Martin Blackwood is one of the archival assistants working for the Magnus Institute and has worked for the Institute since at least 2009. He helps Jonathan Sims, the Head Archivist, by following up on the Archive's cases. Initially, John does not appear to value his services, saying he will contribute "nothing but delays.”
Martin initially comes off as nervous and unassuming, and frequently takes on a nurturing role among the archival staff. He is an avid tea-drinker and regularly offers cups to his co-workers, especially John, of whom he is very fond. Although Martin cares very deeply for the people around him, he is a notably lonely person. Despite his efforts to make friends, he is not regarded well by his co-workers due to his poor work performance and is not known to have positive ties to anyone outside of the Archives.
Martin is very practical, often making preparations that those around him do not think to. Martin is often underestimated, something he takes great offence to, but which he also uses to his advantage at times. He is very sensitive and enjoys writing poetry, but is also easily hurt. He has a very animated manner of speech.
Martin is not known to use a specific label for his sexual orientation, but is attracted to men.
Martin is stated to look almost exactly like his father, whose appearance is unknown.
Martin was born around 1987. His mother is chronically ill and lives in a care home in Devon. His father abandoned the family when Martin was about eight or nine years old, and at seventeen he dropped out of school to care for his mother.
He struggled to find a job and started to lie on his CV. Martin eventually landed a job at the Magnus Institute after claiming to have a master’s in parapsychology. He worked in the library and was transferred to the Archives by Elias Bouchard when Jonathan Sims was promoted to head archivist.
He first meets John after accidentally letting a dog into the Archives.
Martin is frequently mentioned alongside the other archival assistants during statement follow-ups. He is remarked as being notably worse at his job than Tim Stoker or Sasha James.
He is trapped in his apartment in Stockwell by Jane Prentiss from the end of February to March 12th, when he returns to the Archives and gives a statement. On John's suggestion, he moves into the Archives.
He worries about Jane Prentiss, particularly as her worms start to show up in the Archives. As a precaution, he takes to carrying a corkscrew to better extract the worms from flesh, and he hides CO2 fire extinguishers in old case file boxes.
On July 29, 2016, Prentiss attacks the Institute. Martin is trapped with John until Tim breaks down a wall and leads them into the tunnels. As they flee from the worms, he becomes separated from the others and he eventually stumbles upon the body of Gertrude Robinson.
About a month after Prentiss’s attack, Martin has moved out of the Archives, leaving a few notebooks of poetry and an unfinished letter behind.
He contacts the ECDC and gets a jar of Prentiss’s ashes for John, who notes that Martin has been showing increased competence and apparent concern for his well-being since Prentiss’s attack. (MAG 41, MAG 55).
After John is stabbed by Michael, he lies to Martin, saying he accidentally stabbed himself with a bread knife. Martin becomes increasingly concerned over John's well-being and begins watching him more closely. (MAG 53)
Martin previously told John that Trevor Herbert had passed away in the middle of his statement. After John finds the second part of the statement, he confronts Martin and accuses him of lying. Martin apologises, admitting that he was simply repeating hearsay. John continues to pressure him and Martin ultimately confesses to having lied on his CV when applying to the Magnus Institute. (MAG 56)
Martin helps Tim, Not-Sasha, and Elias stage an intervention for John. (MAG 60)
On February 16, 2017, John tells Tim and Martin to head home early as he’s feeling ill and doesn’t want to infect them. They head out but sneak back later. Tim is worried that John is going to do something truly foolish and needs to be stopped while Martin is more concerned about John's well-being. As they’re skulking about John's office, they see Not-Sasha, in her monstrous form, head into the tunnels.
Martin refuses to leave John and follows Not-Sasha into the tunnels. Tim reluctantly tags along. As they look for John, Michael startles them. He finds John's predicament amusing and doesn’t want them to interfere. Martin seems ready to fight until he notices Michael’s hands, realising they’re facing something supernatural, Martin and Tim run away, straight into Michael’s door.
From their perspective, they appear to wander the corridors for days but when they find themselves back in the Archives, it is still the same evening. Unsure of what to do, they look for John in his office and find the still-bleeding corpse of Jurgen Leitner.
Following John's departure from the Archives, Martin fills in for him and starts recording statements. The process seems to take a lot out of him. He is present when John finally returns to confront Elias and is distraught to learn that Elias is a murderer and that Sasha James has been dead for nearly a year.
Martin helps research The Unknowing and together with the other assistants, he starts planning how to get rid of Elias without killing him. When the others leave to stop The Unknowing, he and Melanie King stay behind.
He burns statements to distract Elias while Melanie breaks into his office. Elias punishes Martin by directly inserting the knowledge of how much his mother hates him into his mind but the plan is ultimately successful and Melanie manages to steal the recording of Leitner's murder.
They hand the recording to the police and Elias is put in jail but not before appointing Peter Lukas as the new head of the Institute.
After the Unknowing has been stopped, Tim is dead, Daisy is missing, and John is in a medically impossible coma. It seems unlikely that he will ever wake up and Martin grieves for him. He is left working with Basira and Melanie under Peter Lukas.
About two months after the Unknowing, Martin’s mother passes away and he feels as though he has nothing left to live for. In late 2017, he teams up with Peter, agreeing to work for him in if he keeps the others safe. He tells himself that it is to protect the others but he thinks it might also just be a good way to get himself killed.
John returns in February, 2018 and Martin finds a new purpose. He intends to protect John by keeping Peter’s attention fixed on himself, even if it means cutting himself off from everyone else.
He gradually learns what Peter has planned for him. Peter believes that the Extinction, a fifteenth Entity, is emerging and it could mean the end of the world. He is trying to learn more about it and believes the Institute has a device which will allow him to do just that. It requires someone aligned with the Eye to use and that’s where Martin comes in. Peter intends to make him aligned to both the Eye and the Lonely so that he can use the device while ultimately serving Peter’s interests.
On June 12, Martin takes the statement of a distressed woman and learns that John has traumatised her by compelling her to give a statement against her will. He eventually leaves the recording for Basira and the others to find, asking them to talk to John about it.
Peter has had him record statements relating to the Extinction and despite his distaste for Peter, Martin is forced to admit that the threat seems real. He also starts to find his isolation comfortable and manifests the ability to vanish through the Lonely.
Peter’s preparations are finally complete and he brings Martin to the device: the Panopticon of Millbank Prison. It is currently inhabited by the body of Jonah Magnus and Martin will have to kill him to take his place. Elias shows up and reveals that he has been Jonah Magnus all along and has been prolonging his life by transferring his eyes to new bodies over time. Martin desperately wants to kill him but refuses to go through with it.
He does believe that the Extinction is real but also that everything Peter has been doing is just a power play against Jonah, and he’s not playing along any more. Peter is upset at having been so thoroughly fooled and, at Jonah’s behest, he casts Martin into the Lonely.
For all his pretence, Martin’s connection to the Lonely is real and he is deep in its grip. John tracks him down and tries to bring him out of the Lonely but Martin simply confesses that he loved him and vanishes. John finds him again after killing Peter. He urges Martin to look at him and finally manages to pull him from the Lonely’s grasp. They leave together.
Martin and John flee the Institute and go into hiding. They settle into comfortable domesticity in one of Daisy’s safe houses in Scotland. They keep in touch with Basira and after three weeks, she sends some statements as sustenance for John. Martin goes for a walk to give him some privacy as he reads one. While he’s away, Elias tricks John into completing a mass ritual, summoning all the Entities into the world and bringing about the apocalypse.
After The Change, he and John shelter in the cabin for an indeterminate amount of time. They eventually leave and head toward the Institute, looking for a way to undo The Change.
In MAG 200, John kills Jonah Magnus and becomes the pupil of The Eye. Martin follows him and after a last-ditch debate, stabs John to release the powers into new worlds. Once the world has returned to normal, neither John nor Martin are found in the rubble of the panopticon and it is unclear what has become of them.
- Vanishing - Like Peter Lukas, Martin can vanish from sight using the powers of The Lonely. This is the first and only supernatural power Martin has exhibited.
Martin has the majority of his screen time in season four, where the narrative focuses heavily on him and John. Bold marks episodes where Martin has given a statement. Underline marks episodes where Martin has read a statment.
- Martin Blackwood is named after horror writer Algernon Blackwood and Martin Corcoran, who voices Dr. Lionel Elliot and Breekon.
- Martin appears to know some amount of Polish, as evidenced in MAG 12.
- Martin is the last surviving assistant from the trio of season one. The other two were Sasha James and Timothy Stoker.
- Martin's D&D class would be bard with no instrument.
- Martin enjoys most teas, but has a particular distaste for oolong after his mother regularly served it to him as a way of avoiding unpleasant conversations.
- Martin thinks tarantulas are cute.
- Martin is a little claustrophobic.
- Martin's crush on John has been planned from the beginning.
- Martin's poetry is available as bonus content on the Rusty Quill Patreon. It is written by Anil Godigamuwe, Rusty Quill's community manager, and Jonny has described it as 'aggressively mediocre'.
- For the Rusty Quill Gaming & Giving 2019 charity livestream, Anil wrote a poem in just a few hours and Alex J. Newall, Martin's voice actor, recited it on stream.
- Jonny Sims has stated in the season two Q&A that Martin is Not Going to be Okay.
- In MAG 79, Martin calls himself "Martin K. Blackwood" in a recording but in MAG 164 it is revealed that he actually has no middle name.
- In MAG 196, Annabelle Cane mentioned that Martin had the potential to become part of The Web due to his abilities to subtly manipulate people and only avoided it by becoming part of The Lonely.
- In MAG 198, Martin says that he enjoys rowing, and feels he is rather good at it.
- In the MAG Retrospective published after Season 5, Jonny Sims said that he always has imagined Martin as a bigger guy, and that he would beat his voice actor Alexander J. Newall in a physical fight.
- MAG 72: Takeaway
- MAG 39: Infestation
- MAG 162: A Cosy Cabin
- MAG 120: Eye Contact
- MAG 158: Panopticon
- MAG 108: Monologue
- MAG 131: Flesh
- MAG 118: The Masquerade
- MAG 52: Exceptional Risk
- MAG 56: Children of the Night
- MAG 42: Grifter's Bone
- 0MAG 118: The Masquerade
- The Magnus Archives Liveshow
- MAG 22: Colony
- MAG 127: Remains to be Seen
- MAG 142: Scrutiny
- MAG 149: Concrete Jungle
- MAG 159: The Last
- MAG 160: The Eye Opens
- MAG 120.1 - Season 3 Q+A (Extended Cut)
- Season 4 Q&A Part 2
- MAG 186: Quiet
- MAG 15: Lost Johns' Cave
- Season 3 Q&A