Meet Gotham's Fearsome Dr. Crane (but he's not the one you think)

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Feb 2, 2015, 3:47 PM EST

Although the Scarecrow’s arrival on Gotham was teased a few weeks back, we didn’t know who was going to play the iconic role. But this particular Dr. Crane is not exactly who we thought he’d be.

Actor Julian Sands (another fan fave) will be joining Fox's Gotham family for two episodes as Dr. Gerald Crane, father of Jonathan Crane — aka the future Scarecrow, who’ll be played by young Frankenweenie actor Charlie Tahan — in tonight’s episode, “The Fearsome Dr. Crane.” Gerald is actually the "killer who targets victims with severe phobias." 

Here’s what the British actor told Zap2it about his character:

“Gerald Crane is an extraordinary man. He's a man of great intellect, intelligence, but so misguided in the name of science. His particular pursuit -- his philosophy, the thing he explores -- is the idea of fear as an evolutionary hangover.”

As most of you already know, fear is totally central to the Scarecrow in the DC mythology. And whereas the supervillain revels in it, daddy dearest doesn’t. In fact, he’s trying to destroy it. And the reason he’s doing this is his very human desire to get over his own fear:

“He conducts all these experiments on the living, trying to understand the nature of fear so it can be eradicated,” Sands explains. Unfortunately, they typically end with his unwilling patients dying.

“Crane is trying to come to terms with an event in his life with not necessarily his own cowardice, but his own fear stopping him from becoming the man he wants to be.”

One of the people he (apparently unknowingly) experiments on is his own son, Jonathan. Talk about family disfunction. And this here gives us an interesting backstory as to why the Scarecrow is the way he is:

“In spite of Crane's intentions for the betterment of his son, it goes sad and sorry. I think he finds some kind of understanding that things have gone terribly wrong, but only when it's too late and he's committed to his cause.”

Julian Sands then went on to defend the character and refuses to call him a bad guy, saying:

“I'm not sure Gerald Crane would ever see himself as an utterly evil man. I never saw him as that. I saw him as a purist, somebody who thought his fellow human beings were expendable for the greater good.”

We've all heard that before, right? What do you guys think of the family backstory the Gotham powers-that-be have come up with in order to give more depth to one of Batman’s most iconic supervillains?

(via Zap2it)