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James Bond Jr Online


Episode #8
by Misty Taggart

Featuring: James, I.Q., Tracy, Gordo, Phoebe, Trevor, Coach Mitchell, Scumlord.

Synopsis: An unidentified jungle: I.Q. and Tracy are tied to stakes as the unwilling guests of an apparently hostile tribe of natives. James soon arrives in full dinner dress, fresh from a 'Save the Python' speech by his uncle, and manages to seize an axe from the head tribesman, freeing his friends. Using a miniature hologram projector, he causes a diversion, allowing the three of them to escape the camp. But the natives soon follow them, throwing spears - until James's date descends from the sky in a helicopter, lowering a rope to allow them all to climb to safety. It's at that point that James wakes up - he's in a cinema with his friends watching an installment of the Spyman franchise, a film remarkably similar to the scenario he's just dreamt about. James expresses the opinion that the film is stupid and nothing like real espionage, and is promptly rounded upon by Ann Genue - the daughter of Neville Genue, the actor who plays Spyman!

A few days later, it's Ann's 16th birthday, and James has bought her a car load of presents to make up for having slagged off her dad and his films. Having collected some gadgets from I.Q. and successfully fobbed off Trevor, he heads for the party - paying little attention to a news report detailing the theft of the Galaxy Defence System, an American computerised super-weapon. The Galaxy weapon has been stolen by S.C.U.M. agent Felony O'Toole, who reports back to Scumlord with the device, explaining that no-one at S.C.U.M. knows how to programme it. In order to get round the problem, she plans to kidnap Professor Braintrust, the world's leading computer expert, and force him to prime the weapon. Braintrust, who frankly seems far too senile to be an expert in anything, has recently won an award, and is celebrating by heading to the Hollywood studios to meet his fictional hero - Spyman!

At Warfield, Ann's party is in full swing - but before long she's sobbing into James's tuxedo. She's upset that her father Neville hasn't turned up for her birthday, yet again. So James comes up with the rather outlandish suggestion that they should all fly out to Hollywood to take the party to him! Trevor overhears and decides to blackmail his way into accompanying them, by threatening to squeal unless James lets him tag along. When the gang arrives, a security guard directs them to find Ann's father. But Felony, who is apparently an actress, is also on set, in her own trailer - and tells Scumlord everything is going to plan, before being called to film a scene. Tracy and Phoebe are eager to meet all the stars - but I.Q. is on the lookout for his own hero, Professor Braintrust! The gang watch the filming of a scene from the latest Spyman flick; when it's done, Ann and James rush over to say hello. But her father doesn't seem to recognise her. James does recognise Felony as the actress Genue is filming with, however, and he's instantly suspicious. But before he can take action, Genue grabs Professor Braintrust right out of his conversation with a starstruck I.Q. and drags him away! Braintrust, inexplicably, is convinced it's all part of the movie.

When Ann runs to confront Genue about what he's doing, she's dragged into a rollercoaster car on which Genue and Felony are escaping with Braintrust - and James and his friends leap on-board too. Felony, however, decouples their roller coaster car halfway through the ride, sending them crashing into another part of the film set. With the help of one of I.Q.'s gadgets, James discovers that the man who took Braintrust isn't Genue after all, but a S.C.U.M. impostor. Realising it's part of a plan to put the stolen Galaxy Defence System to nefarious purposes, James and the team track Felony to a tourist attraction on the set, which features a giant, mechanical fire-breathing lizard based on the Lizartron film. As the S.C.U.M. impostor reveals to Ann that he's not her father, O'Toole tells Braintrust (who still thinks he's in a film) to reprogramme the lizard to attack James and the others. As the robot grabs the gang and lifts them into the air, Felony and her accomplice escape with Ann and the Professor in their grasp.

I.Q. manages to reprogramme the robot himself, and the gang escape. Meanwhile, in her car, Felony updates Scumlord on the situation. Scumlord orders Felony to get rid of Ann, who's beginning to cause trouble, so Felony comes up with a dastardly plan to do away with both Spyman and his daughter.
Meanwhile, James and pals steal a special effects helicopter, equipped with smoke bombs and water jets, in order to catch up with the crooks. Phoebe takes the pilot's seat, and before long they're in hot pursuit, nutty Professor Braintrust waving at them from Felony's car - still thinking he's in the film! I.Q. performs some computer wizardry, causing the nearby traffic lights to go insane and thus creating a pile-up. Seizing the opportunity, James leaps from the helicopter and slides down a roof, in order to try to catch up with Felony's car on foot, but it speeds away just he reaches it, and he climbs back up a rope ladder onto the helicopter.

Felony orders her stooges to bring the real Neville, who is in their captivity, to the Hollywood sign. There she ties Neville and Ann to the two legs of the 'H' on the sign, along with a pair of rockets, preparing to blast them into oblivion. But James and the others arrive in the helicopter just in time, utilising the special effects equipment on board to smoke-bomb and drench Felony. Furious, she remotely triggers the rockets on a countdown launch. James picks up Felony's car using a magnetic attachment on the helicopter, rescuing Professor Braintrust and dropping Felony and her stooge into a nearby pond. James frees Ann and her father from the 'H', and the rockets blast off harmlessly. As a reward to Professor Braintrust for his 'help', Neville gives him a part in the new movie. He also has a surprise for Ann; he wants her to stay in Hollywood with him, so he can try to be a real father for a change. James and his friends depart for Britain and Warfield, having thwarted S.C.U.M.'s plans yet again.

Clearly envisaged as an offbeat 'fun' episode packed with novelty innovations, Location: Danger has its enjoyable quirks. Firstly, for once, James isn't unconditionally adored by the girl of the week (well, until about three minutes in, that is - i.e., once he's bought her friendship with a stack of expensive gifts). Secondly, the one-hit wonder villain Felony O'Toole (leaving aside the name) manages to be both adequately sinister and mildly witty, with Scumlord's presence reinforcing the former and Professor Braintrust's idiocy complementing the latter. Unfortunately, the episode rapidly descends into arrant nonsense, all on a backdrop of what appears to be a cross between a genuine film lot and a theme park, with no visible demarcation between the two. Numerous shaky plot points go largely unexplained, such as how Felony bagged herself a movie role, why the film production company considers it appropriate to have a genuine fire-breathing robot on the set, and what exactly the Galaxy Weapon is capable of achieving for S.C.U.M. But from the idiosyncratic opener onwards it's fairly clear that we're not supposed to be taking this episode quite as seriously as all that - so perhaps it's best simply to sit back and enjoy the oddity.

The dream sequence at the beginning of the episode, which lurches between comical and disturbing and hints at intentions of cannibalism by the tribe that has kidnapped I.Q. and Tracy, is just surreal enough to be enjoyable - and is a genuinely intriguing scenario until we discover it's all imaginary. At which point the episode rapidly descends into the product of an even less coherent imagination.

More or less the entire plot of the episode. Particularly given his advanced senility, couldn't S.C.U.M. have dreamt up an easier way to capture Professor Braintrust than blagging O'Toole a part in a Hollywood movie and kidnapping the Professor in plain view of everyone when he arrives on the set? Meanwhile, self-righteous sniveller Ann Genue is one of the least sympathetic guest girls we've met in the series so far. It's no wonder her father's been keeping her firmly at arm's length.

Lines to Remember: 
Trevor, once the S.C.U.M. plot is foiled: 'Fellow travellers - my itinerary says...' Tracy: 'Oh, shut up, Trevor!'

Lines to Forget:
James flatters his way out of the doghouse with an even cornier line than usual: 'Who wouldn't be happy to see you, Ann?'

Professor Braintrust during the denouement, still utterly delusional and convinced he's in a film: 'If only I had a copy of the script!' 

Gadgets & Gizmos:
One of his most outlandish inventions to date, I.Q.'s new 'continuum camcorder' plays back events that occurred hours or even days ago. Bet you thought that was impossible; just goes to show. He also has a tie-pin that fires infrared lock-on beams, which seems infinitely mundane in comparison.

Meanwhile, the opening dream sequence features an imaginary gadget: a holographic projector belt that creates multiple images of James. A similar device would be seen for real in the later episode, Canine Caper.

S.C.U.M. on the Surface: Felony O'Toole answers directly to Scumlord in this episode, and unusually is seen conversing with him in person, rather than just via video link. James recognises her on sight as a S.C.U.M. agent and she him, indicating they've met before.

Loco Parenthesis: Coach Mitchell actively facilitiates James and friends' unauthorised escape from school grounds - and at that stage, he's not even aware they're going to be saving the world.

Transatlantic Translation: British schools don't tend to have class pins, as James does here.

O Mother, Where Art Thou: Averted. Highly unusually, Trevor declares while in the grasp of the fire-breathing robot that "Mumsie's going to have a fit" if he doesn't get back to Warfield right away. Not that we actually see her, of course. And Ann Genue's mother is of course conspicuously absent.

Sticker Story:
Retitled Danger on the Set, this story reappeared in the Merlin James Bond Jr sticker album.

Notes: If Felony O'Toole is an established Hollywood actress (and her trailer bears that name, so she isn't using a pseudonym), why on earth does she need an additional salary from S.C.U.M.? Moreover, if James Bond Jr recognises her as an international criminal, why don't any of the film studios? Regardless, her acting career is presumably in tatters after the events of Location: Danger - so it comes as little surprise that she never features in the series again.

Phoebe once again demonstrates her helicopter piloting skills, having first done so two episodes earlier in A Chilling Affair.

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