Gordon Gallagher is an agent for the British Secret Service.
He is the son of a beautiful Jamaican woman and an Oxford don. He was raised in the U.K. Though through his father he had entry to the middle class, his mixed blood was the draw for much turmoil and many fights with other kids. He quickly learned how to handle himself and he gained considerable self-reliance.
He joined the Royal Air Force as soon as he was old enough and became a fighter pilot with a well-respected reputation. After leaving the service, he was recruited by a branch of the British Secret Service, known as the Department, for which he worked for several years. As his cover, he learned photography and became good at it.
Now as the series begins, he is 34 and has decided he has had enough putting his life in danger and taking the lives of others and has retired from the Department to begin a new life as a photographer. This new career takes him to many exotic places but that just makes him seem even more available to the Department who will not let him go and always find a way to force him into service. Also reluctant to let Gallagher retreat from the action are the numerous enemies he's made in his job.
Gallagher is described as a man who just exudes leadership, a trait he is not unaware of but does at times regret as it means he is often put in charge of things he wants nothing to do with. Even those who find themselves on the opposite side of him give him begrudged respect for it is easily to learn just how good he can be when his back is against a wall.