|Tommy Lee Royce|
|Portrayed by||James Norton|
|First Appearance||Series 1 Episode 1|
Royce displays many traits of psychopathy, and it seems the only thing he takes and interest in other than maintaining his signiture hair-do is the obsessive persuit of his son, Ryan, by the woman he raped eight years ago. Royce is a serial rapist, drug offender, and, as the series progresses, murderer. He is both cold and vindictive, and seems to delight in displaying dominance and testing people's limits. Finding that she has none, he despises Catherine Cawood and, seemingly, all women, including his own mother who he is physically abusive towards.
Recently released from prison after serving eight years for drugs related offences, the seemingly quiet and unassuming Tommy finds himself a job working for Ashley Cowgill, who a property developer with a successful drugs dealership on the side.
Before spending time in prison, Royce raped Rebecca Cawood, daughter of Catherine, resulting in an
unwanted pregnancy. The violent rape and its conssequences were what pushed Rebecca to kill herself. Tommy was never reported for his crime.
Through Ashley, Tommy becomes involved in the kidnap and abduction of Ann Gallagher, the daughter of millionaire businessman Nevison Gallagher - an uneasy plan cooked up between Ashley and Nevison's employee Kevin Weatherill, who rents one of Ashley’s caravans as a weekend retreat for himself and his family.
Once Ann Gallagher has been abducted, Tommy quickly reveals his true colours. Tommy is a psychopath. Tommy rapes Ann while she is being held captive in a basement and continuously harasses her. After 3 days of her being held captive, Ashley agrees with Tommy, and believes they should kill Ann because she knows too much. Tommy takes on the responsibility of killing her, the others involved not wating to know any details; with this freedom, Tommy takes Ann to his mother's cellar, where he plans on keeping her as a sex slave before killing her. Following up on Tommy, Sergeant Catherine Cawood visits the house and discovers Ann tied up in the basement. Cawood sets about freeing her but is attacked from behind by Tommy. After a gruesome fight, a near-fatally injured Catherine escapes with Ann, leaving Tommy blinded by pepper spray in the basement. He escapes the scene before officials can find him. Royce stays with friends for a time before things turn ugly; he is stabbed, and in turn kills his two house mates.
In a simple disguise, Royce convinces his son Ryan to go with him to a boat on the canal. Suffering with septecemia, Royce pours petrol over his son, seeing too much of himself in him and believing that neither of them will ever be able to live a normal life. Before he can light the two of them on fire, Catherine finds the boat and batters Tommy, who is already weak from his injuries. Being pulled off before she has the chance to kill him, Royce is taken to the hospital for treatment and then to a prison in London.
Prison life, it seems, suits Tommy. He’s healthy again, has been making use of the allowed gym time, his signiture hair has been shaved and he now bears a crucifix tattoos on his neck and head, indicating a possible foray into religion. Tommy's notoriety has earned him an army of hybristophilic women who want to save him from himself and will stop at nothing to please him, such as regular visitor Frances. Tommy recieves disturbing news; his mother has been murdered.
Royce convinces himself that Catherine Cawood is responsible for the crime as an act of revenge against him, and to stop his mother, who shares with Catherine the role of grandmother to Tommy's son Ryan, from trying to see the child. When Catherine makes an apperanc at his mother's funeral, Royce looses his mind and tries to attack her before being pulled away by armed guards.
Enlisting the help of Frances, Royce begins sending Ryan letters and gifts in the hopes of gaining his affections. His attempts are foiled by Catherine, though Ryan expresses lots of interest in meeting his dad again, desperate for a father figure. As the series ends with Frances realising she is one of many in Tommy's affections, and as Royce lashes out in his cell upon learning he has been banned from recieving visitors, a letter arrives from Ryan, telling his father that he loves him.
Catherine watches Ryan as he runs along the moors, thrashing the ground with a stick. It is clear to the audience that she sees too much of Royce in him, too.
This thought is disturbing enough without thinking about what would happen if he was to succeed in fulfilling his twisted fantasy of putting Catherine out of her misery and claiming back what’s his…his son Ryan.