"The Most Special Agent" is the first episode of the Supermarionation television series Joe 90. Its original UK air date was September 29, 1968 on ATV Midlands. It was written by Gerry and Sylvia Anderson and directed by Desmond Saunders.
Professor Ian "Mac" McClaine demonstrates the abilities of his latest invention - the Brain Impulse Galvanoscope Record And Transfer (BIG RAT) - to his friend Sam Loover by conveying his knowledge and experience to his nine-year-old son, Joe. Sam believes that the device might be useful to the World Intelligence Network and contacts his boss and head of WIN’s London Headquarters, Shane Weston. Explaining how Joe could help to maintain world peace, Weston conceives a mission in which he must capture a prototype Russian fighter to reveal its secrets to the West…
In his secret underground laboratory, Professor McClaine presents the Brain Impulse Galvanoscope Record And Transfer to his friend, Sam Loover. Sam is doubtful of the BIG RAT's potential but Mac asks his son, Joe, to sit on a chair which is then elevated into the casket of the machine. Mac explains to Sam that he has recorded his brain pattern, containing all his knowledge and experience, onto a reel of tape and that he will now transfer the pattern to Joe. Mac tells Joe, who has attached electrodes to his head, to empty his mind of thoughts and then activates the computer. Joe’s sphere starts to spin and lights flash while the transference begins.
With the process complete, Mac and Sam ask Joe about the French C-3400 computer. To Sam’s amazement, he answers every question correctly. Mac reveals that Joe will revert to his normal self once the special electrodes have been removed. The trio ascend to the living room of the McClaines' coastal cottage in a lift and Mac speculates how much Convex Computers will offer for the BIG RAT. Sam, however, can imagine a different future for the device and persuades Mac to keep the machine a secret for 12 hours.
In the early hours of the morning, Sam calls Mac from London and asks him and Joe to drive to the World Intelligence Network Headquarters immediately. After a two-hour journey in their flying car, the McClaines listen as the head of WIN London, Shane Weston, reveals that his organisation could use Joe and the BIG RAT to maintain world peace. No one else but the four of them will know of the machine. To explain his intention, Weston describes the capabilities of the MiG-242, a new Russian fighter-bomber, and how the lack of an equivalent in the West means that the Russians could destroy the free world at any time. WIN would counter this threat by capturing a MiG-242 and revealing its secrets to the West, and this is where Joe would come in…
At a press conference in London, a top Russian pilot tells of his experiences flying the MiG-242. However, he is unaware that Mac and Sam have positioned a hidden aerial above his head and that his brain pattern is being transmitted to the McClaines' cottage. In the crowd, Mac calls Joe to order him to stop the recording on the BIG RAT and tells him that they are returning home at once. In the underground laboratory, the pilot's knowledge and experience is transferred to Joe and Sam presents him with gadgets for his time as a WIN's "Most Special Agent". A pair of modified glasses equipped with small electrodes will give Joe access to others' brain patterns while fitted to his head; a specially-made pistol will fire 200 rounds before needing a reload, and a transmitter will allow him to communicate with WIN from anywhere on Earth.
Mac and Joe travel to Russia and tour an airbase with other aviation experts in a panoramic vehicle. The soldier acting as the guide presents a MiG-242 and reminds the party that it is the first occasion in which foreign correspondents have been allowed the view it at close quarters. He notices that Professor McClaine's son has gone missing and angrily demands to know where he is. Mac claims that his son is about to fly off in the MiG-242 to much laughter, only for the fighter to blast off at that moment. In his superior's office, the soldier insists that Joe stole the aircraft, but the commander has him placed under arrest. Asked where his boy is, Mac tells the commander that he is flying the MiG-242, but his questioner thinks that he is joking.
Meanwhile, in the fighter's cockpit, Joe notices that three other MiG-242s have been launched to shoot him down. He destroys the hostiles with air-to-air missiles before they can open fire and attacks a missile base on the ground, causing total destruction. From the McClaines' cottage, Sam calls Joe to give him clearance to fly across Europe and orders him to land in England at Manston, Kent.
Joe lands on the runway but escapes from the cockpit before the MiG-242 is surrounded by armoured vehicles. The Manston Controller is baffled when a local farmer insists that he saw a young boy leave the aircraft and get into a strange car, which then flew away. Piloting Mac's vehicle, Sam congratulates Joe on a job well done…
Ending his idea, Weston stresses that there is no hostility between Russia and the West and that the MiG-242 does not exist. He asks if Mac would accept his proposal but the professor reacts angrily, believing that Joe is too young to have such a dangerous career. Eventually, Sam convinces Mac of the potential of using Joe to deceive enemies and Mac relents. Now truly WIN's Most Special Agent, Joe asks when he will get a badge.
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