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.
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.
The producer of The Hour, a fellow journalist and long time 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.
Amazingly Embarrassing Parents: Bel is not happy when her mother, a divorced, dyed-blonde former showgirl, shows up at the office. Varda hits on everything male in the vicinity and believes her daughter is wasting her life as a news producer.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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'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.
Super OCD: There are hints that Randall has it, with his constant fiddling with the things on his desk, rearranging the clippings on the cork boards, and lining up all the thumbtacks in order. It's confirmed in the finale, when he finds about that his daughter was killed during the second World War. He slowly - and then frantically - tries to rearrange the things on his desk before he gives up and just sweeps everything away before breaking down.
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.
Your Cheating Heart: Marnie suffers through multiple affairs on Hector's side, but in Season Two, she has one of her own.
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.
Blackmail Is Such an Ugly Word: Randall does not blackmail Angus, he simply suggests that hiding one's sexuality and one's true nature must be so tiring. Angus is the one who chooses to do what Randall suggests.
Eleventh Hour Ranger: In the Season Two finale, it's Angus who confirms all the details of the nuclear dealings Cilenti is involved in. He helps the show reveal the truth on air, and later serves as Kiki's new PR agent.
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.
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.
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.
Domestic Abuse: The one behind the vicious beating of Kiki. It's shocking because she's also his mistress.
Driven to Suicide: By the exposure of his attack on Kiki on The Hour, and the knowledge that he's nearly gotten both Kiki and Hector killed with his foolishness.
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.