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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 29 September 2018 at 3:11am | IP Logged | 1 post reply

It debuted fifty years ago today:


I felt this show was okay. Just okay.

I can't fault the premise of a young boy being given the brain patterns of whoever he needed to be for a particular mission. What enemy power would suspect a 9-year-old boy of being a spy? It's a cool premise.

I just think it pales in comparison to the likes of THUNDERBIRDS, STINGRAY and CAPTAIN SCARLET. For me, it never felt like it lived up to its potential.

Pretty cool theme tune, though!

Longer article HERE.
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Bob Simko
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Posted: 29 September 2018 at 6:56am | IP Logged | 2 post reply

That's a really intriguing idea!
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John Byrne
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Posted: 29 September 2018 at 6:57am | IP Logged | 3 post reply

At least it was better than SECRET SERVICE!
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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 29 September 2018 at 8:25am | IP Logged | 4 post reply

Oh god, THE SECRET SERVICE, eh? What can I say? Lew Grade pulled the plug on that (or is that "pulled the strings"?).

For me, the Anderson puppet shows peaked with CAPTAIN SCARLET. I like the live-action stuff that came after (THE PROTECTORS, UFO, and SPACE: 1999), but JOE 90, TERRAHAWKS and DICK SPANNER did not appeal to me much at all.
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John Byrne
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Posted: 29 September 2018 at 10:26am | IP Logged | 5 post reply

Iíve only seen a few minutes of TERRAHAWKS, and I find those puppets downright creepy! DICK SPANNER is new to me.
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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 29 September 2018 at 10:39am | IP Logged | 6 post reply

I enjoyed the proper proportions on puppets in CAPTAIN SCARLET. It gave them a "lifelike" feel.

Yet it felt like TERRAHAWKS was a step backwards, what with heads too big for their bodies.


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Bill Collins
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Posted: 29 September 2018 at 1:44pm | IP Logged | 7 post reply

I loved Joe 90 at the time, i even had the flying car
for my 6th birthday!I also had the Joe 90 secret agent
kit. In hindsight, sending Joe on all those dangerous
missions and messing with his brain was child abuse!

Secret Service was not good,but you can`t fault Fireball
XL-5, Stingray, Thunderbirds and Captain Scarlet!
I wanted to like Terrahawks, but it was awful, and as
you say, the puppets were creepy!
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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 29 September 2018 at 1:54pm | IP Logged | 8 post reply

I haven't seen FIREBALL XL-5, but did read some comic reprints around 1993/94!
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Bill Collins
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Posted: 29 September 2018 at 2:55pm | IP Logged | 9 post reply

Robbie, it`s of it`s time, but well worth a look! Plus
it`s got a fab theme tune! (Sung by Russel Crowe`s ex
father-in-law!)
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Bill Collins
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Posted: 29 September 2018 at 3:17pm | IP Logged | 10 post reply

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zrK0rmeSlTk
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Andrew Saxon
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Posted: 29 September 2018 at 5:04pm | IP Logged | 11 post reply

I remember there was a weekly comic called Joe 90: Top Secret. I'm afraid the title character's strip was pretty much the last thing I'd read in it as I much preferred the back-up comic strips devoted to Star Trek, Land of the Giants and The Champions. I suspect others must have felt the same way as eventually Joe's comic was absorbed into TV21.
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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 29 September 2018 at 5:06pm | IP Logged | 12 post reply

In 1994, Fleetway published a JOE 90 comic that lasted a mere 7 issues. It eventually merged with the THUNDERBIRDS comic.

Joe just can't catch a break in comics!
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Andrew Saxon
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Posted: 29 September 2018 at 5:09pm | IP Logged | 13 post reply

I haven't seen FIREBALL XL-5, but did read some comic reprints around 1993/94.

It was a terrific series back in the day. Sadly it was filmed in black and white so didn't get the repeat screenings it deserved.

PS - I really wish Gerry Anderson had made a series about the Zero X from Thunderbirds Are Go! The ship turned up in the pilot episode of Captain Scarlet so it could have spun-off from that (it would have been far more interesting than Joe 90). At least we had the terrific Zero X comic strip that appeared for a long time in TV21.
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Robbie Moubert
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Posted: 29 September 2018 at 6:02pm | IP Logged | 14 post reply

I've seen a lot of references to the Joe 90 weekly being called Joe 90: Top Secret. When I bought it as a kid I just called it Joe 90 and I remain convinced that the "Top Secret" stamp on the logo was not supposed to be part of the actual name of the comic.
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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 29 September 2018 at 6:46pm | IP Logged | 15 post reply

UK writer/artist Lew Stringer said this:

There's always been some disagreement about the actual title of the comic. Since childhood, some of us have always thought it was called Joe 90: Top Secret due to the ever-present 'stamp' on the logo. However, in the actual comics, letters pages, etc it's only referred to as Joe 90. To add to the confusion, the one annual that the comic spawned was definitely advertised as Joe 90/Top Secret Annual but that may be because the ad was produced by a different department. However I still prefer the longer title and to my mind it'll always be Joe 90: Top Secret but for the sake of brevity I'll just refer to it as Joe 90 for the rest of this post.

Source: LINK
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Bill Collins
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Posted: 30 September 2018 at 1:11am | IP Logged | 16 post reply

Andrew, there is a colourised version of an episode of
Fireball XL-5, it looks fine, unfortunately they didn`t
choose one of the best episodes for the treatment! I got
it on Bluray for about £5, it had an episode of Four
Feather Falls and a Fireball XL-5 documentary as extras.
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Andrew Saxon
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Posted: 30 September 2018 at 3:06am | IP Logged | 17 post reply

I wouldn't argue with anyone over the name of that old comic as there is no definitive evidence either way. I've been calling it Joe 90: Top Secret for many decades now but I'm fine if someone else wants to refer to it as Joe 90 comic.

As for the colourised Fireball XL5 episode, I thought it was very well done, but I'm not sure I would have chosen A Day in the Life of a Space General as the trial story when there are so many better ones to choose from.
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Trevor Thompson
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Posted: 30 September 2018 at 10:49am | IP Logged | 18 post reply

Terrahawks scared the crap outta me but I still had to watch it. I did enjoy Fireball XL 5 too
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Robbie Moubert
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Posted: 30 September 2018 at 1:37pm | IP Logged | 19 post reply

A while before Lew wrote that blog post he'd participated in a thread I'd started on the Comics UK forum. Another member there posted the ad for the annual that Lew mentions.

Edited by Robbie Moubert on 30 September 2018 at 2:20pm
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