William Crandall
The americans-william 01

Vital statistics
Portrayed By Dylan Baker
Status Deceased
Episode Count 8
First Appearance Glanders
Last Seen Persona Non Grata
Images of William

William Crandall was a KGB illegal working in the biological weapons industry.  First introduced in the first episode of Season 4, he is the source of the Burkholderia mallei sample that results in the Glanders sub-plot. His character was played by Dylan Baker.

Biography Edit

Background Edit

Little is known of William’s background, likely due to the extreme taboo surrounding the nature of his work, though it is known he has been in the US for 25 years and had a "wife" named Eliza.

William is first introduced in Glanders.  When Phillip and Elizabeth meet with Gabriel to discuss the controversy of Elizabeth's unapproved visit to her mother in West Germany, Gabriel admits there is something he has been keeping Phillip and Elizabeth out of - namely, the acquisitions of potential American biological weapon samples.

William works at a laboratory that handles infectious pathogens of interest to the USSR.  When his lab receives the new contract from Fort Detrick, the Department of Defence’s bioweapons division, he is able to provide Phillip and Elizabeth with the Burkholderia mallei sample that ultimately causes the Glanders plot line throughout the start of season 4.

KGB Illegal Edit

The americans-william 02

In The Rat

Another member of the KGB’s illegal program, along with Phillip and Elizabeth, he has been undercover for 25 years[1].  In “Glanders”, Gabriel tells Phillip and Elizabeth that William did initially have a "wife" though "it didn't work out". William tells Philip that Eliza was "sent back" to Russia, inferring some kind of involvement with the KGB though it remains unaddressed. William appears to miss her - whilst quarantined with Philip, Elizabeth and Gabriel he mentions how lucky Philip and Elizabeth are to have each other and their children.

William's time and success in America has produced virtually nothing of importance to the KGB. In Pastor Tim, Gabriel says to Elizabeth and Phillip “20 years of e.coli and hepatitis - I never thought we’d get here” after being given the sample William had provided. In Clark's Place Gabriel tells Elizabeth and Phillip to remind William that he had produced nothing of real value after 25 years.

In Season Five it is revealed that he died after injecting himself with the sample following his arrest.

Samples Edit

Over the course of season four, William provides the following biological warfare agents to Department 12.

Bacteria Disease Episode
The americans-burkholderia mallei
Burkholderia mallei Glanders Glanders
--Tularemia-- sample
Francisella tularensis Tularemia The Rat

Personality Edit

A highly intelligent man, William’s personality appears to be a mixture of sarcasm, weariness, and loneliness.  Gabriel tells Phillip and Elizabeth that William’s demeanor is what is holding back his achievements in the field, specifically his obtainment of “Level 4” security clearance with Fort Derrick and access to the truly deadly, yet highly secured, pathogens.

The years of isolation, paranoia, loneliness and the effect of the endless vaccinations have had on his physical health whilst in deep cover seem to have left William with a thinly-veiled skepticism to his work.  When Phillip informs him that the Center is working on getting him a Level 4 security code, he sarcastically asks Phillip to do anything he can to prevent that from happening (Pastor Tim).  He also tells Phillip that his series of handlers “don’t give a shit” about him.

Appearing conflicted, he risks his life and liberty to acquire the samples for the KGB yet tells Philip that "our bosses don't know what they're doing." William is described by Gabriel as a complainer, but a "patriot" nonetheless.

Appearances Edit

William appeared in 8 episodes of Season 4.


References Edit

  1. Clark's Place

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