Doctor Joseph Wanless was played by Freddie Jones in Firestarter.
Doctor Wanless was responsible for the Lot Six experiment done on students, who volunteered in exchange for money, which gave psychokinetic powers to Andy McGee and Vicky Tomlinson, who later married and gave birth to Charlie and in which six more people died.
Several years later he supports the hunting of Charlie McGee and his father. He sees in Charlie McGee a threat to the country and even the world, because of the pyrokinetic powers she has shown since birth, which have been ever increasing since then. Wanless extrapolates, that one day she might even have the power of a nuclear bomb in her body, maybe even more, and she may even use that in an abusing way, the more she becomes independent from her family, which will sooner or later come because of her growth. When Captain Hollister disagrees with his intention to killing her because of his wish to have weapons like her for eventual future wars, he threatens to go against him and expose The Shop´s dirty activities.
For that reason Captain Hollister gives John Rainbird, the assasssin who was present at the discussion, the order to kill him. He does so in the doctor´s home at night in his own bed.
- Originally he was a character that appeared in the novel of the same name written by Stephen King.