List of My Hero characters

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Below is a list of characters from the British sitcom My Hero, which aired on BBC One from February 2000 to September 2006 for six series and fifty-two episodes, one of which was a Christmas special, broadcast in December 2000. Ardal O'Hanlon, and later James Dreyfus, portrays a superhero named Thermoman from planet Ultron, who tries to adapt to life on Earth.

George Sunday aka. "Thermoman"[edit]

George Eamonn Sunday (Ardal O'Hanlon) is an Irish shopkeeper who's the alter ego of Thermoman, a world-famous superhero from the planet Ultron. He inherited his title from his father Seamus, the original Thermoman, who is now retired. George originally owns a health food store, but tries to avoid attracting customers in order to avoid attention. Only his closest friends know his true identity. He often appears to be an idiot because of his unfamiliarity with Earth culture and has a tendency to take things literally, such as allowing himself to get hit by a bus to cash in a life insurance policy without realising that he had to die.

Dr George Monday

From 2006, in his new body, he uses the pseudonym George Monday (James Dreyfus), posing as a doctor in Northolt Health Centre hired by Dr Piers Crispin. Janet introduces Monday to friends and parents as her friend and lodger, however they believe she's in a relationship with Monday, and that she's murdered her husband. Later episodes show characters believing Sunday left her.

Thermoman has numerous abilities in the show. He is able to both heat and freeze things with his 'thermo-breath', and smash things with "super strength". The latter is also a weakness, it being uncontrollable when the superhero's tired, as in series two episode three "Girlfriend", where Thermoman unintentionally smashes alarm clocks with his hand.

Other powers include "flight", "super speed", X-ray vision, resurrection of the dead, time travel and an ability to smell natural disasters and crimes anywhere in the world. Other psychic powers are knowing lottery numbers- although he is forbidden by Ultronian law to use this information- before seeing them on television via a series of quick mental calculations he can carry out automatically. He can also turn the television on and off and rewind it just by waving his finger.

"Invulnerability" allows Thermoman to cut off parts of his own body, such as his own head, and then replace it. This is done without blood (Thermoman doesn't bleed). However this invincibility is only effective when Thermoman believes he's invincible. In one episode he begins to doubt his ability and thus temporarily loses this power, gaining unwanted and uncontrollable invisibility instead. Invisibility occurs when he is afraid, and the amount of parts of his body that turn invisible depend on how frightened he is.

Thermoman can control minds and erase memories by putting his finger to their foreheads, and by giving them a "thermoblast". "Total erasure" is achieved by staring at a person, with the side effect of causing them to lose their hair. Thermoman can also control people's mouths; "Thermowelding" is the ability to weld a person's mouth shut. Zip-it! – a safer way of silencing people, uses a zipper (used on Tyler and Arnie), and is shown in the series three episode "Pet Rescue", along with "Interspecies Interpreter –, that allows Thermoman to communicate with animals excluding dung beetles; ("Why would you want to? They live in dung!"). The latter was used again in series six, episode three, "My Kingdom for a Cat". "Miracle Spit – is used to make plants grow quickly.

As well as all of these powers, Thermoman on multiple occasions, orders additional trial powers from the magazine Superhero Monthly.

Janet Dawkins Sunday[edit]

Janet Dawkins

Janet Charlotte Sunday/Dawkins (Emily Joyce) is the voice of sanity, and a nurse in the Northolt Health Centre. She first meets Thermoman when he rescues her from death, after falling into the Grand Canyon whilst on holiday, subsequently beginning to date George after he relocated his shop from Ireland. Although she loves George, she is frequently exasperated and confused by his behaviour. She married George at the end of series 2. She seems to be the only person who can apparently stand Mrs Raven as a friend, and vice versa. Piers Crispin has a crush on her and her mother (whom she resents) disapproves of her marriage to George Sunday and wishes she would get rid of him and marry Piers. She is a very decent woman and dislikes discrimination, with the only prejudice she has ever shown being her difficulty in accepting that 'George Monday' was still essentially the George she had married. George and Janet reside in Flat 59, Linden Court, Jordan Road, Northolt, UB5 3AC.

Ollie Sunday[edit]

Apollo "Ollie" Sunday (voice by Finlay Stroud) is the fluent English-speaking baby with a full set of teeth, the son of George and Janet. He's born at the end of series two, and, like his father has superhuman powers, although they are somewhat limited. He takes more of a back seat in series five, as he fights sibling rivalry wars with his sister Cassie. The name "Apollo" is chosen by Ollie himself during a conversation with Tyler, and is meant to symbolise the link between two "heavenly bodies" (either Apollo 11 or Battlestar Galactica). George originally wants to name him Pontius after Pontius Pilate, but Janet opted for Benjamin before Tyler told them Ollie did not like either name.

By Series five, Ollie is said to know virtually all Earth languages (although George considered Flemish as a dialect).

Cassie Sunday[edit]

Cassandra "Cassie" Sunday (voice by Madeline Mortimer) is the newest member of the Sunday family, born at the beginning of the fifth series, and named herself Cassandra. Her only superpower is that she can see into the future. This proved to be of little use, as she once thought that population of the whole Northern Hemisphere was dead when it was revealed that in fact she couldn't distinguish between sleep and death. This led to chaos as everyone flocked to Australia, in the Southern Hemisphere, as they were still awake/alive.

Piers Crispin[edit]

Local GP Dr Piers Crispin (Hugh Dennis) is Janet's corrupt boss, more interested in his public image than in his patients' welfare. In "Time and Time Again", Janet said that he was both when he was referred to as "either stupid or corrupt", and "Britain's favourite TV doctor." In the episode "Shock, Horror!", he accidentally reveals to Janet that he faked his A-Level results to get into medical school and is more concerned with his television career than anything else. In series four episode ten, "Time and Time Again", he promotes cigarettes as good for you (initially believed by Janet and Mrs Raven to be an April Fool's Joke), when paid by the tobacco industry to do his own study. In series six episode eight, "Believe", the audience finds out he cheats and schemes because of being bullied at school, being locked in a cellar by his father, and his unfeeling mother celebrating his brother's latest scout badge ignoring him. His father was CEO of a merchant bank. In episode -"Believe" he revealed he won Best Daytime Doctor award in 1996.

To boost his image, Piers tries schemes such as releasing his own health drink (diluted mouthwash but took it off the market after an "unhealthy" experience with a gangster). He also tried sponsoring a photogenic tiger cub in Bangladesh, writing a book (that Mrs Raven suggested a patient read as a means to relieve insomnia), supporting a healthy eating campaign in schools, and even appearing on I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here!. His catchphrase in the series is "I am always here".He is captain of his local cricket team. He also revealed in episode-"A Sporting Chance" that he once was a professional cricket player and had given up the game to become a doctor which made a lot of people sad.

Piers is a qualified doctor even though he doesn't know where babies come from. As it uncovered in episode "Cassie Come Home".Moreover, he uncovered one more story about his childhood that he wanted to be a violinist but his father didn't consent to it. His father strictly banned all music from the house for three years and forced him to be a doctor. Doctor Piers Crispin was once engaged to be married to a psychotic woman named Linda (Perdita Avery ).In series two episode six, "Pregnant", George describes him "as the most boring person he has ever encountered, worse even than Zargons [their national sport is growing cress]".He is a 43 year old virgin as he reveals his virginity in the episode "Not for prophet" and "A Day To Remember" (although he lost it in the episode "Big", it's not something he'd want to talk about).Says Hugh Dennis (Dr Piers Crispin): "Dr Piers is a self-obsessed, incredibly vain egomaniac with no interest in anything except himself - he's a brilliant part to play!"[1]

Arnie[edit]

Arnie Kowalski (Lou Hirsch) is George's cousin and confidant. Originally a superhero himself named Polarman, he lost his powers because he began charging for his services. He's a greedy character, willing to do anything to make money, regardless of who it harms, including himself. In one episode he gets his powers back from the Ultron Council, and becomes the new hero in town, as it were, making George feel redundant. He has them taken away again when caught stealing from those he saved, and even for stealing the Crown Jewels. In series one, he lives in New York, where he owns a café, but moves to Las Vegas in series two, where he owns a casino and to Northolt in series three. From series three onwards, Arnie starts using British idioms, whereas in series one and two he uses American idioms.

He, throughout the series has been helpful and resourceful to Thermoman, on matters such as contacts on Ultron and advice to help George when in need.

Examples of his attempts to become rich are trying to start up a website for George's health shop with Tyler that does well for a day, then Tyler accidentally destroys the website and his laptop. He makes 80 pounds per week in six months while filming a sitcom called "the filth channel" for Ultron recording his activities with Mrs Raven. He starts a therapy to help George get his invincibility back when he learns the truth about his powers and he makes 60 pounds, but Janet gets him to reduce the price.

Mrs Raven[edit]

Mrs Raven (Geraldine McNulty), is the sociopathic, sadistic, misanthropic receptionist in Northolt Health Centre. She has a sadomasochistic relationship with Arnie, has triplets from a previous marriage, and despises them to no end. In the first episode, she takes them to see an exorcist. Mrs Raven often makes snide comments about people while they are present (similar to Anne Robinson), and seems to pride herself on scaring away potential patients. She often gets the better of her boss, Dr Piers Crispin, usually through blackmail or similar methods. She is rarely overly mean to Janet, however, and the two women have oddly managed to form a genuine friendship.

Arnie has been staying with her since series three. According to Doctor Crispin, she never was a child. Also, in "Night Fever", she predicts she could see her psychotic mother in her triplets in the future, and tells Janet her family throughout generations have always been callous. She also states that prior to being a receptionist, she was a prison warden. Her wedding vows were "No retreat, no surrender", and claims she accepted to marry her former husband only after he had her in an inebriated state with gin.

She is known to aid Doctor Crispin in his schemes. If it works, she most likely wants a cut of the profits, and if it doesn't work, she gets some amusement out of Doctor Crispin's humiliation. For example, she has a camcorder ready to film Stanley Dawkins's pregnancy for a live show. Crispin then delivers a 2-ounce gallstone, earning a front page story in The Sun newspaper with the title "They think it's gall over" (punning on the 1966 world cup phrase "They think it's all over, it is now"). She photocopies this story for the patients to read.

Raven sells homemade booze to Crispin for his cousin Deon's stag night and has arranged for a stripper, i.e., herself. Mrs Raven earns enough to pay off her £5000 tax and she got amusement from Piers being "lynched" (gaffer taped to a lamppost, stark naked, with gaffer tape covering his genitals) after selling him out to Deon Crispin and his friends.

Despite her nasty behaviour towards Crispin, she reveals in series six episode eight, "Believe", that insulting Doctor Crispin is one of two things that gets her out of bed (the other being that her triplets keep their stash of explosives under her bed).

Crispin compares her to the Wicked Witch of the West from The Wizard of Oz in a few episodes. Another time he refers to her as "Mrs Hannibal Lector."

Her first name is never revealed. Even she refers to herself as "Mrs Raven." Her triplets are also unnamed and never seen, though Mrs. Raven keeps up a running commentary on their increasingly outrageous, obviously illegal and occasionally disturbing behavior. She has made numerous references to her equally vicious sister, Doris, and their psychotic mother.

Stanley and Ella Dawkins[edit]

Stanley (Tim Wylton) and Ella Dawkins (Lill Roughley) are Janet's meddlesome parents. Their relationship is tempestuous, getting off on a bad start from literally day one, as they argued on their honeymoon and spent the night apart. Mrs Dawkins is a typical mother-in-law and has always thought Janet should have married Doctor Crispin. She dislikes George, believing him to be an idiot and loser. Janet's father Stanley humorously complains all the time about his wife and is rather suspicious of George and all other men who are anywhere near his daughter. When George gains the mystic power of "Mascara" (which is the power to read minds) he reads Stanley’s mind and discovers that all he ever thinks about is killing Ella. He seems to be a bit more tolerant of George, as he has a few good times with him (mainly because he irritates Ella, making him a lesser target).

Despite his dislike of them, George repeatedly attempts to get his parents-in-law to like him. Janet, on the other hand, holds a deep grudge against them, most likely due to their overbearing, controlling ways and their repeated abuse of George.

Stanley and Ella find each other more attractive when they're both intoxicated, as revealed in series six episode seven, "Top of the Table". This might explain how Janet is conceived to a married couple like Ella and Stanley (the kind that find each other irritating and only attractive to each other when alcohol is in their system).

Tyler[edit]

Tyler (Philip Whitchurch) is Janet and George's crazy neighbour. Janet believes that his brain was fried by hallucinogens in the 1960s. He knows George's real identity, but often seems to have his own even more bizarre ideas and theories about the universe. For instance, he often claims that Gandalf, Frodo, and other fictional characters are staying in his flat. George initially denies Tyler's claims that he is Thermoman, but from series two onwards, he just accepts that Tyler knows (mainly because no one would believe him), and gives him a job as his assistant in the health shop, replacing his original assistant from series one, Avril.

On one occasion in the shop, he tells George and Arnie that at age five he went to boarding school and was bullied for ten years, but learnt that some people from fantasy are not real like Luke Skywalker. From series five onwards, he is often left to look after the kids. Tyler often refers to George as "Master", and occasionally calls Janet "Mistress" as well.

He is the only human who is resistant to George's memory-erasing thermoblast. George attempts this twice in series one episode one, "My Hero", and episode four, "Thermoman's Greatest Challenge".

In series six episode eight, "Believe", it is revealed much to the surprise of Janet, that Tyler is 32 (which means that he is about 26 in the Pilot). In the same episode he thinks he is more attractive with a wig (which he originally thought was a cat), but his attempts to "go on the pull" result in three restraining orders and a lifelong ban from Somerfield supermarkets. Tyler has a Scouse accent.

Avril[edit]

Avril (Moya Brady) is George's nervous assistant in his health shop in series one. She is replaced by Tyler from series two onwards. She has a crush on George and a dislike of Janet. She also has constant breakdowns and shakes when doing so. Her character is never seen or referred to again after series one.

Recurring guest characters[edit]

Ultron Postie

The Ultron Postie (Pat Kelman) appeared in 11 episodes of the series from 2002-2006. He appeared from the Sunday's bathroom delivering messages and gadgets from Ultron. He is the only recurring guest character. He first appeared in series 3, episode 2, "Zero Tolerance".

The Sunday Family Tree[edit]

KEY
Symbol Meaning
Solid Horizontal Line Married / Together
Solid Vertical Line Child(ren) of the Linked Couple


 
Ella Dawkins
 
Stanley Dawkins
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Séamus Sunday
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Janet Sunday
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
George Sunday
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Apollo "Ollie" Sunday
 
Cassandra Sunday
 

Planet Ultron[edit]

Ultron is Thermoman's home planet and Superheroes are their greatest export. Ultron is never seen, apart from a few shots of the planet from space (although George once described the gravity and atmospheric pressure to be much greater than Earth), but many references are made to the planet and its unique culture throughout the series.

Traditions include the grand ceremony of Betrothal, the great pig juggling ceremony, the time tunnel of tarxis—Re-jigs the age hormones—the protocols of Talithos and Zanalar—the pre-wedding mating ritual—. Other traditions include the Ultron nose-pinch—the sign of true friendship between a male and a female—the sacred oath of allegiance—the sacred stance—part of the sacred oath of allegiance and features the heroes standing with their right arms on their hips and their left arms straight across with the hands pointing down. And finally, Chang Ching—combat to the death (also known as Rock, Paper, Scissors), where forfeiting results in being scattered to the corners of the universe in four separate packing cases.

Languages are: "Zneet Znadder Zneet" (Often shortened to "Zneet"), which is typical Ultronian greeting. "Zneet Znadder Znithery Zneet" - happy Ultronian greeting. "You Great Nishdar" is an Ultronian insult. "Zneet Znadder Znooding Zneet" (as done by Tyler) is considered disgusting and it is illegal.

Lying on Ultron is punished by death.

George states that Ultronians find physical beauty unnecessary and meaningless. Compassion, intelligence and decent morals are valued more than anything else, if an Ultronian is to find a spouse. George states the males on Ultron know their soulmates as soon as they meet them. He also states that Ultronian women are remarkably tall, almost Amazonian. His own sister is eleven feet tall.

If an Ultronian male gets a female pregnant and they aren't married, the Ultronian male must have a Vasectomy (on Ultron, a couple of bricks are used for this with no anesthetic), unless they get married.

Aside from Planet Earth, the Ultrons' closest neighbours are the Zargons, a race of fish-like humanoids. According to George, Miss Zargon, winner of the Miss Universe contest, has "three of the loveliest noses in the galaxy."

Several well-known humans on Earth have been revealed to hail from Ultron. Joan Collins, Tom Cruise, Nicole Kidman, and Leonardo da Vinci are in fact Ultronian natives who have found stardom on Earth.

Thermoman ethics[edit]

Ultron superheroes take a vow to protect all human life, and the superhero code forbids injuring another human being. Section nine of the code covers illegal impersonation of a superhero for personal advancement and for misuse of superpowers for personal gain. Heroes must transform in the bathroom. If a species falls below acceptable standards, they are "Permanently excluded from the universe", in the worst possible case. In others, they punish the world that has not done particularly well by sending someone that they hate (David Dickinson is mentioned as an example).

George and Arnie quote various rules throughout the series including "Always set the best possible example", "Never sneeze with your visor closed", "No superhero shall ever lend his name, image or reputation for commercial endorsement of any kind, including Kentucky Fried Chicken", and "Don't drink and fly".

References[edit]

  1. ^ "BBC - Press Office - My Hero returns". London, UK: BBC Press Office. 16 May 2002. Retrieved 2009-10-18.