Janet Portland, a contrivance? Well whenever the Prisoner returns to London, or is thought to have returned to London, he goes to see the Colonel. Only this time there is no Colonel for the Prisoner to go and see, as the Colonel is both in The Village, and the vessel for ZM73’s mind while in London and beyond. So having returned to London ZM73 had to go and see someone from the department in which he worked. So the character of Sir Charles Portland was contrived to fill the Colonel’s shoes. Also someone had to have the receipt for the roll of film ZM73 had left at the camera shop. Mind you it could be thought that that receipt for the roll of film might have been more secure in the wall safe hidden behind the television set in ZM73’s study in his home, in which he kept those American dollar bills. After all someone from Sir Charles Portland’s department in British Intelligence had obtained that receipt from Janet Portland in order to obtain those transparencies from the camera shop. And most likely it was Sir Charles himself who obtained that receipt from his daughter. So, Janet did forsake her fiancé by having handed over that receipt to her father. Supposition? Well yes, but there’s nothing positive to work with, which leaves the situation open to interpretation.
It has been suggested in the past that the contrivance of Janet Portland is to give the series much needed glamour. Well glamorous is not the word that automatically springs to mind when thinking of Janet Portland. Look at her hair style, it's formal, it's plain, as is Janet herself. It has been written that Janet is a child of the sixties - rubbish! She's nothing more than a middle aged spinster! All you have to do is look at the men invited to her birthday party, the majority of whom are middle aged men.
If readers recall the television series ‘Callan,’ Zena Walker appears in the episode ‘Suddenly At Home’ as Janet Lewis, and is far more attractive looking in that role, far more than she is as Janet Portland. It seems that Zena had her attractiveness deliberately “dressed down” for her role as Janet Portland.
Be seeing you