Crew of the Rocinante
A gas hauler for Beratnas Gas. Or so her crew would have you believe.
The Rocinante began her life as the MCRN Tachi, a Martian Navy corvette that operated from the hangar of the battleship MCRN Donnager, the Martian Navy's flagship. In the wake of the Donnager's destruction, the Canterbury survivors claimed the Tachi as their own and re-christened her as the Rocinantenote . She's given a superficial makeover while at Tycho to look like a common gas hauler, but still retains her original arsenal of weapons.
- Bottomless Magazines: Averted. The Roci is explicitly supposed to hold ten thousand PDC rounds in her magazines and Alex (very justifiably) spent around 2,800 while escaping from the Donnager. Naomi worries about if the crew will be able to find someone willing to restock a salvaged Martian warship.
- Cool Spaceship: She is a sleek gunboat designed for speed and maneuverability and is bristling with more than enough firepower to take on one of the stealth ships that destroyed the Canterbury, albeit at a disadvantage. On his first day piloting her, Alex can't help but gush that she can easily cruise at 12-g while her engines purr. Later on, she's shown to be able to easily speed up to 15 and 20-g with absolutely no problem. The occupants might die from the extended burn, but the ship would keep going on autopilot. She also comes equipped with black gold and sleek machines in which to use it: filter, espresso, macchiato... coffee!
- Insistent Terminology: The ship was a legitimate salvage operation. Okay? Legitimate salvage!
- Ironic Name: 'Rocinante' in Spanish roughly translates into 'Previously a Workhorse', from Don Quixote's horse being repurposed from a broken-down nag to a knight's steed. This Rocinante is instead a war vessel disguised as a freighter a.k.a. a workhorse.
- Meaningful Rename:
- Originally the MCRN Tachi. Holden renames her the Rocinante after Don Quixote's horse, reflecting his own tendency to get caught up in situations he has no business being involved in.
- Arguably "Beratnas Gas" is one of these, too - beratnas is a Belter Creole word meaning "brothers".
- During the Earth/Mars war, the crew temporarily rechristens her again. This time they name her Pinus Contorta, after a species of pine tree that depends on wildfires for reproduction and survival.
- Paper-Thin Disguise: She's given a new coat of paint and has some fake gas tanks bolted to her exterior but this is only to fool the most passing of glances. Anyone who takes a close enough look will be able to tell that Rocinante is actually a heavily armed corvette bristling with weaponry and Alex eventually decides to simply dump the disguise.
- Stealth in Space: Discussed. Actually hiding isn't an option, so the ship needs to appear to be something else. Repainting the hull and gluing a bunch of freighter parts on her helped, but no one would mistake the ship as anything but a Martian Navy vessel if they actually got on board.
- Vehicular Turnabout: Though the crew didn't strictly steal the Roci, they obtained it under dubious circumstances and have no intention of giving it back. The hostilities between Mars and Earth make this a moot point for the first two seasons, but after the Time Skip and truce in season 3, Mars sues the crew to have their property returned.
James "Jim" Holden
Jim Holden is 2nd Officer of the ice trawler Canterbury (which supplies water for the Asteroid Belt's residents). This position offers him freedom and a minimum of responsibility.
A Montana native, he is the only child born to eight parents as part of a genetic collective. At a time when Earth's population is over 30 billion, there are big incentives for people not to have children. Holden's family is fighting to preserve one of the last undeveloped wildernesses in Montana; a losing battle that Holden joined Earth's Navy to escape.
In the UN Navy he served as a First Lieutenant until an ideological conflict turned into a physical confrontation, and Holden was made to face court martial. After being dishonorably discharged from the Navy, Holden took a contract with Pur'n'Kleen (owner of the Canterbury), looking to get as far from home as possible.
- Age Lift: About a decade younger than his book incarnation and quite a bit rougher around the edges as a result.
- The Captain: He becomes the de facto captain of the Rocinante and begins to be addressed as such by the rest of the crew.
- Chronic Hero Syndrome: At the start, he's trying very hard to ignore his inbuilt instinct for doing this. Unfortunately, life has other plans and, as the series goes along, he bounces from incidence to incidence as he breaks out repeatedly with bouts of the syndrome. It all starts with being unable to completely walk away from a distress call, and snowballs. Amos pegs him as Mr Righteous for a lot of good reasons.
- Dark and Troubled Past: Other characters note that he hasn't been back to Earth in years and asks why he hasn't visited. He points out that he wouldn't be working on an ice freighter if he thought he'd be welcome back home.Miller: How could you ever leave a place like Earth?
Holden: Everything I loved was dying.
- Designer Babies: He was conceived by combining the genetic profiles of all eight of his parents. He was then gestated and primarily raised by Mother-Elise.
- Exotic Extended Marriage: He has five fathers and three mothers who run a farm on Earth.
- Freudian Excuse: Holden's need to do the right thing stems from having been told since birth that he was meant to prevent injusticenote and he identified with Don Quixote after having been read the story by Mother-Elise as a child.
- Knight Templar/ Inspector Javert: He's an interesting cross of both, with the investigative side to chase the breadcrumbs, and the increasingly harsh do-gooder aspect emphasized as he gets more desperate to stop the protomolecule getting out of control.
- Mama's Boy: Holden has eight parents (three of them mothers) but Elise, the mother who carried him to term, says that he's really her baby. He left Earth because Elise told him to and only keeps in contact with her.
- Must Have Caffeine: A minor sub-plot is Holden's quest for a decent cup of coffee. He finally finds a stash of beans aboard Tachi and indulges himself. That, dear readers, is the moment he went from really liking the ship to downright loving it.
- Race Lift: He's mixed-race in the books, but is white in the TV show.
- Right Man in the Wrong Place: He and his crew have managed to land themselves smack in the middle of a vast conspiracy simply by virtue of Holden being too noble to ignore a distress call.Fred Johnson: "You're either some kind of genius Mr. Holden, or you're the luckiest dipshit in the solar system."
- Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right!: His guiding philosophy is to always do what he considers to be the right thing, even if it isn't necessarily the legal or even smart thing.
- Why Did It Have To Be The Protomolecule: After his experience on Eros and seeing what the Alien creation can do, it's left Holden traumatized and deeply fearing the Protomolecule and its variants, to the point of hunting down one hybrid as if to reassert control over it.
First Officer Naomi Nagata
Growing up on poor Belter mining ships meant that Naomi's early life was lived on a knife's edge: nearly suffocating, starving, and becoming marooned were regular occurrences throughout her childhood.
Self-educated with multiple advanced degrees, and having risen to the rank of Chief Engineer aboard the ice trawler Canterbury, she appears to be a model Belter success story, though she carries with her a secret pain.
She is cagey about her past, even with her closest friends. She abhors violence, but has witnessed enough injustice to understand the necessity of it.
Her complicated relationship with violence and her troubled history have lead to an unlikely friendship with the Canterbury's mechanic, Amos Burton.
- Accent Relapse: In Season 3, she returns to the OPA and drops the British accent she put on while working for Earthers, speaking in pure Belter Creole instead.
- Conflicting Loyalties: Belter (and which faction thereof), crew of the Roci, system inhabitant or "fuck that noise". She juggles with all these.
- Dark and Troubled Past: The MCRN belives that she is a former OPA agent, who got sick of the death brought about by following causes. In "Triple Point", Naomi reveals to Holden that she was an OPA member, but left after her lover, an influential member of the OPA, took their son Filip away from her because she wouldn't do what he wanted.
- The Lancer: Begins to take this role, to Holden; where he's idealistic and righteous, she's much more pragmatic. Yet, with Amos... she's The Leader and he The Lancer. That which Naomi can't get herself to do (even if she thinks it may need doing)... he just plain does before she can stop him or second-guess herself.
- Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: In the second half of Season 3, Naomi returns to her natural Belter creole, but occasionally the British accent she used on the Roci pokes through, indicating that she's not as invested in the cause of the Belt as she imagines herself to be.
- Pragmatic Hero: She grows more towards this as she regains the Hero, but hints of it were always there. She got badly burned in her past, which made her promise to herself not to pull blind heroics — preferably, no more heroics, ever. As a result, whenever she does backtrack on "no heroics", she tries to think all the angles through and puts doability and longterm survival very high on the list: you can't properly play hero if you're floundering well out of your depth, dead and/or nobody learns from what you found if you do die.
- Restraining Bolt: Amos trusts her implicitly to be this for him. She looks out for him, in turn; however uncomfortable it occasionally is.
- Wrench Wench: Other characters rely heavily on her mechanical knowledge. She becomes angry at how well Tachi's fully-automated engineering system works because it means there's nothing for her to do.
- Platonic Life-Partners: Heavily implied, with Amos. To the point of Like Brother and Sister.
A pilot for the Pur'n'Kleen ice trawler Canterbury.
Having grown up in Mars' Mariner Valley, Alex was raised with the incongruous Texas drawl that has caught on among the largely Indian and Chinese population who live there. Unlike the rest of his sizable family on Mars, Alex looked at the generations-long terraforming project with a sense of restlessness and dread. He just couldn't bear the thought of whiling his life away on a project he would never see completed. With dreams of flying fast attack gunships, he enlisted in the Martian Congressional Republic Navy. After his tour ended the call of adventure proved too strong to resist. Signing up with Pur'n'Kleen gave him the chance to visit the farthest reaches of the solar system.
- Ace Pilot: Subverted. He had aspirations to fly gunships for the Martian Navy but the MCRN deemed that he wasn't the right fit and assigned him to fly transports. He himself describes his job as a "glorified bus driver", and this experience eventually led him to becoming Canterbury's pilot. As the series kicks into high gear, however, he winds up becoming the pilot of an MCRN corvette thus achieving his dream. In fact, his motivation largely stems from how he feels while piloting it."Big brass said I didn't have what it takes to fly their badass gun-ships. But I'll tell you one thing, flying the Rocinante back there, that was just about the best feeling I have ever had."
- Age Lift: From middle-aged to (at best) late thirties to early forties. In Caliban's War he's described as being in his 50s and balding, a far cry from Cas Anvar.
- Disappeared Dad: He abandoned his wife and son on Mars so he could continue flying. When Alex trise to reconnect with his family, his now ex-wife informs him that their son barely remembers him, although it later turns out that she was lying and their son is proud of his father.
- Highly Conspicuous Uniform: Beginning in the second season, he's taken to wearing MCRN uniforms and other clothing emblazoned with Tachi (the Roci's original name) while his shipmates wear Beratnas Gas uniforms to go along with their ship's paint job.
- My Greatest Second Chance: He loves the Roci for many, many reasons (she is an awesome ship) — but, the main one is this. Flying her to find out what the hell has been happening in the system won't fix the mistakes he's made in the past and the relationships he's wrecked through bad choices and worse timing. But, it does prove he was always more than a glorified bus driver. He's pulling the stops out to make every second with her counts for something.
- Non-Action Guy: Played straight through most of the first season, since he has no real experience with firefights or hand to hand combat- but then subverted in season 2, where he gets to show off his chops as the pilot of a gunship.
- Team Mom: He prepares a sit down meal and fusses over everyone to lighten the mood after the events on Eros.
A mechanic aboard the Pur'n'Kleen ice trawler Canterbury. He's an Earther who doesn't talk about his past but knows a lot about brothels and Baltimore. He's eerily comfortable, and even cheerful, at the prospect of violence.
- Ambiguously Bi: A female reporter offers sex for info, he turns her down because he "doesn't shit where he eats". That reporter's male co-worker asks if he has a shot, Amos tells him the same thing. He never says "I'm not interested." Like most things with Amos, though, its hard to say for sure, as things that would be meaningful for anyone else are often (but not always) meaningless to him, and its often anybodys guess which is which.
- Ambiguous Disorder: Something is clearly wrong with him, but he means well and recognizes that he isn't like other people, usually relying on Naomi to tell him what to do.
- Berserk Button: He doesn't take it well if someone tries to take advantage of children in any way, even in jest. The first time he is shown to truly lose his temper is when a data broker tries to extort the Roci crew by suggesting Prax Ming's daughter might end up forced into sexual slavery.
- The Big Guy: Growing up in Earth's higher gravity means he is the largest and heaviest of the Rocinante's crew, and also the most comfortable with violence. He hands Miller's ass to him in the Season 2 premiere (although Miller was still suffering extreme radiation poisoning at the time).
- Blue and Orange Morality: It's clear that Amos has a code he lives by. The problem is that the code is entirely his own and his crewmates don't know him well enough to gauge how he'll react in any given situation. As he puts it, he judges things by how "the churn" seems to be turning. The moment something get more advantageous to do for survival than the thing he's currently doing, his instinct is to pick it with only very few caveats holding him back. The big one is "run it past Naomi and/or other selected, trustworthy neurotypicals, first". He's well aware that his gut reaction isn't always the right call, even if it makes the most sense to him.
- Butt-Monkey: If someone's getting injured, odds are it's him.Amos: Why am I always the one to get shot?
- Dark and Troubled Past: He says that he grew up rough and more or less admits that he used to be a hooker (or at the very least was raised by one), and that he most likely suffered or at least witnessed sexual abuse as a child. Subverted in that he isn't that ashamed of this and claims that prostitution isn't a bad way to live as long as all those involved look out for one another.
- Dissonant Serenity: Amos is soft-spoken and friendly, and obviously has no problems at all with killing anyone except Naomi (and any kids in the vicinity) - such as when he calmly tells Holden that he's trying to come up with a decent reason why he shouldn't just murder him, then politely asks him to pass a wrench so he can keep fixing the oxygen regulator on the Knight.
- Friend to All Children: Surprisingly, he's the first to agree to take a surviving child of the Eros Incident on-board the ship and chastises another rescued citizen for not protecting her.
- Hidden Depths: Amos is protective of children, and shows an unexpected measure of respect for Prax due to his refusal to give up on his little girl. As he says, Every kid just needs one person who wont give up on them.
- Lack of Empathy: He suffers from a form of emotional detachment due to the abuses he suffered as a child. This becomes an advantage, as he's able to figure out how to talk with and understand a scientist who went through a voluntary procedure to destroy his ability to feel empathy, and thus can figure out how to get the scientist to talk. Having said that: those who share similarities in their backgrounds with him, he's quick to, if not totally empathise with, then get on the same side of or decide to let take the lead. But, always to a point: if he decides the churn's moved on and the situation has changed, there's always the risk that he'll drop them.
- Morality Pet: An interesting characterization of Amos's is that he actively needs one as a moral compass and sort of right-and-wrong guidance, due to his Ambiguous Disorder. Naomi, and later Prax, are his.
- Mysterious Past: He doesn't really like to talk about his past beyond his being from Baltimore and being familiar with the crime syndicates that rule the city. When Monica investigated Amos's past before going to film her documentary, she learned that there was a crime lord named Amos Burton, although the Roci's Amos denies that this was him. Monica also implies that Amos cheated at the lottery that allowed him to be trained as a mechanic.
- Pet the Dog:
- Grew up surrounded by prostitution, so he goes out of his way to warn one about about a violent patron carrying a knife. He's also protective of children and their safety.
- He takes a liking to Prax Ming and helps him get used to life in space and train for dangerous situations due to the Belter being one of the few truly good people he's come across.
- The Sociopath/ Moral Sociopathy: He's somewhere on the antisocial personality scale, yes, what with his talk of "the churn". But, he's not necessarily disordered with it. For the (incredibly stressed) environment he's in, he certainly makes it work for him, even with the associated social disadvantages (see all the distrust people throw his way). He has a code he uses to try keeping his head on his shoulders both in and out of social situations for as long as possible. It's basically why he picks moral compasses like Naomi to bounce off. And, being quite obviously against child abuse helps his case with others, despite the rest of his Blue and Orange Morality.
- Token Evil Teammate: Downplayed. His first response to any problem is to shoot it or beat someone's skull in, which gets him furious rebukes from his teammates who see him as dangerously violent. Naomi stresses to Holden that Amos isn't truly evil, just "different".
- Tranquil Fury: Almost never seen showing any anger, even in the middle of massive ship to ship battles or close quarters firefights. Even his biggest buttons only get him from tranquil to bringing on the violence in three seconds flat, with little emotion on his face.
- What the Hell, Hero?: Gives a massive one to Naomi after she admits to giving their sample of the Protomolecule to Fred Johnson. Before that, she was his sole moral compass, but after that little stunt, he's begun to outright ignore her an has gotten quite a bit closer to Prax.
- Wild Card: A good way to describe him is "unpredictable stoicism." He's always stone-faced, and yet can deliver a near-fatal beating without even blinking at the smallest provocation. This makes both Jim and Miller extremely wary of him - at one point, Jim even considers kicking him off the ship because he can't control him.
- Wouldn't Hurt a Child: Very much — he goes out of his way to try not to. And, would very much like to hurt those who would hurt kids when they're within his reach. It's the most easily comprehended aspect of his personal morality chart. However, even though he wouldn't directly hurt kids, he can and will leave them in situations they probably won't survive, simply because he finds it hard to judge which the best thing to do is. Do you leave a kid with their family on a doomed station to die surrounded with love? Or, split them from their family and take them into an uncertain, lonely future with you? He picks leaving her behind. With some reluctance.
- You Wouldn't Like Me When I'm Angry: Dont give Amos a reason to kill you, because thats exactly what hell do. He even comes close to quoting this trope when Alex, in a fit of anger and frustration, takes a swing at him, and actually sounds contrite as he easily manhandles Alex:"I dont wanna fight you, Alex! So please dont make me. Because then, wholl fly the ship?"
Crew of the Canterbury
Shed Garvey the med-tech aboard the Pur'N'Kleen ice hauler, the Canterbury (which supplies water for the Asteroid Belt's residents). Even though he's closer to an EMT than a doctor, Shed is all the crew has got as he's called upon for everything from social diseases to life-or-death surgeries. When the Canterbury was gutted to clear the way for cargo, the medical bay was removed, so Shed now has to operate at a dining table in the galley. In addition to his official medical duties aboard the ship, Shed also provides more 'recreational' supplies to the crew.
- Actor Allusion: to Royal Pains, being affiliated with medicine.
- Dark and Troubled Past: Joined the Canterbury crew to get away from a drug dealer he owed money to.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Non-fatally. When Alex's vac-suit starts crapping out, he shares his own oxygen with him. He nearly dies as a result of it.
- Killed Mid-Sentence: Gets his head blown off during the attack on the Donnager, in the middle of trying to calm down Alex.
- The Medic: Responsible for patching treating the Canterbury crew's various injuries no matter how big or small.
- Motor Mouth: When he gets a little nervous... words happen. He gets nervous quite a few times.
- Phony Degree: Faked his MD so he can work on a ship as far away from a drug dealer as possible. That said, he does seem to know enough to be a competent medic and trauma surgeon.
- Plucky Comic Relief: Much goofier than the rest of the characters, even after the Canterbury incident.
- Who Names Their Kid "Dude"?: Seriously, who names their kid "Shed?"
The Captain of the Canterbury.
- Bunny-Ears Lawyer: He's a competent and respectable captain, but he has a weird fondness for tiny ceramic kittens. He has dozens of them lined up in a shelf in his quarters. Jim could never figure out what the deal was with them.
- Good Is Not Soft: He's a good guy, but he has shit to get done. When he sees the distress call, he promptly orders his crew to ignore it and wipe it from their records. It's a reasonable move given that the area was rife with pirates, and he had ice to deliver to Ceres - a political powder keg.
- The Good Captain: Reasonable and good to his crew. Pretty much everyone likes him.
- We Hardly Knew Ye: He appears only once in the first episode from dying in the destruction of the Canterbury.
Navigator Ade Nygaard
The Canterbury's navigator.
- Adaptation Name Change: In the books, her last name was Tukunbo.
- Friend with Benefits: Her relationship with Holden.
- The Heart: She is quick to remind McDowell of their obligation to investigate the Scopuli's distress signal, despite the potential risk to the Cant.
- Race Lift: Ade Tukunbo was Nigerian in the books; Ade Nygaard is white in the show.
- Zero-G Spot: How she and Holden are introduced.
The Executive Officer of the Canterbury.
- Does Not Like Shoes: That or....Earthy Barefoot Character. He breaks all the plant pots in his room and starts stomping on the soil barefoot. More reasonable explanation is.....he's lost his fucking mind.
- No Name Given: As befitting a cameo role.
- Sanity Slippage: Too long in space causes him to lose his sanity entirely.
- Revolvers Are Just Better: Shot up his entire quarters with a revolver, and damn near shot Jim too.
OthersBeware of spoilers!
A mental construct generated by a cluster of the Protomolecule left behind on the Rocinante following the battle with the Hybrid. It has taken the form and consciousness of Joe Miller and appears only to Holden as a hallucination, guiding him towards an unknown purpose.
- Laser-Guided Amnesia: He never remembers his previous sessions with Holden, since each iteration is a new construct, repeated until the desired result is achieved.
- Nice Hat: Wears Miller's trademark fedora.Holden: What's with the hat?Investigator: Keeps the rain off my head.
- Spirit Advisor: The simplest way of explaining it. The Investigator seems to be the disembodied consciousness of Miller after he and Julie smashed Eros into Venus, repurposed by the Protomolecule to guide Holden towards an unknown end. He appears and disappears without warning.
- The Unintelligible: The first few times he appears to Holden, he is distressed and incoherent, babbling random things Miller has previously said. He does get a few moments of lucidity, but these tend to be brief.
- Walking Spoiler: It's impossible to discuss the Investigator without spoiling Miller's fate. Hell, it's impossible to even look at him without doing that.