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James Bond Jr Online


Episode #22

by Jeffrey Scott

Featuring: James, I.Q., Tracy, Gordo, Phoebe, Trevor, Mr Milbanks, Coach Mitchell, Dr Derange, Jaws, Nick Nack, Skullcap.

One night at a science laboratory in Germany, a team of S.C.U.M. agents comprising Skullcap, Nick Nack and Jaws steal an experimental laser machine. But the Warfield gang is also in Germany, for a scholastic competition; I.Q.'s packed some gadgets, just in case. It's just as well: at a spooky-looking castle in the mountains, Dr Derange and his accomplice, Professor Frederick, discuss their plan to create a hundred android mutants to mine the abundant diamonds they've found under the castle. Yes, you read it right: not just mutants, android mutants. Professor Frederick needs the laser machine the crooks have stolen to begin putting together the animal tissue he's grown. But to bring the creatures to life, they'll need a human guinea pig for the mutants' life spark. Nick Nack and Skullcap head out to find one, while Jaws goes under the mountain to dig the first diamonds. These, of course, are needed for the mutants' fingertips.

The Warfield gang settle in to the hotel; Gordo's keen on heading out to check out the surroundings, but Milbanks reminds him that the competition is tomorrow and that they must stay in the hotel. Milbanks himself is off to an academy directors' dinner, so he foolishly leaves Coach Mitchell in charge of the students. Soon, a local woman called Hilda von Hoffman arrives to speak to James and I.Q. Having concluded that they must be smart if they're in the competition, she asks them to help her solve a problem: there have been sightings of vampires and werewolves roaming her village, and the stories have been scaring away the miners, meaning the area can't survive economically. James and I.Q. are sceptical, but agree to help out, sneaking past a snoring Coach Mitchell. But Trevor realises they've left, and decides to follow in the hope of getting them into trouble.

James, I.Q. and Hilda head into the forest, which is where the sightings have been. They find a footprint which James dismisses as that of a makeshift shoe, used to scare the miners off. Suddenly the vampire and werewolf appear, and attack them. James quickly realises they're men in costumes, but before he can unmask them, a load of logs from a passing truck come loose and come careering towards them, knocking James into the river - but luckily he uses I.Q.'s spiked shoes to stay on top of one of the logs. I.Q. and Hilda follow along the bank as James comes to a stop near a waterfall, but the 'vampire' and 'werewolf' have run away. They come across Trevor, who asks if they've seen James before realising they're monsters. Of course it's Skullcap and Nick Nack in disguise, and they decide to take Trevor as their guinea-pig. Back at the castle, Trevor soon realises he's not having a strange dream, and shrieks for help.

James and the others have been following the footprints which have led them a mine shaft underneath the castle. Here they find Jaws, biting chunks out of the rock with his teeth to find the diamonds. They confront him but he's soon run over by a minecar whose brakes have failed. When they check if he's still alive, Jaws attacks, putting them in the minecar and pushing it down the track - which is more like a roller-coaster. Avoiding various obstacles they soon approach a pile of dynamite at the end of the track, but luckily James's spiked shoes save them again as he uses them as brakes to slow the car. Meanwhile, back at the hotel, Gordo, Tracy and Phoebe realise that James, I.Q. and Trevor have gone missing, and decide to go out in the rain to track them down.

As a storm rages overhead, James, Hilda and I.Q. escape the mine and find a staircase leading up to the castle - but when they enter the building they're confronted by Dr Derange, who locks them in a room with walls covered in spikes, that are rapidly moving inwards! James spots a vent in the ceiling and climbs up the spikes, breaking one of them off and using it to open the trapdoor. Up in the castle lab, Trevor begs to be released, but to no avail. Professor Frederick explains that when lightning strikes the antenna on the castle roof, the android will come to life - destroying half of Trevor's brain cells in the process. James and the others burst in to confront the crooks, however, and a fight commences between James and Jaws, which ends with the latter stuck by his teeth to a chandelier on the ceiling.

It's now raining so hard that Gordo and the girls are about to give up and go back to the hotel, when they suddenly hear Trevor screaming and rush to the castle to help. I.Q. unbuckles Trevor from the machine, but he's still wearing a helmet that's attached by wires to the machine. He ends up toppling out of the window, hanging only by the wires. At that point lightning strikes, and the mutant comes to life - Derange immediately sets it on James. But I.Q. manages to reverse the polarity, asking Gordo to attach wires to the mutant, just as the creature is about to fling James from the window. It suddenly becomes docile and childlike, turning on Derange and requesting a 'big hug'. The mutant chases Derange and Professor Frederick out of the castle, and Jaws crashes from the ceiling after them. The following day, the gang lose the scholastic competition thanks to Trevor, who gets a question wrong about the olfactory system - leading to a slew of inevitable Noseworthy 'nose' puns.

Review: One of the sillest episodes in the first half of the series (okay, if we're honest, in the entire series), The Inhuman Race clearly draws most of its inspiration from Mary Shelley's Frankenstein - and the rest of it from Scooby-Doo. Doctor Derange and his ever-so-stereotypical co-conspirator Professor Frederick make for a cringeworthy pair, with the latter's German accent almost as unbearably caricatured as the former's French. Unusually, we see Jaws, Nick Nack and Skullcap all doing Dr Derange's bidding. While Jaws bites through solid rock with his teeth to retrieve diamonds (for the mutant androids' fingertips, so they in turn can dig for more diamonds), Nick Nack and Skullcap borrow the tried-and-tested method of scaring away the locals by dressing up as (fairly unconvincing) monsters. It's difficult to see how youngsters of any age could take this story seriously - the lack of basis in fact would not matter so much if the episode had a genuinely scary atmosphere to it. As it is, it's turned into somewhat of a parody of Shelley's story, and a poor one at that. But on the other hand there are plenty of amusing moments, particularly involving the villains - as well as Trevor, who's a good deal more likeable in this episode than on most occasions, so that after his ordeal we almost feel sorry for him as he flunks the competition the next day and is relentlessly teased by his peers. Overall a fairly outrageous episode, with just enough hilarity not to scare off the viewers.

Despite having been dangled from a castle window and experimented on by master criminals, all Trevor Noseworthy is anxious about is being caught out of the hotel by Mr Milbanks - and he's eternally grateful when James says he won't mention it.

Before making his getaway from the laboratory with the laser surgery machine, Nick Nack acquires a chalkboard on which he writes 'S.C.U.M. one, Good Guys nil.' 'Looks like we're going to the superbowl,' he cackles.

Lines to Remember:
Nick Nack, justifying their capture of Trevor since James got away: 'So we had to take second best. Or third.'

Trevor, on Professor Frederick: 'This chap looks like a real killer. It's a good thing I'm only dreaming!'

Trevor, proving his loyalty: 'Please, let me go. If you need a human guinea-pig I've got lots of friends.'

Lines to Forget:
Dr Derange: 'Excellent choice of door, Bond. You've chosen my favourite room - I call it the shish kebab suite. Pleasant screams!'

The mutant android, turning his attentions on Derange: 'Me give Dadda big hug!'

Gadgets & Gizmos:
I.Q.'s inventions are all fashion-themed this week: he has woven James's duplicate jacket from titanium, which apparently means that scissors disentegrate when they touch it. And there's also a pair of trainers with retractable spikes - good for keeping upright when riding a section of log along a river.

S.C.U.M. on the Surface:
See 'Lows'. Also, James refers to Jaws and his 'scummy friends' at one point. 

Loco Parenthesis: Coach Mitchell falls asleep reading a magazine while he's supposed to be watching the students, the upshot of which is that one of them is kidnapped and experimented upon by mad scientists. And still he doesn't get fired.

VHS Vault: This episode appears alongside It's All in the Timing on a compilation kids' TV video entitled 'Saturday Morning Heroes'.

Despite being prominent in proceedings earlier on in the episode, Nick Nack and Skullcap disappear just prior to the denouement without any explanation.

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