It has been stated in ITC's publicity notes for the hour ‘Danger Man’ series, that there was a change in John Drake's character, in his attitude towards women. Previously in the 25 minute episodes, his attitude towards women was guarded. He was not afraid of women, but afraid of falling in love. A man of his character would never treat romance in a light-hearted manner. He avoided entanglements because he felt that the dangerous life he led would make it unfair to expect any woman to suffer the anxieties of being married to him. Marriage would also be unfair to him too. With the responsibility of a wife and family, he would inevitably feel more cautious in risking a life which was otherwise entirely his own, no-one left to suffer if he were killed. Marriage would ultimately effect his work.
"John Drake realises that he is getting older and is not yet married", McGoohan's own words, "Basically he would like the security of a home, marriage and a family, and he is beginning to feel that the time is approaching when he must consider this before it is too late. He intends, however, to give up his job before he takes this step."
"He intends, however, to give up his job before he takes this step."
A very telling sentence, but I suppose, you would have to be of the opinion that the characters of the Prisoner and John Drake are one and the same, before you decide to take this seriously. However I am of the opinion that they are, and there are those who worked on the production team of the Prisoner, who have confirmed as much.
John Drake was getting older and wanted the security of marriage and a family before it was too late. The Prisoner, we discover in the episode of ‘Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling,’ is engaged to Janet Portland. The daughter of Sir Charles Portland, the direct superior to the Prisoner in the secret service, in better days of course. You will recall how it is described when the Prisoner asked Sir Charles Portland for the hand of his daughter. Sir Charles was pruning his Baccara roses down by the little goldfish pool. Sir Charles dropped his secateurs, although it could not have been all that much of a surprise. Perhaps it was shock, shock that anyone would wish to marry his daughter, this together with the thought that here was a man who was prepared to take his daughter off his hands.... at long last!
So the Prisoner resigned, he had given up his job just as John Drake had eventually intended to do. But was it for the woman he was engaged to? Janet Portland, a one time debutante, and now with a fiancé in her grasp. middle aged man, strong, handsome, worldly. A man who would love her, take care of her, and perhaps above all, give her a secure life. And once her fiancé had given up his job as a security agent, he would take a safe desk job, and be at home with her in the evenings, all nice and cosy. But there would be the round of social parties of course, which Janet would be used to, in her society circle of friends, but would her friends be those of her fiancés?
Of cousre the Prisoner was used to parties, he regularly attended Madam Engadine's celebrated parties in
, and would have met all kinds of people, including women. After all he was very friendly towards "B" in ‘A B & C’ you will recall. And then there was Nadia-No.8 in ‘The Chimes of Big Ben,’ with who No.6 was beginning to get close to. Nadia is much more the Prisoner's type I should have thought, rather than Janet Portland. Paris
However, there could be hidden depths to Janet. And I'm sure that once she had her fiancé within her grasp, she would not be a woman to let go of her prize that easily.
But did she actually know that her fiancé was going to resign his job? She probably did, as they could have discussed it.
Was she actually going with her fiancé, wherever it was he had packed his suitcases to go?
Was the Prisoner going to take his fiancé Janet Portland with him?
These are questions which only two people can answer I'm afraid. For the rest of us, the situation between the Prisoner and Janet Portland, after their engagement, can only be a speculative one.
Be seeing you