Synopsis: As a freight train carrying a load of coal trundles through Yellowstone National Park, Jaws and Nick Nack leap onto the roof and take command of it, forcing the driver and crew off the vehicle before driving it off into the distance. At the same time, James and his schoolmates arrive at the park, and pay a visit to Old Faithful, the park's most famous geyser. The gang come across Vicki Jones, a geologist, who asks them if they want to help her search for crystals in the geyser before it blows again. Tracy snubs her, taking Trevor on a hike instead to make James jealous – but it ends up backfiring as the pair run into a hungry family of bears.
Review: As a late-in-the-run Dr Derange episode, this is fairly unremarkable in most respects. It's nice to see quantum theory getting a mention - a true rarity in cartoons these days. Although, nice as it would be to think that most of the James Bond Jr. target audience has a fundamental grasp of particle physics, they don't - and it's probably just as well given the abject nonsense of Derange's latest plan. Not that it matters; the diamond thing more or less works as a plot device if you choose to swallow the premise. But the creative setting, Coach Mitchell's extremely rare involvement in the action, and the fact that Jaws and Nick Nack seem to be working better with Derange than on previous occasions (Invaders from S.C.U.M. springs to mind) save Quantum Diamonds from utter mediocrity. The most interesting thing about this episode, however, is the status of the female lead, Vicki. Unusually for a junior Bond girl, Vicki is revealed to have the same base motivations for wanting the crystal as the villain of the piece - to make diamonds. Disappointingly, this isn't elaborated upon any further. She's more ashamed of her behaviour than Derange is, clearly, but the issue is neither properly explored nor resolved. At the end of the show, James doesn't answer Vicki's question of whether or not he forgives her; although given the fact that she's grinning away as they collect Trevor and Tracy at the end, we can fairly safely presume they're not en route to the police station. Why Derange doesn't deserve to get away with it and Vicki does remains a mystery - possibly it's because she's a pretty girl and Derange is an ugly man, or possibly it's because she didn't steal a trainload of coal. But other than this plot device she's a totally uninteresting character, so there'll be little viewer concern regarding her fate at the end.
Highs: Nick Nack and Jaws are actually quite amusing in this episode; but the absolute highlight is Trevor's awestruck reaction to the idea that Tracy actually wants to spend time with him. She doesn't of course; she's patently using him to bug James. It's actually one of Trevor's most endearing outings in the show so far - even if he does commit a faux pas by feeding the bears against park guidelines.
Lows: Speaking of bears, who did the artwork for this episode? They looked more like teddies.
Lines to Forget: Jaws, preparing to hijack a train: 'Ready, Nick Nack?' Nick Nack: 'As soon as I've tied my shoes!'
Gadgets & Gizmos: I.Q.'s miniature river raft attaches to James's jacket, while his boots have been installed with 'adjustable compressed air cushioned soles' - in other words, he can fly. I.Q. also carries a walking stick with a retractable claw on the end - ideal for grabbing crystals.
S.C.U.M. on the Surface?: If we weren't already fairly confident that Derange, Jaws and Nick Nack are all fully paid-up S.C.U.M. operatives, Coach Mitchell clearly states the organisation's name when asking why they're after the crystal.
Blunders & Bloopers: At one point, the timer on the particle beam accelerator starts going up instead of down. But then, maybe that's just Heisenberg's uncertainty principle at work. We wish.
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