Home Character Guides BBC One/ HBO’s Years and Years: Cast, Characters & Descriptions (with Spoilers)

BBC One/ HBO’s Years and Years: Cast, Characters & Descriptions (with Spoilers)

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A character guide for BBC One/ HBO’s Years and Years featuring cast members names, character descriptions, and noteworthy information.


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Season/ EpisodeSynopsisEpisode InformationTopics & Focused Characters
Season 1, Episode 6 [Series Finale]The show ends at 2034 and the 5 years covered bring about drastic change not just for the Lyons family but also the UK – can you guess how?
Director(s)Lisa Mulcahy
Writer(s)Russell T Davies
Air Date6/18/2019
Introduced This Episode
LincolnAiden Li
YvonneZita Sattar
  • 2029
  • The Fall of Rook’s Government: Edith, Bethany, Viktor, Yvonne, Celeste, Muriel, Stephen, Rosie, Vivienne, Yvonne
  • 2030 and Beyond: Edith, Bethany, Vivienne, Rosie, Stephen, Lincoln
Season 1, Episode 5We reach the year 2028 and between a housing crisis, floods, and more, so comes the question of how will Vivienne Rook handle it all?
Director(s)Lisa Mulcahy
Writer(s)Russell T Davies
Air Date6/11/2019
Introduced This Episode
WoodyKiernan O’Brien
  • Welcome to 2028
  • As It All Goes To Hell: Muriel, Celeste, Bethany, Stephen, Rosie
  • The Erstwhiles, Revenge, Following Precedents: Stephen, Vivienne, Bethany, Viktor, Edith, Woody
Season 1, Episode 4After a rather tame episode 3, things ramp up more, and on top of revolutions, there is a death on the show.
Director(s)Simon Cellan Jones
Writer(s)Russell T Davies
Air Date6/4/2019
Introduced This Episode
FranSharon Duncan-Brewster
JonjoGeorge Bukhari
  • And The World Continues To Implode
  • Desperate Times Call For Desperate Measures: Rosie, Jonjo, Edith, Fran, Daniel, Viktor
  • Karma Strikes: Stephen, Celeste, Muriel, Daniel, Viktor
Season 1, Episode 1 [Series Premiere]Years and Years may potentially be one of the most memorable shows of the summer, if not the year.
Creator(s)Russell T Davies
Director(s)Simon Cellan Jones
Writer(s)Russell T Davies
Air Date5/14/2019
Genre(s)Drama, Comedy, Sci-Fi
Good If You LikeSeeing How The Present Becomes a Dystopic Future

Shows Focused On A Family Vs. A Bunch Of Disconnected Characters

Political Satire

Isn’t For You If YouWant To Watch Something Optimistic About The Future
Introduced This Episode
RosieRuth Madeley
DanielRussell Tovey
StephenRory Kinnear
LincolnAaron Ansari
CelesteT’Nia Miller
BethanyLydia West
RubyJade Alleyne
VivienneEmma Thompson
RalphDino Fetscher
MurielAnne Reid
EdithJessica Hynes
LeeCallum Woolford
Season 1, Episode 2After the events of the last episode, bad turns worse as the US spirals, the world heads towards authoritarianism, and yet another crisis.
Director(s)Simon Cellan Jones
Writer(s)Russell T Davies
Air Date5/21/2019
Introduced This Episode
ViktorMaxim Baldry
  • The Bad News Is: Bethany, Celeste
  • Roll Back The Clock: Viktor, Ralph, Daniel, Edith, Muriel, Celeste
  • A Humbling Experience: Celeste, Stephen, Vivienne
Season 1, Episode 3The rest of the world is set aside as we come upon 2026 and between a death in the family, elections, and grave mistakes, the Lyons family are dealing with a lot.
Director(s)Simon Cellan Jones
Writer(s)Russell T Davies
Air Date5/28/2019
Introduced This Episode
LizzieShannon Hayes
ElaineRachel Logan
StevenCraig Gazey
  • The Year Changes, But Things Remain The Same: Edith, Stephen, Celeste, Ruby, Lincoln
  • Like Father, Like Sons: Steven, Elaine, Stephen, Viktor, Daniel, Rosie, Edith
  • What A Wonderful World: Lizzie, Bethany, Vivienne, Celeste

Ruth Madeley As Rosie

Rosie (Ruth Madeley) talking to a guy she fancies.

Rosie (Ruth Madeley)

Is First Noted In

Season 1, Episode 1 [Series Premiere]

Character Introduction

Rosie is the youngest of the Lyons family and, when introduced to her, she is a chef manager at a school which has approximately 1,200 students. Also, she is a single mother, not necessarily by choice, to two boys and has a serious issue with her father, Vince.

Additional Information About Rosie

  • Rosie’s condition, Spina bifida, the actress also has.
  • Rosie votes 4 Star party

Russell Tovey As Daniel

Daniel (Russell Tovey) as Viktor goes to see immigration.

Daniel (Russell Tovey)

Is First Noted In

Season 1, Episode 1 [Series Premiere]

Character Introduction

Rosie’s older brother is also a government worker under the housing authority. Specifically, he assists with the refugee crisis that has caused an influx of Ukrainians trying to gain asylum. He also happens to be gay and begins the show with a partner named Ralph.

Additional Information About Daniel

  • Daniel votes conservative party.
  • Turns 37 in 2026
  • Loves Pasties.
  • Was born in Manchester.

Rory Kinnear As Stephen

Stephen (Rory Kinnear) in a red sweater.

Stephen (Rory Kinnear)

Is First Noted In

Season 1, Episode 1 [Series Premiere]

Character Introduction

Stephen is a financial advisor, also the oldest of the siblings, and we’re told the only one who keeps in contact with his father. He’s married to Celeste and has two daughters with her, Bethany and Ruby.

Additional Information About Stephen

  • Votes Labor party

Aaron Ansari As Lincoln

Is First Noted In

Season 1, Episode 1 [Series Premiere]

Character Introduction

Lincoln is the youngest member of the Lyons family, with being born in May 2019, and is half Asian and half English.

Additional Information About Lincoln

  • Lincoln’s father, Gau, is from Beijing and allegedly left, never to return, to take care of his mother.

T’Nia Miller As Celeste

Celeste (T’Nia Miller) as the financial crisis happens.

Celeste (T’Nia Miller)

Is First Noted In

Season 1, Episode 1 [Series Premiere]

Character Introduction

An accountant, and mother of two, as well as a Black woman. She also has some weird issue with Stephen’s grandmother Muriel, likely because Muriel is politically incorrect, which leads her to only see her once a year, usually, on her birthday.

Additional Information About Celeste

  • Votes Conservative party

Lydia West As Bethany

Bethany (Lydia West) without a filter on.

Bethany (Lydia West)

Is First Noted In

Season 1, Episode 1 [Series Premiere]

Character Introduction

Bethany is Celeste & Stephen’s oldest daughter, and she reveals she is transhuman. Meaning, she sees herself as more so a digital being than one of the flesh.

Additional Information About Bethany

  • As an adult, Bethany works in data mining.
  • Takes going digital to the point of being able to hack into electronics with a whisk of her wrist and by thought.

Jade Alleyne As Ruby

Ruby (Jade Alleyne) talking to her mom.

Ruby (Jade Alleyne)

Is First Noted In

Season 1, Episode 1 [Series Premiere]

Character Introduction

The younger child of Celeste and Stephen, Bethany’s younger sister, we don’t learn a huge much about her. That is, besides she has epilepsy.

Additional Information About Ruby

  • As of 2024, she was 13.

Emma Thompson As Vivienne

Vivenne (Emma Thompson) after she lost an election.

Vivenne (Emma Thompson)

Is First Noted In

Season 1, Episode 1 [Series Premiere]

Character Introduction

A millionaire, who portrays herself as one of the people, she starts off as an off the cuff political commentator and later evolves into a politician. One which is very nationalist and starts her own political party, and network, to further her interest.

Additional Information About Vivienne

  • In time, she becomes Daniel’s boss as the Housing Authority becomes privatized.
  • She runs a Think Tank.
  • Doesn’t really care about the Israel v. Palestine situation.
  • Is modeled after many authoritarians with little to no political experience.

Dino Fetscher As Ralph

Ralph (Dino Fetscher) talking to Daniel.

Ralph (Dino Fetscher)

Is First Noted In

Season 1, Episode 1 [Series Premiere]

Character Introduction

Ralph is Daniel’s boyfriend, later husband, at the beginning of the series. Ralph is also a school teacher. One who is slowly starting to look into conspiracy theories like the Earth being flat and germs not existing.

Additional Information About Ralph

  • Ralph and Daniel vacationed to India together.

Ana Reid As Muriel

Muriel (Ana Reid) talking to Viktor

Muriel (Ana Reid)

Is First Noted In

Season 1, Episode 1 [Series Premiere]

Character Introduction

Muriel is the grandmother of Stephen and his siblings, as well as the great grandmother of Bethany and her cousins. She is portrayed as someone who is a bit hard to get along with at times but usually has her heart in the right place. Also, she can be a bit rude and politically incorrect in terms of what she says. However, she isn’t racist just isn’t keeping up to date with proper terminology.

Additional Information About

  • As of 2022, she was 90 years old.
  • Voted 4 Star party.
  • Her home was passed down and she can’t keep up with the payments needed to keep it from becoming run down.

Jessica Hynes As Edith

Edith (Jessica Hynes) being sarcastic as family dinner.

Edith (Jessica Hynes)

Is First Noted In

Season 1, Episode 1 [Series Premiere]

Character Introduction

An activist nearly her entire adult life, most of the family hasn’t seen Edith for at least 7 years. But, it is noted, she is quite famous and is an author.

Additional Information About Edith

  • Some of the places she has been are Lagos, Canada, and Vietnam.
    • Edith was in Vietnam during the US’ attack on Hong Sha Dao.
  • Due to her being in the proximity of ground zero of Hong Sha Dao, she is suffering from radiation poisoning. Enough of it to likely make it so she only lives 10 years.
  • Edith often was closer to Stephen than the rest as a child, also she was always more serious than fun loving like her younger siblings.
  • Dies in 2034.

Callum Woolford As Lee

Lee (Callum Woolford) watching TV.

Lee (Callum Woolford)

Is First Noted In

Season 1, Episode 1 [Series Premiere]

Character Introduction

Rosie’s older son who, like Ruby, we don’t learn a huge amount about. Well, beyond his dad not being in the picture.

Additional Information About Lee

Maxim Baldry As Viktor

Viktor (Maxim Baldry) talking to Daniel.

Viktor (Maxim Baldry)

Is First Noted In

Season 1, Episode 2

Character Introduction

Viktor is a Ukranian immigrant who fleed Ukraine after his parents, two Eastern Orthodox Christians, turned him into the now Russian controlled government. However, he escaped, after being tortured, to England. A place his residency of may not last forever.

Additional Information About Viktor

  • He is 6 years younger than Viktor.
  • Has a degree in economics.
  • Gets deported due to Daniel cheating on Ralph with him and Ralph revealing he was working.

Shannon Hayes As Lizzie

Lizzie (Shannon Hayes) when she meets Bethany.

Lizzie (Shannon Hayes)

Is First Noted In

Season 1, Episode 3

Character Introduction

Lizzie is one of Bethany’s co-workers and becomes the first friend of hers we meet. We also learn, like Bethany, she is transhuman. However, unlike Bethany, she has a bit more gumption and this, unfortunately, leads to her eye being stolen and her being given a wonky replacement.

Additional Information About Lizzie

Rachel Logan As Elaine

Elaine (Rachel Logan) talking to Stephen.

Elaine (Rachel Logan)

Is First Noted In

Season 1, Episode 3

Character Introduction

Stephen’s co-worker who he has an affair with.

Additional Information About Elaine

Craig Gazey As Steven

Steven (Craig Gazey) before handing vials of his father to his half-siblings.

Steven (Craig Gazey)

Is First Noted In

Season 1, Episode 3

Character Introduction

Stephen’s youngest brother, and half-brother, who was raised by Vince and his mother Jacqueline.

Additional Information About Steven

Fran (Sharon Duncan-Brewster)

Fran (Sharon Duncan-Brewster) answering her door.

Fran (Sharon Duncan-Brewster)

Character Description

First Noted In: Season 1, Episode 4

A storyteller, not to be confused with a writer, Fran admires Edith’s work and pursues her own activism by engaging people with her gift. One which often leads her to intersect with Daniel’s life.

Additional Information About Fran

  • There are rumors within the family she and Edith may have something going on.

Jonjo (George Bukhari)

Jonjo (George Bukhari) in Rosie's kitchen.

Jonjo (George Bukhari)

Character Description

First Noted In: Season 1, Episode 4

Rosie’s boyfriend, and co-owner of her food truck, Jonjo comes in quick and becomes integrated into her life in a way which raises a red flag for Edith. However, with it appearing that he is genuine, she steps back and lets her sister’s relationship continue – rather than possibly killing Jonjo.

Additional Information About Jonjo

Woody (Kiernan O’Brien)

Woody (Kiernan O'Brien) shocked by what's happening.

Woody (Kiernan O’Brien)

Character Description

First Noted In: Season 1, Episode 5

A childhood friend of Stephen who provides him a job. One which is essentially a yes man job dealing with buying and managing government facilities. Specifically Erstwhile facilities to hold immigrants and the sick.

Additional Information About Woody

  • Works at Woodward, Beckett and Peck.
  • Questions if Hang Sha really happened.

Yvonne (Zita Sattar)

Yvonne (Zita Sattar) smiling.

Yvonne (Zita Sattar)

Character Description

First Noted In: Season 1, Episode 6

One of Daniel’s friends who tried to keep him informed about Viktor’s situation when immigration got involved. Later on, she becomes one of many which assist in toppling Vivienne’s government.

Additional Information About Yvonne

How Does Season 1 of Years and Years End?

Rosie

After the fall of Vivienne Rook’s government, she ends up having a third child and things become relatively normal for her once again.

Daniel

He drowns trying to help Viktor cross the English Channel.

Stephen

He is one of 500 whistleblowers who help topple Vivienne’s Rook’s government but also ends up with three years of jail time due to his actions. One of which includes moving Viktor to an Erstwhile site. But, he does find joy, after leaving Elaine, teaching English to kids in Barcelona.

Lincoln

Lincoln transitions and confirms their gender identity as a woman.

Celeste

She’s alive in the end, but what she does for work is unknown. All that is clear is, after aiding Muriel and building her a relationship, even after divorcing Stephen she is treated as family.

Bethany

While she doesn’t go fully digital as she hoped as a teen, she is well connected to the cloud.

Ruby

We truly don’t learn hardly a thing about her. So in the end, beyond knowing she is alive, she remains a mystery.

Vivienne Rook

If you believe Edith, she is on the run somewhere rather than in prison.

Ralph

It’s assumed he is alive. We don’t see him after Daniel’s funeral to know how his life is.

Muriel

She is still alive at the end of the show, and despite speaking on selling the house, she still has it.

Edith

We’re left on a bit of a cliffhanger with Edith. She, as Bethany has long dreamed of, tries to become purely digital. In fact, the way things are set up, you are led to believe the entire show is her recounting her life as she is digitized. However, whether or not the procedure work we don’t know.

Lee

All we know is, after being a bit of a trouble maker in his youth, he may have turned things around.

Viktor

He’s still alive and despite what Stephen did to him, he can stand to be in the same room with him as they away to see if Edith being digitized worked.

Lizzie

After losing her eye halfway through the season, we don’t see her again. Bethany doesn’t even talk about her.

Elaine

Due to Stephen being unable to transition their relationship from an affair to a real relationship, they break up.

Steven

No idea. We solely see him in episode 3 and never again.

Fran

We learn her and Edith are lovers, and she is alive waiting to see if Edith is successfully digitized with the rest of the family.

Jonjo

After marrying Rosie, and having a child with her, it seems any apprehension about him coming into Rosie’s life is gone. An apprehension only Edith vocalized but might have been shared.

Woody

With him directly involved with the Erstwhile project, he ends up in prison. Also, thanks to Stephen shooting him, he probably walks with a limp.

Yvonne

She is alive and well when all is said and done with no repercussions for her part in the end of Rook’s government. Even if an associate of hers used military grade weapons.

General Information

  • The grandchildren (Stephen and his siblings), lost their mother to cancer.
    • She died sometime in the 2000s.
  • The show is within modern times and seems rooted in the worst case scenario happening.
    • Trump wins the 2020 elections in the show’s world with Pence following him soon after.
  • Robots are coming into play for household use as well as sex.
  • The father of Muriel’s grandchildren is named Vince, and he left his children around the time Rosie was born.
  • The birth order: Stephen, Edith, Daniel, Rosie, then Steven.
    • All but Rosie and Steven were born in the 80s.
  • Vince died at the age of 69.

Notable Locations & Events

Hong Sha Dao

A man-made island which, allegedly, was a secret military base. One which, in the final days of Donald Trump’s presidency, was hit with a nuclear weapon. Leading to the death of 45,000 people.

Foster Foster Drake

This is a major, American, bank which fails and causes a huge number of people to lose their bank accounts. Of which the government only insures up to 85K.

Spanish Revolution

Happens in 2026/2027 when the far left of Spanish politics decide to overthrow the government. Said act coincides with the EU beginning to collapse as Athens leaves and Hungary goes bankrupt.

2027

Alongside the Spanish Revolution, gay marriage and abortion are outlawed in the US, the EU begins to collapse, and compulsory voting becomes law in the UK.

2028

Bananas are no longer available for consumption, power outages become normal as prices for utilities go through the roof, months of rain causes a housing crisis, and multiple terrorist and cyber attacks happen across the country. Also, due to electronic resources being limited, paper makes a comeback – newspapers for example. On top of that, the Bedroom Law comes into play to to deal with the housing shortage by forcing people to share their quarters.

2029

The BBC loses its charter and journalist who begin questioning Vivienne Rook get banned or disappear. Also, a flu epidemic begins and 6G is invented by this time.

2030

The Leaning Tower of Piza falls and Notre Dame is restored.

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