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James Bond Jr Online


Episode #16
by Jeffrey Scott

Featuring: James, I.Q., Tracy, Gordo, Phoebe, Trevor, Coach Mitchell, Captain Plank, Jaws, Bilge & Pump.

Synopsis: A group of fishermen are enjoying a peaceful day's work on Loch Ness, Scotland, when suddenly what appears to be a huge serpent emerges from the depths. The skipper, Captain McGregor, radios for help, but before he can finish his message the entire fishing boat is swallowed up by the monster. The Warfield gang are also in Scotland to take part in a golfing tournament, with a winning foursome comprising James, Tracy, Phoebe and Trevor. I.Q. has invented a range of novelty golfing gadgets for recreational use only, but Trevor overhears him showing James his microwave-guided 'smart balls', which travel in which ever direction you look with a special pair of sunglasses. He decides to steal the balls and use them illegally in the tournament.

Before long, Lesley Moore, a sports reporter for the Cavendish News Service, arrives to report on the tournament. But just as she's introducing herself she receives an urgent phone call from her superiors about the boat disappearance on the loch; eyewitnesses have said the boat was swallowed by the Loch Ness Monster. She heads off to investigate, and James feigns a sprained wrist in order to get out of the tournament so that Gordo has to take over. James and I.Q. take Lesley to Loch Ness in the sports car, where the three rent a boat and go out on the loch. Under the water, it's revealed that the 'monster' is actually a giant submarine belonging to Captain Walker D. Plank. Together with his lunatic parrot, Jaws, and a pair of stooges called Bilge and Pump, he's on the loch to steal guided missiles from a passing British navy cruiser, using the Loch Ness Monster as a cover for his crimes.

As they traverse the loch in the boat, James picks up a signal on the sonar attachment of his watch. But Plank has also detected him, and the 'monster' surfaces, biting their boat in two and leaving them floating helplessly in the water. The mouth of the monster opens and James is sucked into it, where he takes on a sword-wielding Captain Plank with I.Q.'s retractable golf club. He narrowly misses being crushed by the monster's teeth as the mouth closes again, as Plank disappears back inside - his cronies have picked up another radar signal. This time it's the navy cruiser, and the sub retreats to attack it. Realising they're headed for the cruiser, James puts out a radio message to warn them, but it's too late - the monster attacks the ship and swallows the missiles Plank is after in one fell swoop, before disappearing into the water again.

When James, I.Q. and Lesley are picked up by the navy cruiser, they're shocked to find that the captain thinks they deliberately led him into a trap, and are in on the missile-stealing operation. They strenuously deny it, but the captain puts them in the brig anyway. Meanwhile, Plank explains to his goons that his plan is to take the missiles to shore and use them to shoot down a British spy satellite that is used to keep tabs on S.C.U.M. Back at the golf course, Trevor shocks everyone with his previously unseen abilities as an expert golfer, using I.Q.'s smart balls to get the ball in the hole every time. On the cruiser, James and the others manage to escape from the brig using I.Q.'s magnetic golf tee to snag the keys from a sleeping guard.

They're soon spotted and chased by sailors, but I.Q. sacrifices himself so James and Lesley can escape. Plank has surfaced at the shore and orders Jaws and the others to set the missiles up at the top of the cliff; Jaws throws a bomb into the submarine in order to get rid of the evidence, just as James and Lesley arrive. Plank and Jaws force them into the sub, closing the mouth behind them. The bomb explodes, and the sub sinks to the bottom of the loch along with James and Lesley. The pair find the captured fisherman in the brig and cut their chains with the acetylene torch on James's watch - but he uses up all the fuel, meaning they can't escape from the rapidly flooding vessel. But James finds some more explosives on board, and uses them to blast a hole in the hull so they can swim for the surface.

On the navy cruiser, I.Q. manages to convince the captain of his sincerity by connecting the onboard computer to the British spy satellite network - the very network Plank's hoping to immobilise with the missiles. They're ready to fire, but James climbs the cliff in order to try and stop them - sadly he's spotted (by the parrot). Plank trains one of the missiles on James and Lesley but it misses; with one left, he concentrates on the satellite. But as he fires it towards the satellite, James uses I.Q.'s golf club and a smart ball covered with some plastic explosive he retrieved from the sub to destroy the missile in mid-air. As the navy cruiser turns up to apprehend them, Plank, Jaws and the goons escape by helicopter.

With S.C.U.M. defeated and Lesley's hot scoop sent to press, James and I.Q. return to watch the rest of the golfing tournament, where they're shocked to discover how well Trevor is doing - he's outplayed both the other team and Tracy, Gordo and Phoebe completely and made up for all their mistakes. Realising he's stolen one of the smart balls and has been cheating his way through the game, James distracts Trevor and replaces it with a normal golf ball - after which he single-handedly loses the tournament. Trevor denounces the game as stupid and vows never to play it again, much to James's amusement.

Review: No animated series is complete without an episode about the Loch Ness Monster, and James Bond Jr is no exception; although this isn't exactly original, it's certainly a success. Despite an obligatory raft of terrible Scottish accents, the episode works very well in most respects; aside from the monster sub itself, the spy satellite plot isn't too out-there, although the presence of the navy cruiser on the loch does call into question exactly what the navy was planning to do with the guided missiles. The captain of the cruiser acts almost as suspiciously as Plank himself, locking up innocent people on a whim when they are patently trying to help him - maybe he's up to something, too? Meanwhile, the golfing theme of the B-plot acts as a refreshing backdrop and provides entertainment throughout, with I.Q.'s microwave-guided smart balls introduced as one of the show's more memorable inventions, and Trevor Noseworthy's tournament-fixing and subsequent tantrum considerably more bearable than the usual Trevor-snitches-on-Bond plot that so many episodes rely on. And it almost goes without saying that Walker D. Plank is as hilarious to watch as ever, with new sidekicks Bilge and Pump providing an extra layer of amusement, even if Jaws doesn't get much to do. In summary, a highly conventional but enjoyable episode that ticks almost all of the boxes.

Highs: While not strictly a plus point, No Such Loch is worth a watch for the voice acting alone, which lurches awkwardly between over-the-top and plain atrocious throughout.

The 'secret shipment of guided missiles' on the navy cruiser are concealed in the middle of the deck, unsecured underneath what appears to be a blanket. Secret, indeed. Meanwhile, Plank's parrot is not just adept at repeating human speech: it can also squawk 'Bond!' on sight and point its wing in the direction of where he's hiding, thus revealing his presence to Plank.

Lines to Remember: Captain Plank: 'Forget it, Bond - I'm the best there is with a sword.' James: 'Perhaps. But I'm better with a nine-iron!'

Lines to Forget: Trevor, on I.Q.'s smart balls: 'Hmm, with a gadget like that I could be a professional before you could say mashie niblick.'

Captain Plank, talking us through his scheme: 'No-one would ever suspect old Nessie was really out to intercept a British navy cruiser that would be carrying a secret shipment of guided missiles.' No - because it's completely implausible.

Gadgets & Gizmos:
I.Q.'s invented a radar/sonar attachment for James's watch, as well as a range of golfing gizmos. His revolutionary new telescopic golf club has a dial which can be adjusted to the desired distance you want the ball to travel, while his smart balls will travel wherever you're looking whilst wearing a pair of microwave-guiding sunglasses. A special magnetic golf tee can be retrieved simply by waving the club around on the ground, meanwhile - though it could presumably cause problems when teeing off. He's also been working on an entirely new game - though that's still in the pipeline.

S.C.U.M. on the Surface: James says he doesn't believe in monsters, 'except the ones that work for S.C.U.M.' And sure enough, Plank explicitly refers to James as having being 'caught by S.C.U.M.' when he captures him later. A S.C.U.M.-model chopper is also used by the crooks to escape at the end of the episode.

Bloopers & Blunders:
When Lesley receives the phone call asking her to investigate the boat disappearances at Loch Ness, there's no gap between her saying 'hello' and promising to get 'right on it', despite the fact that the information she then relays back to the others is fairly long and convoluted. 

VHS Vault: No Such Loch featured on a three-episode VHS release for the UK, alongside No Such Loch and Dance of the Toreadors. The episode also received a standalone release in the US.

When the navy sailors corner him I.Q. tells them: 'I only have to tell you my name, rank and serial number.' But as far as we're aware, I.Q. isn't an employee of the government, secret service, armed forces or anybody else who might issue him with a rank and serial number. What does he mean?

Captain Plank is in a particularly foul mood in this episode, and unusually appears to take his aggression out on his parrot - threatening to have it stuffed, hitting it with his hook and calling it an idiot and a moron. Why does he bother with it if it's such an annoyance?

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