In "Marianne Faithful," the Raven Society staged a coup. Under the leadership of Lord Harwood, the group kidnapped the Queen and took over the government by forcing her to relinquish control. However, their rule was short-lived. Alfred and his friends managed to free the Queen, who gave her army the order to turn against their new Raven Society overlords. And so they fell, but Alfred's story wasn't over just yet.
As it turns out, Alfred's father was a fervent supporter of the Raven Society. Between this and his terminal cancer diagnosis, it was all too much for the man, who attempted a suicide bombing to kill the Queen and her associates. Fortunately, Alfred caught on in enough time to save the Queen, but not his father.
Speaking to CBR, Bannon revealed what he believes was going through Alfred's mind during that action-packed scene. He recalled his reaction to learning about his character's new status quo with the Queen. He also shared his dream story arc for Alfred, what aspect of Batman lore he wants to see explored on the show, his favorite experience on set and more.
CBR: The season finale didn't give Alfred too much time to digest after the explosion at the manor. What do you think was running through his mind just then?
Bannon: The great thing about Alfred is he's multifaceted. When he's with his parents at home, he's one thing and when he's with Dave Boy and Bazza, he's another one. He's at work, he's another. I think we're all like that, to an extent, with different people.
In this instance, you know, he's just about resolved the Esme stuff in his head and kind of put that to bed and everything's gonna be all right now. And then he gets drafted into that business in episode nine. And then I think he solves that pretty quickly at the start of ten, and it seems once again, equilibrium, the status quo is resolved, and I can just get on with having a nice life. And then this shock realization about his father and all this business.
I think he just clicked. I think a switch flips in his head and he goes into soldier mode. All that training, and all those kind of years experience out on the field, he just recognizes that he has to do what he has to do to get it done. I think it all comes to a head obviously, and he's in survival mode. It's damage limitation as well. He's trying to get out of there with the least lives lost, but also prioritizing, obviously, the Queen and the more important ones.
But yeah, there's certainly not a lot of time to process and not a lot of time for emotion involved. He's really in blinkered soldier mode, of course, up until when he sees his dad -- and that would conjure emotion in anybody -- but he immediately has to put that to one side for the good of Queen and country, I think.
Alfred's relationship with the Queen took a rather lascivious turn in the finale. I have to know what your initial reaction was to that when you found out about it.
I just burst out laughing! Bruno [Heller] wrote it all as we were going along, so every two weeks, we'd get a new script. And I just thought it was hilarious. I couldn't quite believe it. I think Matthew Patnick, the producer, told me -- no, do you know it was? And she'll get in trouble for this. It was the makeup designer who told me, because they got the scripts a little bit earlier than we did to start prepping stuff and whatever. She didn't explicitly tell me, but she sort of teased me and I guess because of what she was saying, and I just bust out laughing. It was at the end of a very long day, and I didn't know whether to laugh or cry, I was so exhausted. Anyway. Then, when I found that out, I burst out laughing and then immediately texted Jess [Ellerby], who plays the Queen, and said, "You know, I'm looking forward to you reading episode 10."
If the show gets a second season, what would be your dream arc for Alfred? What would you most like to see him do on the show?
I think, you know, it depends what goes on in the world of Pennyworth, if civil war does kick off or anything like that. I mean, it's tricky because I come at it from two places. I come at it from Jack Bannon, the actor, who wants to do lots of action stuff, running around, guns and driving cars and whatever. But then I come at it from, you know, the Jack Bannon who has a real fondness and loves Alfred and just wants to see him get what he wants. So it would be fantastic if he could settle down -- and I don't mean romantically, I just mean in life -- and build a nice business where he can keep his head down. But we've all seen the series. We all know Pennyworth. I don't think that's really going to happen. So more action, I suppose.
Obviously, Alfred has a long history in the DC Universe. Is there any element from Batman lore that wasn't included in Season 1 that you'd like to see in Season 2?
I think what makes us unique is the British lore connection, the stuff from British mythology and literature and whatnot, and I think it would be great. What I want to see is how, he ends up -- like everybody is trying to see -- how he ends up working for the Waynes and that relationship grow. But in terms of thinking of, you know, villains or most stuff in the comic books on... I want to see, like, Alfred do a bit of security for the Beatles or fight the Kray twins or something like that. That's what I'd prefer to see.
What was your favorite experience on set?
I think my favorite thing, really, was just every day going into work and being on a set that everyone was really excited about this show. Obviously, we still are, but you know, every two weeks, when a new script came out, everybody -- from the caterers to the ADs, everybody, the sparks -- were all sat down to read it. You could tell when it was script day. Everyone was scrolling on their phones because they were so emotionally invested in these characters. It felt really special. There were little instances, little funny days in between, but -- for me -- it was seeing the process through from beginning to end. The whole lot! And everyone working so hard within that was immensely rewarding.
Developed by former Gotham collaborators Bruno Heller and Danny Cannon, Pennyworth stars Jack Bannon as Alfred Pennyworth, Ben Aldridge as Thomas Wayne, Jason Flemyng as Lord Harwood, Paloma Faith as Bet Sykes, Ryan Fletcher as Dave Boy, Hainsley Lloyd Bennett as Bazza and Jessica Ellerby as the Queen. The series airs Sundays at 9 pm ET/PT on EPIX.