Captain Nick MedhurstCaptain Nick Medhurst, ATO, is the wise-cracking bomb disposal expert who does the long walk.
Once you've stared at a few dozen IEDs, you have to work fairly hard to get your kicks so he's always looking for new things and new experiences. Hence his inability to settle down with one woman, and his love of gourmet food and fine booze.
- The Ace: "Ten bombs in one day!" says the headlines.
- Broken Ace: As well as he hides it, Nick clearly has deep issues with relationships and trusting people in general.
- Anger Born of Worry: If Nick ever loses his temper with the team, odds are it's because of this. Best shown in series 1 episode 2, when Simon steps off the cleared zone, and Nick reads him the Riot Act;Nick: Oh, and you discovered [a plant] wasn't a booby trap because an IED didn't blow both your legs off and rip great fucking CHUNKS out of the rest of the team! You know why they're called booby traps, Simon?! [Simon starts to speak] Shut up! They're called booby traps because they get trodden on by tits, like you! If you do not stay on the path, you will get blown to Shittingdom come and we will need two dozen body-bags to ship you back to a fiancée who is bafflingly in love with someone with fewer brain cells than BOLLOCKS! [punches Simon in the shoulder] Get your shit together, lance corporal, and stop acting like a useless fucking geriatric - another mistake like this could invoke considerably more than a gigantic bollocking.
- An Arm and a Leg: His luck finally runs out when disarming an IED, and he loses a leg in the explosion, putting him out of service.
- The Captain: Both the rank and a rare non-naval example of the trope, given the small team he leads and their dangerous occupation.
- Deadpan Snarker
- Gentleman Snarker: Upper class and snarky.
- Handsome Lech
- Ladykiller in Love: He develops genuine feelings for Mary and says, in the Series 3 premiere, that he wants to make a proper effort with her.
- The Leader
- Nerves of Steel: He has to have them as a serving ATO.
- O.O.C. Is Serious Business: Whenever Nick stops snarking and becomes totally serious (as in series 2 episode 4, when he finds out Achmed's brought a real car bomb into the base, rather than a fake one), it's a sign that the situation is very bad indeed.
- Platonic Life-Partners: With Bird.
- Put on a Bus: Out of action as a result of losing a limb.
Corporal Christian "Millsy" MillsCorporal Christian Mills was Nick's Number Two - his right hand man.
He just wanted to do a good job, and regularly succeeded in this as he's diligent and smart - well, smart in that he can remember stuff. Lots of stuff. He knows which snack bar comes with which ration pack - and all the allowable two letter words in Scrabble. He's not so smart in knowing when to say what he knows. And so he was often on the receiving end of Nick's withering sarcasm, but bounced back fast.
- Berserk Button: Millsy is VERY protective of his 14 year old sister, as local pervert Mac learns the hard way when he steals a picture of her.
- Cannot Tell a Lie
- The Lancer
- The Reliable One
- The Spock
- Only Sane Man
Corporal Lynda BirdCorporal Lynda Bird, the ECM (Electronic Counter Measures) operator, just wants to be one of the lads. And she pretty much is - she can go toe-to-toe with the rest of her team when it comes to swearing or fighting. Sharp-tongued and full of common sense, she doesn't suffer fools gladly, which is a pity given her close proximity to so many. From Portsmouth, so joining the Army was a small rebellionnote .
- Action Girl: She's one of the team and goes out on missions and engages in firefights alongside the lads - and the odd fistfight with the lads.
- Communications Officer: She's the team's ECM (Electronic Countermeasures) specialist, and she'll usually be the one to radio in to base when the team are engaged in a firefight.
- Digging Yourself Deeper: A shockingly bad flirt, as revealed when she's introduced to Captain Parikh and can first barely form an intelligible sentence, and then proceeds to put her foot in her mouth repeatedly.
- Mac: Jesus...Nick: I know. Worst flirt ever.
- The Lad-ette: Of The Squadette variety.
- Platonic Life-Partners: With Nick.
- The Reliable One
- Why Did It Have To Be Rats?: Seemingly her worst fear (though she won't admit it), and she takes delight in shooting the little blighters.
Corporal Gordon "Towerblock" HouseNick's new number 2 knows his stuff and isn't afraid to say so.
Working class and fresh out of training, this new recruit has a massive classist chip on his shoulder. A couple of days out in the field quickly show him the true meaning of 'us' and 'them'.
A butcher's son from Armley, he's proud of his Yorkshire heritage. He's into machinery and stuff that goes bang.
- Action Dad: His profile shows that he has a young child back home.
- Insistent Terminology: His daughter is only ever referred to as "the nipper".
- The Lancer: To Nick; a rough, working class recruit to Nick's posh, upper class officer.
- Number Two: Nick's second in command, hand-picked because of his performance in training.
- Oop North: From Leeds, "People's Republic of Yorkshire". So proud is Towerblock of his Yorkshire heritage that he once punched Mac in the face for suggesting that even though he's from the North he's still an "English poof".
Lance-Corporal Simon LansleyLance Corporal Simon Lansley has one job: to protect Nick, the bomb guy. He's good at that. But he has bigger ambitions: to apply to Sandhurst and become an officer. But he is 'not officer material' according to his regiment.
His dealings with Mac and Rocket show he doesn't have the social or leadership skills for that sort of promotion. This hasn't stopped him doing tons of courses to try to look good. If there was a course in underwater knife fighting, he'd be in a wetsuit like a shot.
Previously engaged but now single, he lives in Braintree.
- Abhorrent Admirer: Toward Ellen, which finally causes her to call him out for it in Series 3 Episode 5 when Bird eggs him on to confess.
- The Chew Toy
- Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: As Nick points out in series 2, Simon saves his life twice from attacking Taliban and when Bluestone 42 is ambushed at night Simon's response to enemies a 100 metres away in the treeline is to order Mac and Rocket to fix bayonets and follow him.
- The Friend Nobody Likes: The team like having him around, but mainly to make fun of him. His personality tends to rub people the wrong way.
- Small Name, Big Ego
Private Kevin "Mac" McDowellPrivate Kevin McDowell is from the East End of Glasgow. He has an encyclopaedic knowledge of filth and nonsense.
Mac is smarter than he's often given credit for, even though he doesn't know when to keep his mouth shut. He and Rocket are tasked to protect Nick as he's such a high-value asset.
- Brave Scot
- I Call Him "Mr. Happy": Or, in this case, Andy McNab. Because he's seen so much active service.Rocket: I thought it was because he's so hard to find!Bird: I thought it was because he comes out with bollocks.
Bird: If you call [the robot] Arthur one more time, you might find that Andy McNab has been cut off behind enemy lines.Mac: That's when Andy's at his strongest. He'll live off nuts and berries.Simon: That doesn't make any fucking sense.
- The metaphor carries on into rather weird territory.
Bird: Andy McNab is the name of Mac's cock.Mary: Why, because it's been out of action for years?
- Eventually even Mary gets into snarking about that.
- Lovable Sex Maniac: When told by Rocket to "go fuck [him]self," Mac's immediate response was "I'm tryin' to!" A moment later, having been introduced to Mary (the new chaplain), he shamelessly excused himself with "I have to go and see a man about a wank."
- The Pig Pen: One time winner of the Jockstrap of Joy, the award for the filthiest bastard on base, for getting crabs from a pair of twins while back home on leave. As it turns out, he was lying about having slept with the twins, and instead caught crabs from sharing a towel with his dad.
- Those Two Guys: With Rocket.
- Violent Glaswegian
Private Euan "Rocket" ArmstrongPrivate Euan Armstrong is from Pilton, Edinburgh.
He looks up to Mac and, as Rocket is not the sharpest bayonet in the drawer, Mac constantly takes advantage of this. He lives with his hot mum and his big brother back home. He left school at sixteen and joined the Army on the basis that you get free food, a uniform, and a gun - what's not to like?
- The Fool: Remember above when he joined the army for the gun? He didn't know they don't let you keep it.
- Friend to All Living Things: Well, to rats at least.
- Obsessed with Food
- Those Two Guys: With Mac
Captain Ellen BestCpt Ellen Best is focussed, professional and all about self-improvement, which is a shame given her team who are tired, jaded and all about mucking about.
She went to Sandhurst after realising that management consultancy in the City wasnt for her.
- Benevolent Boss: Though not in the same way as Nick. While she's determined to push them to achieve their full potential, she's personable and does what she can to make life good.
- The Captain
- Go-Getter Girl: She's ambitious, energetic and pushes herself and others. Her enthusiastic, active approach is a huge contrast to Nick. She tries and fails to get the team enthused about routine checks, procedures and training; Nick was happy to let them all muck around. She impresses even Bird, however, with her machine-like energy in the jerry can race.
- Misplaced Kindergarten Teacher: The way she talks to the team in briefings sounds like a primary school classroom.
Lieutenant-Colonel Philip SmithLieutenant Colonel Philip Smith has been to more places and seen more things than he would care to remember.
As the commander of the entire Battlegroup, he's based at a nearby Forward Operating Base, but somehow he's never far away when he's required. Or when he's definitely not required. As he reaches the end of his career in the Army, he has realised that he can conduct himself however he likes. So he does.
- Berserk Button: His tulips, referred to as his 'girls'. A rat caught scurrying around in them is summarily executed, and when some militants opening fire at them was enough to make him leap out of cover and return fire with a shotgun.
- Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Eccentric, something of a prankster, he is nevertheless a decent field commander.
- The Chessmaster: Expert at manipulation. Poor Towerblock ends up fixing up an iPod player, rollbars, and other modifications to the Lieutenant Colonel's Land Rover without realising he's being manipulated into doing so.
- Lieutenant Colonel Badass: Don't let his middle age and love of creature comforts fool you; the Lieutenant Colonel still has the action prowess to cling to the side of a moving truck, climb a wall, zip-wire across to his office, land safely from a four metre drop, plant the key, and be back to the bemused padre in less than two minutes, without breaking a sweat. He also breaks out a shotgun in defence of his tulips.
- Officer and a Gentleman: Implied to be of a public school background; typical Rupert (no joke - his middle name is in fact Rupert.)
- The Prankster
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Given that he bends the rules for his own benefit routinely, he's rather lenient with Bluestone 42 as well.
- Weapon of Choice: A shotgun; he uses it once to return fire when the compound is attacked; and again in Series 3 to blast an invading Talib in the stomach before delivering a cool Bond One-Liner.Lieutenant-Colonel: Not today thank you...
Rev (Major) Mary GreenstockMary is the padre who is desperate to do a good job, fit in and keep up with the banter, but is pretty sure she's failing at every turn. She's actually doing fine, although no-one's going to tell her that.
She gives Bluestone 42 a lot of her time, mainly because she enjoys the attention from Nick, who's tall, good-looking and brave. She's from a Lincolnshire village.
- Belligerent Sexual Tension: Increasingly with Nick.
- Good Shepherd: Befitting of a chaplain, Mary is a very caring and kind individual, and attentive to the spiritual and emotional needs of her comrades, even if she's not always impressed with their juvenile antics.
- Put on a Bus: She transferred very abruptly, with no goodbyes, apparently over her having had sex with Nick.
- Team Mom
- The Vicar: The team are somewhat taken aback that the new padre is a young, attractive woman. As a reverend, she fits the trendy liberal vicar trope.
Lance Corporal Jasmine JaspersJasmine is a medic whos seen some really grim things. And found them very funny.
Unshockable, unflappable, Jasmine loves to be in the thick of the action.
- Black Comedy/Gallows Humour: An expert at this. When Bird tells her that Nick has been unconscious for five minutes (a dangerous amount of time to be out for), Jasmine asks why she hasn't drawn a cock and balls on his head; she giggles when she tells Nick about a previous patient who died from a subcranial injury.
- Cluster F-Bomb: She has one of the foulest mouths on the show, which is saying something.
- Combat Medic
- Drill Sergeant Nasty: Towerblock recruits her as a particularly harsh personal trainer for a jerry can race. She goes above and beyond in verbally abusing him into shape.
- Dr. Jerk: A rare female example. Jasmine is foul mouthed, blunt, and has a terrifyingly morbid sense of humour, even by the standards of the show. According to her profile, she became a medic because she liked that GCSE biology lesson where she got to dissect a rabbit, and thought she might as well make a career out of it.
FaruqFaruq is the unit's interpreter and local fixer. Nobody knows his last name - and they're not even sure he's actually called Faruq.
He's a survivor, always keen to please whoever he's talking to and ideally sell them something for a good price that will turn out to be bootlegged or broken. No refunds!