I.Q., Tracy, Gordo, Phoebe, Trevor, Mr Milbanks, Coach Mitchell,
Dr No, Jaws, Nick Nack.
board a nearby submarine, Jaws and Nick Nack listen into the
conversation, proving that the yacht has somehow been bugged. James
offers to help the Sheikh defeat S.C.U.M., and so the Sheikh calls Mr
Milbanks, arranging a leave of absence for the gang from Warfield.
Trevor isn't at all pleased that the others get to go to Al-Khaline,
while Coach Mitchell knows it will be much more than a holiday.
Meanwhile, under the desert, Doctor No drills pipelines, preparing to
steal vast quantities of water from the reservoir and store them in his
secret lair. He is furious to learn from Nick Nack that the Sheikh is
still refusing to sell the water, and orders his henchmen to destroy
the yacht. Nick Nack shows unusual concern for their operative onboard,
but No reminds him that S.C.U.M. agents 'know the risks'.
Elsewhere in the palace, Jaws and Nick Nack arrive to steal the pipeline software. Jaws rips the safe open with his teeth, and although the pair are confronted by Gordo and I.Q., they soon do away with the teens by throwing them down a nearby trapdoor. Later, James waits in the corridor to meet Yasmine at an arranged time, but she doesn't turn up. Instead, she is being led into the garden by Fatima, who insists that James asked to meet her outside. James rushes out and finds them, only for Fatima to reveal herself as the S.C.U.M. traitor, grab Yasmine, and cart her off at knifepoint in another jeep, claiming she is treated like a slave and that 'S.C.U.M. will pay me well for my treachery'. James follows in a sandmobile and walks along their tracks straight into the Valley of the Hungry Dunes.
He soon finds himself sinking into the sand, and ends up deep in Doctor No's underground base, where he is confronted by Jaws, Nick Nack, Fatima and Doctor No. As a true Bond villain should, No insists on showing James around his lair, telling him that unless the leaders of the region pay him a trillion dollars, he will flush the entire water supply into the sea. He then locks James in a cell with Yasmine, whose capture he will use to make sure the Sheikh cooperates with his scheme. The pair use the laser on James's watch to escape, and they begin to sabotage the pipeline operations. James is surprised to know that Yasmine knows how to use all the pumping equipment. She increases the pressure in order to break the water tanks, while James fights Kasim and his buddy.
All the water tanks begin to burst across the base, causing the entire lair to flood. No confronts them just as the water rises, but is swept away into the sea along with Jaws and Nick Nack as a torrent of water engulfs them.James then uses the remote signal on I.Q.'s watch to close the doors so that the water is not lost. Back on the surface, the Sheikh thanks James again for all he has done. James says he couldn't have done it without Yasmine whom, despite being forbidden to do 'male' work by her father, could not be stopped from looking over his shoulder at how the pipelines are operated. The Sheikh decides it may be time for some changes in the ways of Al-Khaline. And at Warfield, Trevor guffaws when Milbanks makes the gang write essays about their time in the desert, but they present Trevor with a gift in return - a bag of sand over his head!
This, the second episode in the run to feature Doctor
No, is a real classic, boasting great action sequences, a hugely better
than average script, and a bit of social commentary too. Although
Sheikh Yabootie is decidedly vague about the nature of the 'change in
Al-Khaline' following Yasmine's aptitude with the pipeline controls
('it is not a woman's place'), it certainly seems that, when combined
with Yasmine's comments about the Sheikh only allowing her to dress as
she does outside their country, the writer of this episode feels
strongly about women's equality, and is keen to confront the issue. Of
course, it seems highly unlikely that a whole country would suddenly
change its attitudes as a result of one incident - but at least the
thought is there, and some form of moral lesson is clearly intended.The
inclusion of Fatima is equally interesting; her fate following the
flooding of No's complex is unclear, which is arguably somewhat of a
cop-out, but her mere presence in the episode is praiseworthy. Of all
the S.C.U.M. agents, we can sympathise with her character the most, and
she highlights the gap between the richest and poorest people in the
world. While Yasmine clearly considers her a member of the family,
Fatima feels differently and comments that 'slave is more like it';
being lifted from poverty is her only ambition and, if crime (through
S.C.U.M.) offers her the opportunity to achieve this, she is prepared
to go along with it. Therefore, although James ranks Fatima alongside
the 'pair of jokers' that is Jaws and Nick Nack, the line between
out-and-out good and evil is inevitably blurred somewhat. Elsewhere,
the more conventional villains work perfectly in a darker-than-usual
narrative. Doctor No's scheme is unusually believable and suitably
fiendish, while Jaws and Nick Nack, paired here on the first of many
occasions, are also portrayed in a slightly less comic
(and more sinister) light than later in the series, as
evidenced by Nick Nack's questioning No over his decision to destroy
the yacht, including Fatima, and, conversely, his willingness to go
ahead with it. James's character is also more fleshed-out here; his
ongoing concern and affection for Yasmine is evident more than is
usually the case with the 'guest girl', and his awareness of the
contradictions in her culture mirrors the writer's own concerns. It's a
pity they had to include that terrible pun at the end ('Lines to Forget'), but then, Bond
wouldn't be Bond without them. A fantastic episode, and an indisputable
ten out of ten.
Gordo, on the 'luscious babes' in the Sheikh's palace that he insists on following with I.Q.: 'Their veils might have said no-no, but their eyes said si-si!'
This marks the first appearance in the show of Nick Nack, one of the five villains from the film series to make the transition to the cartoon. Though it's barely apparent here, later in the series he would often be used for comic relief, usually (but not always) in partnership with Jaws.
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