Francis Doyle used to be a pillar of the community. A third-grade teacher, active in charity, happily married to Harriet Doyle, he was what the folks next door would have called, ‘a genuine, honest-to-God nice guy’.
People say that their lives change gradually, over years and years and with careful planning and forethought. But they don’t.
They change in a single beat of a human’s, or a demon’s, heart. Harry Doyle’s heart stopped beating when she was murdered by vampires, and Francis Doyle, that happy, human teacher, died with her.
The hollow shell of a man who was left behind, doubting his own humanity and sanity, spent his time in bars where the lowest scum of both humans and demons hung out. Existing day-to-day, indulging in assorted unhealthy habits, that half-man, half-demon was on the fast track to destruction.
It wasn’t hope, or love, or some high-minded ideal that pulled Doyle out of his self-destructive cycle. He didn’t want to save innocents, or fight evil.
He wanted revenge.
But as a former teacher, Doyle had no experience in the kind of violent, and probably short, life he planned to lead. So the teacher became a policeman.
Rushed through training because of a shortage of cops on the beat, Doyle served three years in the Los Angeles Police Department, partnered to Detective Kate Lockley. Lockley had lost her father to vampires, and their shared vendetta against the undead drove both into night-time vampire hunting as well as their daytime investigations. Growing more skilled and more comfortable with his demon side with every day, and aided by cryptic visions from a source he barely understood, Doyle forged himself into a weapon to annihilate as many of the ranks of darkness as possible before they brought him down.
After three years, Doyle left the LAPD to start his own Private Investigation agency, Doyle Investigations. It was not a great success. Besides a severe problem with maintaining constant staff, LA’s supernatural problems were simply too great for one half-man to handle alone, even with occasional help from an ex-partner.
But that all changed with the arrival of an ally who was more than ready to join the good fight. Faith, a Slayer on the run from her Watcher, joined forces with Doyle for mutual survival. The two became lovers as well as comrades-in-arms, and the arrival of Wesley Wyndham-Price, Faith’s Watcher, formed a trio of demon hunters ready to fight against LA’s darkest denizens.
Doyle, Faith and Wesley have an alliance of convenience. To Wesley, Doyle is a helpful ally, as well as a calming influence on his impetuous Slayer. To Faith, Doyle is a handy source of food, income and sex.
And Doyle himself is no longer alone, for the first time since he left the LAPD. There is still tension aplenty among this team of would-be saviours, but for the moment, Los Angeles has protectors.
How long this situation will continue, remains to be seen.
Doyle lives life in the fast lane. He drinks too much, smokes too much, and risks his life nightly against evil. He doesn’t have a death wish, but he doesn’t exactly wake every morning filled with joy either. Working with the often-squabbling Faith and Wesley, Doyle finds himself thrust into the role of a peacemaker more than a leader. His experience with third-graders has proved to be of some use here.
Doyle accepts his demon side as a tool which allows him to fight better and stay alive, but he really knows very little about his Brachen half and he doesn’t want to know anything more. Likewise, his understanding of the Powers is superficial at best, and he doesn’t realise that he is intended to be a Messenger, not a Warrior, in their service. So far, the Powers haven’t intervened to correct the situation and assign Doyle to a Warrior, but his days as a free agent may be numbered.
Quote: “Look, I get where the girl's coming from, man. I fight these creatures, it's my purpose too. But I'm not about to go commit suicide trying to fight a battle I can't win. Better to stay here and fight the fights I can make a difference in. Maybe someday I'll get the urge to take on greater things - and maybe so will she. Give her time. At least grant her a couple of years of life. An experienced slayer is a better slayer, right? If you send 'em out soon as they're picked and barely trained, it's no wonder they're gonna fail.” - Referring to Faith in City of Doyle
Mike: “ Doyle in D.I. is the sum of his experiences. He’s lived a different life from the Doyle of Angel, and he’s a lot harder and tougher as a result of it. But he’s still the same guy at heart, just not quite. Am I making any sense at all? Anyway, expect to see Doyle get to grow beyond what he did on the series, since he has more freedom to assume a dynamic role. Is he as good at saving people as Angel? Maybe, maybe not. Wait until we finish ‘Evidence of Things Not Seen’ and then decide for yourself.”
Tammy: “ This version of Doyle had a much rougher awakening to his demon side
than the Angelverse Doyle, but as a result he was given some target other than himself for his hatred and despair, which provides the essential difference between them. In DI Doyle is handed a revenge crusade; his counterpart could only turn that impulse inwards. Not that there hasn't been some degree of self-destruction in Doyle's single-minded quest to fight evil. He doesn't really fit into society any more, his psychology just couldn't adapt to it. He
couldn't go back to living a normal life - at least, not without a severe struggle - if every vampire in the world was suddenly destroyed, because he's tailored himself so much to the evil-fightin' lifestyle. That comes out a bit in "Vampires, Served Cold" and "Evidence of Things Not Seen" (ep 9).
I like the chemistry between Faith and Doyle - and the fact he's supposed to be the leader but she can, and occasionally does, beat the crap out of him. A relationship with Faith could definitely be classified as Extreme Dating :)