Epix's forthcoming Pennyworth series has cast Polly Walker as a character by the name of Peggy Sykes. A Batman series centered around the adventures of a young Alfred, Pennyworth will star Jack Bannon as the titular character and will see the future butler form a security company that leads him to a certain Thomas Wayne. The series will be produced by Gotham duo Bruno Heller and Danny Cannon and shall be set in 1960s London. The supporting cast includes British singer Paloma Faith as Bet Sykes and Jason Flemyng as the purported villain of the piece, Lord Harwood.
A prolific actress of both the big and small screen, Walker is known for a number of prominent roles including Atia in the HBO series Rome and Francesca in Prisoners' Wives and was most recently seen starring in the BBC's Age Before Beauty. On film, Walker has appeared in movies as diverse as Patriot Games, Clash of the Titans and John Carter. Like the majority of Pennyworth's announced cast, Walker was born in the United Kingdom.
According to an official press release, Walker has now been cast in Pennyworth as a dominatrix called Peggy Sykes. A recurring role in the series, Peggy is confirmed to be the sister of Faith's Bet and is described as one of the most renowned and in-demand of her profession among the patrons of Lancashire. Interestingly enough, Walker's hometown of Warrington was historically also considered part of Lancashire, which should lend an element of authenticity to the role. Peggy is set to be a "sensible matriarch in a family of maniacs" and is characterized as loyal, resourceful and the owner of a strange and unique moral code.
Peggy Sykes doesn't appear to be based on any character from the DC Comics universe but, judging from the description provided, would seem to be a figure that walks the line between good and evil. Someone tied down to the criminal underworld, but that Alfred may still be able to call on in times of need, much like the character of Fish Mooney in Gotham.
Speaking of Gotham, the casting of a dominatrix character perhaps confirms what many fans had already suspected, that Pennyworth would, like the Fox series, lean more into the darker and grittier aspects of the Batman mythos. This perhaps shouldn't come as too much of a surprise considering Heller and Cannon are involved in both shows and many Batman fans will surely be pleased to see that this new series won't hold back when it comes to exploring Alfred's backstory. Considering the character's history in the army and secret service, this is perhaps a wise choice.
Pennyworth is expected to premiere in 2019 on Epix.