Peter Russell was the son of Daniel O'Kane. Daniel's brother Dr Jeremiah O'Kane took him in due to Daniel's insanity and kept Russell's true parentage from him, telling him only that he was adopted and that the O'Kanes died in an accident. The two did not have a good relationship and Jeremiah disapproved of Russell's choice to study philosophy rather than medicine.
Russell became a wealthy businessman (or "captain of industry"). He was a troubleshooter usually sent in to close places down, although in 1994 he stepped in to finance Hawthorne as its Chief Executive after the Care in the Community scheme meant it was to be closed down. This effectively put Russell in charge, but Dr Colin Dove denied him access to Patient Zero (who was, unbeknownst to Russell, his biological father). Wanting to uncover Dr Dove's dark secrets led him to interrogate William Bruffin and assist P.R.O.B.E.'s Liz Shaw in her investigations. The two discovered that, at perihelion between the physical world and a reservoir of evil, Patient Zero was going to be used to unleash the evil forces as Dr Dove and Dr O'Kane's experiment. He also saved her from Dr Dove after he attempted to strangle her, shortly before he himself was killed by an astral-projected Patient Zero.
In Room 0, Russell learnt Patient Zero's identity and, as a sensitive and part of Dr Dove's plan, he became possessed and attempted to stab Liz. Daniel, in an apparent moment of clarity, jumped in front of the blade and died, rendering Dr Dove's plan impossible. Russell and Liz sat with Dr O'Kane, with whom he planned to rebuild his relationship, but he felt a strange feeling whilst holding a knife that he used to cut a Swiss roll. He was apparently now connected to Patient One, locked away in Hawthorne next door to Room 0. (HOMEVID: The Zero Imperative)