- "The good fight, yeah? You never know 'til you're tested. I get that now."
Allen Francis Doyle was a half-human half-Brachen demon, a servant of The Powers That Be and one of the three founding members of Angel Investigations. As Angel's link to the Powers That Be, Doyle aided him as an advisor. He also developed affection for his co-worker Cordelia Chase, with whom he never had the chance to experience a relationship.
Doyle was "the first soldier down" of A.I., having sacrificed himself to save a clan of demons as atonement for the sins of his past.
Angel InvestigationsDoyle was born in Ireland to a human mother and a Brachen demon father. Doyle never knew his father or anyone on that side of his family, and his own demonic genes didn't physically manifest themselves until he was 21 years old. At the time, Doyle was a third grade teacher and soup kitchen volunteer married to a woman named Harriet, the love of his life. He didn't take the news of his demonic heritage well, in spite of Harriet's acceptance of his other side, so his marriage ultimately disintegrated. Doyle hid behind the flimsy veneer of a ne'er-do-well hustler and con artist, seemingly more interested in his next drink than with helping others. Later, he was approached by a fellow Brachen demon, Lucas, who told Doyle that The Scourge, a militant group of pure blood demons, was after all half-breeds and begged for Doyle's help. Doyle turned Lucas away, believing that this wasn't his problem. Soon after he received a vision, which he described as "splittin' migraines that come with pictures," in the throes of which he thought he was having a stroke. The vision showed him a group of massacred Brachen demons. Doyle searched the city to find out if what he had seen was real--it was. These visions, which come from The Powers That Be, are what led Doyle to Angel. As Doyle says, "We all got something to atone for," and therefore the two join forces to fight evil in Los Angeles. Once Cordelia Chase joins the team, Angel Investigations is officially formed.
Doyle soon fell in love with Cordelia, but was afraid she would reject him upon finding out about his demonic heritage, a belief reinforced by Cordelia's open black-and-white view of demons being evil. He also forms a close, brotherly bond with Angel. Despite Doyle's reluctance to discuss his past, Angel and Cordelia learned more about him when Harriet returned to his life, seeking a divorce so she could marry an Ano-Movic demon named Richard Straley. Harriet later called the marriage off after learning that obtaining the blessing of the Straley clan would require Richard to kill the ex-husband of his intended bride by eating his brain.
Doyle's past again came back to haunt him when the Scourge returned, threatening the Listers, another tribe of demons regarded as half-breeds. To save their lives as well as those of Angel and Cordelia, Doyle sacrificed his own life to disable the Beacon, a device which could destroy any being "tainted" with human DNA, leaping on to the Beacon and pulling out a vital power cable, being disintegrated by its energy output just as he deactivated it. In doing so, Doyle fulfilled the Listers' prophecy of the "Promised One", a being purported to save them from the Scourge in the last days of the 20th century. Before Doyle died, he shared a passionate kiss with Cordelia, who had only recently learned of - and accepted - Doyle's demonic heritage, and lamented that they would never know if she could come to fully love him as a half-demon. As the two kissed, his visions passed on to her.
After Doyle's death, Angel confronted the Oracles, asking them to rewind time to give him a chance to resurrect Doyle, but they refused, as doing so would render Doyle's very act of sacrifice and redemption meaningless.
In an alternate reality, Cordelia never joined Angel Investigations and Doyle passed his visions to Angel before dying. This eventually resulted in Angel having a mental breakdown, unable to handle the strain of the visions, especially in absence of Cordelia's humanizing influence, with only the alternate Wesley - here lacking one arm - and Gunn for company.
When Lindsey McDonald returned to Los Angeles in 2003, he assumed Doyle's identity in an ultimately failed attempt to convince Angel and Spike that the latter was the subject of the Shanshu Prophecy; both Angel and Cordelia were outraged and disgusted that Lindsey stooped so low as to abuse Doyle's name and legacy.
Powers and Abilities
- "I get... visions. Which is to say great splitting migraines that come with pictures. A name... a face."
Doyle received prophetic visions from The Powers That Be, which includes images of people in peril, names, places in which evil was present or threats the Powers wanted to be dealt with. These visions also caused Doyle a great pain, though his half-demon physiology prevented his brain from suffering real damage.
His half-Brachen demon physiology grants Doyle the ability to shift from human to demonic appearance - red eyes and green skin adorned with blue spikes - in which he had a heightened sense of smell and superior strength and stamina, the last of which allowed him to twist his head around in such a manner as to fake a broken neck, something that allowed himself and Angel to enact a plan against the Scourge. Regardless, Doyle rarely assumed his Brachen visage, preferring to remain human due to his discomfort with his demon heritage.
- Harriet Doyle: Crazy in love, Doyle and Harriot married each other before reaching their twenties. The marriage lasted a short time, as Doyle's demonic heritage manifested when he and Harriot discussed the possibility of having children. Struggling with this new turn in his life, Doyle and Harriot began arguing about their opposing views about the subject as Harriot came to accept it while Doyle didn't, resulting in her leaving him. Years later, Doyle was shown to still harbor affection towards Harry when she had revealed to him was getting remarried. He was jealous and had immediately described her fiancee Richard as "bland". Doyle resumed an over-protective role for her and initially proved suspicious of him. However, Doyle reluctantly became more passive about it. He admitted Richard was able to make her happy when he had failed and the most he could do for Harriet was not stand in the way of her happiness. When Harry had ended her relationship with Richard for trying to eat Doyle's brains behind her back through such "barbaric customs", she was also angry with Doyle. He was dejected and sad over her walking out his life again, only beginning to get over it when Cordelia gave him a blunt pep talk. 
- Angel: Doyle was the first real friend Angel had made in decades (his relationship with Buffy never being a specific friendship and the rest of the Scooby Gang being Buffy's friends who Angel spent time with through his association with her). Although Doyle kept most of his past secret, he and Angel did form a close, if awkward, bond over time, with Angel attempting to help Doyle deal with financial difficulties while Doyle encouraged Angel to re-connect with people. After Doyle sacrificed himself in recognition of the heroism that Angel had inspired in him, Angel continued to mourn his loss for several years, even keeping an aborted commercial that Doyle had begun recording before his death. Humorously, Doyle once confided in Cordelia that "maybe [he's] a little attracted" to Angel; indeed, in the alternate reality created by Skip, Doyle passed his visions on to Angel before his death, which can only be done when the host for the visions truly loves said person.
- Cordelia Chase: Doyle quickly fell in love with Cordelia, but never properly asked her out due to the fear that she would reject him because of his demonic heritage. Cordelia first dismissed him as a badly-dressed loser and refused to fall for another "Xander" (specifically stating that she was done with losers for good), but as they spent more time together, she began to consider the possibility of a relationship as she recognized his courage, even accepting his demonic heritage upon learning about it. Cordelia and Doyle kissed shortly before his death, which gave her his visions from The Powers That Be; before his death, Doyle lamented that they would never know for sure if Cordelia could truly come to love him. Cordelia was heartbroken after he died, which is shown when she breaks down crying while trying to do a commercial. While she initially was angry with him for giving her the visions and she didn't think she could ever forgive him for it, Cordelia realizes the importance of his gift and feels grateful for it later, partly thanks to an empath demon named Barney. She still cared for him and was saddened after watching an old video of Doyle even after four years had passed since his demise, being particularly outraged by Lindsey's abuse of his name and legacy.
Behind the Scenes
- He was portrayed by Glenn Quinn.
- Originally, it was Whistler - an ambiguous demon seen in "Becoming, Part One" and "Becoming, Part Two" - who was to be a supporting character in the spin-off series starring Angel. Due to Max Perlich being unavailable, the character of Doyle was quickly created with similar character traits.
- At the TCA Writer's Guild of America West party in 2000, supervising producer David Fury stated, "Joss has bandied about, 'I love the idea of putting a character in the main credits as one of the stars of the show and then kill him right off the bat.' But in the case of Doyle, he didn't want to kill off Doyle. It just became a situation. The work situation became difficult... It's hard enough to make a television show without the headaches".
- In interviews before Quinn's death, creator Joss Whedon discussed plans for Doyle to return to the show as one of the season's big bad roles. Quinn died before anything could come of the talks.
- Doyle was a series regular for part of the first season of Angel. He appeared in nine episodes overall.
- Because Christian Kane and David Boreanaz were both friends with Glenn Quinn, the pair were uncomfortable with the season five arc in which Lindsey McDonald pretends to be Doyle.
- Doyle's 'ghost' apparently appears in the novel Haunted while Cordelia is staying in a haunted house as part of a reality TV show, although the novel is ambiguous about whether Doyle's appearance is genuine or merely a dream of Cordelia's.
- Doyle's demon father Axtius appears in the crossover novel Monster Island, ironically leading a group of pure-blood supremacists against all half-breeds. Initially seeking to purge Doyle of his human half, the discovery of Doyle's death prompts him to shift his focus to vengeance on Angel, only to finally be killed when his attempt to destroy a half-demon colony is thwarted by the combined efforts of the Scooby Gang and Angel Investigations.
- Doyle and Kate Lockley are the only Angel-exclusive characters to have met Buffy Summers on-screen, Doyle having a brief encounter with Buffy when she comes to Angel Investigations before Cordelia dragged him out of the office to give Angel and Buffy a chance at privacy.
- Doyle is also the only Angel-exclusive character to have met Oz.
- For a time, Glenn Quinn held the lowest number of appearances as a regular on either Buffy or Angel, with ten, though he only actually appears in nine. The record was broken two years later by Amber Benson, who was a regular for only one episode of Buffy, and later on Angel by Mercedes McNab, a regular for six episodes. (The character Illyria was also a main character for only six episodes, but her actress, Amy Acker, was a regular for three years).