Real Name: Richard Oliver Mayhew
Identity/Class: Magically enhanced human
Occupation: former Lawyer
Affiliations: Door, Marquis de Carabas, Hunter, Old Bailey, the Black Friars
Enemies: Croup, Vandemar, Angel Islington, the Great Beast of London, the Velvets
Known Relatives: None
Base of Operations: London Below, formerly an apartment in London Above
First Appearance: Neverwhere Episode #1 "Door" (BBC 1, 12th September 1996)
Powers/Abilities: Initially none. Like all from London Below, Richard is effectively invisible to most of the people who inhabit London Above - it's not that they can't see him, its that they don't want to. Hunter gets him to mark himself with some of the Great Beast's blood after he kills it, which appears to revitilise him and make him stronger and more confident than he had been previously.
History: Richard Mayhew was a Scottish man who had moved to London to work in the city. After three years there, he was beginning to feel at home; he had a fiance, Jessica, who had pushed him into practising law and into working his way up the corporate ladder; he had a career, and he had a nice apartment.
Everything changed the night he stopped to help what appeared to be an injured homeless girl; meant to be going to an important, career-related dinner with Jessica, he found himself dumped by his self-centred girlfriend. More importantly, the girl, whom he took back to his apartment, proved to be Door, a resident of London Below, a hidden world beneath the London most people knew. She was fleeing Croup and Vandemar, hired assassins who had recently slain her entire family, and the next morning they turned up on Richard's doorstep looking for their prey. When Richard aided Door in evading them, they took revenge by wiping out his life; nobody in London Above remembered him anymore. With his old life gone, and two ancient killers intending to soon end his new one, Richard insisted on accompanying Door as she sought to find out who was behind the massacre of her family, believing that solving this riddle was the only way to get back what had been taken from him. The journey through London Below taught Richard about his own hidden strengths, as he survived the ordeal of the Black Friars, and faced the legendary Great Beast of London in a battle to the death. Both his and Door's quests were eventually successful; she found out who had ordered the deaths of her family, and avenged their deaths, while Richard finally was able to return to London Above, his old life restored. However the adventures he had experienced had changed him, and Richard came to the realisation that London Above no longer held anything for him; he gave up his life above, this time willingly, and returned to his friends in London Below.
Comments: Created by Neil Gaiman and Lenny Henry. Played by Gary Bakewell. The character was named after Henry Mayhew, who wrote London Labour and the London Poor.
Thanks to Anne Osberg for additional information.
CLARIFICATIONS: Not to be confused with
Richard Barrett, one of the Champions
Rich the Were-Rat, Bats, Cats and Cadillacs
Rick O'Connell, 1920s/30s adventurer
Any Additions/Corrections? Please let me know.
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