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email BIG RAT

Last updated
9 April 2009

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Closing Title Background Slate "In appearance a school boy's ordinary looking suitcase built of lightweight plastic. Opening from the top, the case reveals ordinary looking school boy's equipment and Joe's text books. By turning the lock clasps anticlockwise two secret compartments are revealed."

We got to have a good look at Joe's case every week. Even if it didn't feature in the main body of the episode, its secrets were revealed during the closing titles where cut-out photographs of the case and its contents mounted on airbrushed artwork were used as the backgrounds for the credits. They may not have been as interesting to look at as the Ron Embleton paintings used under the closing titles of Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons, but the music that accompanied the credits was amongst Barry Gray's finest.

What follows is a gallery of the closing title background plates without credits; the "textless titles" if you will. Accompanying the images is the description of the case that appeared in the series "bible".

Closing Title Background 1 This is not an ordinary school boy's case. Although it looks good, it does not give away its very special secret. It was presented to Joe when he first became Agent 90 by World Intelligence Network - London.
When the lid is opened up in the normal way by two small clips near the handle, it simply discloses a compartment which contains Joe's exercise books - English, Maths etc. and other usual items like a set of colouring pencils, protractors, pens, rubber, pencil sharpener etc. Closing Title Background 2
Closing Title Background 3 Nothing unusual about that. But the thickness of the case is deceiving and beneath this compartment there are two other cleverly concealed compartments.
Closing Title Background 4 Closing Title Background 5
To open these, the case is turned over so that it lies flat on what is normally the lid. At the foot of the case are four little studs - one in each corner - for the case to stand on when not in use. Closing Title Background 6
Closing Title Background 7 To open the first of the compartments, one simply turns the stud on that side of the case to release the lid - this then lifts up revealing a compartment which contains Joe's electrode glasses (without which the recorded brain patterns cannot function), the special W.I.N. badge presented to him by Shane Weston, a silencer for the gun and two special reports.
Closing Title Background 8 Closing Title Background 9
Closing Title Background 10 Closing Title Background 11
The other compartment is opened in the same way: the stud on that side of the case is turned, the lid released and inside one finds Joe's automatic pistol (it is small, light and will fire 200 times without reloading), a small transistorised pocket transmitter enabling Joe to keep in contact with W.I.N. HQ - London or any other agent in the field, 2.38mm ammunition clips and two more secret reports. Closing Title Background 12
Closing Title Background 13 Closing Title Background 14
Closing Title Background 15 Closing Title Background 16
Closing Title Background 17 The case is of vital importance on Joe's missions and would normally go with him everywhere.

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.

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