!! Detective Inspector Thomas "Tommy" Lynley (Creator/NathanielParker)
[[quoteright:199:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/tommy_lynley_5310.jpg]]

->''It's that we try that makes us heroes, not that we necessarily succeed.''

The charismatic, aristocratic main character. Educated at Eton and Oxford, Lynley has moved in the circles of the wealthy, titled, and powerful since birth. Despite his background, however, Lynley is driven by a strong sense of justice, which led him to Scotland Yard, where he rose through the ranks quite rapidly. He is a gifted detective, able to read suspects, motives, and situations like an open book, a talent which is aided by his excellent and extensive education. Unfortunately, his well-meaning arrogance and hardheadedness grate on the nerves of his co-workers, and he has rarely been able to keep a police partner for any great length of time... until a sharp-tongued Detective Sergeant turns his comfortably ordered world upside down.

!!! Profile

* AdaptationalAttractiveness: Reverse direction for Lynley: The books regularly refer to him as a 'Greek god' type, which usually means Apollon/Adonis, when Nathaniel Parker probably only could get away as Hephaistos (if he fakes a limp). Ruggedly handsome, yes, but an Adonis he is not.
* AdaptationDyeJob: Blond in the books, dark-haired in the series.
* BerserkButton: Don't touch his wife, don't hurt a child, and ''don't touch [[MostImportantPerson Barbara Havers]]''.
* BigOlEyebrows: Another reason for his awesomeness.
* BlueBlood: Lord Asherton, Eighth Earl of Asherton.
* BlueOni: He starts off as this, to Havers' [[RedOni red]]. However, as the series progresses, he becomes a lot more prone to showing anger or responding emotionally to the investigation, whereas Havers develops a more stolid personality. By the end, he is teetering close to being classified as a RedOni himself.
* BreakTheCutie[=/=]BreakTheHaughty: Lynley goes through a fair bit of this as the series progresses.
* BritishAccents: RP.
* CharacterDevelopment: Thanks to BreakTheCutie and DefrostingIceKing.
* DarkAndTroubledPast: Revealed in "[[Recap/InspectorLynleyS02E03ASuitableVengeance A Suitable Vengeance]]". [[spoiler: His father suffered from cancer and died when Lynley was 17. But what really troubled him is that his mother started an affair with the family doctor, Dr. Trenarrow, while his father lay on his deathbed. It takes years for Lynley to forgive his mother and in a way, his forgiveness comes too late]].
* DefectiveDetective: He doesn't appear to be as bad off as Havers, but as time goes by, Lynley does get pretty broken.
* DefrostingIceKing: But ''not'' by his canonical LoveInterest.
* DontYouDarePityMe: He doesn't handle sympathy particularly well.
* DrowningMySorrows: He is prone to this whenever nearing a HeroicBSOD.
* EmotionsVsStoicism: {{Invoked}} constantly because of the RedOniBlueOni dynamics of his partnership with Barbara. Often, Lynley's [[TheStoic stoicism]] shows Barbara the virtues of restraint, so that over time, she learns to rein in her temper. On the other hand, Havers, with her insight into emotions, teaches Lynley to [[DefrostingIceKing open up a bit more to those nearest to him]].
* EpiphanyTherapy: He benefits from one in "[[Recap/InspectorLynleyS05E01NaturalCauses Natural Causes]]", when a psychotherapist talks him into sitting down on an armchair and letting himself relax. Which just goes on to show Lynley that [[EmotionsVsStoicism being less uptight and trying to "feel" instead of "think" can be occasionally rewarding]].
* FairCop: He is ruggedly handsome.
* FireForgedFriends: With Havers.
* GentlemanAndAScholar: He has a First Class Honours in History from Oxford, and can distinguish off-hand between Arabic and ''ancient'' Arabic scripts.
* GentlemanDetective: What he is now, though he did work his way up the ranks, starting as a Constable. Not that it prevents his colleagues from making unkind remarks about people born with "silver spoons up their backsides".
* GentlemanSnarker: He can snark to his heart's content and still come across as the embodiment of sophistication.
* GoodFlawsBadFlaws: ZigZagged. Most of his flaws are humane, such as a propensity to [[DrowningMySorrows alcoholism when depressed]] and [[DontYouDarePityMe acting like a jerk to friends who want to help him]]. However, he also veers dangerously close to being guilty of PoliceBrutality, which is far less acceptable.
* HeroesLoveDogs: Lynley ''adores'' them.
* InLoveWithLove: [[spoiler: Lynley believes his feelings for Helen were this.]]
* JustFriends: With Barbara. Officially.
* LivingEmotionalCrutch: To Havers. In turn, she is this to him as well.
* MarriedToTheJob: This was a primary factor in his marriage problems. And why not, if it also serves as a SubordinateExcuse?
--> '''Helen''': [in "[[Recap/InspectorLynleyS03E02ATraitorToMemory A Traitor To Memory]]"] If you were having an affair with her, that would be one thing, but...
* NiceToTheWaiter: His servants at Howenstow are clearly very attached to him.
* NonIdleRich: Lynley is wealthy enough that he doesn't need to work, but he finds it deeply satisfying to be putting away criminals and keeping innocent people safe.
* TheNotLoveInterest: To Barbara. He is easily the most important person in her life, as she is to him.
* OneHeadTaller: Than Barbara.
* {{Oxbridge}}: Lynley is an Oxford alum, with [[GentlemanAndAScholar all that it implies]]. One of the reasons why he found it difficult to retain partners before Havers was that his effortless erudition made others feel [[OvershadowedByAwesome crap by comparison]].
* ParentalIssues: Lynley has a strained relationship with his mother, leading to no end of {{angst}} in "[[Recap/InspectorLynleyS02E03ASuitableVengeance A Suitable Vengeance]]." Things improve over time.
* PassiveAggressiveKombat: He expertises in this. That said, Series 4 and 6 show him in a far less flattering light, when he hits TheBerserker mode with some frequency.
* PastimesProvePersonality: Among Lord Asherton's hobbies are [[Recap/InspectorLynleyS01E01WellSchooledInMurder dressage]] and [[Recap/InspectorLynleyS02E01PlayingForTheAshes cricket]].
* PetTheDog: Lynley is very gentle with dogs, BrokenBirds and vulnerable people in general.
* RelationshipUpgrade: With Helen.
* RulesLawyer: Lynley takes on this characteristic at times. That's not to say that he doesn't [[ScrewTheRulesImDoingWhatsRight ignore the rules altogether]] when the occasion demands.
* SexForSolace: He tries this once after [[spoiler: Helen's death]] in "[[Recap/InspectorLynleyS06E01Limbo Limbo]]". It doesn't end well for either party, and results in a sharp WhatTheHellHero from Havers.
* ShelteredAristocrat: Generally {{subverted}}, since Lynley is pretty darned good as at spotting evil where it exists. However, [[PlayedStraight played straight]] in "[[Recap/InspectorLynleyS05E02OneGuiltyDeed One Guilty Deed]]", where he struggles to adjust to staying in a caravan park, with hilarious results.
* SugarAndIcePersonality: Which is quite an interesting contrast to his {{Tsundere}} of a partner. When it's Sugar-meets-Sugar, the result is a FriendshipMoment. When it's Sugar-meets-Fire or Sugar-meets-Ice, [[MomentOfWeakness one or both get hurt]]. When it's Fire-meets-Ice, [[VitriolicBestBuds the result is predictable]].
* TallDarkAndSnarky: One more reason why he is charismatic.
* UnresolvedSexualTension: With Barbara.
* YouCalledMeXItMustBeSerious: Before Series 6, we only heard him call Havers 'Barbara' during particularly emotional moments, excluding their time at his family estate in Cornwall.
* YouWouldntLikeMeWhenImAngry: No, not many people would. But Barbara usually finds a way to deal with him anyway.


!! Detective Sergeant Barbara Havers (Creator/SharonSmall)
[[quoteright:180:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/barbara_havers_2177.jpg]]

->''You mean I get to be in charge of more than just choosing the right sandwiches?''

Lynley's stubborn, hot-tempered, socially-inept, working-class partner. Havers' rough background has left her bitter and broken, determined to hurt the world before it hurts her, and so she hides her compassionate heart behind sarcasm and anger. Although her education is far from elite, this has not prevented her from becoming a clever, dedicated detective in her own right. Havers is anything but unintelligent, and a life among London's working poor has given her street smarts and the ability to see things others don't. Her temper and smart mouth have got her into trouble more than once, however, and no one really wants to break through her mask... until she's assigned to a blue-blooded Detective Inspector who refuses to conform to any of her preconceptions.

!!! Profile

* ActionGirl: She has no problem chasing suspects, leaping fences, getting beat up, and otherwise throwing herself into the action.
* AdaptationalAttractiveness: Barbara Havers in the books is ugly and overweight. Sharon Small is... [[http://www.bbc.co.uk/drama/content/images/2007/01/10/haverscharlead_396x222.jpg not]]. Elizabeth George, author of the book series the show was based on, was initially upset about this, until Small won her over with her performance as Havers.
* BadassAdorable: She's really cute. And she can take you down before you can breathe twice.
* BerserkButton: Whatever you do, [[FriendToAllChildren don't hurt a child]], and ''don't hurt [[MostImportantPerson Thomas Lynley]]''.
* BreakTheCutie: She's already [[BrokenBird fairly broken]] when we meet her -- and then the storyline proceeds to abuse her more. A ''lot'' more.
* BritishAccents: Estuary English with an East London twist - more specifically, the dialect of the East End.
* BrokenBird: Barbara Havers pretty much had any semblance of optimism ground out of her with extreme prejudice after her [[CynicismCatalyst little brother's death from cancer]] tore her family apart and her parents succumbed to mental illness and lung disease right before her eyes. When combined with the fact that she has NoSocialSkills (which have left her alone and misunderstood her entire life), a HairTriggerTemper (ditto), and massive class resentment issues, it's no wonder the poor thing was on the verge of being kicked off the force, [[BunnyEarsLawyer Bunny Ears Detective]] or not, before she teamed up with Thomas Lynley. Although the show proceeds to further BreakTheCutie (and also [[BreakTheHaughty the haughty]] - her partner isn't spared), she [[DefrostingIceQueen softens and blossoms]] when paired with the one man who refuses to give up on her no matter how much [[JerkassFacade she tries to drive him away]]. The result is a far more likable - but still [[DeadpanSnarker snarky]] - Havers, in a rare case of a show helping put the bird back together again. [[TheWoobie Sort of.]]
* BunnyEarsLawyer: Havers should have been kicked off the force ''years'' ago - she was, in fact, on the verge of being sacked when she met Thomas Lynley, and was even [[spoiler:demoted]] once - because she has NoSocialSkills and a HairTriggerTemper. She's still around because she is, in fact, a frighteningly competent detective, and also the only officer on the force who can manage to survive as Thomas Lynley's partner for more than a month.
* CharacterDevelopment: As the show progresses, she gets on a much more even keel and generally becomes a lot more mature and levelheaded.
* TheConsigliere: Barbara is this to Lynley, despite her own fiery temper. Seen repeatedly over the series is Havers laying a calming hand on Lynley's arm and saying, "Sir? ''Sir!''" when he is about to lose his temper, [[TheConscience which serves to snap him out of it]]. She is so far the only person on the show to be able to do this with any sort of regular success.
* {{Deadpan Snarker}}/{{The Snark Knight}}: That poor, dear girl.
* DefectiveDetective: She has class resentment issues galore and is generally a hotbed of psychological problems that would have most psychiatrists tapdancing to get their hands on.
* DefrostingIceQueen: Done not by a LoveInterest, but by her MostImportantPerson.
* {{Deuteragonist}}: She gets nearly as much screen time devoted to her as her partner does, and has her own independent plot threads that only tangentially involve him.
* DistressedDamsel: Barbara seems to end up trapped with AxCrazy murderers far more often than Lynley. This trope seems to be less about Barbara's ability to take care of herself and more about the fact that [[BerserkButton putting her in danger]] is [[RuleOfDrama the fastest way to]] [[TheWoobie make Lynley suffer]].
* DamselOutOfDistress: She is ''not'' amused when people pull DistressedDamsel with her, and she makes sure they know it. She always inflicts significant damage and has in a few cases escaped just as Lynley got there.
* [[DontYouDarePityMe Don't You Dare Pity Me]]
* FairCop: Not that she's aware of it, and she wouldn't believe you if you told her.
* FakeBrit: Sharon Small, who played the working-class East London Havers, is Scottish.
* FieryRedhead: She is a redhead with a serious temper.
* FireForgedFriends: With Lynley.
* FriendToAllChildren: Between the two of them, she's easily the best with children, who tend to trust her when they won't trust anyone else.
* FriendlessBackground
* GoodIsNotNice: Barbara Havers is undoubtedly a truly ''good'' character, but, especially early on, she is not a particularly ''nice'' one.
* GreenEyes: Sharon Small has a particularly lovely pair, fortunately so because Barbara Havers is a SignificantGreenEyedRedhead.
* HairTriggerTemper: Just ask Lynley.
-->'''Lynley''': The woman is a minefield!
* HonestAdvisor: To Lynley.
* HopeIsScary: Barbara's flat-out terrified when she encounters the one man who won't give up on her, because she's afraid to believe that anyone could care about her. She gets over it... eventually.
* JerkassFacade: Her harsh, defensive shell is a very thin skin under which lies a tenderhearted and deeply insecure woman with NoSocialSkills.
* JustFriends: With Lynley. Allegedly.
* KnightInSourArmor: Barbara, whose nigh-impenetrable wall of cynicism hides a woman who absolutely wants to believe the best of everyone but has been betrayed far too many times.
* TheLancer: To Lynley.
* LivingEmotionalCrutch: To Lynley, who is, in turn, this for her as well.
* MessyHair: For the first four series, "blowsy" was probably the kindest adjective you could use to describe Barbara's hair on most days (although it's a good bit neater in the pilot). When her FanServicePack came along, her now-shoulder-length hair was a good deal sleeker (but still usually worn in a messy ponytail).
* NoSocialSkills: She ''will'' find a way to put her foot in her mouth, much to Lynley's continual dismay.
* NotAMorningPerson: As Lynley finds out when he drags her out before seven a.m. without letting her finish her coffee first.
* NotGoodWithPeople
* TheNotLoveInterest: To Lynley. She comes before everything and everyone else.
* ProgressivelyPrettier
* PuppyDogEyes
* RedheadedHero
* RedOni
* SarcasticDevotee
* ShipperOnDeck: Apparently for Lynley and Helen.
* SignificantGreenEyedRedhead
* SlidingScaleOfBeauty: Cool Average. While Creator/SharonSmall is truly lovely, a bad haircut and complete lack of fashion sense mean that Barbara Havers is utterly unremarkable until [[WhenSheSmiles she smiles]].
* StepfordSnarker: Though she is naturally sarcastic, she turns it UpToEleven to hide just how damaged and hurt she is.
* {{Tsundere}}: Type A, though she softens into a more balanced mix of type A and type B as the show goes on.
* UnresolvedSexualTension: With Lynley.
* TheWatson
* WhenSheSmiles: Just ''[[http://i986.photobucket.com/albums/ae341/curearainyday/sharonbarbarasmile.jpg look!]]''
* WorkingClassHero
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