The 1995 TV Series
Josephine "Jo" Tiegan
Our protagonist. A fourteen-year-old Australian girl who recently moved to New Zealand with her family. She gets her hands on a Magic Mirror which sends her back to 1919, accidentally changing history for the worse in the process. Now Jo is determined to undo her mistake and return back to her own time, whatever it takes.
- Age-Appropriate Angst: She can be rather angsty sometimes, and her mother calls her out for being a bit childish. Granted, she does have good reasons for being a bit moody...
- The Atoner: Blames herself for what happened at the well, and spends most of the show trying to make things right again.
- Boyish Short Hair: Frequently commented on in 1919. Nobody in 1995 really seems to care.
- Butch Straight: Has a rather boyish wardrobe and personality - especially by 1919 standards - while also clearly having a romantic interest in Nicholas (and possibly Jesse as well.) Notably, she is never Mistaken for Gay at any point, and nobody acts as though being tomboyish and being strait would be mutually exclusive.
- Cool Big Sis: While her actual brother Royce considers her fairly annoying, Titus treats her as an honorary one.
- Daddy's Girl: She has a good relationship with her father Andrew, but is said to barely speak to her mother at the start of the series. This might be at least partially because Catherine is Married to the Job, while her husband is working from home.
- The Determinator: Isn't letting anything stop her from saving the lives of her friends.
- Dreaming of Things to Come: Has a couple of premonitory dreams (though one of them was technically of the past).
- Happily Adopted: While she does come at odds with her parents occasionally, this is still played strait at the end of the day.
- It's All About Me: Occasionally. Louisa calls her out for only caring about her friends and not anyone else who might be hurt by the poison. That said, she does usually apologize when realizing that she's actually hurt somebody's feelings.
- Muggle Foster Parents: She is adopted, and the only person in her family who can use the Mirror to look into the past. Then again, Louisa has the same power, and she's living with her biological family...
- Only Known By Her Nickname: We only that her real name is Josephine because she refers to herself as such once (while alone in her room.) Everyone else - including the conservative Leonie Coigley - only call her Jo.
- Tomboy with a Girly Streak: Doesn't mind wearing a dress per say - only briefly complaing that it's too hot - as long as she gets to keep her sneakers on. She's also rather interested in romance.
- Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Her time travel misadventures causes Mia and Jesse to end up in intensive care though the actual change happens much later than she initially thinks.
- Annoying Younger Sibling: From Jo's point of view.
- Gadgeteer Genius: Well, his "genius" doesn't really go beyond some mild customisation, but he does provide the remote controlled car and robot used during Jo's rescue.
- He-Man Woman Hater: Downplayed and Played for Laughs. He says that Jo is acting strange because "She's a girl. They're all weird."
- Human Alien: Briefly suspects his sister of being one.
- Mad Bomber: Suggests making a bomb and blowing up Sir Ivor with it. Tama doesn't quite approve of this suggestion.
- Mr. Exposition: Tries to be this at one point. Unfortunately, he has nothing to say that the rest of the cast don't already know.
- Tagalong Kid: Treated as such by the rest of the cast, at least until they realise that his toys might actually prove quite useful.
- Adults Are Useless: Played With. His "uselessness" is mostly due to him being oblivious and later unsupportive about Jo's time travel, bit he eventually has to face the fact that there really "is" nothing he can do other than standing by and hoping for the best. Granted, he "does" help his daughter get back to the present at one point, so there's that.
- Arbitrary Skepticism: Insists that curses aren't real even after finding out that his daughter has a time portal in her room.
- Bumbling Dad: Subverted. He comes across a bit like this at first, but then it turns out that he can get really serious when his daughter is put in danger.
- House Husband: His wife is shown to be the main breadwinner of the family. While he is mocked bit for it a bit In-Universe, the show itself makes it clear that he's a noble, genuinely nice guy willing to put his own life at risk to save others. Subverted in that he does have a job. He's just working from home.
- More Expendable Than You: Is willing to travel back to the past himself so that Jo doesn't have to. Unfortunately, the Mirror just won't let him through.
- One-Hour Work Week: He writes Science Fiction books for children, but isn't actually shown doing much writing. Though this is arguably Justified by 1. him having heavy control over his schedule due to working from home, 2. the fairly short time span of the series, and 3. his stressful situation giving him writer's block.
- Overprotective Dad: Doesn't like the idea of Jo being alone in a shack with a boy described to him as "very mature."
Catherine Guthrie Tiegan
- Character Development: Even though the changes in the timeline vipe away her memories of the past week, she still remembers enough on a subconscious level for it to improve her strained relationship with her daughter.
- Dean Bitterman: Acts like a female example towards Jo, at least. Granted, this is probably more due to also being her mother.
- Deadpan Snarker: She has her moments.
- Heel Realisation: Comes to think that Jo may have been right to call her out earlier.
- Only Sane Woman: Clearly believes herself to be this. Though in reality, she's the only member of her family who has no idea what's going on.
- Parental Obliviousness: While all parents in the show have it to same extent, hers is arguably the worst. The portal is in her house and yet she doesn't learn about it until the very end.
- The Scapegoat: Leonie and her board of directors put all the blame for Mia and Jesse's accident on her and Jo. While she was arguably responsible for the lack of safety at the digging site, it was still Jade - Leonie's daughter - who actually caused the accident.
- Slave to PR: Occasionally doesn't do what best for her family if it makes her look bad at work.
- Born in the Wrong Century: Subverted. She sometimes wishes that she lived in Jo's time (which is still technically the same century anyway, just the opposite end of it) but she eventually decides to stay in 1919 with her family.
- Cannot Tell Fiction from Reality: The rest of the Iredale household thinks that she has read too much Speculative Fiction when she starts babbling about a girl who lives in her mirror. Of course, she's actually telling the truth.
- Cute Bookworm: Downplayed, but she does love books and is sad to see that The Internet has started to replace them by 1995.
- Fish out of Temporal Water: While all of the time travellers are hit by this to some extent, she is more affected by it than anyone else. Jo and Tama at least had an idea of what to expect before going back in time.
- The Future Will Be Better: Subverted. She's happy about women getting more career options and some of the technological innovations, but she also realises that some problems are still around, (and likely always will be) such as deadly diseases and rude authority figures.
- Girly Girl with a Tomboy Streak: She doesn't really mind being a Proper Lady per say, but she does dream about becoming a pilot.
- Reincarnation: The Old Man speculates that she may have been reincarnated as Jo Tiegan, as she died the same day the latter was born. Though he admits that this is just an elaborate guess and that he has no way of knowing for certain.
- Set Right What Once Went Wrong: Tries to prevent her father's death in a train accident by advising him to take the plane instead.
- Technophobia: Mostly averted. She's actually very impressed by modern technology and is looking forward to see some of it be invented. However, she still prefers looking up information at the library the old-fashioned way rather than using the Internet.
- Agent Mulder: Initially believes Jo to be either a ghost or a genie.
- Annoying Younger Sibling: For Louisa, though he mostly avoids being The Load by proving himself useful early on.
- The Bait: Used as a distraction for Bullseye the guard dog. He makes it through unharmed.
- The Cassandra: Doesn't have the easiest time trying to convince his family that Jo came out of a mirror.
- Chronic Hero Syndrome: He immediately decides that he wants to go and rescue Nicholas upon finding out that he is kept prisoner in Sir Ivor's house. You really have to admire the kid's determination.
- Fan Boy: He really likes playing cricket and is a big fan of several of its' professional players.
- Not Now, Kiddo: The girls never seem to have time to play with him, which Sir Ivor uses to his advantage.
- What the Hell, Hero?: Louisa chews him out for not telling her where the drum of poison is because she hasn't played cricket with him the entire week.
- Big Good: The closest thing the series has to one.
- Death by Irony: In the original timeline, at least, he died in an accident on a train... which he had only taken because he was too scared of flying.
- Disney Death: Him surviving being poisoned after spending two days in a coma could be seen as this.
- He Knows Too Much: Is attacked by Sir Ivor's thugs and infected by poison right after he discovers their stash of it.
- Papa Wolf: Does everything he can to keep his family safe. Unfortunately, this gives the villains a weakness to exploit...
- Patient Zero: Chronologically the first victim of the poison.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: While he isn't always supportive towards Jo, he does kindly let her stay under his roof until her parents can be found, and takes the girls' claims about the poison seriously enough to go down to the harbour and investigate. He also fires Frid when the rumors that he's spying on his family start seeming a bit too plausible, and is the one who apprehends Sir Ivor in the end.
- "Shaggy Dog" Story: In the library, Louisa learns that he survives his mysterious disease... only to die in an unrelated accident nine years later. Though it's implied that Louisa and her mother will do what they can to prevent this.
- Technophobia: Doesn't like airplanes, and prefers the old-fashioned steam trains instead. Unfortunately, this would eventually come back to bite him.
- Adults Are Useless: Subverted. She starts off as completely unsupportive, but upon realising that Jo really must be from the future, she manages to aid her in several ways.
- It Will Never Catch On: Does not believe that commercial airlines or moon rockets will be a thing during her or her children's lifetimes.
- No More for Me: Subverted. She accuses Sir Ivor of drinking too much when he starts talking about magical mirrors. Of course, she knows that he's telling the truth. She just doesn't want anyone else to know.
- Only Sane Woman: Among the adults at the Iredale household. She does what she can to help the children, and calls out her husband when he refuses to do so.
- Secret Keeper: Once she comes to the conclusion that Jo has been telling the truth all along, she starts covering up her activities from the villains.
- This Is Reality: Initially doesn't believe the kids story, because such things only happen in "the world of fiction."
Nicholas a.k.a. Alexei Nikolaevich Romanov
- Blue Blood: He is the last living member of the Russian royal family.
- Dead Guy Junior: He got his false name "Nicholaus" from his father, Nicholaus II.
- Distressed Dude: Spends much of the show as a political prisoner.
- Earn Your Happy Ending: And if any character in the show truly deserved it, it would have to be him.
- Eloquent in My Native Tongue: Downplayed. His English is very good, but he feels more comfortable giving a horse commands in his native language during a stressful situation.
- Gilded Cage: Considers Sir Ivor's house to be one. (Though it's said to not be as luxurious as what he's used to, so even the gilded part may be debatable.)
- Historical-Domain Character: Yes, he was a real person. Unfortunately, he didn't survive his execution in Real Life, though this wasn't known for certain until years after this show was made.
- I Choose to Stay: He decides to remain in 1995 with Jo in the end.
- I Just Want to Have Friends: His main reason for wanting to go outside is his desire to meet people of his own age.
- Ill Boy: He suffers from hemophilia, a condition which - in 1919 - has no cure.
- My Parents Are Dead: His whole family was assassinated, a fact which was kept hidden from him. Needless to say, he is not happy when he finds out the truth.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: It turns out that he was the one who threw the drum into the well in an attempt at hiding it. Though he later manages to use the neutralising agent on it, altering the course of history.
- Omniglot: He can speak seven languages, including Russian and English.
- Flat-Earth Atheist: He simply can't bring himself to believe in a Magic Mirror even after seeing it work.
- Hollywood Nerd: He is quite good-looking for a basement-dwelling computer geek. Granted, he's never really portrayed as any sort of social outcast in the first place.
- Nerds Are Sexy: Louisa seems to think so, at least. Though it doesn't lead to anything since they both stay in their respective time periods at the end.
- The Smart Guy: By far the most tech savvy member of the cast.
- Secret Keeper: One of the first characters from 1995 who learns about the Mirror.
- Teen Genius: He seems to be about the same age as Jo, and yet he's a talented hacker and chemist.
The Old Man a.k.a. Nicholas
- Affably Evil: While he can be pretty rude towards Jade, he is usually very polite, has nothing against our heroes personally and is fine with helping them as long as it advances his own goals. His big monologue about his plan is very matter-of-fact and not nearly as gloating as one might expect. He even invites Jo's parents over for A Spot Of Tea while listening to it.
- Anti-Villain: He's not really malicious, just kind of egotistical and uncaring.
- Beethoven Was an Alien Spy: He is Nicholas, and by extension a still-living Alexei Nikolaevich Romanov.
- The Chessmaster: Everything in the story is orchestrated by him, up to and including the birth of Jade Coigley.
- Didn't Think This Through: As impressive as his plan is, it does have one major flaw. It takes decades for Tama's neutralising agent to fully work, by which point it will be too late for him to reclaim his throne. Sending the ring back through time isn't an option either, because Only One Me Allowed Right Now applies to inanimate objects as well as people.
- Hidden Agenda Villain: His true goals, loyalty and morality are kept a secret up until the very end.
- Omniscient Morality License: When you get right down to it, he's just messing around with time to improve things for himself, not really caring how others are affected. To only one he truly seems to care about is Jo, and even that's because he wants his younger self to marry her.
- Playing Both Sides: He helps Jo and her friends, while also telling Jade that he wants to get rid of the former by trapping her in the past. The truth turns out to be somewhere inbetween. He's just using Jade as an Unwitting Pawn, while wanting Jo to live and stay in the past so that she can become his queen.
- Ret Gone: History is eventually altered so much that he ceases to exist altogether.
- No Name Given: Is credited simply as "The Old Man," and doesn't give away his name when Catherine introduces herself to him. As it turns out, there is a good reason for that.
- The Slow Path: He had to patiently wait for 76 years before he could enact his plan.
- Trickster Mentor: Acts as one towards our protagonists.
- Walking Spoiler: You really can't say much about the character at all without mentioning his true identity or plan.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: While his goals (taking back his rightful throne and getting married to a woman who was already in love with him) are quite understandable, his methods (indirectly causing two of her friends to be poisoned and sending her classmate on what is basically a suicide mission) are slightly less so.
- Big Damn Heroes: Arrives just in time to give Sir Ivor a Tap on the Head. While it doesn't knock him unconscious, it does distract him long enough for Nicholas to escape.
- Ethnic Menial Labor: She is the only person of colour in the Iredale household, and just happens to work as a maid, albeit a well-treated one.
- Freak Out!: Has a brief one upon seeing Jo wearing boys clothing.
- Janitor Impersonation Infiltration: Inverted. She trades clothes with Louisa and disguises herself as a noblewoman as part of their plan to retrieve the drum.
- We Need a Distraction: Distracts the villains to allow Louisa to board the train.
Mia Rowlands and Jesse Handon
- Adorkable: Jesse is treated as such In-Universe. He's rather awkward around Mia, but never really seems that unpopular.
- The Dividual: They are generally mentioned together, both being friends of Jo who end up being poisoned.
- Geek Physiques: Jesse is slightly overweight, but the show never makes a big deal out of this.
- I Let Gwen Stacy Die: [[spoiler: While they never actually die, Jo does blame herself for their accident, and does everything she can to undo it.
- Patient Zero: They are - from Jo and the audiences point of view - the first people to be infected by the poison.
- Romantic False Lead: Jo and Jesse are rumored to be crushing on each other In-Universe. It's never made clear if this is true or not, but Jo has no problems with trying to set Jesse up with Mia, and is clearly more into Nicholas by the end.
- Ship Tease: With each other. It's implied that Jesse has a thing for Mia, but Cannot Spit It Out.
- Small Role, Big Impact: Their actual onscreen appearances are rather brief, but the plot wouldn't have happened at all if it hadn't been for them.
- True Companions: Jo describes them as such.
- Unwitting Instigator of Doom: their accident almost causes Catherine to be fired, and is what drives Jo to travel back to 1919 and get involved in the whole story.
Sir Ivor Creevy-Thorne
- Abusive Parents: He is the closest thing Nicholas has to a legal guardian, and unfortunately also an emotionally abusive, manipulative liar.
- Aristocrats Are Evil: While this trope doesn't apply to the series as a whole, it definitely applies to him.
- Evil Brit: He's the Big Bad, and a Brit.
- Evil Is Hammy: He has his moments.
- Go-Karting with Bowser: He has no problems with playing cricket with Titus, or having a game of chess with Nicholas. Though in both cases, he only does it in an attempt at manipulating them.
- Meaningful Name: When the first part of your last name is only one letter away from "creepy," and the second part is pronounced exactly like "thorn," you are pretty much destined to become a villain.
- "Sir Ivor" also sounds alot like "survivor," which is exactly what his ward Nicholas is.
- Nothing Personal: Claims to have no ill will towards Nicholas, and to be Only in It for the Money. Unsurprisingly, this doesn't make his ward hate him any less.
- Soft-Spoken Sadist: Often comes off like this. Especially during his confrontation with Jo in his basement.
- Villain with Good Publicity: Most of the community believes him to be a morally upstanding citizen.
- Would Hurt a Child: Assuming young teenagers count, he has no qualms about locking up both Jo and Nicholas in his house with the intention to send the former to a women's farm and hand over the latter to the Bolsheviks, who would undoubtedly have him executed.
- Beard of Evil: Sports one.
- Big Bad Wannabe: Clearly wants to join Sir Ivor in a Big Bad Duumvirate, but in the end he's little more than a pawn.
- British Stuffiness: He certainly has the accent and personality, at least.
- The Butler Did It: Subverted. He does try to kill both of his former employers at one point, but this is after his other crimes have already been exposed, and his identity is never hidden from neither them nor the audience.
- Child Hater: Doesn't seem to like kids at all, comparing the Iredale children with literal demons at one point.
- The Mole: Willingly becomes one for Sir Ivor, providing him with information about the Iredales and their guest.
- Not-So-Harmless Villain: He tries to Invoke this by gassing all of Sir Ivor's party guests - including Mr. and Mrs. Iredale - to death. Fortunately for everyone but him, he picked the harmless decoy drum by mistake...
- Sadist Teacher: Threatens to beat Titus - possibly not for the first time -for speaking up in class.
- Ultimate Job Security: Averted. Joshua has him fired when the evidence against him starts piling up.
- You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Sir Ivor has no use for him after he's fired, and while he doesn't go as far as killing Frid, he does tell him to - basically - piss of.
Sir Gerald Salisbury
- Aristocrats Are Evil: He has a nobleman's title, and is in league with the Big Bad.
- "Awesome McCool" Name: He might be a sleazy crook, but Sir Gerald Salisbury is still one heck of a name.
- Dirty Coward: Upon being found out, he has a Villainous Breakdown before putting all the blame on Sir Ivor.
- Fat Bastard: He is rather portly, and while not the meanest character in the show, he is still perfectly fine with getting himself involved in some pretty heinous crimes.
- Ignored Expert: Sir Ivor ignores most of his advice, eventually leading to their combined downfall.
- Pragmatic Villainy: Disagrees with Sir Ivor's methods not for any moral reason, but rather because he (correctly) thinks that they won't be able to cover them up and will soon be caught for it.
- Villain with Good Publicity: Like Sir Ivor, though arguably better at maintaining his facade.
- The Dragon: To Sir Ivor.
- Laser-Guided Karma: Is bitten in the leg by his own dog.
- Last-Name Basis: Is only ever referred to as "Campbell."
- Right-Hand Attack Dog: Has one named Bullseye.
- Would Hurt a Child: Threatens to poison our protagonists with the contents of the drum, and later averts Never Say "Die" by flat out ordering Bullseye to kill them.
The Police Inspector
- Big Damn Heroes: In the last episode, when he finally manages to arrest Sir Ivor. Hey, third time's the charm, right?
- Horrible Judge of Character: Believes Jo to be a dangeroys criminal and Sir Ivor to be a morally upstanding citizen.
- No Name Given: Despite being a pretty important character, he's credited simply as "Police Inspector."
- Police are Useless: Refuses to go anywhere near Sir Ivor without any evidence, and still allows him to get away when it is found. Subverted in that he does manage to capture him at the very end.
- Sympathetic Inspector Antagonist: When you get down to it, he's just a man of the law trying to do his job.
- Bumbling Sidekick: The Old Man considers her to be downright incompetent. Granted, she doesn't have the benefit of knowing exactly how all of her actions will affect the timeline...
- Dark Action Girl: Well, she knows judo, at least.
- The Family That Slays Together: The heroes jokingly theorise that she might be Sir Ivor's granddaughter because of how nasty she is and the fact that she seems to know everything. There is no indication that this is actually true.
- Jerkass: Is pretty mean towards Jo, and downright estatic over the idea of being Trapped in the Past forever.
- Mouth of Sauron: The Old Man can't go through the Mirror and give Jo messages himself because he already exists there as a young man, so he sends Jade to do it for him.
- Pet the Dog: Subverted. Her confession to Catherine that the accident at the well was not Jo's fault is simply an excuse to cover up the fact that she's stealing her mirror, and her later pep talk to Jo is only done by the orders of the Old Man.
- Ret Gone: She is completely erased from history as part of the Old Man's plan.
- The Rival: To Jo, who she has an almost irrational hatred of.
- Tyke Bomb: The Old Man manipulated her parents into having a child specifically so that he would get a servant years later.
- Unwitting Pawn: Carries out tasks for the Old Man without ever learning about their true purpose.
- Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: Critisises Catherine equally for her archeology club and her loosened up dress code. Given that the former caused two students to end up in intensive care, complaining about girls being allowed to wear pants seems rather petty.
- Evil Counterpart: To Catherine, both being women of power working in the same field. While Catherine is a fairly Reasonable Authority Figure who treats her husband like an equal, Leonie... isn't.
- Evil Matriarch: Seems to be just as much in charge at home as in school.
- Faux Affably Evil: Much like Dolores Umbridge (whom she actually pre-dates) she is made all the more unlikable by the fact that she doesn't just constantly talk down to people, but actually seems to *enjoy* doing so.
- From Nobody to Nightmare: Went from a lowly janitor to a doctor and chairwoman of the board. Though this is eventually undone once history changes.
- Hate Sink: Her actual actions are not nearly as bad as those of the show's other villains. The worst thibg she actually does is having Catherine fired for fairly justifiable reasons. She's just so obnoxious, unlikable and downright mean that you can't help but despise her.
- Moral Guardians: Her problem with the Tiegans seem to stem from them being less conservative than her.
- Chekhov's Gunman: His marriage to Leonie turns out to be a very important part of the Old Man's plan.
- Henpecked Husband: According to Andrew. Based on what we see, he doesn't seem to be very far off.
- Punch-Clock Villain: He never does anything particularly heroic or villainous. The only thing which makes him remotely qualify as an antagonist is that he seem to lack the backbone needed to form his own opinion about anything important.
- Satellite Character: Doesn't have much of role in the story beyond "being Leonie's husband."
- White Sheep: The only member of the Coigley family who doesn't seem to be a complete asshole.
- Yes-Man: Nonchalantly agrees with whatever his wife says.