Joe 90 - Broadcasting


In the United Kingdom, the starts of the regional broadcasts were staggered, with Joe 90 premiering on ATV Midlands and Tyne Tees in late September 1968 and moving on to LWT, Southern and Anglia shortly after. The series reached the Harlech and Channel regions in November 1968 and finally Granada on Christmas Day, although the first episode to air was the Christmas-themed "The Unorthodox Shepherd" rather than the pilot, "The Most Special Agent". Granada was one of several regions which broadcast Joe 90 under the altered title, The Adventures of Joe 90. Although the series was re-run several times in various regions during the 1970s, it was not transmitted in the Yorkshire region until 1981, when it was secured by ITV for a syndicated run. In the United States, Joe 90 was broadcast in first-run syndication in 1969.

Joe 90 was later purchased for early-morning network transmissions on BBC1 in 1994. Rights holder PolyGram cleared the programme for broadcast on the condition that the "zooming" Joe 90 logo in the title sequence be replaced with a new static version to distinguish it from the logo for the American G.I. Joe toy brand, which, PolyGram believed, appeared too similar. The videotapes used for broadcast were 16 mm transfers of the 35 mm film and were edited for timeslot constraints, with the cold open re-arranged where applicable so that the titles now opened each episode, and the closing credits minimised to permit a BBC Children's presenter to read out viewer birthday cards. A separate 1994 run on Nickelodeon made none of these alterations to the 1960s material. With Thunderbirds and Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons, the series commenced a run on the UK Sci Fi Channel in 2009.

For Joe 90's original run, in some regions the end of the title sequence incorporated a zoom-in shot of Joe's WIN glasses accompanied by a voice-over provided by actor Tim Turner, stating, "These are Joe 90's special glasses. Without them, he's a boy. Wearing them, he's an expert." This short speech, intended to warn child viewers not to put themselves at risk by imitating Joe's exploits, has been erroneously attributed to Keith Alexander on the Joe 90 Region 2 DVD box set, on which it is a special feature.

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