'GOLDIE FINGER AT THE END OF THE RAINBOW'
by Mark Jones
Featuring: James, I.Q., Tracy, Gordo, Phoebe, Trevor, Mr Milbanks, Coach Mitchell, Goldie Finger, Barbella, Nick Nack.
Synopsis: Somewhere in Ireland, a delivery truck trundles towards the ancient Castle Callaghan - where the caretaker signs for a large package he wasn't expecting. As the caretaker sets the package down inside the castle, he and the maid are horrified to watch two green fists punch their way out of the wooden box. A small, green man in a top hat and suit leaps out, claiming he's a leprechaun - and that this is his castle, and he wants them out. To demonstrate the point he shoots fire from his fingers, turning items of furniture instantly to dust. The maid and caretaker are terrified, and quickly run towards the castle's exit, with the leprechaun in hot pursuit. As they drive off into the distance, fire crackling around their car, the leprechaun floats into the air and shouts that the castle - and all its gold - are now his.
At Warfield Academy, James gets a rude awakening at 4am as I.Q. decides to exhibit his latest gadget in the dorm room. It's a waterproof magno-molecular attractor belt, which can be adjusted to magnetically attract any kind of material, including wood, plastic, rubber and stone. When the switch goes wrong, the device amply demonstrates that it will also attract bed linen, textbooks, furniture and items of clothing - all of which start flying across the room towards I.Q., so that James is forced to dig his friend out of the debris. I.Q. promises to iron out the bugs, but by breakfast they're still apparent - so that when Trevor enters the canteen, the belt rips off most of his clothes. Meanwhile, Phoebe tells the others about Castle Callaghan: her father has recently bought the castle and wanted to turn it into a museum. But after the caretaker and maid reported being chased by the evil leprechaun, he's worried people will be too scared to visit. James doesn't believe in leprechauns, and suggests the gang head to Ireland to investigate.
Someone else is planning a trip across the Irish Sea as well - Goldie Finger. From her base in London she contacts Callaghan Castle to speak to the 'leprechaun', who in reality is nothing more magical than Nick Nack wearing laser gloves, green makeup and a jetpack. Nick Nack assures her the locals will be too scared to set foot in the castle, and Goldie asks him whether he's found the secret passage yet. He says that the x-ray and sonar scans he's performing should tell them where it is soon. Goldie replies that she and Barbella are coming to Ireland by boat tonight, with 'the machine'. Later, James, Phoebe and Gordo sail across to Ireland - and aren't exactly over the moon when they realise Trevor has stowed on board as well, since he hasn't had a holiday in ages.
When the boat arrives, James sends Trevor to fetch the rental car, having noticed a familiar-looking worker loading a large crate onto a golden truck. It's Barbella; and James instigates a fight, picking her up with a winch and then knocking her overboard with a barrage of barrels. A furious Goldie tells her to retaliate, and James almost gets an anchor in his head. The truck escapes, and James borrows a motorbike to chase it, as the others follow in the hire car. James dodges as Barbella fires missiles at his bike, but when she uses the wingmirror to reflect the sun onto his front tyre and burst it, he spins out of control and off a cliff. Luckily I.Q.'s jetpack tennis shoes save the day, and he joins the others in the hire car.
The gang stops at an inn to get directions, and meet Leah Callaghan, the waitress, who says her ancestors built the Callaghan Castle. Meanwhile, Nick Nack has found the secret passage in the castle. When Goldie and Barbella arrive, Barbella pulls the door off its hinges and they they take their machine - a large wall-cutting device - into the passage, while Nick Nack heads to the inn as the leprechaun, to scare off James and friends. Blasting a hole in the wall, he begins destroying furniture with his laser gloves, before wrestling with James and flying off using the jetpack. Trevor's convinced it was a real leprechaun, but James has some green make-up on his hands from the fight, and suspects oterwise. Leah agrees to take them up to the castle so they can investigate.
As Nick Nack returns, Goldie and Barbella are busy digging into a wall within the secret passage, behind which they hope to find the castle's treasure. James, Leah and the others arrive but set off an intruder alarm, while Trevor gets separated from the others by stumbling on another secret door. James gets a call from I.Q. back at Warfield, telling his Milbanks is beginning to suspect something - but he and Tracy successfully bamboozle the headmaster by turning the lights off, pretending they're developing film and impersonating their friends' voices. James and Leah then disappear down a trap door, and land up in a basement room, where Nick Nack accosts them and turns on a water pipe, before locking them in. Upstairs, Gordo and Phoebe are confronted by Barbella, and thrown into a revolving wall which closes behind them.
In the basement, James and Leah are already up to their necks in water. James manages to use I.Q.'s magnetic belt, switching it to the 'stone' setting in order to loosen one of the wall bricks. The water drains away and they escape out of the hole. They soon find Trevor, who has been rigged up to a nasty device by Nick Nack, which would have crushed him with a rock once a candle burned through a rope. James frees him, and as they're joined by Gordo and Phoebe he reveals that the leprechaun is Nick Nack. The gang heads to the treasure room, where Goldie and Barbella have stoppped digging and found an enormous pile of gold and treasure. Furious to see them all alive, Barbella tries to attack them with the cutting machine, but James manages to take control of it himself. He chases the three crooks out of the castle, riding behind them on the machine, before they leap in their truck, transform it into a helicopter and fly off. James and the others rescue Trevor, who has got lost again, then watch as a rainbow forms over the castle.
Review: There's an abundance of barrel-scraping and hackneyed Irish stereotypes aplenty in this rather offbeat fairytale of an episode - but let it never be said that James Bond Jr's writers ever ran out of madcap ideas. Goldie Finger and Barbella continue to offer a refreshing change to the usually male villains who preside in most episodes: Goldie remains the calculating brains of the pair, while Barbella combines just the right quantities of amusement and menace. Nick Nack's presence is also a plus, and he works better here without Jaws's involvement, bringing an unexpectedly sinister feel to his role as the leprechaun. Unfortunately, what lets the episode down is the incredibly simplistic plot (which was also a problem in the previous Goldie and Barbella episode, Going for the Gold); aside from the vaguely defined treasure in the castle basement, there's very little going on in terms of story. This means that much of the time is taken up on the race to the castle which, while fairly action-packed, could have been better used to bring some depth to the treasure hunt itself. The castle segments, meanwhile, rather like a number of other less memorable episodes in the series, this could have been taken directly from Scooby-Doo. Overall, this one's worth a watch mainly for the novelty value of a quite different type of episode. It's just a shame the realisation is fairly poor.
Highs: Nick Nack's fake Irish accent is actually fairly convincing...
Lows: ... particularly when compared alongside those of the supposedly real Irish characters in this episode.
Gadgets & Gizmos: Apart from the magno-molecular attraction belt, I.Q. installs a jetpack in James's tennis shoes. And Goldie doesn't do bad for gizmos herself; her golden truck sports a 'super-atomic charger' for speed boosts, as well as guided missiles and a helicopter conversion mode.
S.C.U.M. on the Surface?: James states that Goldie Finger and Barbella are members of S.C.U.M., although it's fairly apparent they don't have any backup on this particular mission - except for Nick Nack that is.
Notes: Goldie Finger and Barbella make their final appearances in the TV series here, and are also absent from the comic run.