Site hosted by Build your free website today!

James Bond Jr Online


Episode #29

by John Bates

Featuring: James, I.Q., Tracy, Gordo, Phoebe, Trevor, Mr Milbanks, Coach Mitchell, Captain Plank, Jaws.

Synopsis: James and Gordo are out clothes shopping with one of their friends, Prince Malmo, a member of the royal family of a country called Kua-Kua. As they browse, a man bumps into Malmo , knocking him over, then helps him up before making a quick exit. Malmo soon notices that his priceless 'golden eye' pendant has been stolen. As James pursues the thief, he drops the pendant, allowing Gordo to retrieve it. The thief hops into a truck driven by Jaws, and James jumps on the roof, but the pair manage to get away. Back at Warfield, James and friends examine the evidence left by the crooks - a circuit diagram and a ticket for the S.S. Mariposa, while Malmo receives a letter explaining that his father has disappeared at sea.

He explains that his passage home is already booked - also on the Mariposa - and invites James and company to go along with him. Tracy has too much work to do, but Phoebe, Gordo and James all agree to go, with Mr Milbanks' permission. As he is about to leave, Coach Mitchell reminds James that he was supposed to take his niece Claire to the dance this evening. James asks I.Q. to take Claire in his absence, while also examining the circuit diagram to see if he can work out what it's for. Trevor Noseworthy, who is listening at the door, decides that he wants to take Coach Mitchell's niece to the dance instead.

Meanwhile, in a submarine somewhere off the coast, Jaws reports back to none other than Captain Walker D. Plank, whose latest seafaring scheme involves kidnapping Prince Malmo so that his father will hand over quantities of rare 'hypercarbonised' titanium ore, which can only be found in Kua-Kua. The ore is practically indestructible, which is why, with the help of whinging scientist Professor Moebius, Plank intends to use it to build an army of ruthless metallic robots. The first X-11 robot prototype is, in fact, on board the Mariposa, where the crooks have planted it with orders to capture Malmo.

After breaking out of a crate in the cargo hold, the robot proceeds to terrorise the passengers and crew, wrecking the dining hall with laser guns and destroying the ship's radio on the bridge so that the captain cannot signal for help. As everyone else escapes in the lifeboats, only James, Malmo , Gordo and Phoebe are left on board with the robot. Strangely, it appears to recognise Malmo and pursues him everywhere he goes. Back at Warfield, I.Q. is terrified about taking Claire to the dance as he has two left feet and doesn't want to tread on her toes. To rectify the situation he creates a pair of dancing shoes which move of their own accord!

Trevor speaks to Claire and attempts to usurp I.Q. as her date, but she isn't interested - so he sets his sights on I.Q.'s shoes in order that he might impress her. As Trevor tries to persuade I.Q. to hand the shoes over, he inadvertently causes him to realise in a flash what the circuit diagram is for - it's a homing device. Trevor steals off with the shoes while I.Q. contacts James to tell him the news; during the scuffle at the clothes shop, the thief must have deliberately dropped a replica of Malmo's pendant containing the homing device, and this is how the robot always knows where Malmo is. Realising this, James takes the replica pendant and swims out to Plank's sub, placing the pendant over Plank's viewfinder.

Then, using I.Q.'s magnetic binoculars, he attaches the robot to a giant metal hook and swings him around so that it eventually gains enough momentum to send 'Goliath' flying straight into Plank's submarine. The vessel promptly sinks, and as the S.C.U.M. agents escape in a mini-sub the robot finally retrieves the pendant, before sinking too! Malmo is soon reunited with his father, and back at Warfield, Trevor makes a fool of himself in front of Claire and everyone else at the dance when I.Q. uses a remote control to send the dancing shoes haywire!

Review: While undoubtedly one of the sillier Walker D. Plank episodes, Ship of Terror is an interesting one in a number of ways. The idea of murderous, seafaring titanium robots is farfetched, admittedly, but once disbelief is firmly suspended as far as the premise is concerned, the plot of the episode works well and ties things up surprisingly neatly by the end of the show. The concept of swapping the pendant for a trackable replica isn't original, but does take us by surprise, mainly since in most episodes S.C.U.M. agents have shown themselves perfectly capable of dropping vital items by accident. Even so, given I.Q.'s fondness for homing devices throughout the series one would wonder why he didn't decode the circuit diagram sooner. The robot itself is actually rather endearing, despite its rather chilling electronic voice and impressive weaponry; James nicknames it 'Goliath' somewhat affectionately, and we cannot help but cheer when it finally retrieves the pendant from the submarine. Plank, meanwhile, is on top form as usual with his outrageous laugh and great lines, while grouchy criminal genius Moebius provides further 'amusement' stemming from his apparent dislike of Plank's parrot. Regrettably, we see very little of Jaws after the opening sequence, and indeed it is one of the few episodes in which James fails to enjoy a face-to-face showdown with the villains of the piece. It is also one of the few episodes in which James fails to 'rescue the girl', as the title song boasts, since - for once - there is no girl to rescue. Other than Phoebe, that is. Unusually, it is Prince Malmo - a man - whose father is in peril and whom James must protect at all cost. You'll be disappointed if you're searching for romantic undertones, however; there's nothing remotely alluring about Malmo, who is irritating to the point of being unwatchable. Unsurprisingly, his character never reappears. Overall then: while perhaps not quite as enjoyable as more traditional Plank fare - Never Give a Villain a Fair Shake and Plunder Down Under spring to mind - Ship of Terror remains a tolerable outing and scrubs up comparatively well in the context of the series as a whole.

The combination of the delightfully bad X-11 'Goliath' robot and walking piratical cliché Plank is frankly irresistible.

Coach Mitchell's niece Claire has all the personality of a pillar-box.

Lines to Remember:
Plank, on his latest plot: 'I haven't enjoyed myself so much since we created the artificial hurricane that sank the Calypso!'

Lines to Forget:
Ship crewmember, on seeing the robot: 'What in the seven seas is that?!'

Gadgets & Gizmos:
I.Q.'s special binoculars contain a 'directional hypermagnet' with a range of twenty feet that can attract an object of up to 500 pounds in weight. He also provides James with pen-launched bolas, and takes the rare step of inventing a device for himself in the form of the dancing shoes, which serve to humiliate Trevor very effectively.

S.C.U.M. on the Surface:
James himself seems to recognise the submarine as a S.C.U.M. craft, and four uniformed S.C.U.M. agents are among those who flee the sinking vessel. 

Blunders & Bloopers: As in the earlier episode Never Give a Villain a Fair Shake, Plank is erroneously referred to here as 'Captain dePlank' - although it's not as noticeable as on the previous occasion, since he's only named once in the script.

VHS Vault:
This episode is available on the UK video entitled James Bond Jr. vs. Jaws the Metallic Munch, alongside Plunder Down Under and Invaders from S.C.U.M.

Why is it necessary for the thief's getaway van to have a crane fixture attached to its roof? Moreover, why does Jaws drive the van straight off the jetty and into the sea? Has nobody told him about rust? 

Despite the presence of the 'golden eye' pendant, this episode predates the 007 film GoldenEye by four years, meaning that the reference is likely to be purely coincidental. Sorry, film fans.

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.