Profiles of major characters and locations in The Cleansed. Awesome character sketches by Simon Adams.
- The Refuge – Technologist survivalists
- The Republic – Urban environment
- The Believers – Religious extremists
- The Dwellers – Woods-dwelling survivalists
- The Soup – Sewers underneath Republic
The refuge is a large ex-military base with a field of solar panels, a wind turbine, bomb shelter, razor-wire fences, armory, and enough food to last a good ol’ time. The perfect place to make a stand.
There are some small gardens within the base’s perimeters, but most crops are raised in the fields outside of the razorwire fences. Guards are posted 24/7 to watch for raiders, but there are always too few guards, and too many dangers…
It is at the Refuge where David, Sam, and the other survivors from the pilot arrive some years after the “Breaking” to restart something that resembles life. And it’s to the Refuge that John Prophet comes again and upsets everything.
MARIA MILLER-BRENNER (Kate Gurney)
Tomboyish Maria, at 15, is the spice of life and apple of her parents’ eyes. She is bold, smart, brave, and tough as nails. She resists the quest initially, but ultimately Prophet convinces her that personal sacrifice is required for the greater good, and that her parents are being short-sighted in rejecting him.
LUKE MILLER-BRENNER (Philip Hobby)
Luke is a young 20. After seeing his father murdered by David during the Breaking, and then his mother waste away during their awful trail of tears to the Refuge, Luke has become withdrawn and quiet. He loses himself in the hidden worlds of fantasy books and the worlds in his imagination, even when the day-to-day grist of survival is more important to everyone else.
Orphaned during the Breaking, Luke was adopted by David and Sam, making him basically an older brother to Maria. But Luke harbors a deep and sincere resentment of David, who literally killed his biological father (See: Prologue). He feels fiercely loyal and protective of Maria though she clearly doesn’t need his help.
DAVID BRENNER (Chris Newcomb)
While 15 years have made him a harder man, at heart David Brenner is still the easy-going, nice guy but capable leader we remember from decades ago. Dark moments cloud him at night, particularly during the rare times he does actually manage to sleep, but to others he presents a cool, collected, and always in control exterior. That is, until his children and wife disappear in the night…
SAM MILLER (Kym Dakin)
Sam is as tough as ever. She has reared a tough daughter whom she adores. When Maria disappears, Sam is like a deadly lioness on the prowl, even when it becomes clear that her daughter better appreciates the grand scheme of things than she does.
JOHN PROPHET (Paul Drinan)
John Prophet is a hollowed out core of a man, running on fumes but pushing himself beyond the limits of human performance to achieve his goals. This headstrong and loyal soldier has been fighting the forces of evil for so long that he knows nothing else. When he finally feels he has accomplished his aim, the New Republic appears and almost instantly undoes his decades of work. But, rather than throw in the towel, he starts the fight anew. He wants to win his war, he wants to topple the Republic, he wants to feel that all that fighting and dying was worth something in the end.
And that stubbornness may get everyone killed.
The Republic is a regime comprised of the uber-wealthy and their military friends who disappeared shortly before the Breaking and have returned decades later expecting to take control of the world back for themselves.
They think that the functioning democracy that appeared during the hard times is a quaint relic, and that pure might is the only way to re-establish real control of the region. That, and electricity. Power makes might.
Their adoration of power is a blind-spot, and they fail to notice disloyalty in their ranks and growing external threats. They are the modern day Romans, as disillusioned as ever, scratching to keep power at any cost. This makes them dangerous.
RICHARD (Richard McGonagle)
Richard is the military mind behind the Republic. A Navy admiral, he was charged with protecting America’s elite when things got truly awful during the Breaking. In the fifteen years since, he has grown increasingly nostalgic for the old days and resentful of the new state of the world. He is on a mission to restore order at all costs, and instill this new, fallen world with a sense of respect for itself and good ol’ American values.
SAUL (Brent Askari)
Ostensibly just a spy within John’s rebels, in reality Saul will double-cross the Republic too to achieve his own ends (as well as anyone else who gets in his way). His goal is power – to have access to the controls of the Republic and use it for his own ends. He is smart egomaniac, manipulating people into believing he is helping them, and then turning on them when they are at their most vulnerable.
ZEKE (Dylan Chestnutt)
Zeke was a child turned soldier by John Prophet – the closest thing Prophet had to a son. In a tragic and tough decision, Prophet leaves Zeke behind so he can rescue Abraham and flee himself. Wounded and vulnerable, Zeke is captured by the Republic – and recaptured by Saul. Saul manipulates Zeke’s weakness in order to turn him against both the Republic and Prophet.
The Believers are an evangelical Christian tribe coming somewhere out of the West – no one is quite sure where. Hundreds of family units comprise a large, functioning, gypsy-like caravan dazzled by their leader, Paul. They consider Paul the resurrected Christ, and Paul begins to think of himself that way, too.
None of them have ever read the Bible, but they hear plenty from Paul, who preaches that swords are the way to tame your enemies, and that a righteous holy war is the only way to please Jesus…
PAUL (Erik Moody)
Saul’s counterpart, Paul is a charismatic leader for the Believers. There is an uncanny resemblance between the two and a subtext of a previous relationship between them which is never explained. But the two seem to know each other well and when they meet, it is as two seasoned nemeses finding each other and preparing for the next phase of their war. Paul is a militant Christian, preaching forgiveness and hope while arming people with guns in the meantime.
AMOS (Cole Amorello)
Amos is an indigent child who lives in the “Soup” and runs into Paul and Lucian while looking for… something. Hungry at the time, Amos goes along with Paul after receiving the promise of food. But that doesn’t mean Amos will think twice about shoving a sharpened toothbrush into your shoulder blades.
Under his tough demeanor he’s a sweet kid. Really.
LUCIAN (Reggie Hodges)
Lucian is a laborer on a “slag crew,” a modern day chain gang where workers pound through rubble and scrap looking for precious metals. He accidentally killed a man while struggling for food as a teen, and has been working backbreaking labor for a decade since. When he is driven to killing again after being wrongly accused of a crime, he flees to Paul’s side and finds comfort in the calming, welcoming, and forgiving message of his troupe.
The Dwellers are a tough group of survivalists who live in the woods, and would like to generally be left alone – though they are deeply aware of the Refuge’s presence and how nicely outfitted they are (the Dwellers have no such solar panels, windmills, etc.). Territorial and clannish, they preach “eye for an eye” justice and plan to enact vengeance on the Refuge when they find they have harbored John Prophet, a wanted murderer of their people.
CHAD (Andrew Sawyer)
Chad is the patriarch of the Dwellers, a tough but understated leader, unlike the Dwellers introduced in the Prologue. Through him we learn of the fate of the early Dwellers, and how their rigid code of honor and law has lead to their position – strong but fragile.
MARC (Ian Carlsen)
Chad’s son, Marc is a bit of a stranger among his own people. Strong and driven like his father, Marc nonetheless has a curiosity about the world beyond the borders of the Dwellers and finds himself a better thinker than warrior. He is drawn into the adventure when he is sent with the raiders who chase down John Prophet.
CAITLIN (Susan Reilly)
Caitlin is the matriarch of the Dwellers, a soft-spoken but firm leader and healer. She grew up in Central Maine, as used to gutting moose with her father as practicing nursing at a central Maine hospital. In the chaos of the Breaking, she finds herself a hostage of the Dwellers, and ultimately a core part of their society.
TULLY (Dave Marshall)
Tully is a burly grizzled old vet, paranoid and insane, but resourceful. Since the Breaking he has lived on his own, maintaining a crop of GMO corn, which he protects aggressively. He has no qualms blasting strangers and throwing their remains in the pen with his man-eating pigs. Bacon tastes better that way.
The sewers beneath the Republic are known in local street lingo as the “Soup.” Though a few lines still function for freight travel, most of the vast network of tunnels is abandoned and the people who live there are known as ‘Sewbies.’ There used to be many groups, indeed, warring gangs, among the Sewbies, but now the small surviving group (numbering in the hundreds) is an intensely loyal and fierce group of survivors. Their home base consists of constantly shifting, temporary shelters, moving to different parts of the city where they will raid for food until it grows unsafe, when they then move elsewhere. But there are strangers and darker things in the sewers than the Sewbies themselves…
SACHEM (Michael Dix Thomas)
Sachem “the seeker” is an elusive denizen of the Soup. Though blind, he still is able to travel comfortably (seeing as how the Soup is utterly dark as well). No one is quite sure what he does to survive, though a diet of rats is likely. He cackles and speaks in riddles, but his ‘Second Sight’ offers insight that is important to Queenie, matriarch of the Sewbies.
Queenie (Janice Gardner)
Queenie is the matriarch of the Soup, having survived the gang wars of the early days post-Breaking. Like most sewbies, she has had to develop quick wits, cunning, and a brutal attitude to survive. With tumultuous forces topside upsetting life in the Soup, her leadership has been critical to the small tribe of Sewbies. But they will soon be assailed with their greatest challenges yet…
The city of Borderton lies midway between the Republic and the Refuge. It is a lawless, mercenary place, where the pirate raiders bring their spoils, drugs exchange hands freely and all sorts of darker trade has its home. Keeping a watchful gaze over this cesspool is the “Family,” a family of Irish mobsters who have maintained a sort of order since the Breaking by allowing a long leash for the dark side.
Bridgid (Rachel Flehinger) and Michael (Jamie Schwartz)
Brigid and Michael McLean are brother and sister and all kinds of bad. Together, they lead the “Family” in their wheelings and dealings in the City of Borderton. Michael is the brains, Brigid the brawn – should anyone get in their way, Brigid has no problem breaking off their arms and beating them to death, or maybe just keeping things simple and landing a shot from her magnum 6-shooter.
Abraham (James Herrera)
Abraham was the head scientist aboard the “Citadel” (the aircraft carrier operated by the Republic). When the Republic landed in Corinth, Abraham escaped with John and has since been hiding from the Republic with the Family in Borderton. But what John Prophet thought was a straight deal… does not turn out to be so straight. Abraham is the key to stopping the Republic, and as we find out in Season 2, there are many, many people interested in what he knows.
The Refuge lies hundreds of miles away from the Republic, and getting there means either arduous land travel or a journey by sea. The Dwellers know of a lighthouse keeper who has a boat that can make the journey, if he can be talked into helping them on their quest…
Cutler (Tim Sample)
It is a long, lonely job being a lighthouse keeper, particular when you’re doing it in an age which has seemed to have ‘moved on.’ But, for Cutler, that seems alright. A stoic Mainer in the old tradition, he fought in the Second Gulf War and came back to the United States a little bit quieter after that. He has been tending a remote lighthouse in Penobscot Bay, Maine, for the better part of 50 years, but never seems quite so queer to his eyes as the group of travelers who come to visit him one weary night…