From the moment I started writing this character, I had a clear picture of who I wanted him to be. I have no shame in stealing characters from other sources because, ultimately, the journey these characters are on make them my own, but I have to have a starting point. Mike Ehrmentrout from Breaking Bad provided that starting point. And then, of course, the Jonathan Banks himself is what made the role what it was, which also happens to be similar to many other characters he’s played, including Professor Buzz Hickey in Community.
Editor’s note: Read at your own risk, there may be spoilers.
Who he is: Head of security at the Studio. Been there since his mid 40’s. Has known Camden all those years, and was the person who taught him how to shoot. Gave Camden the nickname “LT”.
How others see him: The Law of Studio D. The guy who cleans up security messes; aka Mr. Clean. As head of the security team, he isn’t a member of the scientific community, therefore, he is somewhat of an outsider. His job is to keep them safe and make sure their secrets stay secret. He is a grumpy old man with an annoying penchant toward strict adherence to the rules but is willing to bend those around what he believes is the greater good.
How he sees himself: Cleaner takes pride in following the law and maintaining a high level of personal and professional integrity. He doesn’t lie, steal or cheat, but deals with the truth of every situation as he sees it. He is the voice of reason, law, and safety. He is the reason that the scientists get to do their job and live in safety. Rules are there for their protection and he will lay down his life, if necessary, to keep them safe–if even from themselves.
What he wants: Adherence to the law and loyalty to the government who makes the laws, is a matter of personal honor. Cleaner wants humanity to survive and he believes that our government leaders are best prepared to know what is the best way to make that happen. He doesn’t care about the politics or political motivations, only about what our leaders have determined is right.
Character Path: Steadfast
Three Problems He faces:
- External: Where his companions see the need to save humanity from the future devastation, Cleaner sees the need to save humanity from itself. Where they look for scientific solutions, Cleaner sees the solutions as being much more practical.
- Internal: Cleaner is loyal to Studio D, but even more so to the government that employs him. When he sees his friends violating direct orders of the President of the United States, Cleaner has to break rank with his companions.
- Philosophical: Is the life of one person more valuable than the life of millions. Is it right to take the life of one innocent person if it saves the life of many? And if the whole of humanity is at stake, is it okay to allow the death of many if that is what is necessary to allow a few to survive?
- Psychological Issues: Integrity and honor are found in obedience to the law.
- Sociological Issues: Matter of fact. Doesn’t give a crap about what anybody thinks or feels.
- Physiological Issues: Mike Ehrmantrout. Imposing figure that lets you know he can kick your butt just by looking at you. Bald. Late 60’s or early 70’s.