The Fortress (Joe 90 episode)


The Fortress (Joe 90 episode)

Infobox Television episode
Title = The Fortress
Series = Joe 90
Season = 1
Episode = 6
Airdate = November 3, 1968
Production = 15
Writer = Shane Rimmer
Director = Leo Eaton
Episode list = List of "Joe 90" episodes
Prev = Colonel McClaine
Next = King for a Day

"The Fortress" is the sixth episode of the Supermarionation television series "Joe 90". It was the 15th episode to be produced. Its original UK air date was November 3, 1968 on ATV Midlands. It was written by Shane Rimmer and directed by Leo Eaton.

Synopsis

A WIN agent is captured in South America after hiding a secret microfilm. Using the brain pattern of the spy's comatose partner, it is up to Joe to rescue him from an impregnable fortress before he is forced to give away the location of the classified information.

Plot

Late at night, WIN agent Roger Fleming is frantically running through the jungle of Santa Marina, South America. Pursued by soldiers and dogs, the spy takes refuge in a dilapidated shack. Fleming activates his transceiver and says that he has hidden his secret microfilm, but before he can reveal its location the door is broken down and he is forced to surrender to Captain Trang. Fleming is taken away, but the message from his discarded radio reaches an orbiting satellite.

At WIN Headquarters London, Shane informs Sam of Fleming's probable capture. The recovery of the microfilm is vital and the pair travel to the McClaines' cottage with a mission for Joe. The boy is given the brain pattern of Mike Laramie, Fleming's partner, whom Shane explains served as the inside man in Santa Marina with Fleming as outside contact. After the opposition discovered their identities, Laramie passed the microfilm to Fleming before he was ambushed and left in a coma in hospital. Fleming was captured near the border, and if his captors force him to disclose the location of the microfilm, the cover of every nearby WIN agent will be broken. It is up to Joe to rescue Fleming before he is made to talk.

Meanwhile, Fleming has been detained at an impregnable riverside fortress. Brutally interrogating the drugged agent as he sits deliriously in a chair, Trang and a lieutenant urge Fleming to reveal the location of the microfilm but their victim falls unconscious. Trang states that after the necessary intelligence has been extracted, Fleming can be killed like all other enemy agents found in Santa Marina territory.

In England, Joe, Mac and Sam take off in a private plane for South America. The trio finalise their plan en route before landing at an airstrip and transferring to a helijet. Landing at an old boathouse on the bank of a river, they find a hovercraft abandoned by Laramie and Fleming. Joe continues through the marshes alone, using the vehicle to clear the underwater mines.

In the fortress interrogation room, Fleming is still in a weak condition. The lieutenant is impatient to get revenge on the WIN agent for a facial scar and Trang promises that they will break the spy at final questioning.

Having made significant progress towards the fortress, Joe stops the hovercraft on a river bank and sets up camp for the night. However, in the morning, he is approached in his sleeping bag by a venomous snake. A wake-up call from Sam reaches Joe just as the reptile is poised to attack; Joe wards it off with two shots from his gun and resumes his journey upriver.

By nightfall, Trang has retired to his quarters and the lieutenant is taunting Fleming by intercom from an observation room. Meanwhile, Joe has arrived at the fortress. Firing a stun grenade into the observation room to incapacitate the lieutenant, Joe uses a towline to ascend to Fleming's window. However, the lieutenant regains consciousness when Joe blasts through the bars. He watches the scene unfolding on his video monitor and alerts Trang to the intruder's presence.

In the interrogation room, Fleming, still confused, does not believe Joe's story and dismisses his rescue attempt as a hoax. However, when Joe displays an unusually detailed knowledge of his friendship with Laramie, his fellow WIN agent is swayed. Outside, Trang and the lieutenant are baffled to see a child in the interrogation room, but obtain their required information when Fleming tells Joe that the secret microfilm is downriver in mission ruins. Maliciously thanking Fleming over the intercom, Trang orders the fortress guards to kill the two spies before hurrying to a launch with the lieutenant. Joe realises that the interrogation room is bugged and instructs Fleming to escape through the window while he fights the guards. After a brief shootout, Joe follows Fleming to the ground and the pair set off in the hovercraft under heavy fire.

As Joe navigates the backwaters to beat Trang and the lieutenant to the microfilm, Fleming wishes that Laramie, with his expert geographical knowledge, were present. Joe suggests that Laramie is with them in spirit and soon overtakes their enemies. A desperate Trang orders the lieutenant to accelerate, but the launch fails to clear a river log and explodes against the bank. Fleming exclaims that he has never seen better driving in his life and Joe is thankful for the comment.

A few days later, Fleming is visiting a recovered Laramie in hospital. Laramie is amazed that his friend escaped from the fortress and asks how he managed it. However, Fleming still doubts the accuracy of his memory, even though he could swear that his saviour was a boy.

Cast

Regular voice cast

*Joe McClaine — Len Jones
*Professor Ian "Mac" McClaine — Rupert Davies
*Sam Loover — Keith Alexander
*Shane Weston — David Healy

Guest voice cast

In speaking order:

*Roger Fleming — Gary Files
*Soldier Voice — Gary Files
*Captain Trang — David Healy
*Soldier — Keith Alexander
*Lieutenant — Keith Alexander
*Mike Laramie — Keith Alexander

Goofs

*In the first scene at Shane Weston's office, the shadow of the clapperboard can be seen passing over the Sam Loover puppet.
*When Captain Trang and the lieutenant first interrogate Fleming, the two characters' voices briefly swap over.

External links

* [http://www.fanderson.org.uk/epguides/joeeg2.html#Episode%20Fifteen Fanderson.org.uk: "Joe 90" Episode Guide: "The Fortress"]
* [http://www.bigrat.co.uk/episodes/episode_15.html Bigrat.co.uk: "Joe 90" Episode Guide: "The Fortress"]
* [http://www.clivebanks.co.uk/Joe%2090%20Timeline.htm# Clivebanks.co.uk: "Joe 90" Episode Guide]


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