Child of the Sun God

Child of the Sun God
"Child of the Sun God"
Joe 90 episode
Episode no. Season 1
Episode 22
Directed by Alan Perry
Written by John Lucarotti
Production code 26
Original air date 23 February 1969
Episode chronology
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"See You Down There"
List of Joe 90 episodes

"Child of the Sun God" is the 22nd episode of the Supermarionation television series Joe 90. It was the 26th episode to be produced. Its original UK air date was 23 February 1969 on ATV Midlands. It was written by John Lucarotti and directed by Alan Perry.

Contents

Synopsis

Four world leaders have been paralysed by poison darts known to have been used only by a lost South American tribe. A criminal organisation has revived the ancient Indian culture and demands a hefty ransom in exchange for the antidote. It is up to Joe to infiltrate the Amaztec people and bring back the cure, but first he must convince the natives that he is a god

Plot

A president is dining outside at his country residence when he is suddenly hit by a poison dart fired from a blowpipe. The politician is rushed to hospital but his entire body is permanently paralysed and in a deep coma.

Three other statesmen are struck down within the same 24-hour period. Dr Aston, an expert on ancient civilisations, finds that the type of dart fired in all the attacks was used only by the Amaztecs, a lost South American tribe which became extinct three hundred years ago. At WIN Headquarters London, Aston tells Shane Weston that the Amaztecs, before being wiped out by Cortés, lived at the foothills of the Andes mountains. Although initially a gentle people, their Sun God, Quetzalcoatl, was eventually defeated by Huitzilopochtli, the lord of darkness. The evil deity turned the Indians into brutal creatures, forcing them to make human sacrifices in his honour. After they formulated their secret poison, they also created an antidote to counter its effects.

Aston deduces that a criminal organisation has gathered a number of Indians to one spot to revive the lost culture, possibly by claiming to be divine. When the doctor divulges that it would be feasible even for a child to do this, owing to the Amaztecs' belief that youngsters were sacred, Shane secretly orders Sam Loover to call Professor McClaine to request that he record Aston's brain pattern. Mac receives the signal from an aerial hidden in Shane's office and transfers the information to Joe using the BIG RAT.

Later, Sam arrives at the McClaines' cottage to reveal that the statesmen are being kept in paralysis for ransom: the perpetrators of the attacks will provide the antidote in exchange for £10million. However, it is possible that through Joe, equipped with the knowledge and experience of Dr Aston and the innocence of a child, there will be a far easier way to obtain the remedy.

At the base of the Andes, the Amaztec community has been restored by a masked white man, who has convinced the natives that he is the High Priest to Huitzilopochtli through electronic trickery. Proctl, an apprehensive clansman who recognises the suffering of his people under the rule of darkness, tries to make an offering to Quetzalcoatl at the temple. The Priest, who is actually the head of the organisation behind the strikes on the politicians, accuses him of heresy and orders Proctl to leave before he incurs the wrath of the god of evil.

Joe, Mac and Sam fly out to South America and scour the mountains for the tribe in a helijet. Sighting the temple, Joe is parachuted into the jungle a few miles from the Amaztec lands. The High Priest notices the descent and suspects that an agent has arrived to expose his deception. The Indians believe that the figure is a man-god, but the Priest brands it an impostor and orders the group to find Joe and bring him to the temple to be sacrificed.

Hours after landing, Joe has not yet been discovered by the Amaztecs. He radios Mac and Sam, who are standing by at a nearby airfield, to express his concern. Suddenly, a band of the Indians emerge from the undergrowth and capture the boy.

The next day, the entire tribe is gathered in front of the temple to watch Joe be sacrificed to Huitzilopochtli. The High Priest commands one of the men, Ataka, to stab the WIN agent, ignoring Proctl, who warns that killing a child is unlawful. However, when Joe begs the right to "trial by entombment" in the name of Quetzalcoatl, the Priest is forced to listen to the tribe, who remember how Joe dropped from the Sun and is therefore possibly the "child of the Sun God". Proctl says that a child's divinity is proven by surviving entombment in the mountain. The Priest, safe in the knowledge that no one has achieved the feat, orders Joe's wish to be carried out.

Sealed in the tomb, Joe's situation seems hopeless. However, he eventually stumbles across a stream and swims his way out of the mountain, despite a heavy downpour which drastically raises the water level.

At the temple, the High Priest rules that Proctl is conspiring against Huitzilopochtli, and commands him to leave the tribal lands or suffer a traitor's death. At that moment, Joe arrives; Proctl declares him to be the child of the Sun God and the boy follows the Priest into the catacombs behind the temple before the entrance is closed. Inside the cavern, Joe is confronted by modern equipment and lights. Joe demands the antidote, but the villain cannot believe that the child is a WIN agent and removes his mask, opening fire with his gun. However, distracted by the heat of the shootout, he forgets the shear drop at the back of the cave and falls, screaming to his death.

Some time later, at WIN Headquarters London, Joe, Mac, Sam and Shane discuss the success of the mission. All the statesmen have been injected with the antidote and have made full recoveries, oddly feeling more energised than before. In addition, evidence that Joe found in the cave has been used to arrest the whole organisation. Shane jokingly says that he would like to be put into a coma and wake up invigorated; however, Joe has brought back a blowpipe and causes the commander-in-chief of WIN much alarm when he points it at him light-heartedly.

Cast

Regular voice cast

Guest voice cast

In speaking order:

  • President's Manservant — Gary Files
  • President—Keith Alexander
  • Dr Aston — Jeremy Wilkin
  • Ataka—Jeremy Wilkin
  • High Priest—David Healy
  • Proctl—Gary Files
  • Amaztec Warrior—Jeremy Wilkin

Goofs

  • The back of the High Priest's head falls off as he plunges to his death.

Notes

  • The High Priest is played by the Captain Ochre puppet from Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons.
  • In a scene deleted from the finished episode, Joe dons the attire of the child of the Sun God after the death of the High Priest and presents himself to the Amaztecs, promising peace and happiness for the people. He wears these clothes in the final scene in Shane Weston's office.

External links


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