on the edge of madness.  He arrives in Gotham with an unwavering desire to find his sister, Alice, a young woman who went missing in the city years ago.  It is anyone’s guess just how far down the rabbit hole he’s willing to go in order to find her."

The character was previous hinted last season when Hugo Strange and his assistant Ethel Peabody were talking about his resurrection process as he clutched a copy of Through the Looking Glass and spouted off a quote from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.

Samuel, 28, is an Australian actor best known as Owen "The Wolf" on AMC's The Walking Dead, and has appeared on episodes of Childhood's End and Home and Away.  In addition, he's appeared in the films The Duel, The Walk, and Underground: The Julian Assange Story.

Created in 1948 by Bill Finger and Lew Sayre Schwartz, The Mad Hatter first appeared in Batman (vol.1) #49 as a supervillain who attempts to steal a trophy from the Gotham Yacht Club, and begins a crime spree that ends when he is foiled by Batman while he is trying to rob spectators from a high society horseshow.

While the Mad Hatter has no inherent superpowers, he is a brilliant neurotechnician with considerable knowledge on how to dominate and control the human mind, either through hypnosis or direct technological means.  Usually, the Hatter places his mind control devices in the brims of hats, but has been known to utilize other devices as well. More recently, he has been able to directly influence the minds of others at a distance without any apparent equipment.  He is obsessed with hats of all shapes and sizes, as well as the book Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll and its sequel Through the Looking-Glass, particularly favoring the chapter "A Mad Tea Party."

He was later approached by Catman, and joined the members of the Secret Six to oppose the Secret Society of Super Villains.  The Six recruited him in hopes of a defense against Doctor Psycho's mind control abilities.  When Rag Doll attacked the Secret Six under Dr. Psycho's control, Tetch put on what he called his "thinking cap" and went into a seizure.  After the Six were attacked by the Doom Patrol, the Mad Hatter stepped in and used his mind control abilities to subdue the Doom Patrol singlehandedly, going so far as to almost make Elasti-Girl eat Beast Boy before Scandal stopped him.  The Six commented to themselves afterwards that even they had no idea the Hatter could do this.

Samuel will be the second actor to portray The Mad Hatter in live action, after David Wayne on the '60s series Batman.  The character has also appeared in a number of animated projects, including The Batman/Superman Hour (voiced by Ted Knight), Batman: The Animated Series, The New Batman Adventures, and Superman: The Animated Series (voiced by Roddy McDowall), and Batman: Bad Blood (voiced by Robin Atkin Downes).

Gotham returns to Fox for Season 3 on September 19th at 8:00 p.m. EST.

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