BEWARE OF SPOILERS. SPOILER TROPES ARE UNMARKED.
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Sgt. Nicholas Angel
Played By: Simon PeggA dedicated but humorless member of the Metropolitan Police Service sent to the small village of Sandford for making his colleagues look bad by comparison.
- The Ace: Deconstructed. He's so effective that he's sent to Sandford, and eventually learns not to take himself quite so seriously.
- Action Hero: Complete with flying through the air firing his gun.
- Actually Pretty Funny: Ends up bursting out laughing when Danny pretends to stab himself in the eye. And before that, when Danny states he'd make a good Muppet.
- Awesome McCool Name: The best part is, it isn't even a fake name. He's named for a real life Nick Angel, who was the head of sound design for the film. (As such, there's a bit of Insistent Terminology in play—the character is always referred to as Nicholas and never Nick, partly to keep up the "serious Ace" characterization but mostly to not step on the sound guy's toes.)
- Badass: Highly competent, good shot, expert fencer and physically fit.
- Broken Ace: An excellent cop but a socially inept man. This varies from the genuinely emotional (his breakup with Janine) to the comically overblown (the entire Met is glad to see him go).
- The Comically Serious: He's generally rather uptight, stoic and even-toned. This makes his more deadpan comments and lapses in his demeanour all the more funny.
- Cool Horse: Ends up on one during the finale.
- Cool Shades: Which he picks up immediately before his Roaring Rampage of Revenge. Proper '80s aviator sunglasses too, the kind you aren't allowed to wear if you're not going to kick ass and take names.
- Deadpan Snarker: comes out as he's being more open, a way to crack joke while maintaining his serious behaviour.
- Defrosting Ice King: Danny takes it upon himself to teach him how to 'switch off'.
- Doesn't Like Guns: Part of what makes him a good police officer is his desire for a peaceful resolution wherever possible. Doesn't mean he won't break out a shotgun and kick some ass when he needs to.
- Fire-Forged Friends: With the Andes, Wainwright in particular.
- Hero with Bad Publicity: Most of the villagers believe he is neurotic and insanely obsessed with the murders. Of course, it's just an act: they're all in on the murders to begin with! His actual skills as a police constable are recognized, however.
- I Just Want to Be Badass: Or as he puts it, good at what he does. Which he is, as Danny points out.
- Impaled Palm: He was stabbed through the hand by Santa Claus... a Santa Claus played by Peter Jackson.
- Improbable Aiming Skills: He's not only an excellent shot with most types of firearms, but throws a can across a field and hits a running thief.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: From the beginning, Angel is a very cold, emotionless and stoical man who takes his work very seriously. When he meets Danny, he loosens up a bit and learns how to have fun.
- Kicked Upstairs: His transfer is coupled with a promotion to Sergeant to disguise it as a reward. His attempts to refuse promotion to stay in London are ignored.
- Lightning Bruiser: He holds the Met record for the hundred yard dash, and is also an excellent fencer. Both of these come into play.
- Married to the Job: His main flaw. The crux of his Character Development is learning how to "turn off" and have fun.
- No Sense of Humor: Angel is pretty cold, and doesn't exactly go along with Sandford's deeply middle-class sense of bad sitcom humour. Downplayed in the sense that it's not that he doesn't have a sense of humor at all, and it's all in the context of having just made major changes in his life.
- Only Sane Man: In Sandford. Everyone else is in denial, stupid or in on the conspiracy.
- Reassigned to Antarctica: How his story begins.
- Secular Hero: He's agnostic. (It's possibly the only detail in the entire movie that isn't fleshed out.)
- Straight Man: To Danny in particular, but also to the entire village of Sandford.
- Surrounded by Idiots: How he feels in Sandford. His colleagues aren't total idiots, though, they've just been mildly brainwashed into complacency by Frank.Angel: I chased a suspect from the scene! Innocent people don't run!
Fisher: Maybe it was our old friend the Cactus Thief?
Thatcher: Oh yeah, he was a prickly customer, weren't he? [everyone laughs]
Angel: AM I GOING COMPLETELY MAD?!
- Tranquil Fury: His default mood during the final showdown.
- Tall Poppy Syndrome: The reason for his promotion and transfer.
PC Daniel 'Danny' Butterman
Played By: Nick Frost
"Is it true that there is a place in a man's head that, if you shoot it, it will blow up?"The son of Inspector Frank Butterman, and Nicholas Angel's new partner in Sandford.
- Action Hero: Well, he wants to be one because he wants to be like the characters from cop movies. His dream is realized in the finale.
- Badass: Not initially...
- Calling the Old Man Out: He points out to Frank he's gone Knight Templar in his efforts to make Sanford a perfect town, and even calls him out on his claims that he is doing it all for Danny's mother, stating that she "would kill herself all over again" if she had lived to see what he has become.
- Character Alignment: Neutral Good.
- Chekhov's Skill: The ketchup sachet trick.
- Disney Death: Or so it seems, until it's revealed in the epilogue that he survived.
- The Ditz: He's a born-and-raised resident of Sandford, so it comes with the territory.
- I Just Want to Be Badass: See Action Hero.
- Man Child: Danny is a big kid, basically. He's happy-go-lucky, friendly to everyone and doesn't seem to have a bad bone in his body.
- Missing Mom: His mother killed herself.
- Nice Guy: While definitely a tad dim, he's obviously well-meaning.
- Parrot Exposition: Tends toward this in regards to Angel's lessons—he has a shockingly good memory for it, too!
- Sweet Tooth: Like his father, he has a fondness for ice cream.
- Taking the Bullet: For Angel; subverted in that he survives.
Insp. Frank Butterman
Played By: Jim BroadbentSandford's jovial Chief Inspector and Danny's father.
- Big Bad Duumvirate: With Skinner.
- Cool and Unusual Punishment: Punishes his officers (or at least Danny) for poor behaviour by forcing them to treat the rest of the station to dessert foods.
- Cool Old Guy: He might seem like a nebbish, lovable old grandpa but he reveals himself to be a highly competent policeman who earned his top-ranking position.
- Dirty Cop: In the sense that Lawful has violently usurped Good within him.
- A Father to His Men: Until they turn on him.
- The Man Behind the Man: Skinner is initially suspected as the conspiracy mastermind until Frank's involvement and leadership is revealed.
- Love Makes You Evil: After his wife Irene commits suicide, Frank loses it and starts the conspiracy that drives the plot, all out of love for Irene.
- Knight Templar: To him, Murder Is the Best Solution to keep Sanford the perfect village.
- Principles Zealot: Again, he's holding onto something well beyond what most people would consider sane and healthy.
- Sanity Slippage: See Villainous Breakdown.
- Sweet Tooth: Mentions a fondness for ice cream early on, and can be seen digging in to a bowl when Nick returns to Sandford.
- To Be Lawful or Good: His wife's suicide drove him to choose a twisted version of lawful above all else.
- Villainous Breakdown: A minor one when the Sandford police turn on him.Frank: You're... You're not seriously going to believe this man, are you!? ARE YOU!? HE ISN'T EVEN FROM 'ROUND 'ERE!! YOU INCOMPETENT FLATFOOTS!!
- Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: Everything he did was for his dead wife.
DC Andy Cartwright & DS Andy Wainwright
Played By: Rafe Spall & Paddy ConsidineAn inseparable pair of detectives of the Sandford police who take an instant dislike to Angel.
- Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: As with the rest of the SPD, they're somehow well-versed in riot gear use and tactics.
- Bash Brothers: They fight together as a team in the finale.
- Cool Shades: Proper Cop 'Shades, though of a lesser caliber than Angel's.
- Fire-Forged Friends: Both of them with Angel, Wainwright in particular.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: With each other, of course.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: They warm up to Angel later.
- Man Children: They behave more like immature, rowdy high school students than police officers.
- One Steve Limit: Averted. Both of them are partnered together and share the same first name.
- Pornstache: Andy Wainwright. It's noted in commentary that their characterization is "a couple of boys playing cops", and part of that is the proper Cop Mustache.
- Those Two Guys: They are always seen together.
Sgt. Tony Fisher
Played By: Kevin EldonA police officer in the Sandford Police Service. He is first met when PC Nicholas Angel arrives in Sandford and is touring the Sandford Police Station. Throughout most of his appearances, he asks Nicholas for advice on what should be done.
- Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Let's make one thing clear—Sgt. Fisher is the last person on the force you'd expect to ever describe as a badass of any sort. Then the final battle happens.
- Captain Obvious: It's plainly clear that his only talent is explaining things, and not very well.
- Jerkass: Especially to Angel, whom he takes an instant dislike to. Fisher fears that Angel will take his job, possibly because he's aware of how incompetent he truly is.
- The Strategist: Reveals a talent for riot tactics in the final battle. Turns out, he has two talents.
- What He Said: He 'asks' Angel what he 'reckons' and then acts like he's agreeing instead of stealing.
PC Doris Thatcher
Played By: Olivia ColmanThe only female police officer in the Sandford Police Service. She is first met when Sgt. Nicholas Angel arrives in Sandford and is touring the Sandford Police Station. Throughout all of her appearances, she says many sexual innuendos.
- Action Girl: In the finale.
- Boobs of Steel: She takes levels of badass in the final battle, hitting the shit out of Tina and she's got a noble blessing.
- Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: With the rest of the SPD in the finale.
- Double Entendre: Constantly.
- Hurricane of Puns: She's full of these. Proper British laugh riot, this lady.
- Interplay of Sex and Violence:Doris: Nothing like a little girl on girl!
- The Smurfette Principle: She is the only policewoman in Sandford. True, Danny saw her bra.
PC Bob Walker
Played By: Karl JohnsonThe oldest police officer in the Sandford Police Service. He is first met when Nicholas Angel arrives in Sandford and is touring the Sandford Police Station. Throughout all of his appearances, he speaks in an inaudible mumbling sound and always has his dog, Saxon, with him.
- Dirty Old Man: The only time he utters actual words, they're, 'tits' and 'cocks'.
- Jaded Washout: Seems spectacularly apathetic. One fan explanation is that he remembers what the town used to be like, and/or has some idea of what the NWA has been up to.
- The Unintelligible: His accent is so thick it's almost impossible for non-locals to understand him. Danny has to translate for Nicolas's benefit on more than one occasion, until the end.
- Those Two Guys: With Saxon.
Played By: Bill BaileyA pair of twins who respectively work the night and day shifts as desk sergeants at the Standford Police Station.
Played By: SampsonA dog in the Sandford Police Service. He is first met when Nicholas Angel arrives in Sandford and is touring the Sandford Police Station. He is constantly with PC Bob Walker, and is always ordered to patrol areas.
Neighborhood Watch Alliance
Played By: Timothy Dalton
"I'm Simon Skinner, and I run the local Supermarché. Stop in and see me some time. My discounts are criminal! Catch me later!"The manager of Sandford's supermarket, Somerfield. He is a member of the Neighbourhood Watch Alliance and has won several trophies for fun-running events.
- Affably Evil: He's a fun-running champion and enjoys a cordial relationship with his staff and customers.
- Arch-Enemy: To Angel. Frank is the Bigger Bad, but Skinner is a much more personal enemy to Angel.
- Badass: He goes toe-to-toe with the much younger, combat-trained Angel and nearly beats him.
- Big Bad Duumvirate: With the N.W.A.
- Blood Knight: He's very excited to fight Angel and the police for— service. Until he starts losing.Skinner: My, my. Here come the Fuzz.
- Cool Car: A Jag.
- Corrupt Corporate Executive: Averted, actually. He might be an evil murderer, but he runs his supermarket in a pretty clean way, business-wise.
- Devil in Plain Sight/Obviously Evil: C'mon, how can you not suspect this guy?
- Embarrassing Nickname: "Sissy", which comes from him attending ballet classes in his youth.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: A subtle one. He slips on a model van sporting the logo of his own supermarket and gets impaled on the spire of a model of the church, which he previously used to kill someone.
- Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: A rare, non-fatal case.
- Punctuated Pounding: "Get! Out! Of my! Village!"
Prof. Tom Weaver
Prof. Tom Weaver
Played By: Edward WoodwardA professor and a citizen of Sandford. He is first met when Nicholas Angel is touring the Sandford Police Station. Tom is the Civilian Liaison for the Neighbourhood Watch Alliance.
- Casting Gag: Back in 1973 Woodward starred in The Wicker Man where a young no-nonsense cop showed up in the quiet village and started to root out an dark mystery.
- Big Brother Is Watching: Serves as Sandford's surveillance.
- Dragon Their Feet: He turns up after the N.W.A. have all been arrested, and subsequently he's the only member to be killed.
- Karma Houdini: An odd variety, in that Weaver is the only villain who is actually killed off at the end. However, by dying, he avoids having to face justice for his crimes, which is a fate all his peers must face.
- Karmic Death: On the other hand, he still gets blown up by a mine.
- Not-So-Harmless Villain: Sandford PD completely forgets him and he almost kills Danny.
- Oh Crap!: After being pinned down by an active sea mine, his last words are, "Oh God, no."
- Tagalong Kid: Is treated as ornamentation by Sandford PD; he's more involved than they realize.
Played By: Billie WhitelawThe wife of Bernard Cooper; together they run the hotel. She is the first Sandford citizen that Nicholas Angel meets.
Major Bernard Cooper
Played By: Eric MasonJoyce Cooper's husband.
Dr. Robin Hatcher
Played By: Stuart WilsonSandford's resident doctor. He is first met at the Neighbourhood Watch Alliance meeting.
Rev. Philip Shooter
Played By: Paul FreemanThe cleric of Sandford, and a member of the Neighbourhood Watch Alliance.
- Badass Preacher: He actually manages to shoot Angel.
- Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Shooter isn't the kindly Reverend he pretends to be.
- Shut Up, Kirk!: When Angel delivers a short speech to Shooter, the good Reverend responds, "Fuck off, Grasshopper!"
- Sinister Minister: Due to being a member of the N.W.A.
Michael 'Lurch' Armstrong
Played By: Rory McCannThe very unintelligent henchman of Simon Skinner who works at Somerfield.
- Catchphrase: "Yarp."
- And apparently: "Narp."
- Dumb Muscle: His role for the N.W.A.
- The Brute: For the N.W.A, and Skinner in particular.
- Man Child/Psychopathic Manchild: He's willing to kill, but gets distracted by a cuddly monkey.Danny: Dad says he's got the mind of a child.
- The Juggernaut: Lurch is massive and nigh unstoppable.
- Unskilled, but Strong: He doesn't display much fighting aptitude, but is a towering mass of muscle.
Played By: Anne ReidSandford's resident gardener and a member of the Neighbourhood Watch Alliance. Her gardening skills helped put Sandford on the map.
Played By: Adam BuxtonA journalist who often asks Nicholas to be interviewed, with little success.
- Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: By a piece of a church, which falls on his head and stays embedded in his upper body.
- Intrepid Reporter: Clearly would like to be this, and so reports on Sandford with considerable zeal.
- Meaningful Name: A messenger with a message for Angel and/or the town in general.
- Rouge Angles of Satin: His grasp of spelling is amazingly awful, especially for a reporter. In fact, he even writes Angel's name as Angle. It's why the N.W.A. kill him.
- Verbal Tic: "Hi-hi!"
- Your Head Asplode: A piece of the church roof falls on him, splattering his head.
Played By: David ThrelfallA respected Solicitor from Sandford. He was playing the leading role of Romeo in the famous play Romeo and Juliet along with Eve Draper.
- Amoral Attorney: We never see him practice law, but he's perfectly fine with going way over the speed limit.
- Bad Bad Acting: During the Romeo & Juliet production. Except when it comes to kissing Eve Draper.
- Camp Straight: Blower acts rather effeminate and camp, but he's carrying on an affair with Eve Draper.
- Cool Car: With which he exceeds the speed limit.
- Jerkass: Basically every irritating motorist rolled up into one.
- May-December Romance: With Eve Draper.
- Meaningful Name: He blows a lot of hot air...
- Large Ham: During the play.
- Off with His Head!: How he ends up.
- Slimeball: His attempts at 'charm'. It's a wonder he managed to start an affair with Eve Draper in the first place. Of course, she didn't seem to be one of Sandford's leading lights (in intellect, or perception).
- Your Cheating Heart: He was seemingly married, but was having a sordid affair with Eve Draper. Mind, Mrs. Draper herself is apparently cheating him, if the line about having four alibis is any indication.
Played By: Lucy PunchA city council member from Sandford. She was playing the leading role of Juliet in the famous play Romeo and Juliet along with Martin Blower.
- Annoying Laugh: The reason she's killed, in addition to being a terrible actress and having an affair with Martin Blower.
- Bad Bad Acting: During the Romeo & Juliet production.
- The Ditz: Intelligence is not her strong suit.
- May-December Romance: With Martin Blower. She tends to favour the older gentleman in general.Danny: Marcus Carter’s big brother said he’d fingered her up the duck pond.
- Meaningful Name: Both a reference to Evelyn Draper in Play Misty for Me, and a play on eavesdropper.
Played By: Alice Lowe
Played By: David BradleyA farmer in Sandford. Nicholas Angel, Danny Butterman, Bob Walker, and Saxon are called to his house when James Reaper complains that he has been cutting hedges that don't belong to him.
- Collector of the Strange: He's collected hundreds of guns of all range and sizes, not to mention an old sea mine.
- Killed Offscreen: Nicholas gives him a citation for cutting other people's hedges and he turns up later on with the rest of the dead bodies that the NWA has killed.
- Meaningful Name: Mr. Webley has a massive collection of guns, fitting for someone named after a revolver.
- More Dakka: So much so, that they have their own theme on the soundtrack. ("Lethal Fuzz", which samples from Lethal Weapon trailers.)
- The Unintelligible: They need to bring around the slightly less unintelligible Bob Walker to translate for Danny, who translates Bob for Nicholas.
Played By: Ron CookA successful businessman in Sandford.
- Big Fancy House: Which everyone hates and why he is killed.
- Can't Hold His Liquor: Gets incredibly drunk after an "accidental death" in the town, forcing Nick and Danny to take him home, and it helps the N.W.A. make his death look like a drunken attempt at cooking gone wrong.
- Also, since the victims of the "accidental deaths" are two close friends of his, his overdrinking in the pub could be seen as a result of him drowning his sorrows.
- Jerkass: Double-parks his big-ass Range Rover in the supermarket car-park without a care in the world, and built a ridiculously ostentatious house.
- Kill It with Fire: One of the NWA members knock him out and blow up his house with him in it, making it look like an accident.
- Meaningful Name: He's a rich 'merchant'.
- Stealth Pun: He got rich through kitchen appliances; he's a fridge magnate (magnet).
Played By: Elvis
(honk)A local swan who escapes from 'the castle' and proceeds to evade Sandford Police.
- Badass: It can break a man's arm. Which is a case of Truth in Television, in fact.
- Chekhov's Boomerang: It keeps on coming back.
- Danger Takes A Back Seat: In the finale, when it takes down Frank.
- Running Gag: Its continual evasion of the Sanford Police Department, and the repeated fact that a swan can break a man's arm.
- Swans A-Swimming: Sandford's resident swan, it's apparently not content with looking graceful in the castle pond.
Played By: Martin FreemanA member of the Metropolitan Police Service. He calls Nicholas Angel into his office to inform him of his recent promotion to Sergeant, as well as his transfer.
- The Cameo: For Martin Freeman, who had a previous cameo in Shaun of the Dead and has a supporting role in The World's End.
- Desk Jockey: The Sergeant is an admitted Desk Jockey, and he's actually rather proud of it.
- Jerkass: He's a smarmy prick to Nicholas pretty much from the get-go.
- Large Ham: You can tell Martin Freeman is trying to make the most of his screentime.
- No Name Given: He's only known as 'Sergeant'.
Played By: Steve CooganThe Inspector at Nicholas Angel's station.
Ch. Insp. Kenneth
Played By: Bill NighyThe Chief Inspector of the Metropolitan Police Service. He is called into the office by the Met Inspector and the Met Sergeant in order to convince Nicholas Angel that he is indeed being transferred.
- Brutal Honesty: While the Sergeant and Inspector tip-toe around the issue, Kenneth comes right out and tells Nick the reason he's being 'promoted'.
- The Cameo: For regular Wright alumni, Bill Nighy.
- Da Chief: Of London, no less.
- Jerkass: He's more directly nasty to Angel than the Met Inspector or Sergeant.
- Screw the Rules, I Make Them!: As he explains to Angel:Angel: You can't just make someone disappear!
Chief Inspector: Yes, I can. I'm the Chief Inspector.
Played By: Cate BlanchettA crime scene investigator for the Metropolitan Police Service and Nicholas Angel's ex-girlfriend. When he gets transferred to Sandford, he goes to her to inform her. There, she attempts to connect with Nicholas, but he instead focuses on their job.