- Decker: "Your real name is Hartley Winterbottom."
- Volkoff: "Nobody names a person that."
- ― Clyde Decker on Volkoff's identity
Hartley Winterbottom is the true, original identity of the man known to the world as Alexei Volkoff, who was the main antagonist in the first half of Season Four. He was a MI6 scientist on the original Intersect team alongside Stephen Bartowski (Scott Bakula), and is the first Human Intersect. He is portrayed by Timothy Dalton. He served as the primary antagonist of the first half of Season 4.
Some time ago, when working on the Intersect, the CIA assigned him a mission to go undercover. He took the cover of fictitious international arms dealer, Alexei Volkoff. Upon learning this, Stephen uploaded the Intersect into Hartley's head, attempting to aid his cover.
Eventually, his Intersect became corrupt, erasing everything that made him Hartley, and replacing it with the attributes of his cover identity. It seems reasonable to assume his intersect became corrupt due to the lack of a Governor. Mary Bartowski (Linda Hamilton) was sent into the organization he founded, Volkoff Industries, to ensure his safety. She and her husband would spend the rest of their lives trying to undo the damage the Intersect had done. Meanwhile, to avoid the scandal of an international supervillain having been created by the CIA, the US government buried all evidence of Winterbottom's original identity.
In "Chuck Versus the Cliffhanger" when Volkoff has the Intersect taken out of him, he almost instantly becomes a kind man, basically the exact opposite of Alexei Volkoff. Instead of the mean and fearless Volkoff, he becomes a person who is nice, helpful and a slight worrier. He no longer expresses romantic obsession with Mary, and at least initially has no memories of his thirty years as a supervillain. He is the person who convinces his daughter, Vivian Volkoff, that she is not evil. When Chuck gave him and his daughter new, clean identities, Hartley returned the favor by giving Chuck and Sarah all of his assets and Volkoff Industries as a wedding gift.
- Volkoff's profile is seen in Chuck's flash in "Chuck Versus the Cubic Z", where he is described as a 6'2" male, which corresponds to Timothy Dalton's height in real life.
- When Volkoff points a gun at Chuck at the end of the episode "Chuck Versus the Leftovers", he flicks around with the back of his handgun, an obvious reference to Timothy Dalton's James Bond.
- Volkoff's name in Russian is usually spelled Volkov. Such replacement of "ov" with "off" is characteristic of the French version. Russian nobles often used French as a first language prior to the rise of Communism; the Volkoff identity therefore may have been descended from Russian expatriates.
Anna Wu • Alex McHugh • Alexei Volkoff • Bryce Larkin • Carina Miller • Clara Woodcomb • Clyde Decker • Daniel Shaw • Diane Beckman • Emmett Milbarge • Gertrude Verbanski • Hannah • Harry Tang • Jane Bentley • Jill Roberts • Langston Graham • Mary Bartowski • Nicholas Quinn • Stephen Bartowski • Vivian Volkoff