Major Cliff Allister McLane
Played by Dietmar Schönherr (1926-2014). Commander of the Orion VII and its replacement, the Orion VIII. He is apparently the uncle to two pre-teen children who appear in episode two playing astronauts.
- The Ace: As General van Dyke said: "Without men like McLane we would have lost the two Interplanetary Wars!"
- Achilles in His Tent: Just averted a few times. For instance in episode 1 he wants to resign from the service rather than accept his punishment, but is dissuaded by General van Dyke, who tells him to take it and then return to her command.
- Adaptation Name Change: In the novels, McLane's second name is Allistair, not Allister.
- The Captain
- The Charmer
- Chick Magnet: SHE is practically the only woman immune to his charms.
- Colonel Badass: Is promoted to one at the end of episode 7.
- Cool People Rebel Against Authority
- Deadpan Snarker
- Fan of the Past: In the paperback novels.
- First-Name Basis: With his crew (who reciprocate), but not with Tamara Jagellovsk - most of the time.
- Four-Temperament Ensemble: Sanguine/choleric.
- Military Maverick
- Really Gets Around: Not in the television series, where he is only seriously interested in Tamara Jagellovsk, but in the novels. Here his most serious love-interests apart from Tamara are Jani Staahan (his first love, during the Second Galactic War), Lydia van Dyke, Ishmee 8431, and Arlene N'Mayogaa.
Lieutenant Mario de Monti
Played by Wolfgang Völz (born 1930). Armament officer and second-in-command of the Orion.
- The Casanova: In his own mind
- Four-Temperament Ensemble: Sanguinic.
- The Lancer
- Stock Foreign Name: An Italian called Mario?
- Team Clown
Lieutenant Hasso Sigbjörnson
Played by Claus Holm (1918-1996). The Orion's engineer. The oldest and only married member of the crew. In the first episode he is seriously considering retirement, but carries on out of friendship to the others.
- The Engineer
- Four-Temperament Ensemble: Phlegmatic
- Grease Monkey
- Happily Married: To Ingrid, who appears in episode one. They have a daughter, Gwen, who of course has a crush on McLane.
- Mr. Fixit
- The Reliable One
- Team Dad
Lieutenant Atan Shubashi
Played by Friedrich Georg Beckhaus (born 1927). The Orion's astrogator (navigator IN SPACE!).
Lieutenant Helga Legrelle
Played by Ursula Lillig (1938-2004). The youngest officer of the crew, in charge of communications, observation, and deflector shields). Not so secretly sweet on the dashing commander.
- All Love Is Unrequited: Helga's crush on Cliff.
- Betty and Veronica: Helga (brunette) is Betty to Tamara's Veronica.
- Bridge Bunny: Averted. Due to the small size of the crew, individual members frequently have to pinch-hit in each other's jobs when part of the crew is on a surface or space mission. Helga Legrelle thus can be seen piloting one of the "Lancet" shuttlecrafts or installing machinery and weapons on a planetoid base.
- Communications Officer
- Multi-Ethnic Name
Lieutenant Tamara Jagellovsk
Played by Eva Pflug (1929-2008). A GSD officer assigned to the Orion as a watchdog for the unruly crew, but who gradually mellows and comes to be accepted as one of their own.
- Backseat Driver: Though a mere lieutenant, she has the authority to overrule McLane if necessary, and in fact she does so on a number of occasions.
- Betty and Veronica: Tamara (blonde) is Veronica to Helga's Betty.
- Deadpan Snarker: Occasionally.
- Defrosting Ice Queen
- Fanservice: In one episode, McLane has a visiophone conversation with her just after she had a shower; she notices too late that she did not properly close her bathrobe, allowing him and the viewers a brief glimpse of cleavage.
- Jerkass Has a Point: This can happen when the relationship between herself and the crew is still antagonistic. In episode 1 she overrules McLane when he wants to shoot down a non-responsive satellite; it turns out it had merely temporarily shut down for maintenance.
- The Political Officer: Lieutenant Jagellovsk starts out as a non-political equivalent, but like her spiritual ancestress Ninotchka mellows soon enough.
General Winston Woodrov Wamsler
Played by Benno Sterzenbach (1916-1985). Head of T.R.A.V. (Terrestrische Raum-Aufklärungs-Verbände, Terrestrian Space Reconnaissance Forces). In episode 1 the Orion and its crew are reassigned to him from the Rapid Space Forces in punishment for persistent insubordination.
- Alliterative Name
- Desk Jockey: But he is a veteran field officer, so he is not fooled easily, e. g. he quickly sees through the use of the "Laurin" in episode 3.
- A Father to His Men: In the gruff-but-fair version.
- Four-Temperament Ensemble: Choleric.
- Named After Someone Famous: Probably Winston Churchill and Woodrow Wilson.
- Old Soldier
General Lydia van Dyke
Played by Charlotte Kerr (1927-2011). Commanding general of the Rapid Space Forces and McLane's former superior officer. She commands the fast space cruiser Hydra.
- Aloof Dark-Haired Girl: Compared to McLane she is a lot cooler and less emotion-driven and impulsive, which goes a long way to explain why, even though they are roughly the same age, he is a major and she is a general. (And yes, she is a brunette).
- First-Name Basis: With McLane, though only off-duty, and he always takes care to address her as "General".
- Four-Star Badass: Although there is apparently only one "General" rank in the space forces, she is indicated to be one. She is the only general who is regularly shown to be actively serving in space and not behind a desk.
- Four-Temperament Ensemble: Sanguinic.
- Mama Bear: General van Dyke in episode 1 is livid when McLane is transferred from her command to Wamsler's and does not hesitate to angrily defend her maverick subordinate.
- Third-Option Love Interest: In episode 4 General van Dyke is having a pleasant conversation with Cliff McLane in the Starlight Casino and notes with amusement the jealous look Tamara Jagellovsk is giving her from another table. In the paperback novels, Cliff eventually broke up with Tamara and for a time become lovers with Lydia, so maybe Tamara was prescient.
Colonel Henryk Villa
Played by Friedrich Joloff (1908-1988). Head of the GSD (Galaktischer Sicherheits-Dienst "Galactic Security Service"), which is outside the military chain of command.
- All There in the Script: In the series he is only addressed as Colonel Villa.
- Cool Old Guy
- Desk Jockey: Subverted, as the last episode shows he likes to do his own field investigations.
- Four-Temperament Ensemble: Phlegmatic/melancholic.
- Manchurian Agent: In episode 7 he and his staff are captured by the Frogs and brainwashed into becoming their agents to facilitate their invasion.
- The Mentor: To McLane and, to a lesser extent, Lt. Jagellovsk.
- Multi-Ethnic Name
- Only Sane Man: In conferences of the military command and the civilian government he is often this.
- The Spymaster
Lieutenant Michael Spring-Brauner
Played by Thomas Reiner (born 1926). Wamsler's adjutant. He would love to see Commander McLane and his crew replaced by robots.