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email BIG RAT

Last updated
9 April 2009

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NAME: Samuel William Loover
AGE: 44
BORN: Flagstaff, Arizona, USA
15th December
POSITION: Deputy Head of W.I.N. London Office
HEIGHT: 5' 11"
HAIR: Grey
EYES: Blue

Sam Loover was born 44 years ago in Flagstaff, a small town in the heart of the Arizona desert*. He was brought up in a family of stability rather than wealth, and his father had great ambitions for his son in the engineering field. William Loover, Sam’s father, wanted so much for his son: he wanted Sam to follow the family tradition of individuality and determination with his chosen career. In fact, he wanted his son to succeed where he had failed and, with this in mind, William Loover had worked his hardest, employing his money as he saw best to further his son’s career.

Being brought up in the Arizona desert gave young Sam a hardened outlook on life. He was an expert hunter and angler, and excelled in all the outdoor activities one associates with an "all American boy". Sam was at home in this wild, rough land, but this "training" was to set Sam up for the job that fate had carved for his future life.

At the age of 10, Sam was sent to Phoenix to be educated at Arizona’s most renowned technical school. For Sam, this was a milestone in his career, as he was used only to the local junior school, and being in the bosom of a family that numbered the complete population of Flagstaff. At this early age in Phoenix, Sam studied electronic engineering in the hope that his basic training in this field would yield a place at America’s technological institute at Stanford. But city life was too unnatural to Loover, who had known only the wide open spaces of tumbling sand and wooden buildings. He felt condemned in this concrete jungle.

Although stifled in this man-made complex of concrete and steel, Sam continued his studies, forced on by the hidden goal of success that he wanted so much - not for his own material gains, but for the pride and strong family ties that he had with his father. Sam’s drive to reach this goal was stimulated three years later for, at the age of 13, his mother was killed in a freak sand storm that devastated Flagstaff. It was a bitter blow to the close family unit, and Sam was torn between two evils - to return home to his father and relinquish his bonds with an engineering career, or to carry on and materialise his father’s dream. Sam chose the latter.

For a further five years, Sam studied for his chosen career, and at the end of his training in Phoenix his dream was realised. Sam Loover was awarded a top scholarship grant to Stanford, having gained outstanding results in electronics, engineering and dynamics. This result could have come at no better time, for his father was dangerously ill in his homestead town. Doctors had given him an even chance of survival. The news of his son’s achievements succeeded where all medicine had failed in promoting a quick and complete recovery for William Loover.

After a long vacation with his father, Sam returned to the big city life, taking up his elected position at Stanford University to study electronics. It was during this advanced education that Sam Loover met a young Englishman - a fellow electronics student in his first year. This man was Ian McClaine - a man who was to have a great bearing on Sam’s later career.

These two men became great friends. It was a friendship that deepened a year later when Sam and Mac were on vacation in Sam’s home-town - when the Arizona desert was almost to claim another life to add to the long roll-call fated to its existence.

It was summer. Ian McClaine was dabbling in aerodynamic experiments. He had built a balloon and was piloting it from Phoenix to Flagstaff. Three days out from Sam’s home, a freak storm blew up, forcing Mac’s balloon violently off course, over a rocky uninhabitable part of the desert. The balloon was struck by lightning and Mac was forced to make a crash landing on the jagged boulders, miles from anywhere. He crashed down and on impact he broke his leg. Hopelessly lost, Mac decided to crawl - to crawl anywhere, rather than to stay undefended, at the mercy of the elements. Summoning his courage, he set out on the long journey, a journey to nowhere but disaster.

Three hundred miles east, Sam Loover feared for the fate of his friend. Sensing danger, young Loover set out in search of Mac. He was four days alone in that merciless desert, searching, hoping, praying. On the fifth day he found his friend, lying in a small depression in the sand. His leg was broken in three places and he was suffering from extreme exhaustion and exposure. It was touch and go whether or not the two friends would make it home alive. They did, although Mac was close to death.

A four-month stay in hospital righted all the wrongs that the desert had inflicted. Mac left hospital mended, with a stimulated friendship, and an even greater love for balloons.

It was back to their studios for the now inseparable team of Loover and McClaine. It was a partnership that was not to be broken until Graduation Day. On this day, with grade "A" passes in electronics for Loover and Mac, they split up. Mac went back to England while Sam Loover progressed to a high position with the American government. The partnership was to be brought together 15 years later, never to be broken, on the day Sam was best man at Mac’s wedding.

For Sam Loover a dream had been realised. He was immediately snapped up by the American government for a position within the module of Cape Kennedy - dealing with the electronic aspects of security on the base. From here Sam worked through the ranks. His brilliant application of his subject revealed true genius. He combined his academic brilliance in electronics with his flare and initiative for security. The results were dynamic and, within a short period of time, Loover had revolutionised the security aspects of Cape Kennedy, making it impregnable.

It took Sam Loover just five years to establish himself at the Cape. Promotion followed promotion. He became chief security officer at the Government establishment; he was then promoted to security controller for the Western block of the States; and was finally enrolled as Chief Security Adviser to the Secretary for Defence of the United States of America.

Sam Loover held this position for just 12 months, for it was an unsung tradition that the US Defence Secretary was also the head and brains behind the C.I.A. When the C.I.A. merged with other Western secret service organisations in 1974, Secretary Calloway was appointed as Supreme Head of W.I.N. and his first action as head of this World Intelligence Network was to enrol the services of Loover as his number one operative agent. Loover was sceptical at first, but realised the potential offered. It was an ideal situation in which to employ his amazing prowess, achieved through his country upbringing and hard study. After much thought he accepted.

From then on in his career, Sam Loover never looked back. It was an ideal situation which blended his amazing talents, and released their energy to one common cause. Operating as W.I.N.’s top secret agent, Sam Loover’s record book read like a fictitious spy novel. His daring deeds, quick-thinking and superb judgement and initiative made him master of his trade.

For security reasons, none of his exploits as an active agent can be revealed. But recognition was granted in the right places, and after 15 years of active service with the U.S. Head Office in Washington, Loover was promoted to Deputy Head of the London Office attached to W.I.N. In England, Sam was reunited with his old friend, Ian McClaine. It was four years later with the discovery of the BIG RAT that the partnership was refounded, McClaine and Loover working together with one sole aim in mind.

As Deputy Head of W.I.N.’s London system, Sam Loover took complete charge of agent’s operations, combining three staff divisions into one. Though reducing his own field work to a minimum, Sam Loover was, and still is, the master mind behind most of the World Intelligence Network’s greatest achievements. He is a true credit to world peace.

Biographical details taken from the Joe 90 "writers' guide", written by series script editor Tony Barwick and scriptwriter Shane Rimmer based on the format and characters developed by Gerry & Sylvia Anderson.

*I've been informed by Anderson fan and Flagstaff resident Richard Patton that his home town isn't in the desert at all... "Flagstaff sits in the middle of the Coconino National Forest at an elevation of 7,000 feet. We experience four distinct seasons and our winters usually bring a healthy amount of snow. We're often described as a cosy mountain community." So Tony Barwick got that a bit wrong then...

Sam Loover started life as revamp puppet #19 in Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons, making its first appearance as Supreme Commander Earth Forces in the episode Point 783. It had a total of seven guest roles in the series before being cast as Sam Loover. For Joe 90, a new set of additional heads were cast with 'normal', 'smiler' and 'blinker' expressions, plus one specifically for 'under-control' operation. Supreme Commander Earth Forces from the Captain Scarlet And The Mysterons episode Point 783

Keith Alexander as Lt. Keith Ford in the UFO episode The Dalotek Affair Sam's voice was provided by actor Keith Alexander. Keith had previously worked on the feature film Thunderbird 6 as the voice of John Tracy (in the absence of Ray Barrett) and the narrator. He also had experience voicing another very different puppet character; the mouse Topo Gigio.

After Joe 90, Keith went on to appear as the Flight Director in the Andersons' first live-action feature film Doppelgänger (known in the US as Journey To The Far Side Of The Sun). Following this, he had a regular role in UFO as SHADO Operative Lieutenant Keith Ford.

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