- "It was your district attorney that denied me furlough so I could visit my dying sister one last time, say goodbye to her in person. That's time I'll never get back! So however long I have in this life, I promise not one second more will be spent in a prison cell."
- —William Tockman[src]
William Tockman (born March 11, 1965), also known as the Clock King, is a bank robber and former employee of Kord Industries. He suffered from MacGregor's Syndrome, a terminal illness, but instead of using the money he stole to ameliorate his own condition, Tockman spent it to help his sister, Beverly Tockman, who had cystic fibrosis. However, after failing to obtain the money needed upon being apprehended by Team Arrow, Beverly succumbed to her illness and Tockman was denied the opportunity to be present in her last moments. Now dying and with nothing left to lose, Tockman decided to use his skills to stay out of prison for his crimes as long as he could before eventually succumbing to his own illness.
Criminal activities in Starling City
Tockman hired two criminals to steal the Skeleton Key from Kord Enterprises, with Tockman giving them instructions via communications. However, the criminals compromised the mission by killing a guard, forcing Tockman to find them another route out. After the two delivered the key, William murdered the one who killed the guard, for disobeying him. Later Tockman hired two other criminals to steal as much money as possible from a bank, but was challenged by The Arrow and The Canary, and caused a diversion that would ram a train into an oncoming bus. Despite Felicity Smoak's efforts to stop him, the Arrow was forced to physically stop the collision himself, while the Canary attacked Tockman and got his DNA on her bo-staff. Later Arrow and Canary found the trailer Tockman was operating from and, although they didn't find him, they heard him on his communications system. Tockman used their own comms and his computer to cripple the Arrowcave's systems.
After learning Oliver Queen had moved money into his bank account, Tockman attempted to rob him, unleashing the gas flow which would destroy the building, forcing John Diggle to stop it, the Arrow to stop the criminals, leaving only the Canary to go after him. Tockman attempted to kill the Canary, but Felicity took the bullet and she reversed his own scheme and blew up his phone, knocking him out. He was arrested.
Transferring to Central City
After his crimes in Starling, Tockman was transferred to Central City's prison and complimented Barry Allen's watch on his walk into the police station. However, during the citywide blackout caused by Farooq Gibran, he took advantage of the situation and managed to take the entire station hostage, killing two police officers and holding everyone else, including Joe West and Iris West. Tockman requested a getaway helicopter from the police outside but Eddie Thawne who managed to evade Tockman when he took the station hostage made a shot at him, but Tockman, having anticipated this, was wearing a bulletproof vest and shot Eddie in the shoulder. He then applied a tourniquet to his wound and wrote the time on Eddie's forehead "an old army trick" so that the paramedics would know when the tourniquet was applied. When his helicopter arrived, Tockman grabbed Iris as a hostage, but let her say goodbye to Eddie, since he never got to say goodbye to his sister. Iris took Eddie's spare gun he had in his boot holster however, and when they reached the roof, Iris shot Tockman in the leg. Tockman was taken into custody again and once again and passed Barry when he was coming out of the police station.
- "The strongest of all warriors are these two - time and patience. It's from War and Peace. 1,400 pages. It takes a while, but it's worth the read. "
- —William Tockman[src]
William is not only precise, calculating variant factors to fractions of a second, seemingly in his head, he has an entirely ruthless disregard for human life, making a point of killing an underling who failed to follow his orders with a clock part to emphasize the essential nature of timing in any venture. He has a psychopath's detachment from the suffering of others with the sole exception of his sister. However, he did display some sympathy when he let Iris say goodbye to Eddie when he was taking her out of the police station as his hostage, although only after Joe pointed out explicitly the parallel with the D.A.'s refusal to let him say goodbye to his sister.
- Expert marksman/Firearms: Tockman is an expert in firearms, likely due to his previous military service. He was almost able to shoot Sara Lance before he got taken out by Felicity. He was even able to shoot two police officers and take ten others hostage not allowing a single one to draw their firearm and engage him.
- Expert computer hacker: Tockman is an expert in computers and was able to hack networks to perform his crimes.
- Expert tactician: Tockman is an expert tactician, he plans his robberies with precision and uses exact time to successfully rob banks.
- Internal clock: Tockman has an innate sense of time, knowing exactly how long ago he did something down to a tenth of a second, such as when he told Singh he shot Eddie 9.2 seconds prior to continuing his phone call with him.
- Customized glasses: Tockman wears customized glasses with a frame made out of two wrist watches.
- Guns: Tockman used firearms to protect himself and threaten his hostages.
- Bulletproof vest: During a hostage situation in Central City Tockman was seen using a bulletproof vest.
- Clock parts: Tockman had clock parts scattered all over his base for some reason. He used a clock hand to kill his henchman.
- Tockman is the first villain to have crossed over to another Arrowverse series. In his case, he first appeared in Season 1 of before appearing in Season 1 of later on.
- Tockman lived at 52 Nelson Way, North District, East Starling, 9122.
- Tockman is 5'11" tall, making him 1 inch taller than his actor, Robert Knepper.
Behind the scenes
- There are two different characters called the Clock King in DC Comics. The original, William Tockman, first appeared in World's Finest Comics in 1960 as a villain of Green Arrow and was created by France Herron. He has a genius-level intellect, incredible skills of planning and uses clock-themed gadgetry. The second Clock King was Temple Fugate, a character created for Batman: The Animated Series who was introduced into the comics (debuting in Teen Titans Vol. 3 #56) as a member of the Terror Titans and enemy of the Teen Titans. Fugate has the ability to see four seconds into the future, allowing him to anticipate his opponent's every move.
- Tockman is ill with MacGregor's Syndrome. This is the same disease that the Batman villain Mr. Freeze's wife, Nora Freeze, has in the 1997 film, Batman & Robin. It originated in the film itself.