Thursday, February 25, 2010


Most of this is supposition based on charactes and events from episodes of 'The Prisoner' and 'Callan'....
Janet Portland was born in 1933 in the London area, the daughter of Sir Charles Portland [pictured below] who became the head of one of the intelligence agencies in the UK. Sir Charles also had a son, Janet's older brother Harry. As an undergraduate at university, she met Colin Lewis, an older man who was already working in the lower levels of government, in a department under the auspices of Sir Charles. Because of his relationship with Sir Charles' daughter, Lewis was soon on the fast track for advancement.
Although not yet of age, Janet left school to marry Colin and eventually at some point in the late 1950's they had two sons. (The sons, seen in a portrait, were never named, but it would make sense that one might be named Charles and perhaps the other was Colin Junior.) Janet and Colin had fifteen happy years together. His ascent in the government led to him becoming the youngest Foreign Minister in Britain in 100 years, and to his being knighted, which made her Lady Janet Lewis.
But Sir Colin [pictured above] worked himself far too hard and he died of a heart attack around 1963, leaving Lady Janet to raise their two sons alone. The loss of her husband was a traumatic shock and for a time she tried to block her grief by retreating back to her maiden name of Portland. It was during this period in her life when she eventually made the attempt to re-enter society. And that's when she met a man working for NATO named John Drake. (It could be that Drake met her through his contacts with her father, or perhaps - like David Callan after him - he was on assignment when they met.) Drake was a reserved and somewhat secretive man, and Lady Janet was a well-known and recent widow; yet there was something that sparked between the two of them and they could not deny the attraction. By 1965, nearly two years since the death of Sir Colin, John Drake approached Sir Charles and asked him for permission to marry his daughter. (By that point, Drake was no longer working for NATO, but for MI-6 instead.)

Something happened almost a year later that caused Drake to re-examine his future within the intelligence community, and he finally decided to resign his service. Because of this rash action, Drake was gassed in his apartment, only to wake up in a place called "The Village". He had no idea where it was located, nor which side was in charge of the place. All he knew was that they had given him the number "Six" [pictured, left] and taken away his name. Whoever was in charge, they wanted to break him and learn his secrets. And if they could get him to reveal the reason for his resignation, the rest of his secrets would come tumbling out. Over the next two years "Number Six" was determined to escape the Village. At some point in 1967, Number Six awoke back in his own flat, but found himself with a new body [as seen above]. Somehow his captors had learned how to utilize a mind transfer process invented by Dr. Jacob Seltzman. If Drake had any hope of regaining his original body, he would have to find Seltzman. And to do that, he would need help from his fiancee Janet Portland. Unfortunately, getting her to trust him when he wouldn't be recognizable to her proved to be a major roadblock. At last "Number Six" convinced Janet to give him a key clue - a receipt - that led him to Seltzman. But it also led the Village surveillance team to them both as well - Seltzman and "Number Six" were captured and brought back to the Village. Seltzman was able to reverse the mind transfer and escape in the process, but John Drake AKA Number Six was trapped once more in the Village. Lady Janet Portland Lewis was left once again in the dark as to the status of her fiance. Finally deciding that too much time had passed, Lady Janet vowed to renew her life for the sake of her sons. She reverted her name back to Lewis and let it be known that the engagement between her and John Drake was now off.
Her re-emergence into society was short-lived, however. In 1970, Lady Janet was approached by a French film-maker named Joinville [pictured below], who wanted to make a documentary about her late husband. This worried a man called Hunter, who was the head of "the Section" [He may have been Sir Charles' successor.] Hunter feared that Lady Lewis would inadvertantly divulge state secrets, or at the very least contribute to a distorted image of Sir Colin's work with the government, (like the Anglo-American First Strike Plans Against Russia), which would tarnish the image of the government as well. So Hunter sent one of his operatives, David Callan, to talk her out of doing the documentary. Callan was successful, and the two of them felt an instant attraction to each other. It's likely they might have embarked on a relationship, had it not been for her murder - Lady Janet Lewis was gunned down by Joinville. (However, it might not have lasted, anyway. Callan approached her using the name David Tucker, not a great way to begin a relationship....) It turned out that Joinville was not only a film-maker, but a covert agent for the Communist Bloc. He was ordered to kill Lady Janet and make it look like British Intelligence had done the deed to keep her quiet. Callan avenged her by killing Joinville, and her sons were taken in by her older brother Harry. Callan insisted to his superior that everything possible would be done to make sure the boys would turn outright.

Not knowing what the boys' names were, it would be foolish to go out even further on a limb and guess where they might be in Toobworld today.....

'The Prisoner' - "Do Not Forsake Me, Oh My Darling"
'Callan' - "Suddenly - At Home"
'Danger Man'/'Secret Agent'


1 comment:

artisansopenfire said...

Always like seeing stuff linked up to the Prisoner!!