Thursday, 30 December 2010
The Reason Behind The Prisoners Resignation
It has been stated in ITC's publiclity notes for the hour Danger Man episodes, 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 them, but afraid of falling in love.A man of his character would never treat romance in a lighthearted manner. He avoided entanglement 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. With the responsibiltiy of a wife and later possibly children, he would inevitably feel more cautious in risking his life which was otherwise entirely his own, no-one left to suffer if he were killed in the line of work he did for Military Intelligence. Marriage would ultimately effect his work.
"John Drake realises that he is getting older and 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 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."
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 this as fact, the Prisoner and John Drake being one and the same character.
John Drake was getting older, and Secret Agents have only so long a life span. And Drake wanted security, a marriage and a family of his own before it was too late. The Prisoner, as we discover in the episode Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling, is engaged to one Janet Portland, the daughter of Sir Charles Portland who is head of the department in Military Intelligence for whom the Prisoner works.
Sir Charles was pruning his Baccara roses when the Priosner asked to marry his daughter. It must have come as a shock to Sir Charles that anyone would wish to marry his daughter, because he dropped his secateurs! But perhaps he was going to get his daughter off his hands at last. What's more, perhaps for Janet Portland, a one time debutante, it was her last chance of marriage!
So the Prisoner resigned his job, just as John Drake had eventually intended to do. But was Janet Portland the right woman for him? Janet is basically a homely woman, but she would love him. Take care of him, bear his children, and perhaps most importnat of all, give him a secure life. Because perhaps Sir Charles would then give his son-in-law a desk job. The Prisoner would then be at home every evening, all nice and cosy. Possibly with the social round of parties from time to time, something Janet Portland would lap up, but perhaps not so enjoyed by her husband. Not that the Prisoner was not used to socialising. You will recall how he used to attend Madame Engadine's celebrated parties in Paris.
I would have though that Janet Portland was not really the Prisoner's type at all, much more No.8-Nadia Rakovsky. But with Janet comes a possible promotion for the Prisoner, and a possible desk job. Ah, but I'm forgetting, the Prisoner resigned his job! Why, and did he tell Janet he was going to do this? And wherever the Prisoner was going in such a hurry, after tendering his letter of resignation, was he taking Janet Portland with him? It looks extremely doubtful to me.
I'm Piet Hein