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James Bond Jr Online


Episode #61
by John Bates

Featuring: James, I.Q., Gordo, Phoebe, Trevor, Tiara Hotstones.

Synopsis: James and the Warfield crew are in Amsterdam, visiting a jewellery museum. Crystal, the museum guide, shows them a large, priceless emerald, known as the Angel because of its purity. Suddenly the room is filled with smoke, and a woman shouts 'fire!' and activates the alarm. Everyone rushes to the exit, but the woman remains behind - to steal the Angel! James and Crystal witness the theft, and as the crook flees the scene on a motorbike, James borrows Crystal's scooter and follows her, while Crystal, Gordo and I.Q. take a car behind. The jewel thief speeds into a crowded market area where she begins to lose control of the bike, eventually crashing into a chocolate stall. Unnoticed by the thief, the emerald falls from her bag and lands in a pot of melted chocolate. The thief's wig falls off - and before she escapes the scene, James realises they've met before. It's Tiara Hotstones!

The chase continues, as I.Q. spots Tiara from the car and fires a homing gun at her license plate. At the canal, she escapes onto a speedboat piloted by her assistant, Crowbar. She leaves her bike sinking in the canal, meaning she can't be tracked any further. A little further up the canal, the speedboat drives into the opening of a larger vessel owned by Tiara's contractor, Rembrandt - a master counterfeiter who needs the Angel to focus the laser in his new banknote machine, in order to make perfect forgeries. He's furious when Tiara hands over an empty bag, and thinks she's trying to con him. But she realises the emerald must have dropped out at the chocolate stall. Meanwhile, Trevor and Phoebe are out on a shopping trip - Phoebe buys a big box of chocolates from the stall Tiara crashed into, while Trevor's more interested in a rare black tulip he sees on a plant stall, which would be ideal for him to pretend he's grown himself for his botany research project.

The rest of the gang head off to get Crystal's scooter fixed - with some modifications by I.Q. - while Rembrandt, Tiara and Crowbar return to the chocolate stall - and make the proprietor open every box of chocolates to find the emerald, but to no avail. Spotting a CCTV camera, they realise they can use the tape to view footage of which people recently bought chocolates, and track them down. Quickly identifying Trevor in the vicinity from the tape, Crowbar pretends to be a health inspector, who tells Trevor that the chocolates Phoebe bought were contaminated and he needs to speak to her. Trevor points her out immediately. She's already bitten into the chocolate-covered emerald, but it's too late - she's bundled inside Tiara's van and driven away. Tiara threatens her with a bottle of acid, demanding to know where the emerald is.

Gordo and James soon catch up with Trevor and spot the van driving away, so decide to pursue on rented bicycles. Phoebe bravely denies knowledge of who they are but, as she fires lasers at them, Tiara realises it's James, and orders Crowbar to speed up in order to lose them. Luckily, Phoebe has left James and Gordo a trail of chocolate wrappers to show them the way she's been taken. Tiara begins to smash up Phoebe's souvenirs one by one, looking for the emerald - but Phoebe remains tight-lipped, even when she's taken back to Rembrandt's boat and he offers her money to tell him where it is. Eventually, the cuckoo clock she's bought chimes and Rembrandt sees the gem inside. He takes it, and Tiara takes the money Rembrandt owes her for stealing it.

James and Gordo board the boat, but James is spotted by Crowbar - Tiara tells him to ignore James, though, and they escape with their money. James confronts Rembrandt and demands he return the gem, but the counterfeiter escapes, scuttling the boat as he goes. The gang's left with two clues - a hand towel from the Palass Hotel, and some forged notes that Tiara dropped on her way out. James realises Rembrandt has paid Tiara with fake money, and heads off to find her and let her know. Meanwhile, Rembrandt retreats to his windmill lair, where he installs the gem in his counterfeiting machine; with it, he'll be able to produce perfect forgeries, meaning S.C.U.M. will be free to spend as they please and devalue the world's currencies.

At the Palass Hotel, sure enough, Tiara opens the suitcase full of money and realises Rembrandt has given her cheap forgeries. She throws the notes off her balcony into jubilant crowds below, who think the money's real. James and Crystal head to the hotel too, and watch as Tiara and Crowbar prepare to take off in a helicopter to confront Rembrandt. James stows away in the helicopter, placing a homing device in the craft, but in mid-flight he's discovered by Crowbar. The crooks prepare to make him walk out of the chopper, but he jumps of his own accord, and floats to the ground by parachute. On the ground, he reconvenes with I.Q., who can now track the helicopter's movement. They follow it to Rembrandt's windmill lair in the next village, and James takes Phoebe's souvenir paperweight with him 'for good luck'.

At the mill, Rembrandt is pushing his luck somewhat with Tiara, offering to replace the forgeries he paid her with initially with another set of forgeries made with his new laser counterfeiting machine. But seeing the machine in action and the accuracy of its reproductions, Tiara is impressed. Crystal, I.Q., Gordo and Phoebe turn up at the front door, pretending to be a tourist group asking to look around the windmill. While Crowbar turns them away, James sneaks in through an upstairs window by riding on the windmill, and swaps the Angel for Phoebe's paperweight in Rembrandt's machine. It soon ruins the note Rembrandt's producing, and they spot James, firing lasers at him. He leaps from the windmill and escapes on the scooter, as the crooks flee the windmill since the laser banknote machine is now backfiring. They chase James into the town, but James picks off Crowbar in his speedboat with I.Q.'s gadgets. Tiara and Rembrandt continue to chase in their chopper with laser guns, but shoot a festival float by accident - and the flower cloud that results causes them to crash. Despite Tiara's best acting attempts to appear like an innocent victim, she's bundled off by the police along with Rembrandt. James and the others bid farewell to Crystal, and laugh as, following a day of trying to protect his black tulip from harm's way, Trevor sneezes and blows all the petals off.

Review: A particularly fast-paced installment, this, with an odd selection of villains comprising Tiara Hotstones, her new henchman Crowbar, and the 'one-hit wonder' lead crook Rembrandt, S.C.U.M.'s master counterfeiter. As with all Tiara episodes, this follows a familiar formula - but fed up of being double-crossed by Baron von Skarin, she's now being double-crossed by Rembrandt instead. As a character, she's less sympathetic than ever here, threatening Phoebe with acid burns at one point and almost forcing James out of a helicopter at another - highly at odds with her later behaviour in Sure as Eggs is Eggs. The Dutch setting provides a number of examples once again of patronising national stereotypes in the show - this time it's an Amsterdam packed out with windmills and clog shops - but luckily the action-packed nature of this episode means we don't linger too long on any of it. Despite all the racing around, however, there's a little room for some characterisation too; Phoebe is both brave and resourceful here, exploiting her own weakness for chocolate to fool the villains as she drops wrappers from their truck for James to find. The story, too, isn't half-bad; while it's far from fully explained why the emerald makes Rembrandt's machine work properly, there are plenty of twists and turns in the narrative to keep us entertained. Overall a fairly impressive late entry to the series.

Dutch Treat boasts high-octane action sequences aplenty, and great use of the background score.

Tiara's motorbike registration plate reads 'C U L8R'.

Gadgets & Gizmos:
I.Q.'s picks of the day include a homing gun (James's watch can track whatever it's shot at), a parachute in James's blazer, and a souped-up scooter with turbo-jet motor, smokescreen and anti-laser umbrella. But it's Rembrandt's laser banknote photoengraver that takes the cake - if only I.Q. would turn his skills to crime he'd be a very rich man!

Sticker Story:
This episode was adapted for the Merlin Stickers James Bond Jr album under the name 'The Green Angel'.

S.C.U.M. on the Surface?:
Yes. We're told that Tiara helped Rembrandt escape from jail 'on the insistence of Scumlord'. Tiara still appears to be a freelance, with Rembrandt threatening revenge by S.C.U.M. on her at one point, and Tiara claiming she wants her money "S.C.U.M. or no S.C.U.M." later on. But she does drive a S.C.U.M.-model helicopter.

This is Tiara Hotstones' third and final appearance in the TV episodes, although she would return in the comic story Sure as Eggs is Eggs.

Tracy is absent without explanation.

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