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James Bond Jr Online


Episode #62
by Francis Moss and Ted Pedersen

Featuring: James, I.Q., Tracy, Gordo, Phoebe, Trevor, Mr Milbanks, Dr No, Spoiler.

Synopsis: A van speeds out of a government research laboratory with an accompanying convoy of two cars and a helicopter. But the convoy is being pursued by the forces of S.C.U.M. As two agents on a hillside fire a winch from a cannon in order to pull the helicopter crashing to the ground, the road vehicles are chased by Spoiler and his goons. As the drivers leap from the vehicles, Spoiler fires a missile at the van, sending it crashing onto its side. As the two other cars are destroyed by laser blasts, Spoiler retrieves a briefcase from the back of the van, blasting it open with his laser, and removing a file marked 'Top Secret', before he and his boys make a hasty retreat.

At Warfield Academy, I.Q. is showing off his latest gizmo - a multifunctional remote for the Warfield van. While he plays around with it, the gang hears on the van radio about the theft. No mention is made of who was responsible or what they stole, but MI6's Q Branch is said to be on the scene. I.Q. hopes it won't stop his grandfather coming to the Warfield Science Club banquet, and goes to ring him. Milbanks turns up, and reminds everyone they have a physics exam coming up. After the banquet that evening, he tells them they're confined to Warfield for revision. As Trevor examines I.Q.'s remote starter in the hope that he can copy it and score points with Milbanks, I.Q. catches him in the act - but plays dumb, promising to bring the plans to the banquet that evening for Trevor to look at.

In a mountain lair somewhere nearby, Spoiler returns the contents of the file he stole to Doctor No - they're instructions to build a terrifying, impenetrable airship called The Vulture, which has been designed by I.Q.'s grandfather, Major Boothroyd. No plans to use it to take control of a major city, so his S.C.U.M. henchmen can loot it - but he's furious to realise that an essential part of the plans, the thermocouple diagnostics, are missing. Rather than stealing the second set of plans, he orders Spoiler to kidnap Q himself, telling him he's scheduled to visit the Science Club banquet this evening. Spoiler fakes a phone call for 'Mr Boothroyd' to lure Q out of the restaurant where the banquet is being held, but Q hasn't turned up yet - and the restaurant owner passes the message to the wrong Mr Boothroyd, I.Q.!

As I.Q. goes to the phone box outside, the booth is wrapped with chains by Spoiler's biker boys and literally dragged off its foundations and down the road - despite James's best efforts to stop them. I.Q. drops his remote starter out of the booth for James to find; it features a homing signal which allows James to track his whereabouts. Together with Sarah, a Q Branch investigator who turns up after the kidnapping, he sets out to rescue his friend. At No's lair, the villain is furious that Spoiler has grabbed the wrong Boothroyd. But No gets the mistaken idea that I.Q. knows something about the Vulture too, and ties him to a laser machine, trying to force him to talk. Realising he'll have to fake knowledge of the craft in order to survive, I.Q. agrees to talk - and No sets him up in a laboratory to recreate the thermocuple plans. I.Q. sets about sabotaging the place instead.

Some time later, a furious No finds I.Q. has made a mess of his facilities, without producing any results on the thermocuple. He sends Spoiler to steal the plans instead, telling I.Q. that if the bikers return with the plans before I.Q. completes his, it will all be over for him. As James and Sarah follow I.Q.'s signal towards No's lair, they spot Spoiler and his gang heading in the opposite direction, back to the research centre, where Spoiler forces a scientist to hand over the thermocouple plans and sends them back to No by computer link. But as the S.C.U.M. scientist prepares to install the thermocouple, James and Sarah are spotted on CCTV, poking around outside the secret entrance. No orders his men to seize them, while he goes to deal with I.Q., whom he now knows has been broadcasting a homing signal.

I.Q. spots the crooks running towards James on a screen in the lab, and decides to slow them down by programming doors, water valves etc in the base to open and close, creating chaos as S.C.U.M. agents run around in panic. He then escapes in what he's really been working on all this time: an ultralight aircraft. He rejoins James and Sarah outside the mountain; however, they're all soon horrified to see that No has completed the Vulture. It blasts out of the roof of the mountain and begins firing at them - but No soon tires of that, flying the craft off to attack bigger targets. After Sarah phones the authorities to inform them the Vulture is in flight, the trio head back to Warfield to work out a plan to stop him. Meanwhile, No demonstrates the Vulture's superior firepower and impenetrable forcefield by picking off an entire RAF squadron, before piloting the Vulture over the town of Havisham, and ordering all its residents to hand over their money to him within one hour - or he'll destroy the town.

After making some modifications to the ultralight, I.Q., James and Sarah fly towards where the Vulture is hovering, approaching in No's blind spot so he doesn't see them. I.Q. temporarily shorts out the Vulture's forcefield with his remote device, and the three leap onto the craft's roof, entering via a trapdoor and setting the ultralight on autopilot so they can escape afterwards. After a brief encounter inside the craft with Spoiler and his boys, which leads to the bikers driving headlong into a massive pit, they reach the craft's central control room. I.Q. disables the forcefield permanently, while James turns the Vulture's laser cannons on the craft itself. James and the others escape as the Vulture is destroyed - though No and his goons flee in built-in escape pods. Back at Warfield, Trevor demonstrates his remote device to Milbanks, having plagiarised the plans I.Q. showed him. As I.Q. planned, Trevor's remote doesn't activate the van at all, but turns on the lawn sprinklers - soaking Milbanks and getting Trevor into trouble again!

Review: No Time to Lose is a real rollercoaster-ride of an episode, combining the fast-paced plot and shifting settings exemplified in episodes like Barbella's Big Attraction, with the action-packed antics of the likes of The Eiffel Missile. Relatively unusually, it's all based in England, and features a fairly nondescript guest girl in the form of Sarah. But apart from her there's very little to complain about. Doctor No is deliciously fiendish as ever, while the replacement of his usual ninjas with Spoiler and his bikers is a rather refreshing move which suits the more technological theme of the episode. Speaking of technology, the Vulture itself makes an excellent centrepiece. Scenes in which it picks off an RAF squadron and blows a high-street newspaper stand to smithereens are effective in raising the stakes. Meanwhile, the particular focus on I.Q. is very welcome; his fearless ingenuity as he brazenly sabotages No's lab brings an enjoyable twist to an often nervous and passive character. It wouldn't be unfair, indeed, to say that I.Q. rather steals James's limelight in this episode - he's involved in all the major action scenes and claims a high proportion of the dialogue, often acting as a commentator to ongoing events in scenes where he is thinking or has been left on his own by Dr No. The final verdict? A late gem, and a series highlight.

The Vulture, of course. It may not exactly be representative of the security services' real-life work, but it has quite a claim to the title of ultimate boys' toy.

Spoiler gains access to what appears to be a S.C.U.M.-branded FTP site, simply by pressing two buttons on a standard computer keyboard at the research lab.

Lines to Remember:
Spoiler, justifying his abduction of 'the wrong Boothroyd': "How am I supposed to know? They don't come with labels on 'em!"

Gadgets & Gizmos:
I.Q.'s remote starter is capable of everything from receiving homing signals, to neutralising force-fields, to, erm, turning on radios. Whereas Trevor's can only turn on the sprinklers. Meanwhile I.Q.'s ultralight is constructed from an electric motor, plastic framework and leather wings - all apparently accessible within Doctor No's mountain lair.

S.C.U.M. on the Surface?:
Yes (see 'Lows' above). Spoiler and his gang also drive motorbikes bearing the logo.

This is Doctor No's final appearance in the TV episodes.

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