VR Cultural Icons > Joe 90
Joe 90 was a 1968 Supermarionation creation of Gerry and Sylvia Anderson. Basically the same people who made Thunderbirds, using the same puppetry and radio controlled model technology. It was also the last supermarionation production.
Thirty episodes were produced all told, each twenty-five minutes in length. All revolved around the same central characters, and the same basic premise.
It was essentially a series about the what-ifs of memory transfer.
The star of the show is Joe, a 9 year old, adopted child. His adoptive father is Professor Ian "Mac" McClaine, something of an eccentric inventor. Mac has created a device that is capable of sampling non-invasively, a person's memory centre, then copying those memories, and writing them in real-time into another living brain, forming new neural pathways. The brain being written to has to be physically inside the Brain Impulse Galvanoscope Record And Transfer unit, or BIG RAT as it is called.
Who better to use as a guinea pig for Mac's new invention, than Joe? Plug him in and see what happens.
Fortunately for Joe, the process worked. Mac was ecstatic, and tells his friend Sam about the machine before he rushes off to get a patent. Sam is really Sam Loover, a secret agent for the World Intelligence Network. He persuades Mac, a so-obviously caring father, to hold off on any commercial path for BIG RAT, and instead, to write the brain patterns of some of the world's top experts onto Joe's fragile mind, so he can become the newest, youngest secret agent to deal with the world's troubles.
The plot may be far fetched, and often paper thin, but the show managed to help inspire a generation.