Top positive review
6 people found this helpful
on 24 April 2011
Another supermarionation series from the Jerry and Sylia Anderson team comes to dvd. In this case the exploits of Joe McClaine. Also known as Joe 90.
Post Captain Scarlet, which introduced slightly more realistic looking puppets and got very grim and gritty and more grown up than previous Anderson shows, Joe 90 was their next series. It kept the look and the less fantastical more realistic style but at the same time went the opposite route by aiming more for the younger generation than their dads, and tapping into the fantasies every child had at the time. To be a super spy like Napoleon Solo or James Bond.
Joe can do that thanks to his father's invention. The big R.A.T. A machine that can transfer brain patterns copied from an individual into someone else. Thanks to this and his special glasses, Joe can undertake special missions on behalf of the World Intelligence Network, in particular it's director and his second in command.
And that's what he does.
The thirty episodes, spread across five discs, all run for twenty five minutes. All have direct scene access.
Many are rather typical spying yarns. Some steal the plots of movies. And some are quite original.
Highlights are 'Colonel McClaine,' which takes the plot of the wages of fear and as a result is very exciting. 'Double agent', which sees a mission go awry thanks to the person whose brain pattern was used having a little secret. And the psychological drama 'see you down there' which sees the team use psychological warfare on a bad man in a plot that could have come out of the prisoner.
What humour there is tends to be rather twee. And whilst as a whole it's not as good as earlier Anderson series it does offer pretty decent escapism. And should refresh a few memories for any children of the sixties.
As ever with supermarionation series it does have a pretty memorable theme and title sequence.
The dvds have the following language and subtitle options:
Extras are mostly text based. There's one character biography to each of the first four discs, reproducing original worked out back stories for a selected character. There are also information files which give the same detail for various items and locations.
There's photos from a location shoot of a church used when images of a real one were required for one episode.
The originally intended end titles.
Images from selected episodes.
A behind the scenes production gallery.
Three short trailers featuring Joe for 'I love the 90's,' a documentary series from a while back about the highlights of said decade. A time when Anderson series were gaining new fans by getting repeats on prime time BBC2.
And 'these are Joe 90's glasses', a warning sequence a la 'Captain Scarlet is indestructible', which was on the show when originally broadcast but removed for no apparent reason for later repeats. This comes with a text explanation of all that plus a recording of the actor who voiced the sequence trying various different voice styles for it.
The information booklet with the box set just gives brief synopsis of all the plots and lists the chapter titles for each episode.
Not the best Anderson show or box set ever, but still a pretty good one in all respects.