Hit ABC series is gearing up for another big showdown when it returns from its midseason break next month with the addition of a new big player.
Emmy award-winning actor Michael J Fox is set to join the series for a five-episode arc, in which he'll make a formidable opponent for Kiefer Sutherland's President Tom Kirkman, according to .
Fox will play Washington attorney Ethan West, described as hyper-competitive, wily and relentless, who's hired by the President's Cabinet to investigate former President (and current Secretary of State) Cornelius Moss's (Geoff Pierson) alleged leak of classified information.
West is ultimately appointed as special prosecutor in the investigation and, considering his only allegiance is to his job, it makes him an unpredictable player for Kirkman to get a grasp on.
Fox's guest role also marks the second time that he's starred alongside Sutherland, following on from their turns in the 1988 film , in which Fox starred as drug abuser Jamie with Sutherland as his glib best friend Tad.
The Designated Survivor midseason finale aired a devastating twist last month that saw the First Lady Alex Kirkman (Natascha McElhone) killed off in a horrific car accident, leaving President Kirkman alone in the White House.
"That will have personal and professional repercussions for the remainder of the season," showrunner Keith Eisner said of what's next for Kirkman, "and it's also terra nova dramatically – we haven't seen this in a television show.
"We'll see how that... has ramifications in both the personal and political arenas."