Joe 90 is set in the near future. The timeframe is most commonly stated to be 2012 and 2013; various other sources point to an undetermined year in the early 21st century, while the official scriptwriters’ guide states that the year is 1998. Based on visual evidence, the events of “The Unorthodox Shepherd” occur in 2013.
Nine-year-old British schoolboy Joe McClaine is the adopted son of Professor Ian “Mac” McClaine, a computer expert. Outwardly, the McClaines are a simple father-and-son pair, who live in an antiquated Elizabethan-style cottage overlooking Culver Bay in Dorset, and are waited on by their housekeeper, Mrs Harris. Yet 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. At the heart of the design is the “Rat Trap”: a spherical, rotating cage in which a subject is seated during the transfer of “brain patterns”.
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. After requisite knowledge and experience has been transferred, and provided that Joe is wearing customised glasses containing hidden electrodes (a portable storage device for brain impulses), he is able to carry out missions requiring proficiency in – among other disciplines – flying fighter aircraft, spaceflight, performing advanced neurosurgery and piano…Genres: Action Adventure Family Superhero fiction