Sergeant David Budd
British Army War veteran in Helmand, he's a Sergeant in the MPS's Protection Command. He struggles with PTSD flashbacks and being separated from his wife and family.
- Affectionate Nickname: Budd's subordinate and fellow bodyguard PC Kim Knowles refers to him as "skipper" or "skip", a common casual term for Sergeants within UK police forces.
- Badges and Dog Tags: An ex-soldier who joined the MPS after he had his honourable discharge.
- Big Damn Heroes: Budd convinced a female suicide bomber to give herself up to the police, leading to a non-hostile resolution in the first episode.
- Budd, who takes control of the ministerial car when it comes under sniper fire, drives it in reverse outside of the sniper's viewpoint, and confronts the shooter head on his own when armed backup takes too long to arive.
- Desk Jockey: David is frequently assigned to mundane admin work when he's judged to be too personally involved or a security risk. Events conspire to bring him back to the fore of course.
- Drink Order: David'll have a beer. Sometimes more than one.
- Establishing Character Moment: He is immediately introduced as a man of stark contrasts who seeks to save lives rather than take them. In the opening moments of the first episode, he's shown lovingly looking after his children before snapping into a cool professional demeanor to take charge of a potential terrorist attack. When the attack turns out to be real, he does everything he can to defuse the situation and talk the bomber into surrendering, even shielding her with his own body to prevent other officers from shooting her.
- Experienced Protagonist: An ex-soldier who served in Helmand and is in the MPS for several years.
- It's Personal: For David once his kids are targeted and more so when he becomes romantically entangled with Julia Montague.
- Mr. Fanservice: You can see Budd have some nude fanservice, except for the parts where you can see his scars from an IED attack.
- Not So Stoic: Despite being nigh-unflappable in life-threatening scenarios, David is this due to his PTSD. He nearly has a panic attack in a lift when security is urgently requested... with the incident in question to be revealed as an upset employee throwing a petulant tantrum after being sacked.
- Papa Wolf: David is fiercely protective of his children - indeed, of his family as a whole even though his marriage is collapsing around him - and takes any threat to them extremely seriously.
- Sergeant Rock: Despite his fragile mental state, David certainly qualifies.
- Shell-Shocked Veteran: Budd suffers from rather serious PTSD from his time in the military, but has never declared it officially as it would have prevented him getting a job with the police. It is triggered briefly during the sniper attack on Montague's car and later when she wakes him up and he instinctively begins strangling her. He attempts to manage it by drinking, but both his estranged wife Vicky and Montague herself tell him he needs proper treatment.
- Weapon of Choice: Uses a Makarov once he's forced out of his PC duties.
Constable Kim Knowles
A female PC officer, also detailed to Julia's protection detail.
- Action Girl: An active PC officer who gets into action when Julia needs to be protected.
- Vasquez Always Dies: She's killed while trying to protect Julia in the bombing.
Chief Superintendent Lorraine Craddock
Budd's superior in the PC.
- Dirty Cop: She's as crooked as they come, being one of those who conspired to have Julia assassinated because of her crooked connections being jeopardised by Montague's plans for the country which also have involved an increased effort against organised crime.
- Hidden Villain: She appears to be helpful and supportive towards Budd, but in fact, she had no problem setting him up and letting Julia die.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Lorraine helps Budd out, whether if it's to get his family into safe custody or give him a rightfully earned commendation.
- The Mole: For Aiken as revealed in the sixth episode.
- The Spy Master: She operates with Anne in CTC to get Budd to eavesdrop on Julia.
Counter Terrorism Command
Commander Anne Sampson
The head of the CTC. She's against Julia's aggression in putting the MPS on the sidelines and giving MI-5 and GCHQ more intelligence and surveillance powers.
- Big Good: Takes this role after Craddock is outed as working with Aiken.
- Red Herring: She was hunting for Aiken when she was in the police. But she's still not his mole within the security services.
- The Spy Master: She operates with Lorraine in PC to get Budd to eavesdrop on Julia.
Detective Chief Inspector Deepak Sharma
An officer in CTC who investigate the attempted attack on Julia.
- Those Two Guys: Always seen with DS Louise while doing CTC duties.
Detective Sergeant Louise Rayburn
An officer in CTC who investigate the attempted attack on Julia.
Director-General Stephen Hunter-Dunn
Head of MI-5 and a confidant of Julia's in allowing RIPA 2018 to pass for MI-5 agents to have more powers in tracking and arresting terrorists operating in the UK.
- Entitled Bastard: Contemptuously refers to working-class Budd as "that bullet-stopper."
- Evil Sounds Deep
- Noodle Incident: It's unknown what incident Julia was able to use as blackmail material, but it's apparently serious that he decided to resign while it's still possible at the end of the sixth episode.
A MI-5 agent who's tasked to shadow Budd on Hunter-Dunn's behalf.
The head of Home Office and a Member of Parliament of Thames West. She's placed under PC protection due to her status in passing RIPA 2018 as law through Parliament. She's not well-liked in public due to her insistence in supporting the RIPA 2018 bill.
- Alpha Bitch: Julia is frequently portrayed in this way, especially in political tussles, particularly in relation to Anne Sampson.
- Betty and Veronica: The Veronica - dark, manipulative, morally ambiguous, intelligent, high-powered - to Vicky's Betty and David's Archie.
- Bodyguard Crush: For David.
- Brainy Brunette: A respected politician with dark hair.
- Defrosting Ice Queen: Downplayed because she is very icy, but she defrosts towards David.
- Ms Fan Service: There was times when she was nude (in the artistic sense).
- No Party Given: Averted. It is made clear from the outset the Julia Montague is a member of the Conservative Party, although considerably more right wing than the more moderate Conservative government and Prime Minister.
- Not So Different: Julia realizes that she and David share the same problems they had, consisting of being divorced from their spouses and putting themselves into their work.
- War Hawk: Montague voted in favour of both the Iraq War and War in Afghanistan, and believes that despite the obvious failings of both that the government should not "apologise for the past".
- Working with the Ex: Despite their difference, she needs to work with Roger since they're in the same party.
Julia's Special Advisor in the HO.
- The Mole: Rob MacDonald is Mike Travis' mole inside Julia's inner circle. Justified that Travis wants to subvert Julia's work on the RIPA 2018 bill from the inside.
Julia's PR Advisor who was promptly fired in the first episode. It's revealed that she was one of the few who has ties to Aiken alongside Craddock.
- Femme Fatale: Towards David. She flirts with him from the beginning, then sets him up on a date to get him set up and killed by Luke Aiken.
- Honey Trap: Willingly fallen for by David in order to flush out the person behind the assassination.
- The Mole: Chanel is one for Luke Aiken within Julia's entourage.
Julia's PR Advisor at the Home Office, brought in to replace Chanel.
- The Scapegoat: Tahir's made to look like a bad guy working from the inside, but law enforcement concluded that he's just a patsy.
- Token Minority: He's a British-Asian man working in the civil service sector of the Home Office. Much to Rob MacDonald's disappointment, he has only been hired to be a visible Asian minority within Montague's team to help improve her image in light of the controversy around her hardline views on terrorism and the RIPA '18 vote.
- Unwitting Pawn: He took the basement to Julia in Oxford, but he had nothing to do with her death.
The whip of the Conservative Party and Julia's ex-husband.
- No Party Given: Averted. Like Julia, the show has indicated that he's with the CP.
- Working with the Ex: Despite their difference, he needs to work with her since they're in the same party.
Prime Minister John Vosler
The head of the British government under the Conservative Party.
- Out of Focus: We do see him, but he borders on The Ghost in how irregularly he appears.
- Noodle Incident: Several grave incidents were uncovered by Julia thanks to the work of Longcross.
- No Party Given: Averted. The show mentions that he heads the government under the CP.
The minister for counter-terrorism. Mike gets suspicious of Julia going about with her meetings with MI-5.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Mike is willing to let the MPS take over the initial investigation on the bombing attack in the fourth episode and let the interview of Rob take place although he covers for Rob by telling him to get his act together and make sure he doesn't any anything incriminating.
- You Are in Command Now: Takes over the reins of the HO after Julia dies of massive injuries.
A Helmand veteran and David's buddy, he's a known in the anti-war NGO group Veterans Peace Group.
- Big Bad Friend: To David. He tries to kill Julia by shooting her.
- Bromantic Foil: Subtle, but to David. They're close friends, and unlike David, he despises Julia and everything she stands for, and believes David should reject the job with her.
- Cold Sniper: Tries to take out Julia from the roof of Pascoe House.
- Fallen Hero: A soldier who survived an IED attack in Afghanistan turns into an anti-government terrorist.
- Shell-Shocked Veteran: Andy runs the anti-war Veterans Peace Group. In addition to PTSD he also has severe facial scarring from an explosion whilst serving, and has an even deeper resentment towards the politicians that voted to send people like him and Budd to war.
- Walking Spoiler: It's hard to explain that his first appearance is significant in the six-part episode series.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: Andy wanted to off Julia so that politicians like her won't send off men and women to die needlessly.
- Western Terrorists: An ex-army soldier turned anti-government terrorist.
- What the Hell, Hero?: Andy doesn't hesitate to give David a lecture when he finds out that he's working in PC to protect Julia.
A Middle Eastern terrorist of British origin, she was seen in the first episode after being detained for a having a suicide vest. Was the engineer responsible for supplying the conspiracy with suicide vests.
- And Your Little Dog, Too!: Nadia feeds her co-conspirators with news that David has a family after he reveals as such when getting a statement from her, just to be a colossal arsehole.
- Ax-Crazy: After being exposed as the bomb maker that supplied the conspiracy with their IEDs, she reveals herself to be a violent, fanatical madwoman who openly expresses her desire to kill and maim others in the name of her religious practices with nothing but a empty-eyed glare and a quiet smile brimming with sadistic glee to show that shes a danger to everyone around her.
- Forced into Evil: Nadia, one of the would be train bombers who Budd convinces to surrender at the start of the series. Whilst he is talking with her and preventing her from being shot by the trigger happy CTSFOs surrounding the train, she tells him her husband basically forced her into becoming a suicide bomber and she doesn't want to die.
- Massively subverted in the finale, where she reveals that she was not only the leader of the train bomb operation, she also sold a further bomb of a similar type to organised crime boss Luke Aitkens that was then used to kill Julia Montague, as well as building more herself. In addition, she fed DS Budd false intelligence about the security services that would end up being a part of his frame-up.
- Irony: Working with Aiken in order to get funds needed to supply her fellow European jihadis in a jihad against the rest of the world.
- Middle Eastern Terrorists: Averted at first since Metropolitan Police mentioned that she was forced to do it. Later revealed at the end of the show that it's part of a plan to frame David eventually.
- More Deadly Than the Male: She blames her husband for the terrorist plot, but it was all her idea.
- The Sociopath: Plays everyone around her into thinking shes a victim quite nicely until the end, shows not a grain of remorse for what shes done, and as her rambling about her plans to go global with her jihadi campaign, is also completely psychotic. Its fair to say shes at least got some tendencies of Antisocial Personality Disorder, if not a full-on case.
- Walking Spoiler: The sixth episode's going to spoil everything about her.
- Wounded Gazelle Gambit: After David persuades her not to commit suicide by the bomb, she claims to have been a victim of domestic violence and persuades him she was forced to wear the suicide vest.
A figure in London's criminal underworld.
- Big Bad: Of the show and responsible for what's happening.
- The Man Behind the Man: For Nadia, Craddock and Chanel.
- Chekhov's Gunman: He's seen in a surveillance photo taken a few days ago after Chanel was fired, seeing her with him.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: By swapping out the bullets in David's hidden pistol with blanks, he inadvertently saves David's life and provides a key piece of physical evidence that David later uses to help clear his name.
- London Gangster: Played with - Luke Aiken is a prominent London crime lord involved in (at the very least) gun running, police corruption, extortion and murder, but he speaks with a subdued North East/Geordie accent indicating he's not a native Londoner.
- Nothing Personal: His plans to kill Julia were due to RIPA 2018's powers that can be used against him in the criminal underworld and ruin his growing enterprise.
- Walking Spoiler: Talking about Luke in any way can spoil the entire show's story.
David's ex-wife, recently separated due to his PTSD problems.
- Betty and Veronica: The Betty to Julia's Veronica.
- Hospital Hottie: She's a nurse and the object of David's affections.
- Marriage of Convenience: What David and Vicky Budd's marriage seems to have become. They are separated and seeing other people, but are still legally married so David can remain in his children's lives, and so they get his pension payout should be be killed in the line of duty. Although the last episode implies that the two of them are now trying to repair their relationship after Budd survives his frameup.
- Obstructive Love Interest: While her objecting to David's dangerous job is fair enough and they're not really love interests, she's constantly trying to persuade him to stay away from pursuing what happened to Julia.
- Wet Blanket Wife: One of the few characters who isn't involved in the political plot, and she mostly just complains to David about his reckless behaviour.