Site hosted by Build your free website today!

James Bond Jr Online


Episode #10
by Jeffrey Scott

Featuring: James, I.Q., Tracy, Gordo, Phoebe, Trevor, Mr Milbanks, Coach Mitchell, the Worm.

Synopsis: In downtown New York one evening, an undercover police officer nicknamed Snitch is chased by a large, silent man with a jackhammer! He goes into a phone box to call his boss, Lieutenant Pearce, but is cornered in the box by Jackhammer Man ('one of The Worm's guys'), who proceeds to drill all around the telephone box so that it disappears into the ground - just as Snitch is about to tell the Lieutenant where a major terrorist attack is going to happen. Meanwhile, at Warfield Academy, James spends a tedious history lesson using I.Q.'s new virtual reality sunglasses to play a motorbike game, rather than listening to the lecture. The teacher notices his sunglasses and tries them on, but ends up falling over because the VR obstructs his view.

Later, Phoebe tells James she has been invited to go to the official opening of the new Mile High Skyscraper in New York, and asks him to go with her. Thinking Milbanks will never let them go, he says yes, 'just to make her feel wanted'. However, Mr Farragut has pulled some strings so that Milbanks lets them go without question. Trevor is also desperate to go, so that he can visit FAO Schwarz, the huge New York toy store. He forges a note from his father, the Earl of Worcester, permitting him to go. I.Q. provides some gadgets before they set off, and rewires the sunglasses so he'll be able to talk to James, see what he sees and vice versa across the Atlantic. From the moment he arrives, however, it is Tracy who is in constant contact, making sure he doesn't get up to any trouble while he's away!

As the three of them book into the hotel, a Ms Peggy Rockwell introduces herself to them; she's the daughter of Franklyn Rockwell, the architect of the Mile High Skyscraper. Phoebe is rather annoyed that another pretty girl has turned up on the scene, but James is up for a night on the town, and the four of them take a horse and carriage to a rock club. On the way, the horse bolts as a manhole cover ahead of them explodes. Peggy says it's not the first incident of its kind, and explains rumours about a terrorist called The Worm. James climbs down the manhole to investigate – it's another workman. The two have a brief duel before James escapes none the wiser. The gang head on to the rock club.

Meanwhile, in the sewers, the villain reports to his slimy boss, The Worm, having found James's passport so that they know who he is. We learn that The Worm dislikes any kind of light, and thus wears sunglasses permanently and hides underground. He rips the passport in two, promising that no-one will delay his plans. At the club, James and Peggy dance the night away while Phoebe and Trevor wince at the volume of the music. Tracy catches I.Q. talking to James and is horrified when, putting the glasses on, she sees a woman kiss the wearer of the other pair, whom she presumes to be James; however, it’s actually another clubber who’s borrowed his glasses. Underground, The Worm's henchmen prepare a bomb to take down the rock club. The Worm uses a remote to detonate it, then watches as the whole club sinks into the ground!

Everyone inside the club is trapped completely beneath the ground, much to Trevor's dismay. The elevator doesn't work, and the exit to the club is blocked by rubble. They head for the roof, but The Worm has blocked the emergency door. Eventually, James manages to kick it open, but The Worm is not happy to see him alive again and orders his driver to follow. The Worm's limousine speeds towards them, trying to run them down, but fails; Phoebe pays a passing pizza delivery guy so that they can follow the limousine in his pizza truck. He calls I.Q. on the sunglasses, asking for a road map of New York to be transmitted via the lenses. Again, Tracy catches I.Q. talking to James, and stands directly in front of the sunglasses, blocking James's view and nearly causing the truck to crash.

James sees The Worm leaving the limo and follows him down a manhole, while Trevor and Phoebe return to the hotel to wait. James discovers The Worm's underground lair, where his men are digging through the skyscraper's foundations in order to sink the Mile High building. However, he is soon caught by The Worm, who explains he is after the bank deposits stored on the skyscraper's ground floor. In a bid to escape, James pulls off The Worm's glasses, but he only steals James's instead, and ties James up directly under the skyscraper! However, I.Q. can now see from The Worm's perspective back at Warfield! He calls the Manhattan Police but they show no sign of taking any interest in the forthcoming terrorist attack, presuming I.Q. is simply pranking them.

Sunrise comes, and the Mile High Skyscraper is about to be officially opened; The Worm is poised nearby with his remote detonator. Phoebe has lost Trevor, who has finally found FAO Schwarz and has bought a remote control car. Meanwhile, James escapes using I.Q.'s diamond-tipped comb, and makes it back to the surface for the grand opening. As James tries to seize the remote from The Worm, Trevor bumps into them and the remotes get mixed up. When The Worm flicks the switch, all it does is to move the toy car! He snatches the second remote, but at the last second James asks I.Q. to turn of the LCD in the shades, so that The Worm is temporarily blinded – and grabbed by the police. Back at Warfield, Tracy promises to keep an eye on James with the help of I.Q.'s shades. But when he hands them to Coach Mitchell to try out, Tracy ends up regretting it when the coach walks into the male locker rooms!

Review: If James Bond Jr. were still aired regularly today, it is more than likely that A Worm In The Apple would have been removed from the episode roster; the episode, like the rest of the series, aired about a decade before September 11, 2001, and can in many ways be seen as evidence of just how much things have changed since then. The episode features a terrorist - and the word is used more than once in the episode - planning to level one of New York's tallest buildings, and the fact that the policeman I.Q. speaks to on the phone jokes about the possibility of a terrorist 'torpedoing' the building tells of an entirely different climate to that found in New York (and the world) today. In terms of plot and action this episode is not the best; while there's something quite sinister about the idea of mass engineered subsidence, as a serious terrorist method it's dubious and probably quite barmy. The use of the remote vision sunglasses is inconsistent, too - why is James's vision only impeded when Tracy is in I.Q.'s line of vision, and not, say, the furniture? (Although, come to think of it, maybe this is more a psychological reaction to Tracy than anything else!) The Worm, though, boasting an insanely irritating voice, is a fascinating concept for a villain, who is to reappear two episodes later in Pompeii and Circumstance - and interestingly, he is one of the few villains in the series whose links to S.C.U.M., if present at all, are never alluded to onscreen. Overall, quite an oddity of an episode, but moderately enjoyable.

Aside from the Mile High Skyscraper, you mean? The Worm himself is probably the highlight of this show, even if his scheme is (literally) pretty low. So severe is his photosensitivity, he has a hatch in the base of his car which allows him to climb directly into it through manholes.

The rock club scenes are some of the show's most cringeworthy; and the astounding lack of ability in imitating even American accents causes us to wonder again exactly where this cartoon was made...

Lines to Remember: IQ: 'I don't get it, James. Why would you want to go to New York with Phoebe?' James: 'I just thought I'd make her feel wanted. Milbanks would never let us go to New York anyway!' Quick cut to Milbanks, in the next scene: 'Of course you can go!'

Gadgets & Gizmos:
I.Q.'s diamond-tipped carbide steel comb comes in handy for cutting through the ropes with which The Worm's henchmen tie up James, while his virtual reality/long-range videophone sunglasses win first prize for Gadget of the Week.

S.C.U.M. on the Surface:
Unusually, no. S.C.U.M. is not mentioned and none of their usual agents, uniforms, logos etc. are seen. As far as we're aware, The Worm is working independently.

Loco Parenthesis: Unusually it's Mr Milbanks, rather than Coach Mitchell, who lets the side down today, leaping at James's request to go to New York simply so Milbanks doesn't have to chaperone Phoebe himself.

VHS Vault: A Worm in the Apple featured on a three-episode VHS release for the UK, alongside No Such Loch and Dance of the Toreadors.

Why did James chase the workman down the manhole cover and spray the vapour in his face if he didn't intend to interrogate him or try to catch him? Instead he just returned to the surface and let the guy run off.

The police officer I.Q. speaks to on the phone has patently never heard of the Worm and doesn't believe him - but the police are clearly shown as aware of the Worm's activities from the episode's opener.

Like all self-respecting English aristocrats, Trevor Noseworthy pens his letters with a feather quill. Appropriate, since we also learn today that his father, Trevor III, is the Earl of Worcester.

If her accent wasn't already enough of an indication, Tracy explicitly states that she was brought up in America.

This marks the second occasion in the series that Trevor runs off to locate a toy shop - the first being three episodes ago in Nothing to Play With.

All text content © James Bond Jr Online 2009. If you would like to use any of the text from this site please ask permission first. This is an unofficial fan website and is in no way affiliated with or endorsed by the owners, creators or distributors of James Bond Jr.