Who's who in 'The Tower'? — our guide to all the characters

The Tower Gemma, Jimmy, Tahira, Emmett
(Image credit: ITV)

The Tower is a new three-part series based on Post Mortem, the first in Kate London’s Metropolitan series of novels.

The synopsis for the series, which is on ITV in the UK and BritBox in the US, teases: "In The Tower’s breath-taking opening sequence, a veteran beat cop and a teenage girl fall to their deaths from a tower block in south-east London. Left alive on the roof are a five-year-old boy and rookie police officer Lizzie Adama. Within hours, Lizzie has disappeared, and Detective Sergeant Sarah Collins is charged with leading the investigation."

There's a great cast attached to the series, and ahead of the first episode on ITV we've put together a who's who guide. Here's all the main cast in The Tower, and where you've seen them before... 

Who's who in 'The Tower'?

Gemma Whelan is DS Sarah Collins

Gemma Whelan in The Tower

(Image credit: ITV)

Gemma Whelan plays one of the police officers in The Tower, DS Sarah Collins. She is known for her role as Yara Greyjoy in Game of Thrones, and has also appeared in Gentleman Jack, Killing Eve and an episode of Inside No 9.

Describing her character, Gemma said: "I think she is very, very good at her job and very, very dedicated to her moral compass, which is absolutely dead straight. I would say she has climbed well and that she is well liked."

Tahirah Sharif is PC Lizzie Adama

Tahriah Sharif in The Tower

(Image credit: ITV)

Tahirah Sharif joins The Tower's police squad as PC Lizzie Adama. She is known for Netflix's horror series The Haunting of Bly Manor and their seasonal film A Christmas Prince. She has also appeared in BBC dramas Casualty and Waterloo Road.

When asked about her character, Tahirah said: "She was top of her class when she graduated. She’s always been quite a high achiever. Joining the police force was never going to be anything different. She’s a hard worker, she’s determined, she’s thorough, she doesn’t like to cut corners. She’s already got a commendation six months into the job. She’s doing really well. She’s enjoying being out in her community doing her police work, until this all happens."

Jimmy Akingbola is DC Steve Bradshaw

Jimmy Akingbola in The Tower

(Image credit: ITV)

Jimmy Akingbola joins the cast as DC Bradshaw. Most recently, he starred in ITV series Kate & Koji opposite Brenda Blethyn, and has also appeared in Death in Paradise and Arrow

Describing his character, Jimmy said: "Steve is very sharp, he is very smart and he sees everything. He has got a great relationship with Sarah, what she has had to overcome to get where she is and what he’s had to overcome that’s what brings those two together. I think him and Sarah were not necessarily the cool kids at school. They were a little bit slightly off-centre. I think they can see a bit of themselves in each other. The difference with Steve is he has got a button to go, ‘I need to switch off and live a bit.’ For Sarah, when the work is there in front of her she has to devour it completely."

Emmett J. Scanlan is DI Kieran Shaw

Emmett J. Scanlan in The Tower

(Image credit: ITV)

Emmett J. Scanlan is DI Shaw in The Tower, and is most well known for his roles in Hollyoaks and Peaky Blinders. He has also appeared in The Fall and Safe.  

Describing Kieran's personality, Emmett said: "He’s indifferent in that he does not allow damage to affect him. He has to allow himself to survive, he has to compartmentalise things. It’s almost not his job to be sad, to be angry, to be outraged, to even have an opinion on anything. For him to have an opinion is almost self-indulgent. His only job is to catch the bad guy by any means."

Nick Holder is PC Hadley Matthews

Nick Holder in The Tower

(Image credit: ITV)

Nick Holder plays PC Hadley Matthews, who is accused of using racist language towards a teenage girl in the series. Nick has also starred in Peaky Blinders, London Road and Anna Karenina

When asked about Hadley as a character, co-star Jimmy Akingbola said: "There are a lot of micro-aggressions coming out of him and yet he would still protect Lizzie or Arif or anyone else in the police force like they were his brother or son. That’s what’s really interesting and complex about this story, is he racist? Everybody has got a different opinion about that. You are focused on one character but I think he displays how complex it can be with people, with human beings, and people who refuse to own their behaviour.

"At the same time you can’t ignore that he is someone that you want on the ground that will do anything to save that family who are in trouble or that lady who has got an abusive husband. He’s good at his job. He’s not just a bad egg and that’s frustrating and complicated and really interesting to read and hopefully for the viewers to watch."

Lucy Buglass
Senior Staff Writer

Lucy joined the WhatToWatch.com team in 2021, where she writes series guides for must-watch programmes, reviews and the latest TV news. Now she works for our sister site TechRadar in the same role. Originally from Northumberland, she graduated from Oxford Brookes University with a degree in Film Studies and moved to London to begin a career writing about entertainment.

She is a Rotten Tomatoes approved film critic and has a huge passion for cinema. She especially loves horror, thriller and anything crime-related. Her favourite TV programmes include Inside No 9, American Horror Story, Stranger Things and Black Mirror but she is also partial to a quiz show or a bit of Say Yes to the Dress