Joe 90 ITC 1968

Gerry Andersons next offering after the success of Captain Scarlet was Joe 90, unfortunately  this show failed to capture much attention, from its hoped for viewers. The main factor for this seems to be, most , myself included seemed to see the shows main hero , the nine year old Joe 90, as a boring little wimp. I hated this series, it seemed the more realistic the puppets became, the less charm there was to the series. I know this comment may upset many Anderson fans, and for this I’m sorry, but I just don’t like this series.

Joe 90 the adoptive son of Professor McClain is the youngest agent with the World Intelligence Network(WIN), because of Big Rat a machine developed by the Professor, Joe is able to assume the skills / professions, even personality of anybody whose brain impulses had been fed to him via Big Rat. For this to be achieved Joe needed to wear a special pair of glasses which fused the information to Joes mind.

Thirty half hour episodes of this Supermarionation series were made, and it is the first of Anderson’s shows to use any footage, of a real location, something that was to be greatly expanded upon in the next series from the Anderson studios, The Secret Service. An interesting point to note, is that though Gerry’s other series, most notably Thunderbirds and Captain Scarlet, proved once again to be supremely popular in the nineties, upon their reshowing, (a fact that seemed to amaze the press and toy company’s alike, though i dare say not Anderson fans.) Joe 90 once again failed dismally, with much of the modern merchandise finding the same fate as it’s sixties predecessors, the bargain bins and sales. It seems the toy company’s do not learn from the past, large amounts of merchandise being prepared and issued almost in advance of the series being broadcast, banking on the series being as popular as Captain Scarlet had been before it. This tactic failed for Joe 90 in the sixties, now common sense says this in all probability will fail in the nineties, and it did.