BEWARE OF SPOILERS. SPOILER TROPES ARE UNMARKED.
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Sgt. Nicholas Angel
A 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.
- 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.
- Badass: Highly competent, good shot, expert fencer and physically fit.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!
- 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 a gun, but throws a can across the 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.
- 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 middleclass sense of bad sitcom humour.
- Only Sane Man: In Sandford. Everyone else is in denial, stupid or in on the conspiracy.
- Secular Hero: He's agnostic.
- 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?!
- Tall Poppy Syndrome: The reason for his promotion and transfer.
PC Daniel 'Danny' Butterman
"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.
Insp. Frank Butterman
Played By: Jim Broadbent
Sandford's jovial Chief Inspector and Danny's father.
- Big Bad Duumvirate: With Skinner.
- Cool Old Guy: He might seem like a nebbishly, lovable old grandpa but he reveals himself to be a highly competent policeman who earned his top-ranking position.
- A Father to His Men: Until they turn on him.
- 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.
DC Andy Cartwright & DS Andy Wainwright
Played By: Rafe Spall & Paddy Considine
An inseperable pair of Sanford policemen who take an instant dislike to Angel.
Sgt. Tony Fisher
Played By: Kevin Eldon
A 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.
- Jerkass: Especially to Angel, who 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 strategy in the finale.
- 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 Colman
The 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 appearences, she says many sexual innuendos.
PC Bob Walker
Played By: Karl Johnson
The 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.
Played By: Bill Bailey
Played By: Sampson
A 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
"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.
Prof. Tom Weaver
Prof. Tom Weaver
Played By: Edward Woodward
A professor and a citizen of Sandford. He was first met when Nicholas Angel is touring the Sandford Police Station. Tom was the Civilian Liaison for the Neighbourhood Watch Alliance.
- Casting Gag: Back in 1973 Woodward starred in The Wicker Man where a young no-noncence cop showed up in the quiet village and started to root out an dark mystery.
- 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.
- Oh, Crap: After being pinned down by an active sea mine, his last words are, 'Oh God, no.'
Played By: Billie Whitelaw
The wife of Bernard Cooper and together they run the hotel. She is the first Sandford citizen that Nicholas Angel meets.
- BFG: She wields one in the climax. It makes her beehive hairdo wobble.
Major Bernard Cooper
Played By: Eric Mason
Dr. Robin Hatcher
Played By: Stuart Wilson
Sandford's resident doctor. He is first met at the Neighbourhood Watch Alliance meeting.
Rev. Philip Shooter
Played By: Paul Freeman
The cleric of Sandford, and a member of the Neighbourhood Watch Alliance.
Michael 'Lurch' Armstrong
The very unintelligent henchman of Simon Skinner who works at Somerfield.
Played By: Anne Reid
Sandford's resident gardener and a member of the Neighbourhood Watch Alliance . Her gardening skills helped put Sandford on the map.
Played By: Adam Buxton
A journalist who often asked Nicholas to be interviewed with little success.
Played By: David Threlfall
A 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.
- 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.
- May-December Romance: With Eve Draper.
- 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.
A city council member from Sandford. She was playing the leading role of Juliet in the famous play "Romeo and Juliet" along with Martin Blower.
Played By: Alice Lowe
A 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 Off Screen: 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.
- The Unintelligible: They need to bring around the slightly less unintelligible Bob Walker to translate for Danny, who translates Bob for Nicholas.
Played By: George Merchant
A successful businessman in Sandford.
- 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'.
Played By: Elvis
A local swan who escapes from 'the castle' and proceeds to evade Sandford Police.
A 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.
Played By: Steve Coogan
The Inspector at Nicholas Angel's station.
Ch. Insp. Kenneth
The 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.
A member of 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.
- The Cameo: She's played by an uncredited Cate Blanchett.
- The Faceless: Due to her mask.
- Glasses Pull: Parodied with her pulling off her crime scene goggles, which has no effect due to the mask.