- "A good landing's any landing you can walk away from; a great landing is one where they can reuse the plane."
- "I do profoundly apologise for my first officer and his badly misjudged attempt at humour."
- ―Martin, Limerick
Douglas Richardson is an effortlessly charming, authoritative, dark-brown voiced smooth old sky god. He's twenty years older than Martin, and spent most of those as a captain for the mighty Air England, before finding himself unexpectedly on the job market after a difference of opinion with Hong Kong customs about whether having seven silk kimonos stitched inside one's jackets indicated one was a smuggler... or simply a lovable eccentric.
Having to sit in the co-pilot's seat, fly drunken city boys to Biarritz, and then hoover the plane afterwards is not how Douglas imagined the last ten years of his career, but with a wife to support, and two different flavours of alimony to pay, he's not in a position to be choosy. And on the bright side, there's Martin to tease, and... well, there's Martin to tease.
Douglas has been married three times, most recently to Helena. John Finnemore confirmed in a series of tweets that Douglas has two daughters, each from a different marriage, and the older one is called Verity. Finnemore worked on writing episode in which Verity turned up, but eventually scrapped it. The younger one is unnamed, but is mentioned in the plot of Johannesburg: Douglas interrupts her birthday party by dropping a mass of melted sweets towards, believing that they would "flutter down gently" from the air brake, before realising that, in fact, they would melt in the heat of the sun, and form one solid mass once at altitude.
As revealed in an interview with John Finnemore, Douglas' parents are both doctors - his father was disappointed he was a pilot.