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James Bond Jr Online


Episode #48

by J.R. Morton

Featuring: James, I.Q., Tracy, Gordo, Phoebe, Trevor, Coach Mitchell, Goldfinger, Goldie Finger, Odd Job.

Synopsis: Team Warfield is in Africa on a safari trip, led by Coach Mitchell. They're heading across the plains in a jeep when they're suddenly charged at by a rhinoceros. James saves the day by luring the rhino into water with the blast of a horn, but something suspicious is afoot - there's a small, bleeping wristwatch-like device attached to the rhino's ear. Later, he gives it to I.Q. to examine. He rules out a homing device straight away, then sets to work. James suspects the device was being used to control the rhino, and when a bug with a similar-looking attachment crawls into his tent late at night, his suspicions are confirmed.

Nearby, a S.C.U.M. agent pilots a boat containing Goldie Finger along a small mountain river. With a briefcase marked 'radioactive' and 'plutonium' in her hand, she enters a mine shaft at the base of a huge waterfall, but her presence causes alarms to wail and a gate to slam down behind her. Various S.C.U.M. agents then attack her, but Goldie knocks them out one by one using mine cars and a laser gun. She soon comes to a huge control room, where her father Goldfinger is waiting, along with Odd Job. She remarks that his security is fairly lax, and presents him with the plutonium case. He's horrified, telling her she has to get rid of it - but she calmly opens the case and takes out a lump of shining rock. It acts like it's radioactive, but she assures him it only has the characteristics of plutonium and isn't the real deal.

Goldie's plan is to use the fake plutonium to make local gold mines appear contaminated, so that once they're abandoned S.C.U.M. can go in and clear out the gold. Goldfinger's impressed, and takes Goldie to the heart of his Midas Mountain lair to see his own criminal contribution - a sonic wave machine that allows him to control any animal wearing his special control bracelets, so they can mine gold for him and scare off intruders. First, he wants to use them to get rid of James. Back at the camp, I.Q. has taken Trevor's tent to build a paraglider for James, and has modified the bracelet they found on the rhino to track the source of the control signals. James flies out towards the source, and soon located Midas Mountain - where he sees the waterfall suddenly stop and a golden helicopter fly out of a secret hole in the cliff.

It's Goldie Finger, and she begins to fire missiles at James's paraglider, sending him plummeting towards the river below - but he activates the parachute feature and manages to float silently into Goldie's chopper, hanging on to one of the helicopter's legs. Goldie heads to a nearby gold mine and fires two missiles containing the fake plutonium into the mine shaft, causing the miners to flee in panic. She then returns to the falls, with James still hanging on - but Goldfinger spots him over the videoscreen, and Goldie tries to drown him in the waterfall. She then lands the chopper in the secret passage, unaware that James has managed to swing to safety through the waterfall and is also in Midas Mountain.

Goldfinger reveals to Goldie that Odd Job has staged a theft of some real plutonium to add credibility to their ruse - he's now keeping the real plutonium in his base in a sealed glass chamber. On the news, they learn that as a result of the mine attack, the price of gold has gone through the roof. Back at camp, Mitchell heads into the nearest town to get supplies, somewhat irresponsibly leaving his pupils, not least a terrified Trevor, to make friends with the wildlife - including a chimp intent on stealing his clothes! At Goldfinger's base, James soon spies the bracelets being put on human slaves and realises Goldfinger can control people as well as animals. He radios I.Q. for backup, who agrees to meet him at the river. But as James leaves the base he sets off an alarm, alerting a bickering Goldfinger and Goldie to his presence.

James takes a lift down to the base's dock, where he's confronted and captured by enslaved miners and Odd Job. Goldfinger decides to fit a bracelet on James so he'll become a slave too - Goldie is delighted, commenting on the irony of James Bond Jr doing their dirty work for them. The crooks decide to send 'enslaved' James down the river to deliver a shipment of gold ore, but James has stuffed polystyrene packing in his ears to prevent him from being affected by the sonic waves. He soon reconvenes with I.Q. and the gang, and asks them to take the stolen gold to the authorities, while he heads back to take care of the crooks.

Back in Midas Mountain, James attacks the sonic wave machine with a pickaxe, causing all the slave workers to go berserk, smashing the base up - including the glass area where the real plutonium's being kept. The base is soon highly radioactive, and Goldie and her father flee onboard the helicopter. James turns the fake waterfall back on just as they're leaving in the chopper, however, and they splash into the river below. James rejoins the gang just as Coach Mitchell returns from town, and they all laugh at Trevor and his new monkey friend.

Review: An enjoyable episode and one of the best in the later part of the series, Goldie's Gold Scam was likely intended to be aired much earlier in the run given its apparent introduction of Goldie Finger, and her relationship with her father (though according to the script both are evidently known to James already). Characterisation of the villains is a strong point, with their nauseating mutual congratulation rapidly descending into bickering as their plans collapse around their ears. Odd Job, meanwhile, is understated here, with a minimum to do - which is possibly for the best as his character is most threatening when he's quiet. The plot is a few notches above passable; Goldie's eponymous scam, while not perhaps sufficiently explained, is original enough and works well with this backdrop. The slavery theme is also interesting - though the word itself is not used, the episode does have somewhat of a colonial feel about it, foreshadowed perhaps by Gordo's opening comment about the 'dark interior', which has unmistakeable Heart of Darkness connotations. While the mind control of elephants and rhinos may seem pretty silly, the control of the human slaves is considerably more disturbing and very much serves to highlight the extent of Goldfinger's unpleasantness. The soundtrack to this episode is another plus point, with some of the series' best background pieces used to great effect, particularly in the action scenes.

The mountains, jungles and plains of Africa (though we're not told exactly where) make for a refreshing and exciting setting for this episode.

Goldfinger's sonic wave machine appears to be a modified church organ, complete with piano keyboard.

Gadgets & Gizmos:
I.Q. constructs a paraglider from bits of Trevor's tent - it can also turn into a parachute when you pull the cord. He has a grappling gun too, strong enough to haul in small boats. But for Gadget of the Week there's a surprise coup by Goldfinger, whose sonic wave machine and control devices not only compel animals to obey his every command, but also people.

S.C.U.M. on the Surface:
Yes. Midas Mountain is packed with uniformed goons - and the pilot of Goldie's boat at the start is also S.C.U.M.-branded. 

VHS Vault: This episode received a standalone VHS release, in NTSC format only. 

Sticker Story: Under the name 'Goldie's Dream', this story was adapted for the Merlin Stickers album.

Despite their father-daughter relationship, this is the only episode in which Goldfinger and his daughter both appear.

Where did Odd Job disappear to at the end of the episode? He isn't seen escaping on the helicopter with his boss.

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