Characters / The Hour

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    The Hour Production Team 

Freddie Lyon (Ben Whishaw)

Freddie is an idealistic BBC journalist who believes in investigative objective journalism. He is part of the original production team formed for The Hour (along with Bel, Lix, and Isaac) and moves over to the show from their previous positions in the radio department. He's originally given the Home Affairs desk rather than the role of producer or presenter that he hoped for, but he slowly works his way into on-camera presentation. At the end of Season One, he leaves the country for his own safety after meddling in Cold War spy secrets before coming back as a Co-Presenter for Season Two with a wife in tow. At the end of Season Two, his fate is ambiguous, having been brutally beaten by club owner Rafael Cilenti.

  • Affectionate Nickname: Calls Bel "Moneypenny", and she calls him "James" in return. Amusingly enough, Ben Whishaw went on to play Q in Skyfall which reintroduced both Moneypenny and Q to the Bond franchise.
  • Blitz Evacuees: Freddie was sent away during World War II and stayed with the Elms family, employers of his mother, which is how he met Ruth Elms.
  • Fourth Date Marriage: With Camille. Freddie was in France for a few months at most.
  • Going for the Big Scoop
  • The Hero
  • Intrepid Reporter: Freddie's job is to be a researcher but he often continues to research cases he's been told (or at least strongly encouraged) to drop.
  • Just Friends: With Bel, or so they claim. They finally stop denying it in Season Two.
  • Locked Out of the Loop: No one bothered to tell him his interview in the first episode was for the Home Affairs desk.
  • Passed-Over Promotion: Freddie doesn't manage to get either the producer role (which goes to the more level-headed Bel) or the presenter role (which goes to the more tv-friendly Hector). He's stuck in what he considers to be a minor background role.
  • Relationship Upgrade: With Bel at the end of Season Two.
  • Will They or Won't They?: With Bel.

Bel Rowley (Romola Garai)

The producer of The Hour, a fellow journalist and longtime friend of Freddie. Bel feels the need to prove herself in the position despite her gender, constantly being told by the BBC higher ups that she's only gotten the position because she's "easy to control". Despite being quite young for a producer, Bel has a lot of experience in journalism and serves as somewhat of a confidante and mentor to Hector.

Hector Madden (Dominic West)

  • Aww, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other: Hector's relationship with Marnie wavers due to his affairs, PTSD, and her dissatisfaction with being a housewife, but ultimately, they prove themselves to be this trope.
  • The Big Guy: If someone needs a charm offensive or just an actual offensive, Hector's your man.
  • Boarding School: Went to one in his youth.
  • The Charmer: His main weapon when it comes to getting jobs as well as the ladies.
  • Chick Magnet
  • Clear Their Name: Accused of abuse in Season Two.
  • I Owe You My Life: Commander Stern saved Hector's life back in the War. In return Hector tries to stop him being exposed on The Hour until he refuses to give Hector any more of the photos he gained in the raid which almost cost Hector's reputation.
  • Nepotism: Marnie's father pulls strings to get Hector the presenter's job.
  • Slave to PR
  • Shell-Shocked Veteran: Suffers from PTSD after his service in WWII.
  • Your Cheating Heart: Cheats on Marnie with Bel in Season One and Kiki in Season Two. Marnie is fully aware of this and tells Bel she's the latest in a long line of women Hector's cheated on her with.
  • Working with the Ex: With Bel in Season Two.

Lix Storm (Anna Chancellor)

An experienced journalist and photographer whose career spans back to the Spanish Civil War and World War 2. Lix serves as The Hour's resident party girl and voice of reason, dispensing advice and whiskey to the younger journalists. Has a fling with Freddie in Season One. In Season Two, her past comes to light with the return of Randall Brown to England.

  • Ambiguously Bi: Lix dresses quite masculine for the 1950's and flirts with a waitress in a bar. She also has a fling with Freddie and a past with Randall.
  • Brainy Brunette: "Darling, I can recite the names of every minister, Prime Minister, and President in my sleep."
  • Brainy Specs
  • Cool Big Sis: To Bel, sharing whiskey, advice, and several pairs of nylons.
  • Family Versus Career A major part of why she gave her daughter up for adoption; Lix wasn't going to raise a child in a war zone, nor would she have been accepted back in England as an unmarried woman with a baby.
  • Give Him a Normal Life: Lix and Randall's big secret - she had a child in Spain during the Spanish Civil War and gave her up for adoption because he left and she couldn't raise a baby on her own.
  • Hard-Drinking Party Girl: And boy, can she can hold her booze.
  • Held Gaze: With Randall, frequently.
  • Known Only by Their Nickname: Unless you'd paid attention during one of Bel's throwaway lines during episode 1, you'd never know Lix's full name is actually "Alexis".
  • The Lad-ette
  • The Smart Guy: Speaks numerous languages (though Farsi isn't one of them) and if there's a question about a source, Lix is the solution.
  • Team Mom: Lix treats the rest of the journalists as if they were her squabbling children. Which makes her backstory of the daughter she gave up for adoption doubly tragic.
  • Shipper on Deck: For Freddie and Bel.
  • Stepford Smiler: Nothing ever seems to ruffle Lix... except for Randall unearthing the daughter she gave up for adoption in Spain. Stoic, badass Lix ends up crying in toilets and lifts where no one can see her.
  • Working with the Ex: With Randall.

Sissy Cooper (Lisa Greenwood)

Bel's secretary, who lies about her age to get a better position than in the steno pool. She has been dating a Nigerian doctor named Sey, and the ensuing racial tensions are a major part of her storyline in Season Two.

  • The Heart
  • I Have No Daughter: Sissy confesses to Isaac that her father refused to give her away at her wedding because he disapproves of Sey.
  • Maligned Mixed Marriage: Started dating Sey Ola in Season One. She's white, he's black, it's 1950s Britain. They get married in Season Two but her father refuses to give her away and they struggle to find witnesses on the street.
  • Oblivious to Love: Seems unaware of Isaac's attraction to her. Eventually, in Season Two, she gets more of a clue.
  • Plucky Office Girl

Isaac Wengrow (Joshua McGuire)

Freddie's nerdish, bespectacled assistant. Isaac wants to write plays and sketches for tv and radio, and in Season Two, is actually getting one produced. He's been carrying a torch for Sissy since the moment he met her.

Clarence Fendley (Anton Lesser)

Head of News at the BBC for Season One. Clarence has a very paternal relationship with Bel and Freddie, and tries to encourage them without stepping on any governmental toes.

Randall Brown (Peter Capaldi)

Clarence's replacement, he becomes Head of News in Season Two. Randall has a storied career in journalism and has been heading up the BBC's Paris bureau for the past few years. He returns to London at Freddie's request - and to finish some very personal business with Lix.

    Other Major Characters 

Marnie Madden (Oona Chaplin)

Hector's long-suffering wife, whom we believe in Season One to be a stereotypical '50's homemaker. She proves herself to be more than a match for not only Hector, but the women he's been sleeping around on her with. In Season Two, she develops a cooking show for rival network ITV.

Angus McCain (Julian Rhind-Tutt)

Angus is a slightly shady government official, working at the highest levels of power in Whitehall. In the first season, he is a more malevolent figure, shutting down all inquiry into the conspiracy surrounding the Elmses and the Soviet spies. In the second season, he serves mainly as a foil to Hector and an ally for the Hour.

Camille Mettier (Lizzie Brocheré)

Shows up in Season Two as Freddie's new wife. She is a card-carrying bohemian and anarchist, reading Ginsburg with Freddie and holding political meetings at her home.

Sey Ola (Adetomiwa Edun)

A Nigerian-born doctor who moves to England. He is dating Sissy Cooper, which causes much trouble for them in the neighborhood.

  • Maligned Mixed Marriage: As previously mentioned, he started dating Sissy Cooper in Season One. She's white, he's black, it's 1950s Britain. They get married in Season Two but her father refuses to give her away and they struggle to find witnesses on the street.
  • Nice Guy

Kiki Delaine (Hannah Tointon)

Star at El Paradis, who has a fling with Hector in Season Two with far-reaching consequences. Kiki is being extorted by Cilenti to act as a honey trap for politicians and celebrities, and she has another threat closer to home in Commander Stern.

Commander Laurence "Laurie" Stern (Peter Sullivan)

A high-ranking police officer for Scotland Yard, and an old army buddy of Hector's. Laurie saved Hector's life in Italy, and Hector has owed him ever since. He's also having a secret relationship with Kiki.

Ruth Elms (Vanessa Kirby)

A childhood friend of Freddie's, whose parents took him in during the Blitz. When she gets in over her head with an impending marriage and a mysterious murder, she goes to Freddie with the story. Ruth is killed before she can reveal everything.