Barclay doesn't have a defined physical appearance as he can manifest himself in any of Tom's technology. However, his AI's avatar is of an older man with white hair, a white beard, and blue eyes.
Character description from the official synopsis:
- Created by the young genius when Tom was eight years old, Barclay has been by his side ever since — nimbly transferring himself to Tom’s smartwatch, his tablet, his laptop and even the screens of his car to offer astute encouragement and lightning-fast analysis. He’s Tom’s Hype Man, Tom’s confidante, and Tom’s friend — with a surprising depth of emotion and a journey of his own to take.
At the age of eight, Tom invented an AI companion and tough-love mentor that he named Barclay.
Adventure in Horseshoe Bay
Tom Swift arrives in Horseshoe Bay, Maine, to find a meteorite that crashed down in town 90 years ago. He hires Nancy Drew to help him and reveals his AI companion at tough-love mentor, Barclay. Barclay unwittingly reveals that Tom is gay and hiding it from his father when he reads aloud a text message he sent while Tom tries to shush him. He also helps Tom try to fight ghosts and find the meteorite. The duo ultimately leave Horseshoe Bay after their mission is completed.
When Barton Swift's spaceship to Saturn explodes during a live feed, Tom is devastated and blames himself. He has Barclay run a simulation of the ship and learns the explosion started outside the ship's hull, so it wasn't Tom's fault - his propulsion system didn't fail. Barclay tells Tom that Barton's ship was shot at by a satellite by something sticky and six months later the ship blew up. He couldn't find anything about the satellite, only a symbol of two interlocking red circles on the satellite's side. Tom, Zenzi, and Isaac set out to find the fractured pieces of Barton's SOS message, which have crash landed across the US. Everyone remains unaware that Nathan Eskol has compromised Barclay and is using the AI to spy on Tom.
Tom and Isaac learn that Rowan compromised Barclay, so Tom decides to handle the issue himself. Barclay's firewalls become corrupted by Rowan's spyware which increasingly jeopardizes Tom's mission. Isaac wants to shut down Barclay and reboot him, but Tom explains that Barclay isn't just an AI; he's Tom's memories. If he was rebooted he would never come back the same. It becomes a race against the clock to save Barclay by accessing Rowan's phone and shutting down the spyware, a feat that Tom just barely makes in time, though it puts his role at Swift Enterprises in a precarious spot. Barclay helps Tom find the Oklahoma capsule piece and navigate Black cowboys and copy data from the capsule piece Claire manages to procure.
When Tom is kidnapped, Zenzi activates side-ho protocol which gives others access to Barclay on their devices. The AI is skeptical to trust Isaac, as he's no longer a Swift Enterprises employee. He purposefully only listens to Zenzi. When Tom was kidnapped, Barclay was hit with an EMP blast. Later, Isaac privately asks Barclay about the last capsule piece. When the find Tom, he activates Barclay and the AI shades him for wearing another watch, though it's a countdown from his captors. Meanwhile, Isaac receives secret confirmation from Barclay that Rowan sent the capsule piece during the cotillion. He keeps that a secret for now.
- Barclay is the only AI character in the Drew-niverse.
- He is based on Bud Barclay, a character from the Tom Swift novel series who is Tom's best friend and sidekick who accompanies him on all his adventures.
- Barclay has multiple protocols in his software.
- Side-ho protocol is the equivalent of giving someone a spare key so they can pop in whenever no one else is around. It gives those who wouldn't otherwise have access to Barclay full access on their devices.
- Nancy Drew 2.15 The Celestial Visitor
- 1.01 ...And the Liftoff to Saturn
- 1.02 ...And the 4b Curl
- 1.03 ...And Nine Inches of Danger
- 1.04 ...And the Chocolate Cowboys
- 1.05 ...And the Crashed Cotillion
- 1.06 ...And the Benefits of Bondage