7. Joe 90
This one isn't so much a gritty reboot, but a gritty sequel looking in depth at the unexplored consequences of the original. I really don't know why nobody has thought of this before. I mean, look at the premise of the show. You take a nine year old boy, subject him to high-tech brainwashing, then send him on secret missions against murderous bad guys imperiling his life. Yeah, that's bound to end well. Let's take a look at how it all panned out. It's the present day and 54 year old Joe lives on the streets of London where he sells The Big Issue and regularly rants from his soap box to whomever is willing to listen about how shadowy international intelligence networks. His stories include accounts of how his own father subjected him to nightmarish MK Ultra style reprogramming as a boy and sent him alone to foreign countries to carry out clandestine Cold War activities. Every day Joe shouts at length to puzzled passers by about something called BIG RAT, and how the sessions in the machine left him confused and disoriented, finally driving him insane as soon as he hit puberty. He can't produce any evidence of his ordeal as the project never officially existed and was shut down when he went off the rails. So with no proof, Joe was sectioned and sent to a mental ward where he languished for the next two decades after his house burned down, killing his father and their housekeeper Mrs Harris. Not surprisingly, nobody believes him and he is regularly heckled, harassed and victimised by the police. It looks like Joe's sorry lot in life is to forever be ignored while railing against the state's abuse, drown his sorrows with cheap wine and wake up in the drunk tank until one day an horrific terrorist attack rocks London. Joe immediately recognises the hallmarks of the old Eastern Alliance and surmises that renegade agents of the formerly hostile bloc are attempting to re-ignite decades old conflicts. With his secret knowledge, only he can stop them. Can Joe finally find someone to believe his tales? Will saving western civilisation result in some kind of redemption for the fallen hero or will he become tempted to change sides and seek revenge against the World Intelligence Network responsible for his ruined life and the mysterious Sam Loover, the man he believes responsible for the death of his family? Join Joe 90 as he dusts of his glasses and struggles with identity and purpose in a world gone mad.