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Dr. Joan Therese Wilkes Tanner is a fictional President of Georgeland, the lead character on the television series Martin Hall. She is played in the series by Rebecca Jordan-Wiley.


Rebecca Jordan-Wiley as President Joan Tanner.

Tanner, whose maiden name is Wilkes, is 56 years old in the show's first season (as confirmed by dialogue in Malconsensus). She is a native of Long Island, though exactly where is vague - she claims to know Dannyburg well but mentions having attended school in Bromwich, which is on the other side of the island. Tanner's background is as an academic - she is a constitutional lawyer and scholar with a PhD in international law. She previously worked as the UN Commissioner on Treaties (a fictional position) and as Chancellor of the University of Long Island.
Tanner was elected President four months prior to the first episode, and is the first President elected by a popular vote for fifty years. Her predecessor was John Richmond, whom she speaks to semi-regularly.
Tanner is a political independent who dislikes partisan politics. She has libertarian views (she is opposed to anti-terrorism legislation) and is pro-choice, but she is also an economic rationalist (as revealed in Welcome Home and a devout Anglican (as revealed in The Origin of Species). Tanner's political views are a mix of left and right, though she describes herself in one episode as "a Tannerist".
Tanner considers herself a mother and grandmother first and President second, and is totally devoted to her family. This has, on occasion, compromised her judgement, since she is unable to accept that her protective attitude towards her children is politically damaging. Tanner has four children - Lisa, Matthew, Stuart and Luke . Only Luke and Lisa have been seen - Matthew and Stuart have been referenced only in dialogue. Lisa Tanner is a scientist and a lesbian, while Luke has severe behavioural problems and a drug habit.
Tanner's husband is James Tanner, whom she met on a skiing trip in Switzerland. The exact date of their marriage is unknown, though in Luke, James mentions that they were very young and that they shared a love of Pink Floyd, which would conjecturally place their wedding in the early 1970s. Since their daughter Lisa is 34, this would be a logical conclusion.
Tanner is also a grandmother, as Lisa and her partner have a child concieved by IVF treatment.
Tanner is a fan of Jazz music and also of Pink Floyd and Star Trek (as referenced in Phone Home).
Tanner's Presidency has been dominated by her caustic relationship with Alan Wheatley, who is newly elected as Prime Minister. Wheatley and Tanner rarely see eye to eye and are constantly attempting to undermine one another. Despite this, hints are dropped several times that the two are more similar than either would care to admit, and the chemistry between the two characters suggests a slightly maternal relationship between the President and Prime Minister.
This relationship developed significantly in the final episode of the first season, Meltdown. When Tanner was captured by rebels in the African nation of Enkidu, Wheatley initially tried to broker a diplomatic solution to obtain her release. When the plan failed, Wheatley went for a military option against the objections of Tanner's staff, but with the tacit approval of Tanner's husband. In a telephone conversation after the SAS stormed the embassy and freed the President, Tanner asked Wheatley what would have happened if she'd been killed - Wheatley responded that, had that happened, he'd have gone to Enkidu personally with a gun. However, it is also true that Wheatley knew the risks associated with the military option, and may have deliberately chosen to endanger Tanner's life for political reasons.