Prodigal Son Wiki
Martin Whitly
Martin Whitly
Biographical Information
Real Name: Martin Whitly
Title: The Surgeon
Dr. Whitly
Current Location: New York City
Wife: Jessica Whitly (Ex)
Children: Malcolm Bright (Son)
Ainsley Whitly (Daughter)
Affiliations: The Whitly Family
Claremont Psychiatric Hospital
Physical Description
Gender: Male
Height: 5'10
Status: Very much alive (but wounded)
Character Information
First appearance: Pilot
Actor: Michael Sheen

Martin Whitly is an intelligent and charismatic man and a world-renowned doctor. As a serial killer, he is nicknamed The Surgeon, although he was not personally identified as a killer until his young son Malcolm turned him in. Once he was arrested, he was charged with the murder of 23 people. However, after making a deal with Nicholas Endicott, he was sentenced to spending his life sentence in Claremont Psychiatric Hospital, a luxurious mental health facility, instead of a regular prison. [1]

Despite his fractured relationship with his son, it is clear that Martin still wishes that someday Malcolm will become a prolific killer just like him. In fact, even though Malcolm is an adult, most of Martin's conversations with his son suggest that he is still trying to groom him. Martin has also shown an interest in continuing his relationship with his wife and daughter, though he does not appear to be as obsessed with controlling them as he is with controlling Malcolm.

Early Life[]

Josh Dean, the host of the podcast Killers & Coffee, mentioned an anonymous source who was close to Dr. Whitly in his days in grade school. The source told Dean that one of the most notable memories he had were of Martin having a fascination with dissecting frogs.

After graduating top of his class, he married Jessica Whitly and they had two children, all while secretly moonlighting as a serial killer. In the 1990s, Dr. Martin Whitly was one of the most notorious serial killers of his time, The Surgeon, who was only apprehended after his young son, Malcolm, called 911. [1] Initially, the call was assumed to be a prank, but Gil Arroyo, the responding officer, was sent to the Whitly home to investigate. Initially, everything looked fine to him, although while Martin was preparing him a cup of tea in the parlor, one that was laced with ketamine, Malcolm approached the officer quietly in the hallway and informed him that his father was going to poison him. Heeding the boy's warning, Gil called in for backup and arrested Dr. Whitly.

When Malcolm was around 10 years old, Martin took him on a camping trip with his friend Paul Lazar. There, he had decided he was going to kill his son because he was remembering too much information about Martin's victims (essentially, the chloroform he was using to regularly sedate Malcolm with was no longer working). However, Martin had a sudden change of heart, and so Paul decided to take care of Malcolm instead, a plan that was thoroughly botched when a 10-year-old Malcolm successfully stabbed him. After this incident, Martin decided to keep Malcolm around, and they both returned from the camping trip, leaving Paul presumably for dead. [2]

Over the next ten years, Malcolm continuously visited Martin in prison, up until he graduated Harvard University and decided to leave New York for Quantico in order to become an FBI agent. [1] This decision led to an argument between them, and Martin didn't see or hear from his son again for the next 10 years.

Season 1[]

Martin Whitly is surprised to see his son Malcolm Bright, having not seen him since their fight 10 years ago. He informs Malcolm that he is now a vegan and briefly inquires about Jessica Whitly, his wife. Malcolm cuts the chitchat short and confronts Martin about his drawings, the ones that depict important details tied to the murder case that Malcolm's currently working on; he insists that they were stolen directly from Martin's research, implying that Martin and the killer had met in person. However, in the past 10 years, Martin has had no visitors, only clients, one of which is undoubtedly the culprit. Out of his 40 patients, his son is quickly able to narrow them down to two contenders. Malcolm promises to return for another visit if Martin informs him which of the two is most likely to be the copycat killer. Wanting to see his son again, Martin obliges, fingering Carter Berkhead as the likely killer. [1]

Days later, as promised, Malcolm returns. Even though Martin's help proved to be useful, Malcolm accuses Martin of orchestrating the entire thing in order to see him again, to which Martin insists that he did not. The two soon get into another argument, and then Malcolm walks out, presumably for the last time. [1]

Annihilator 8

Calling his son from prison

After a few days, Martin is allowed to use his new phone privileges to contact his son and decides to inquire about a murder case that his daughter is reporting on---only to be pleasantly surprised when he discovers that his son is also working the case. He begins offering unsolicited advice before Malcolm ultimately hangs up on him, wanting to have nothing to do with his father. However, over the next two days, Martin continues to call his son several times, becoming more and more aggravated as his calls remain unanswered. Things boil over when Martin loses his temper, prompting a warning from Mr. David (an aid at the asylum) about his behaviour, although he seems to realize that he needs to approach this subject with a calmer demeanor if he ever wants Malcolm to return his calls. He tries calling Malcolm again the following day, offering a few ideas and theories on who the murderer could possibly be. To his pleasant surprise, Malcolm eventually comes to visits him again, but this unexpected trip was only to discuss Malcolm's suspicions about a dead girl he thought he found in a box in the basement twenty years ago. Exasperated, Martin insists that she wasn't real, suggesting that this particular nightmare of Malcolm's isn't grounded in reality. However, Malcolm doesn't believe him, claiming to have had his memory jogged after he was briefly incapacitated by a venomous snake. Of course, Martin maintains that the girl in the box is still just a fantasy, but it remains to be determined whether this victim existed and where her body could be, assuming Martin really killed her. [3]

Fear Response40

Martin calls his son later, under the guise of his doctor. He called to tell Malcolm that he had been watching the news, was impressed with his daughter's vocabulary as she presented the case, and was excited that they were all working on a case together. He began offering suggestions on what type of killer they were dealing with, but Malcolm soon hung up on him. Days later, Jessica was escorted by Mr. David to finally confronted her husband for the first time in 20 years. He thanked her for raising such beautiful children, and when he tried to caress her face she immediately backed away, terrified of him. Jessica cried for him to leave their son alone, but Martin insisted she shouldn't so afraid since she knew what kind of man he was all along. Even so, he does her a favour by taking Malcolm off his visitor's log, making himself inaccessible to his son from that point forward. [4]

Later, Malcolm arrives at the hospital, demanding to know why he has been taken off the visitor log. Martin refuses to give him a straight answer. Malcolm then asks if his mother was involved or if she knew about Martin's earlier murders. Again, Martin does not give a concrete answer. Upset at his father, Malcolm leaves. Days later, Martin is in his room and, upon hearing Mr. David open the door, assumes that Malcolm has come to see him again. As he begins to insist that Malcolm shouldn't, in fact, be there, he turns to see his daughter standing before him. She asks for an interview.[5]

All Souls and Sadists 3

Agrees to let his daughter interview him

Martin is delighted to have finally received his first visit from Ainsley. Having not seen her since she was a child, it is odd that the first thing she does is ask for an interview. They are both aware he has never given one, but Ainsley tells him this is all she has ever asked for, implying that if he cared for her at all, then he would do her this favour. He soon agrees and brings up how delighted he is at this possible bonding opportunity he has with his daughter in therapy. [6]

Martin was very excited to be given the opportunity to be interviewed by his daughter Ainsley. However, he was thrown off a little when Ainsley began asking him different questions than the ones he had previously agreed to discuss. He became a wee bit more flustered when Malcolm suddenly arrived and stayed for the interview. Ainsley continued pushing Martin's buttons about the type of person he was, and, much to his own personal disappointment, he snapped with rage at her. This surprised them both, and he immediately apologized. Luckily his plan began falling into place when the hospital went into shut down after Tevin Standish stabbed his therapist. They had a small family reunion, while Ashley's boyfriend Jin was getting some B-Footage, only to be stabbed in the heart by Tevin Standish. Mr. David saved his life and brought him back into his room.

Q&A 40

Saving Jin's life

Martin very calmly began going over the procedures to follow, as he was not allowed to hold the scalpel. His daughter convinced the others to let him and Martin immediately got to work. The procedure was simple enough and he was able to save Jin’s life much to the extreme gratitude of his daughter. Unfortunately, when Tevin woke up at the hospital he squealed and revealed Martin had put him up to it. Martin was then immediately sent to solitary confinement. [7]

Ainsley was going over the footage from Claremont while still in the hospital room with her boyfriend Jin. Martin was still locked up in solitary confinement after orchestrating a prison riot using a subordinate mental patient, who in turn, killed two people and stabbed a third. All to make himself look to hero when he saved the third. [8] [9]

Martin was still locked away in solitary confinement when his daughter's news interview about him finally hit the airwaves just before Christmas. A couple of days later his wife informed the media that he had at least one more victim. A woman with the bracelet and anyone with information leading to her identity would be given 1 million dollars reward. [10]

Alone Time - 14

Martin was surprised to find himself out of solitary confinement for the first time in weeks. He was greeted by Gil Arroyo and jokingly reminded him he still owed him a cup of tea. He qQuick began questioning him about an old partner Paul Lazar, but not log into the conversation, Martin refused to answer any more questions until he saw his son Malcolm. Not getting anywhere Gil informed him his son had been kidnapped by Paul. Devastated by the news, believing that his son Malcolm was absolutely dead Martin, collapsed, and began experiencing a possible seizure. After medics treated him he thanked them both, more composed. Gil reminded him that Malcolm was incredibly intelligent, and if anyone could get away from Pollitt was him. With that Martin agreed to draw a map of where he believed Paul's cabin was. [2] Afterwards he was put back into solitary confinement to mourn the loss of his son. He was very pleased to find out Malcolm had survived. [11]

After being released from solitary, Martin is woken up from a nightmare where his son angrily confronted him. He uses his first phone call to his son who picks up while currently standing on a homemade bomb.

Wait n Hope - 21


He is touched that his son took that moment to answer his call and after hanging up questions they should have reminded Malcolm he loves him. Later that day while in therapy, much to the anger of a fellow inmate he acts out a hopeful conversation between himself and Malcolm. He again uses his phone privileges to call Malcolm's work and give his insight into the The Count of Monte Cristo style of murders. After being visited by Malcolm and a lady cop named Dani Powell, he too agrees with Malcolm that the final dramatic murder well take place at the wedding. [12]

Eye of Needle - 47

Stabbed by his son

Martin is excited to watch his daughter on the news, and after watching someone call himself the Carousel Killer call to her network, he calls in himself with his thoughts and opinions on the matter, insisting that the first murder is somehow obsessed or connected to him. His suspicions proved true when his wife later arrives with orders from the Carousel Killer to kill him. He soon realizes that the Carousel Killer is the wife of a patient that died on his table. Malcolm is also there and tries to control the situation, but after admitting he did briefly attempt to kill Malcolm as a child, Malcolm stabs his father through the heart to save the life of one of his former OR nurse. [13]

Martin is plagued with hallucinations of the last woman he killed. Originally the entire murder went as it first happened. However after killing and dismembering her body, things changed and instead she holds his son Malcolm as a hostage. After originally panicking he composes himself and goes to kill the woman. Afterwards, he wakes up to find his son in his hospital room. [14]

The Job 1

Martin in his new bed

Martin brags about his new bed to his family while reminding them his statement alone is what saved Jessica from her murder trial. He reminds them of the agreement, that Malcolm is to visit him twice every 10 days. He is later overjoyed when Mr. Davis hands him the phone, of Malcolm looking for advice against one of his fellow colleagues at the hospital. [15]

As part of their father-son time, Martin prepares a meal for his son's arrival. They eat subpar pasta while Malcolm eventually opens up the current case he is working on, but is soon pressed on possibly murdering Sophie Sanders. [16]

After short visit from his son and his girlfriend Eve Blanchard, they both demand answers about her missing sister Sophie. Weeks later, they force his hand, and he admits she was one of his next victims, but he let her go after she will reveal damaging information about Nicholas Endicott. [17]

The Professionals 39

Blinding a man

Weeks later, Martin is visited by his entire family, wanting questions about Nicholas. After sending Eddie his new attendee away, he reveals what he knows, that Nicholas was the one to orchestrate his cushy prison sentence, after he blackmailed him with information that Sophie gave him. He also makes sure to mock Jessica for having a relationship with another serial killer. Days later Eddie attempts to kill him, but he gets the upper hand and blinds him before being pulled off from killing him. [18]

Martin is framed for attempting to escape by Nicholas, and sent to general population at another prison. He is informed by the top dog to stick with his own skin color, but more importantly, there's a bounty on his head and he is going to collect. His daughter is able to arrange a visit with him, where she cautions him, he is a Whitley and to keep it together, no one is smarter than him. He realizes the scratching he watched the inmate do was a compulsive tick, and before the man could killed him, confronted him that he was his only option to get in contact with a neurologist. The man agreed and is now under his protection. When another inmate attempted to strike him, a prison riot broke out much to the enjoyment of Martin. He stole a police officer's phone to call his son. Where he was pleasantly informed his daughter just killed Nicholas. [19]


  • Committed a series of four murders in 1992, called The Quartet. [1]
  • According to Paul Lazar, he attempted to kill his son 20 years ago while on a camping trip. [2]
  • Admitted to attempting to kill his son, Malcolm Bright. [13] However, given the circumstances of the confession, it is still quite possible that he lied.
  • Suffered from a secondary anoxic injury, (coma) which means there was a sudden cessation of oxygen to the brain after being stabbed though the heart by his son Malcolm. [13] [14]
  • His daughter Ainsley Whitly killed Nicholas Endicott, after he threatened to destroy her family. [19]
  • As of season 2, he is now back in the original mental jail/hospital, messing with Malcolm's mind.
  • Martin has expressed he has a circumcised penis.