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James Bond Jr Online


Episode #17
by Mary Crawford and Alan Templeton

Featuring: James, I.Q., Tracy, Gordo, Phoebe, Trevor, Mr Milbanks, Coach Mitchell, Doctor No.

Synopsis: On his way back to Warfield Academy, James is forced to intervene when a new pupil on her way to Warfield, Lily Mai, is victim of a kidnap attempt by laser-toting ninjas, who paraglide onto the train roof. At first Lily seems more than adept at seeing off the strangers, using martial arts to slow them down. But they eventually restrain her, attempting to force her to jump onto their van from the speeding train. James's rope skills remove the assailants - but when he asks Lily who the men were, she's cagey and says she doesn't know. Back at Warfield, Lily quickly becomes popular with the other students, excelling particularly at judo and flooring both James and Trevor in a practice match. Coach Mitchell is preparing the team for an international judo tournament in Japan, but Lily says it's impossible for her to go. Mitchell suggests to James that he has a word with her to find out what's wrong.

Still suspicious about the train incident, James asks Lily to help him with his judo technique in order to get some time to talk to her. He learns that it was her father, John Mai, who taught Lily judo, and that due to the nature of his work she hasn't seen him in two years. Sensing Lily's lonely, James invites her for out for soft drink later. That evening, after a gadget session with I.Q., James questions Lily further about why she can't come to Japan. She explains that she'd rather not make any friends at Warfield, as her father keeps moving her from school to school and she always ends up having to say goodbye. As they walk through the park back to the Academy, the ninjas strike again. At first James and Lily outfight them, but then they release anaesthetic gas to knock out Lily. As the fog clears, Doctor No appears, taking Lily and the ninjas with him for an 'appointment in Macau'.

Back at the Academy, James nurses a sore head - Coach Mitchell tells him that the police don't believe his story and that they're treating Lily's disappearance as a runaway. I.Q. accesses the Interpol databank, and uncovers a file on John Mai: he's a council member of the Raven Triad, the largest criminal outfit in Macau. Coach Mitchell tells them to pack their things for the judo tournament. They're heading to Japan, via Macau - where we soon see John Mai arrive at the White Lotus Restaurant, a base of operations for the Raven Triad. The leader, Lo Fat, expresses his condolences regarding Lily's disappearance, and says they'll do everything they can to get her back. He's identified James as having been with Lily when she vanished, and, knowing he's on his way to Macau, promises to interrogate him when he arrives.

As the gang check into the hotel, I.Q. explains that the city is currently celebrating the festival of A Ma, honouring the goddess after whom the city was named. While Trevor complains about the stopover, James heads off to the White Lotus, which I.Q. has identified as the Triad's base. Mitchell suggests that I.Q., Gordo, Tracy and Phoebe go with James to see he doesn't get into bother - so they buy a Chinese dragon costume and follow him. However, James is soon kidnapped by Lo Fat's agents and taken to the restaurant, where he is threatened with an acid bath if he doesn't reveal what he knows. James tells Lo Fat that Doctor No has Lily, which makes the crime boss furious.

At that moment, the Triad's communications network is hijacked and Dr No appears on their telescreen. It turns out he was once a member of the Raven Triad but that he betrayed them, and is now on their most wanted list. No has Lily in a tank that will fill with water in one hour: unless the Triad delivers him one billion dollars, an official pardon and ends their vendetta against him, she will drown. Lo Fat apologises to John Mai, but says there's nothing he can do. He orders for James to be disposed of in the acid while, in the street, the gang's Chinese dragon is being challenged to a fight by another dragon, hampering their search for James.

Luckily, John Mai comes to James's rescue, saving him just before he topples into the pool of acid. Mai reveals that he knows James's uncle, and that he's actually an undercover operative for Interpol. As they try to escape the White Lotus, they're attacked by Lo Fat's goons, but James quickly dispatches them and, by hiding under his friends' passing Chinese dragon, they escape. Back at the hotel, Trevor complains to Mitchell that he can't sleep due to all the noise of the festival, and demands that he tell the residents of Macau to bring it to a close! Mitchell then receives a call from James, and heads out to meet the gang.

At the dock, James has rented a boat and some scuba gear. While Tracy, I.Q., Gordo and Phoebe head for the British consulate to meet Mitchell, along with a computer disc from John Mai that he says will destroy the Raven Triad, Mai and James leave in the boat and head for the coordinates from which Doctor No's communications came. Looking at the charts, they see there's nothing at the location, but presuming No is on board a ship, they head there anyway. It turns out that Doctor No is operating from a huge artificial island, where the water in Lily's tank is getting dangerous close to full capacity. While John Mai introduces himself at the island's front entrance, asking to see Doctor No, James dives underneath in his scuba gear. In the control room, Mai tells Doctor No that Lo Fat has pardoned him, and hands Doctor No a suitcase - but it's soon revealed to contain forgeries, and No is furious.

The intruder alarm sounds, and No orders his ninjas to find the trespasser, as Lily struggles for air. Underwater, James has dodged missiles and managed to gain access to the underside of the 'island', climbing on board when he uses his watch to send one of the missiles back to blast a hole in the hull. As the craft fills with water, James breaks into No's control room. Lily's tank is smashed during the fracas, and the three escape as the island explodes - as does Doctor No, in a minisub. Mai explains to Lily that he was never a Triad member, but that he couldn't tell her for her own safety. With his blessing, it's agreed she can stay on at Warfield - and they go on to win the judo tournament in Japan, despite Trevor's personal failures.

Review: Opening with an action-packed railway rescue, this episode starts as it means to go on. It bears all the hallmarks of a James Bond Jr classic, not least a likeable and capable female lead in Lily (despite spending much of the episode flailing around in a glass tank), a great location in Macau, and a formidable foe in Doctor No, who is truly sinister in this episode as he settles a personal score with the Raven Triad, possibly the only criminal organisation other than S.C.U.M. to feature in the series. The villain brings atmosphere to the table with another diabolical scheme and his usual grandiose posturing, his dialogue sizzling with unpleasantness throughout. The Triad backstory provides additional intrigue to his character, too - not content with simply destroying innocent people, No is apparently equally vicious towards his former accomplices, bringing to mind all kinds of questions about the detail behind his defection (see 'S.C.U.M. on the Surface', below). Lo Fat, the Triad leader, works incredibly well too as a one-time crook and No's nemesis, meanwhile, holding his own in a two-way war of words with No and gurgling with glee as he prepares to dissolve James once it's apparent he'll be of no further use. The script is generally very good as far as early nineties animation goes; even Trevor is thrown a couple of good lines. With most of the Warfield gang sidelined, and doomed to walk around Macau in a Chinese dragon for the bulk of the show, there's a higher than average amount of emphasis on James himself. Although it's not used to explore his own character in much detail, favouring action sequences instead, it does allow for some depth to his and Lily's relationship, as he tries to convince her of the importance of lasting friendships following a long series of upheavals and disappointments in her life. In summary this episode is among the best in the series, and a highly worthwhile watch.

The ambience of this episode is spot on, particularly the scene in the park where Doctor No emerges from the mist, thus encroaching on what's supposedly safe Warfield territory. It's a pity he spoils the moment by revealing exactly where he's taking Lily.

Would the police really not believe James's story that Lily was kidnapped by masked men? Is it so implausible? What reason would James have to lie?

Lines to Remember:
Trevor, on judo: 'Oh, really, James; letting a mere girl beat you! Now she's face to face with a living weapon. I'd like to see you throw me around.' Gordo: 'Yeah, I'd like to see that too.' Phoebe: 'We'd all like to see that.'

Doctor No: 'Good evening, Lo Fat. I wish you a happy festival of A Ma.'
Lo Fat: 'And I wish you an eternity of suffering!'
Doctor No: 'Enough of the niceties.'

James, as No's base explodes: 'They just don't make artificial islands like they used to.'

Phoebe, as James leaves to rescue Lily: 'If I were in trouble, would James rescue me?' Everyone else: 'Nah!'

Trevor: 'Mr Mitchell! The hotel restaurant only serves Chinese food; it's totally unacceptable.'

Lines to Forget: Gordo questions Lily on why she can't go to Japan: 'You got something against sushi?'

Doctor No, to John Mai:
'You are a fool to try and deceive me. I am the master of treachery!'

Gadgets & Gizmos:
Added to James's wristwatch this week is I.Q.'s 'variable frequency interference inceptor' (or 'electronic poltergeist'), which interferes with all electrical equipment in the area.

S.C.U.M. on the Surface:
Unusually, S.C.U.M. is not the primary focus of this episode, with the plot centring on No's personal grievances with the Raven Triad. All the (non-Triad) bad guys are No's own ninjas, although at one point John Mai does say to two of them: 'Let me go, you scum,' suggesting that they may also be S.CU.M. agents. Indeed, it's possible that No's past betrayal of the Triad involved defecting to S.C.U.M. It would be interesting to learn more about this backstory.

Loco Parenthesis: Coach Mitchell really does plumb the depths of irresponsibility this week, not only by allowing James to wander into Macau's criminal underworld unsupervised, but by actively encouraging his other charges to follow young Bond towards what Tracy calls 'a hoodlum's den', while shrewdly keeping himself out of danger by volunteering to stay behind and keep an eye on Trevor.

Transatlantic Translation: It's explicitly stated that James and Lily are going for a 'soft drink' as opposed to just a 'drink' - and to hammer the point home, they're seen leaving a building marked 'soda shop' as they head into the park. In the UK, such establishments don't really exist, however; an ice-cream parlour (which are rare outside seaside towns) or a café would be the closest equivalents. 

Sticker Story: Slightly retitled 'Appointment at Macao', this story was adapted for the Merlin Stickers album.

Why are the police so reluctant to believe James's story given his exemplary past record?

The ending to this episode is unusual in that James doesn't get the last line - it's left to Mr Milbanks, watching the team dismount from the van outside, to surmise to an unknown person on the telephone that the judo tournament went 'quite well indeed'.

Lily does not feature again in the series, despite her father's assurances that she can stay on at Warfield. Perhaps James simply snubbed her once she no longer needed rescuing.

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