Saturday, 14 May 2011

Joe 90

Joe 90 Logo
Joe 90 is a late-1960s British Science Fiction television series concerning the adventures and exploits of nine-year-old Joe McClaine, who starts a double life as a schoolboy turned spy when his scientist father invents a pioneering machine capable of duplicating and then transferring expert knowledge and experience to another human brain. Equipped with the skills of the foremost academic and military minds, Joe enlists in the World Intelligence Network (WIN), becoming its "Most Special Agent", pursuing the ideal of world peace and saving human life. Created by Gerry and Sylvia Anderson and filmed at Century 21 Productions, one 30-episode series followed the earlier Thunderbirds and Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons.

First screened in the UK between September 1968 and April 1969 on the ATV network,Joe 90 is the sixth and last of the Anderson productions to have been made exclusively using the form of Marionette Puppetry dubbed "Supermarionation". The final puppet series, The Secret Service, also used this process, but in combination with extensive live-action footage. As in the case of its predecessor, Captain Scarlet, the puppets of Joe 90 are of a more naturally proportioned design as opposed to the more caricatured appearance of the characters from Thunderbirds.
Although not as successful as Century 21's previous puppet efforts, since its inception, Joe 90 has been praised, besides other aspects, for the charectarisation of its smaller Supermarionation cast and the accomplishment of its model sets and special effects. Commentators read into Joe 90's spy-fi theme and the selection of a child as the main protagonist, either proposing a "kids play Bond" connection or an enshrinement of children and the powers of their imagination. Criticism ranges from the violence depicted in a number of episodes to the frequent absence of female characters, which is viewed either as the inevitable result of Joe 90's development as a "boy's own adventure" or bordering on sexism.

As had been the case for its precursors, Century 21 based merchandising campaigns on Joe 90, including toy cars and comic strips dedicated to the continuing missions of Joe McClaine. Syndicated on its arrival in the United States in 1969, re-broadcast in the UK during the 1990s and released on DVD in most regions in the 2000s, the concept of a live-action motion picture adaptation of Joe 90 has been considered more than once since the 1960s, but without further development. A comparable format exists in the similarly titled Ben 10. While Joe 90 gains the abilities of scientists and pilots while wearing his glasses, Ben 10 gains the powers of aliens while wearing a watch.

Joe 90 is set either in 2012-3 or at another point in the early 21st century, or 1998, according to the official Writer's Guide. Nine-year-old British schoolboy Joe McClaine is the adopted son of Professor Ian "Mac" McClaine, a renowned computer expert. On the outside, the McClaines are an ordinary father-and-son pair who live in an antiquated Elizabethan-style cottage overlooking Culver Bay, Dorset, tended by their housekeeper, Mrs Harris. However, residing in a secret underground laboratory is Mac's latest invention, the "BIG RAT"

(Brain Impulse Galvonoscope Record And Transfer), a machine capable of recording knowledge and experience from leading experts in various fields and transferring it to another human brain. The central aspect of the design is the "Rat Trap", a rotating, spherical cage in which a subject is seated during the transfer of the expert "brain pattern". Sam Loover, a secret agent for the World Intelligence Network, persuades Mac, his friend, to dedicate the BIG RAT to WIN's pursuit of world peace by permitting Joe to assume such knowledge and experience and become a WIN agent. After the requisite skill is transferred, and provided that Joe is wearing special spectacles containing hidden electrodes storing the expertise, he is able to execute such missions as operating fighter aircrraft blasting off into space and performing advanced nuerosurgery, all the while appearing to be an innocent schoolboy to the enemies of WIN. Since no one would usually suspect a child of espionage, Joe is WIN's "Most Special Agent". Reporting to the Commander-in-Chief of WIN's London Headquarters, Shane Weston, he is also provided with a special briefcase, which on superficial inspection appears to be a simple school case but in fact conceals an adapted handgun and WIN tranceiver. There is some inconsistency as to why Joe assumes the codename "90". Promotional information states that, in the pilot, Joe joins another 89 WIN agents based in London, becoming the 90th WIN agent. However, the BIG RAT project is referred to as WIN's "File 90" in the episode "Project 90", and here (according to dialogue from Professor McClaine) Joe's designation originates from this.

In a manner similar to other Gerry Anderson series, Joe 90 features gadgets, rescue operations, secret organisations, and criminal and terrorist threats to the safety of the world. One example of advanced technology demonstrated is the "Jet Air Car", a land, sea and air vehicle invented by Professor McClaine prior to the events of the series. The pun of the "WIN" acronym for the World Intelligence Network is similar to that of WASP, the abbreviated name of the World Aquanaut Security Patrol that appears in Stingray. The Cold W ar, significant in 1968 due to the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia that August has ended in the futuristic universe of Joe 90. Although, in the pilot, Joe is depicted stealing a new Russian fighter plane to expose its revolutionary design to the West, the story is later revealed to be a speculative scenario imagined by Shane Weston to demonstrate the kinds of espionage in which Joe may be involved if Mac consents to his son starting a second life as a secret agent.

Nevertheless, the Joe 90 universe still sees the Earth's landmasses politically divided into Western and Eastern regions. A recurring antagonist for WIN is the "Eastern Alliance", which dominates Asia and appears in the episodes "Attack of the Tiger" and "Mission -X41". Meanwhile, "International Concerto", "Business Holiday", "Arctic Adventure" and "The Professional" include villains who speak with Slavic accents. "Attack of the Tiger" combines the Eastern Alliance threat with the hazards of nuclear technology. In this episode, Joe must prevent an Eastern nuclear device from being launched into Earth orbit. However, an episode showcasing the benefits of such technology is "Big Fish", in which Joe struggles to remove a crippled nuclear submarine from the ocean floor when it strays into the territorial waters of a hostile Latin American Police state. The series ends on a clip show episode, "The Birthday", in which a number of Joe's missions are recalled as flashbacks when the protagonist reaches the age of ten.

David's Silver Lady!

"Silver Lady" was a popular single by David Soul. Written by Tony Macaulay and Geoff Stephens and produced by Macaulay, Silver Lady was the second and final number one single in the UK for David Soul spending three weeks at the top in October 1977. The single fared less well in his homeland peaking at No 52 on the Billboard Hot 100. It can be found on his second album Playing To An Audience of One.

Tired of drifting, searching, shifting
From town to town
Every time I slip and slide
A little further down
I can't blame you if you won't take me back
After everything I put you through
But Honey you're my last hope
And who else can I turn to

Come on Silver Lady take my word
I won't run out on you again
Believe me
Oh I've seen the light
It's just one long fight, without you
Here I am a million miles from home
The Indiana wind and rain cut through me
I'm lost and alone
Chilled to the bone
Silver Lady

Double talkers, backstreet walkers
At every turn
Seedy motels and no star hotels
Still I had to learn
That the one shining thing in my life
Was the sweet love I had with you
And Honey, you're my last hope
And who else can I turn to

Come on Silver Lady take my word
I won't run out on you again
Believe me
Oh I've seen the light
It's just one long fight, without you
Here I am a million miles from home
The Indiana wind and rain cut through me
I'm lost and alone
Chilled to the bone
Silver Lady

Can't you find it in you to forgive me

Coz here I am a million miles from home
The Indiana wind and rain cut through me
I'm lost and alone
Chilled to the bone
Silver Lady

Come on Silver Lady take my word
I won't run out on you again
Believe me
Oh I've seen the light
It's just one long fight, without you

Preceded by
"Way Down" by Elvis Presley
UK Number One single
October 8 - October 29, 1977 (3 weeks)
Succeeded by
"Yes Sir I Can Boogie" by Baccara

Arrrh, yes. The Ladybird books. These books bring back so many good and happy memories for me. Being at Primary School in the early 1970s these books were the staple diet when it came to helping young kids learn to read and write. My school library I remember was kitted out from one side to the other, beginning with 1a, 1b, 1c, etc.

1a PLAY WITH US Ladybird Key Words Reading Scheme Matt 1969

1c READ AND WRITE Ladybird Key Words Reading Scheme 1969 Hardback

3a THINGS WE LIKE Ladybird Key Words Reading Scheme Matt 1974

4b FUN AT THE FARM Ladybird Key Words Reading Scheme Matt Hardcover

5a WHERE WE GO Ladybird Key Words Reading Scheme Hardback 1969

5c MORE SOUNDS TO SAY Ladybird Books Key Words Reading Scheme Peter Jane

6b WE LIKE TO HELP Ladybird Key Words Reading Scheme Matt 1971 Hardback

DANGER MEN Ladybird Key Words Easy Readers Book 2 First Edition Matt 1970

BEAUTY AND THE BEAST Ladybird Well Loved Tales Series 606d Matt

Sid Vicious dies in drugs drama: 1979

On the morning of 12 October 1978, Sid Vicious claimed to have awoken from a drugged stupor to find Nancy Spungen dead on the bathroom floor of their room in the Hotel Chelsea in Manhattan, New York. She had suffered a single stab wound to her abdomen and appeared to have bled to death. The knife used had been bought by Vicious on 42nd Street and was identical to a collector's knife given to punk rock vocalist Stiv Bators of the Dead Boys by Dee Dee Ramone. According to Dee Dee's wife at the time, Vera King Ramone, Sid had bought the knife after seeing Stiv's.

Vicious was arrested and charged with her murder. He said they had fought that night but gave conflicting versions of what happened next, saying, "I stabbed her, but I didn't mean to kill her. I loved her, but she treated me like shit", then saying that he did not remember and at one point arguing Spungen had fallen onto the knife.

On October 22, ten days after Spungen's death, Vicious attempted suicide by slitting his wrist and subsequently became a patient at Bellevue Hospital. He was charged with assault after an altercation with Todd Smith (singer Patti Smith's brother) at a Skafish concert. Vicious was arrested December 9, 1978 and sent to Rikers Island prison for 55 days. He was released on bail on February 1, 1979.

Bail was originally set at $50,000. However, after court hearings and work from his lawyer, it was lowered. Malcolm McLaren, the Sex Pistols' manager, worked to raise money, and the bond was eventually covered by Virgin Records.One theory regarding the murder is that Spungen was killed in a robbery or drug deal gone wrong, in which one of those involved was Rockets Redglare, later to become known as a stand-up comedian and actor. Redglare, who died in 2001, always denied any part in her death. He stated that the other dealer known to have been there that evening had left before him to obtain more heroin, and was due back after he had left the building. He said he believed that the other dealer returned, found Vicious out cold, and attempted to steal the remaining drugs, leading to a confrontation with Spungen.

Sid Vicious

Sid Vicious
Background information
Birth nameJohn Simon Ritchie
Also known asSid Vicious
Spikey John
John Simon Beverley
Born10 May 1957
Lewisham, England
Died2 February 1979 (aged 21)
New York City, New York, United States
GenrePunk Rock
InstrumentsBass guitar, Vocals, Drums
Years active1976–1979
LabelsVirgin, EMI
Associated actsSex Pistols
Siouxsie and the Banshees
Vicious White Kids
Notable instruments
Fender Precision Bass (American Classic)

On the evening of 1 February 1979, a small gathering to celebrate Sid's having made bail was held at the 63 Bank St. New York Apartment of his new girlfriend, Michelle Robinson, whom he had started dating the day he got out of Bellevue Hospital the previous October. Vicious was clean, having been on a detoxification methadone program detoxed from heroin during his time at Rikers Island. However, at the dinner gathering, his mother (who was once a registered addict herself) had some heroin delivered, against the wishes of Sid's girlfriend. The person who delivered it, Peter Kodick, came and stayed for a while. Vicious overdosed at midnight that night but everyone who was there that night worked together to get him up and walking around in order to revive him. At 3am Sid and Michelle Robinson went to bed together. Vicious was discovered dead late the next morning. An autopsy confirmed that Vicious died from an accumulation of fluid in the lungs that was consistent with heroin overdose. A syringe, spoon, and heroin residue were discovered near the body. It was theorized that he had injected himself with an excess of the nearly 80%-pure heroin. A few days after Vicious' cremation, his mother found a suicide note in the pocket of his jacket:

"We had a death pact, and I have to keep my half of the bargain. Please bury me next to my baby in my leather jacket, jeans and Motorcycle Boots. Goodbye."

The Carry On Legacy. Carry On Dick - 1974

Carry On Dick

Carry On Dick was the 26th Carry On Film. It was released in 1974 and marked the end of an era for the series. It featured the last appearances of Sid James after 19 entries in the series. It was also the last appearance for Hattie Jacques after 14 entries in the series. Although both would make a further appearance in the Carry On Laughing TV series. Carry On Dick was also the 20th and final Carry On to be scripted by Talbot Rothwell. This was also Barbara Windsor's final acting role in a Carry On film although she would co-present That's Carry On! three years later. Other regulars in Carry On Dick were Kenneth Williams, Bernard Bresslaw, Joan Sims, Kenneth Connor, Peter Butterworth and Jack Douglas. The story is based on the Dick Turpin legend and features Turpin (Sid James) as an anti-hero, attempting to evade capture by the authorities.
Highwayman Big Dick Turpin (Sid James) is terrorising merrie olde England with his henchmen Harriet (Barbara Windsor) and Tom (Peter Butterworth)--(Tom, Dick and Harry.) When they rob the powerful Sir Roger Daley (Bernard Bresslaw) and his prim wife (Margaret Nolan), the befuddled Bow Street Runners are determined to track him down. Captain Desmond Fancey (Kenneth Williams) and Sergeant Jock Strapp (Jack Douglas) are ineptitude-personified and can't see through Dick's disguise as the local Reverend Flasher. The Reverend's faithful housekeeper, Martha Hoggett (Hattie Jacques) is also blind to his mischievous double life.
However, with a tip-off from the greasy old hag, Maggie (Marianne Stone) Fancey and Strapp discover their man has a curious birthmark on his manhood. Strapp wastes no time in carrying out an inspection in the public convenience of the Old Cock Inn and is unceremoniously dumped into a horse trough for his troubles. Madame Desiree (Joan Sims), a travelling show-woman with her Birds of Paradise (Laraine Humphreys, Linda Hooks, Penny Irving and Eva Rueber-Staier), having been robbed by Dick Turpin, also fails to make the connection with the kindly Reverend. However, Desiree does swallow his story that the undercover Bow Street Runner, Fancey, is, in fact, the wanted highwayman!
The girls pull down his breeches but fail to find an incriminating birthmark. Miss Hoggett begins to put two and two together when Mrs Giles (Patsy Rowlands), apparently sick and used for a cover-up story for Dick's raids, is seen fit and well at the church jumble sale. Not only that but Harriett is caught wearing Lady Daley's bracelet. With the net tightening, the Reverend Flasher gives an elongated sermon before outwitting his would-be captors and making a speedy getaway with Harriett and Tom across the border.

Carry On Dick

The DVD cover
Directed byGerald Thomas
Produced byPeter Rogers
Written byTalbot Rothwell
StarringSid James
Barbara Windsor
Kenneth Williams
Hattie Jacques
Bernard Bresslaw
Joan Sims
Kenneth Connor
Peter Butterworth
Jack Douglas
Music byEric Rogers
CinematographyErnest Steward
Editing byAlfred Roome
Distributed byThe Rank Organisation
Release date(s)July 1974
Running time91 minutes
CountryUnited Kingdom United Kingdom