by John Bates
Featuring: James, I.Q., Gordo, Phoebe, Trevor, Tiara Hotstones.
and the Warfield crew are in Amsterdam, visiting a jewellery museum.
Crystal, the museum guide, shows them a large, priceless emerald, known
as the Angel because of its purity. Suddenly the room is filled with
smoke, and a woman shouts 'fire!' and activates the alarm. Everyone
rushes to the exit, but the woman remains behind - to steal the Angel!
James and Crystal witness the theft, and as the crook flees the scene
on a motorbike, James borrows Crystal's scooter and follows her, while
Crystal, Gordo and I.Q. take a car behind. The jewel thief speeds into
a crowded market area where she begins to lose control of the bike,
eventually crashing into a chocolate stall. Unnoticed by the thief, the
emerald falls from her bag and lands in a pot of melted chocolate. The
thief's wig falls off - and before she escapes the scene, James
realises they've met before. It's Tiara Hotstones!
The chase continues, as I.Q. spots Tiara from the car and fires a
homing gun at her license plate. At the canal, she escapes onto a
speedboat piloted by her assistant, Crowbar. She leaves her bike
sinking in the canal, meaning she can't be tracked any further. A
little further up the canal, the speedboat drives into the opening of a
larger vessel owned by Tiara's contractor, Rembrandt - a master
counterfeiter who needs the Angel to focus the laser in his new
banknote machine, in order to make perfect forgeries. He's furious when
Tiara hands over an empty bag, and thinks she's trying to con him. But
she realises the emerald must have dropped out at the chocolate stall.
Meanwhile, Trevor and Phoebe are out on a shopping trip - Phoebe buys a
big box of chocolates from the stall Tiara crashed into, while Trevor's
more interested in a rare black tulip he sees on a plant stall, which
would be ideal for him to pretend he's grown himself for his botany
The rest of the gang head off to get Crystal's scooter fixed - with
some modifications by I.Q. - while Rembrandt, Tiara and Crowbar return
to the chocolate stall - and make the proprietor open every box of
chocolates to find the emerald, but to no avail. Spotting a CCTV
camera, they realise they can use the tape to view footage of which
people recently bought chocolates, and track them down. Quickly
identifying Trevor in the vicinity from the tape, Crowbar pretends to
be a health inspector, who tells Trevor that the chocolates Phoebe
bought were contaminated and he needs to speak to her. Trevor points
her out immediately. She's already bitten into the chocolate-covered
emerald, but it's too late - she's bundled inside Tiara's van and
driven away. Tiara threatens her with a bottle of acid, demanding to
know where the emerald is.
Gordo and James soon catch up with Trevor and spot the van driving
away, so decide to pursue on rented bicycles. Phoebe bravely denies
knowledge of who they are but, as she fires lasers at them, Tiara
realises it's James, and orders Crowbar to speed up in order to lose
them. Luckily, Phoebe has left James and Gordo a trail of chocolate
wrappers to show them the way she's been taken. Tiara begins to smash
up Phoebe's souvenirs one by one, looking for the emerald - but Phoebe
remains tight-lipped, even when she's taken back to Rembrandt's boat
and he offers her money to tell him where it is. Eventually, the cuckoo
clock she's bought chimes and Rembrandt sees the gem inside. He takes
it, and Tiara takes the money Rembrandt owes her for stealing it.
James and Gordo board the boat, but James is spotted by Crowbar - Tiara
tells him to ignore James, though, and they escape with their money.
James confronts Rembrandt and demands he return the gem, but the
counterfeiter escapes, scuttling the boat as he goes. The gang's left
with two clues - a hand towel from the Palass Hotel, and some forged
notes that Tiara dropped on her way out. James realises Rembrandt has
paid Tiara with fake money, and heads off to find her and let her know.
Meanwhile, Rembrandt retreats to his windmill lair, where he installs
the gem in his counterfeiting machine; with it, he'll be able to
produce perfect forgeries, meaning S.C.U.M. will be free to spend as
they please and devalue the world's currencies.
At the Palass Hotel, sure enough, Tiara opens the suitcase full of
money and realises Rembrandt has given her cheap forgeries. She throws
the notes off her balcony into jubilant crowds below, who think the
money's real. James and Crystal head to the hotel too, and watch as
Tiara and Crowbar prepare to take off in a helicopter to confront
Rembrandt. James stows away in the helicopter, placing a homing device
in the craft, but in mid-flight he's discovered by Crowbar. The crooks
prepare to make him walk out of the chopper, but he jumps of his own
accord, and floats to the ground by parachute. On the ground, he
reconvenes with I.Q., who can now track the helicopter's movement. They
follow it to Rembrandt's windmill lair in the next village, and James
takes Phoebe's souvenir paperweight with him 'for good luck'.
At the mill, Rembrandt is pushing his luck somewhat with Tiara,
offering to replace the forgeries he paid her with initially with another
set of forgeries made with his new laser counterfeiting machine. But
seeing the machine in action and the accuracy of its reproductions,
Tiara is impressed. Crystal, I.Q., Gordo and Phoebe turn up at the
front door, pretending to be a tourist group asking to look around the
windmill. While Crowbar turns them away, James sneaks in through an
upstairs window by riding on the windmill, and swaps the Angel for
Phoebe's paperweight in Rembrandt's machine. It soon ruins the note
Rembrandt's producing, and they spot James, firing lasers at him. He
leaps from the windmill and escapes on the scooter, as the crooks flee
the windmill since the laser banknote machine is now backfiring. They
chase James into the town, but James picks off Crowbar in his speedboat
with I.Q.'s gadgets. Tiara and Rembrandt continue to chase in their
chopper with laser guns, but shoot a festival float by accident - and
the flower cloud that results causes them to crash. Despite Tiara's
best acting attempts to appear like an innocent victim, she's bundled
off by the police along with Rembrandt. James and the others bid
farewell to Crystal, and laugh as, following a day of trying to protect
his black tulip from harm's way, Trevor sneezes and blows all the
particularly fast-paced installment, this, with an odd selection of
villains comprising Tiara Hotstones, her new henchman Crowbar, and the
'one-hit wonder' lead crook Rembrandt, S.C.U.M.'s master counterfeiter.
As with all Tiara episodes, this follows a familiar formula - but fed
up of being double-crossed by Baron von Skarin, she's now being
double-crossed by Rembrandt instead. As a character, she's less
sympathetic than ever here, threatening Phoebe with acid burns at one
point and almost forcing James out of a helicopter at another - highly
at odds with her later behaviour in Sure as Eggs is Eggs. The
Dutch setting provides a number of examples once again of patronising
national stereotypes in the show - this time it's an Amsterdam packed
out with windmills and clog shops - but luckily the action-packed
nature of this episode means we don't linger too long on any of it.
Despite all the racing around, however, there's a little room for some
characterisation too; Phoebe is both brave and resourceful here,
exploiting her own weakness for chocolate to fool the villains as she
drops wrappers from their truck for James to find. The story, too,
isn't half-bad; while it's far from fully explained why the emerald
makes Rembrandt's machine work properly, there are plenty of twists and
turns in the narrative to keep us entertained. Overall a fairly
impressive late entry to the series.
Highs: Dutch Treat boasts high-octane action sequences aplenty, and great use of the background score.
Lows: Tiara's motorbike registration plate reads 'C U L8R'.
Gadgets & Gizmos: I.Q.'s
picks of the day include a homing gun (James's watch can track whatever
it's shot at), a parachute in James's blazer, and a souped-up scooter
with turbo-jet motor, smokescreen and anti-laser umbrella. But it's
Rembrandt's laser banknote photoengraver that takes the cake - if only
I.Q. would turn his skills to crime he'd be a very rich man!
Sticker Story: This episode was adapted for the Merlin Stickers James Bond Jr album under the name 'The Green Angel'.
S.C.U.M. on the Surface?: Yes.
We're told that Tiara helped Rembrandt escape from jail 'on the
insistence of Scumlord'. Tiara still appears to be a freelance, with
Rembrandt threatening revenge by S.C.U.M. on her at one point, and
Tiara claiming she wants her money "S.C.U.M. or no S.C.U.M." later on.
But she does drive a S.C.U.M.-model helicopter.
Notes: This is Tiara Hotstones' third and final appearance in the TV episodes, although she would return in the comic story Sure as Eggs is Eggs.
Tracy is absent without explanation.