Richard Blade is an agent with M16A.
That designation is for a British intelligence organization that is an autonomous division of Special Branch. It is run by J, "an elderly tweedy type with a voice so mellifluous that it flowed around the omnipresent pipe without hindrance". It is operated from Copra House, "a grimy Victorian structure in [London]" which has a plaque on its frontage stating it is the New East India Copra and Processing Co., Ltd. Apparently the company was actually legitimate though a good portion of the facility was devoted to the M16A. What exactly is the mandate for this government organization is not mentioned but it is given to understand that Blade has operated all over the world so the reach of his employer must have been extensive.
Blade has been, as of the start of the first recorded adventure, an agent with this organization for over 20 years, putting him in his early 40s. He maintains his body in excellent condition for someone nearing the half century mark and can easily take on those whose age is close to when he started - all because in addition to physical conditioning, he has experience and intelligence to maximize its effectiveness.
This tip-top shape and stellar track record is why he has been chosen for the new project he learns about when escorted by J to the Tower of London. According to J, the people behind the ultra-secret facility went "through some thousands of files trying to find their man", ending up with Blade being the best of the best. Lord Leighton, the key scientist behind the endeavor, asked if "they could borrow" him.
When Blade first arrived at the Tower, he was surprised to find that he went down instead of up, taking an elevator alone since the location was so hush-hush that even J was not permitted entry. To Blade it seemed to go down for a considerable amount of time indicating the whole place was quite deep beneath the City. It was there that Blade first met Leighton, "a little gnome of a man" with thin white hair and a hunchback, afflicted with polio.
Before Blade is brought in on what the project he has been seconded to is all about, he is directed to strip, put on a tiny loin cloth, and get his body dabbed in spots with a viscous dark substance. It was on those spots that electrodes were attached after he was instructed to sit in a glass cage, still having no idea what it was all about.
"Genius" is the explanation given to him by Leighton, the complete amassing of all knowledge that could fit into the computers to which he was being connected. The plan was to infuse him with all that data and create a super-genius who could be far greater than the sum of the individual computers. Too bad it did not work out that way.
What did happen was totally unexpected to everyone involved, especially Blade. Instead of becoming a walking computer, he found his consciousness transported to a previously unknown dimension occupying the same space as ours.
Unfortunately for Blade, his arrival into this strange world, and the many ones that will follow in subsequent adventures, have a couple of unpleasant similarities. First, he always arrives naked which, besides being somewhat embarrassing, can also be terribly dangerous because he has no protection and no weapons. Second, he shows up with a splitting headache and sometimes near unconsciousness which means he is immediately at the mercy of what is waiting there, and what is there is usually not very friendly.
When Blade is able to survive his first other-worldly adventure and return home, the possibilities of dimensional travel leap out at Leighton and through him the Prime Minister. What technologies might be gleamed from these other lands? What treasures might be brought back to help pay for the enormous cost of the program and possibly even bolster the nation's sinking economy? To learn those answers would mean many more trips to these other places.
It quickly occurs to the powers that be that having more than one traveler would be a good thing. Blade, as good as he is, was just one man and a man can die. Others of equal, or some it seemed, abilities were hooked up to the device. Many did not go anywhere. Many more went and never came back. One or two returned in such a dubious state of mind as to be no longer of service. For some reason that Leighton was determined to uncover, only Blade had what it took to go and to come back.
In his many off-dimension escapades, Blade with fight dozens of vicious battles. He will survive countless perils. He will also enjoy the physical pleasures of an amazing number of exotic women and in some cases, leaving behind a heir or three.