(in order of appearance)
Professor (Dmitri): A man around 50; group leader. A long-time colleague and close friend of Vavilov, from whom he was given responsibility for the seed collection.
Anna: A woman in her early 20s; research assistant. Until recently, a student of the Professor’s. Bright, idealistic, but somewhat naive.
Elena (Dr. Ivanova): A woman around 35; scientist. A pragmatic realist who wants nothing more than to rejoin her husband and young son in the East.
Dr. Grivov (Filip): A man around 70; scientist. A mentor to both the Professor and Vavilov in the days before the Revolution. A dreamer who lives for the memories of his late wife, and for his cherished potatoes.
Pasha: A man in his early 20s; handyman/caretaker. The only non-scientist. Slow of mind and gait, he handles manual tasks, like fetching water and killing rats.
Sonya (Dr. Mishkina): A woman around 40; scientist. Possessed of a delicate disposition, she suffers under the stress of the Blockade.
Major Tikhvin: A man in his mid-30s; political liaison. Leningrad representative for the People’s Commissar of Agriculture. He lacks the Professor’s education, but is nonetheless quite practiced in the art of manipulation.