Site hosted by Build your free website today!

James Bond Jr Online


Episode #35
by Alan Templeton and Mary Crawford

Featuring: James, I.Q., Tracy, Gordo, Phoebe, Trevor, Mr Milbanks, Coach Mitchell, Ms Fortune, Snuffer, Scumlord.

Synopsis: It's a beautiful day at Warfield Academy, and James and his classmate Sue Sayer are enjoying an exhilarating bike ride through the grounds. That is, until they're interrupted by a helicopter hovering overhead. Inside are S.C.U.M.'s Ms Fortune and Snuffer, who try to kidnap Sue. James comes to the rescue, fighting off Snuffer on a rope ladder and throwing his trainers into the propeller so that the chopper stalls. It crashes, and James is flung through Milbanks' office window - just in time for an appointment! Later, Sue avoids answering when James asks how she knew the chopper was behind them, and they head for the noticeboard to check their history exam results. Trevor is furious to find that Sue has beaten his score and got 100% - he's convinced she's got access to the exam answers.

Later that night, Trevor sneaks into Sue's room, convinced she'll have the answers of the upcoming trigonometry test, too. But he can't find anything, and sneaks out onto the balcony when he hears her returning. Somehow, Sue knows that Trevor's out there, what he was doing, and that he's scared of heights. He then blackmails her, telling her he'll tell Milbanks she's cheating unless she shares her secret with him. In their chopper, Ms Fortune and Snuffer watch a news report on the historic peace agreement between feuding micronations San Cristobal and Verzano, who have each agreed to return their respective looted national treasures to their rightful homes. But Ms Fortune wants her hands on the treasures too, and Scumlord appears on a telescreen, ordering her to try to grab Sue again. Scumlord explains Sue is a telepath, and would be able to sense the location of the treasures from the two countries' presidents.

An upset Sue rushes to Tracy and Phoebe for support after Trevor's threat, and James and I.Q. come up with a plot to pay him back - by 'inventing' a device that they'll tell Trevor can earn him a perfect score in exams. It's just a useless piece of junk, but Sue gives it to Trevor, telling him to glue the device's electrodes to his head - and it will pump the answers to questions right into his brain. Meanwhile, from her helicopter outside, Ms Fortune releases a hovering 'hunter probe' to fly in through Sue's window. It gasses Sue and James before picking them up with mechanical claws and carrying them back to the chopper. I.Q. and the others soon realise they're missing, however, and start to use the homing device hidden in James's belt to track their whereabouts.

The crooks stop off near the San Cristobal embassy so that Sue can demonstrate her powers by reading the president's mind and learn where the exchange of the treasures will take place. As Snuffer threatens James's life, she agrees to do it - the exchange will take place, she senses, at the Hotel Monte del Diablo on Lanzarote in the Canary Islands. The crooks change course and head towards the Canaries, with I.Q. tracking the signal from James's belt all the way. When they reach the hotel, they rendezvous with a band of S.C.U.M. operatives who've been standing by on board a yacht. The crooks herd the hotel guests into the cellar at laserpoint, before tying James and Sue to the base of an empty swimming pool.

Sue uses her telepathic abilities again to learn that, after stealing the nations' treasures, Ms Fortune plans to detonate a bomb within the volcanic crater on which the hotel is built, which Ms Fortune later explains would cause an eruption and destroy the entire island - leading everyone to believe the treasures of San Cristobal and Verzano are buried under the lava. As the helicopters arrive containing Presidents Alfonso and Diego, the crooks untie Sue so she can telepathically determine the numeric code that will give them access to the hotel's vaults, where the treasures are being kept. Meanwhile, Tracy, I.Q., Gordo and Phoebe arrive on Lanzarote having tracked the homing device - but are soon mistaken for a Scottish tourist party and physically bundled into a bus by a somewhat militant tour guide.

At the hotel, Snuffer begins to fill up the swimming pool, with James still tied to the bottom. Presuming he's done for, the S.C.U.M. agents leave him to drown, but he uses an electrostatic ring to cut himself loose, before freeing himself from the ropes with the help of the pool pump. Ms Fortune greets the presidents and takes them down to the vault, convincing them to leave their bodyguards behind as there's not enough room! When in the basement, Ms Fortune use s a stun device to render them unconscious, before forcing Sue to read their minds and determine the code to the safe. Her S.C.U.M. henchmen take out the bodyguards upstairs, meanwhile - but are soon under attack themselves, by a wily James.

As the tour guide locks I.Q. and the others in the tour bus to prevent them from sneaking off, Snuffer seals up the treasures and the crooks flee, setting the bomb to detonate before they leave. James rescues Sue and manages to remove the bomb from the crater. He then puts it inside one of I.Q.'s devices - a bouncing survival bubble - and flings it down towards the sea, where it destroys Ms Fortune's yacht, sinking her newfound riches along with it. James and Sue reunite with the other Warfielders and are taken back to England by the grateful presidents - though Milbanks is not so pleased to hear of what they've been up to. We soon see that, having taken Sue's advice, Trevor has since removed the 'device' he glued to his head - and most of his hair with it!

Review: A strange episode in many respects, Mindfield is a prime example of how the show can suffer when the writers get carried away: narrative chaos ensues, peppered with expository dialogue that's poor in quality but necessary simply for the viewers to get their bearings. The telepathy storyline isn't entirely out of character for the show, but its 'rules' as a device are poorly established, and are hardly elucidated by the erratic behaviour of guest girl Sue, who manages to be simultaneously both likeable and creepy. Meanwhile, the San Cristobal and Verzano peace agreement flies over the head of the average viewer - the locations of these fictional countries and the nature of their dispute is kept out of the script altogether, so that the whole episode is based on a vague and largely unexplained premise. Combine these factors with the 'Lows' listed below and this becomes an episode that's quite difficult to swallow. Nonetheless there are several interesting aspects that deserve a mention: Ms Fortune's audacious kidnap from within Warfield grounds is deeply unusual for S.C.U.M. and quite a tension-builder. But judging by her infiltration of the Warfield party in the previous episode, The Heartbreak Caper, and her kidnap of Trevor in There But For Ms. Fortune, it is quite characteristic for Ms Fortune herself - and the chemistry between the villainess and her butler is nicely realised as ever. Finally, the Trevor storyline in Mindfield deserves unusual praise. Trevor is depicted as nastier than ever, reducing Sue to tears - and his inevitable comeuppance is fitting and hilarious. That said, nobody questions Sue's morality in having used her telepathy to cheat on the exams in the first place...

Milbanks' deadpan reaction when James flies through the window of his office and lands in a chair is a priceless moment - clearly he's become very much accustomed to this sort of behaviour.

Where to start? First, everybody in this episode acts as if telepathy is a mildly impressive but nonetheless widely recognised ability (which it patently isn't). Secondly, the Hotel Monte del Diablo appears to have been deliberately built around the crater of an active volcano - without any apparent regard for the safety of its guests. Finally, James's rather innovative use of the survival bubble combined with Ms Fortune's explosive - which only narrowly misses killing his entire friendship group, and by good luck rather than good management -
is so manifestly irresponsible that it's a miracle he hasn't ended up in jail.

Lines to Remember: Sue, on Trevor's plan to snitch to Milbanks on her: 'But that wouldn't be true!' Trevor: 'That's never stopped me before.'

Phoebe on Trevor's treatment of Sue: 'Sheesh, can't we do something? Like squish him?'

Lines to Forget: Ms Fortune to Snuffer: 'Release the hunter probe!'

Snuffer, eyeing the approaching bomb: 'I daresay, what's that, ma'am?' Ms Fortune: 'It's a bouncing bubble, you fool. With our explosive in it!'

Gadgets & Gizmos: Press on I.Q.'s belt and a man-sized 'survival bubble' appears around you, that can only be broken with the help of an electrostatic ring designed to break apart plastics. Naturally, the bubble also incorporates a homing device. The 'Sue Sayer Study Probe Mark IV', meanwhile, is a phoney device made out of some old gizmo remains, which Trevor duly glues to his head on instruction. But today's uber-gadget is Ms Fortune's delightfully unlikely 'hunter probe' which, given its effectiveness, is notable for never being seen again. 

S.C.U.M. on the Surface: With Scumlord seen issuing orders to Ms Fortune directly, the chain of command here is fairly undeniable.

Blunders & Bloopers:
The fact that Sue heard the helicopter coming up behind her and James is used as a device to hint at her telepathic abilities. But who wouldn't hear a helicopter at such close range? James, evidently - who praises Sue's 'incredible hearing'.

Now we're really nitpicking, but the artwork for the two unnamed S.C.U.M. agents tasked with guarding James as the pool fills with water uses different colouring from their appearances in other episodes - and more seriously, is at one point briefly switched to that of two other recurring S.C.U.M. agents, before switching back again. The voices also differ from these particular crooks' previous appearance in Hostile Takeover - an episode also fraught with confusion as regards these odd background characters.

Notes: The code to the safe, 3517, may - or may not - be a reference to this episode (number 35) and the specific scene number (although the latter isn't certain).

The San Cristobal president speaks Spanish, implying that his country is either a fictional micronation perhaps similar in geographical position to Andorra, or a former Spanish colony. This may explain why the exchange with Verzano is taking place on Spanish territory.

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.