Timothy Dalton

He used to be so good at this spy thing. Timothy Dalton spoofs his past as 007 when he joins Chuck (Monday, 8/7c, NBC) as Gregory Tuttle, a handler of secret agents at MI-6 who holds vital intel on the long-missing Mom Bartowski (Linda Hamilton). The sad truth: Tuttle himself is a disaster at espionage! "He's like a cross between Q and M in the Bond movies — he reads all the proper manuals but never goes into the field," says cocreator Chris Fedak. "Tuttle is a comic revelation who proves ill-equipped when Chuck [Zachary Levi] brings him into a world where bad guys shoot guns and throw knives. We really lucked out getting Timothy to play him."

And how. The Welsh-born Dalton, soon to be seen in The Tourist opposite Angelina Jolie and Johnny Depp, hasn't done American episodic TV since he appeared on Charlie's Angels in 1979. "I am knocked out by Chuck because it's so bright and anarchic," says Dalton. "It takes every cliché in the spy book and gives it a spin, then adds warmth and heart. Remarkable!"

But he does notice he's getting a bit typecast lately. "Tuttle is just a lowly, rundown bureaucrat — a mere go-between — who had aspirations but never got where he wanted to be," says Dalton, who likens the guy to Mr. Pricklepants, the adorable lederhosen'd hedgehog with thwarted acting ambitions he plays in Toy Story 3. Cracks the 66-year-old star: "Now I'm being cast as all these would-be wannabes. Is this what happens when you get older?"

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