Saturday, 3 January 2015
52 Joe 90
First watched : Uncertain
Our first visit to the Gerry Anderson stable and a series loved by bespectacled schoolboys everywhere.
Joe 90 was pure schoolboy wish fulfilment. Joe is an adopted nine-year old Brit whose boffin father has invented a device "Big Rat" which allows the transference of skills and knowledge from one human being to another. Joe is the guinea pig for the process and is able to draw on these new attributes as long as he wears customised spectacles. Joe is then hawked to a UN-sponsored intelligence agency to carry out important missions, his childhood being the perfect cover. Gerry Anderson set it in the near future with a benign world government to avoid accusations of exacerbating Cold War tensions; that he might be accused of condoning child exploitation instead presumably didn't occur to him.
Joe 90 appealed to every child who fantasised about being James Bond and on those terms worked well enough. The puppets were more lifelike than Thunderbirds and at 25 minutes the stories didn't outstay their welcome. I probably only saw 2 or 3 of the 30 episodes so I can't say much more about it.