Joe 90 is a 1960s British science-fiction television series that follows the adventures of a nine-year-old boy, Joe McClaine, who starts a double life as a schoolchild-turned-super spy after his scientist father invents a device capable of duplicating expert knowledge and experience and transferring it to a different human brain. Equipped with the skills of the foremost academic and military minds, Joe is recruited by the World Intelligence Network (WIN) and, as its “Most Special Agent” pursues the objective of world peace and saving human life. Created by Gerry and Sylvia Anderson and filmed by Century 21 Productions, the 30-episode series followed Thunderbirds and Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons.
First broadcast in the UK between September 1968 and April 1969 on the ATV network, Joe 90 was the sixth and final of the Andersons’ productions to be made exclusively using the form of marionette puppetry termed “Supermarionation”.
Nine-year-old British schoolboy Joe McClaine is the adopted son of Professor Ian “Mac” McClaine, a computer expert. Residing in a secret underground laboratory is Mac’s latest invention, the “BIG RAT” (Brain Impulse Galvanoscope Record And Transfer), a machine capable of recording knowledge and experience from leading experts in various fields and transferring it to another human brain.
Sam Loover, a family friend and an agent of World Intelligence Network (WIN), persuades Mac to dedicate the services of Joe and the BIG RAT to the organisation: Joe will become a WIN operative with a difference, the unlimited possibilities offered by the BIG RAT serving as an invaluable tool for completing missions.