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James Bond Jr Online


Episode #63
by Jeffrey Scott and Mark Jones

Featuring: James, I.Q., Tracy, Gordo, Trevor, Dr Derange, Jaws, Nick Nack, Spoiler.

Synopsis: Deep in the heart of the Arizona desert, a cavalcade of national park ranger vehicles make their way to an unknown destination. But it's not long before a familiar face appears on the scene - it's Spoiler and his biker gang. Without warning they attack, firing missiles at the trucks. The chief ranger radios for help, but they are forced off a cliff edge by Spoiler's boys. The officers run away from the wreckage, and Spoiler destroys their vehicles with missiles. The gang then use automatic lassoes from the motorbikes to capture the officers, and put them on their bikes, driving off into the distance - but not before causing a rockslide to 'get rid of the evidence'. James and his friends are staying at a hotel in Flagstaff, Arizona, for a science expo, where I.Q. hopes to exhibit a magnetic engine he's invented - it runs on energy from the Earth's magnetic field, creating perpetual motion. However, Trevor has also created an invention which he hopes will trump I.Q.'s - an automatic grooming helmet. Unfortunately, he hasn't yet mastered the teeth-cleaning device, and goes off to work out the bugs. James, I.Q. and Tracy decide to head off for the expo, but before they do I.Q. returns James' pen.

In the desert, hidden inside one of the desert's natural monuments is Doctor Derange and a base he's constructed there. He's teamed up with a fellow bonkers-looking scientist to create the 'greatest invention ever' - a magnetic device capable of producing such a strong electrical field that the Earth's own magnetic field will be disrupted, shifting its axis! From there Derange will put his ultimate plan into action. Jaws and Nick Nack are on hand to assist... At the expo, Trevor's confident that he will take first prize - particularly since I.Q.'s own invention appears to be experiencing problems. He tells the others that a large electrical field seems to be interfering with his machine. He uses his computer to locate the area from which the field emanates. He finds a news article explaining that an unnamed source has bought up large areas of worthless inland areas in the US, Japan and Europe - and determines that the field is being generated from the north of their location. He says that the faster his invention spins, the closer they are - so they head off to locate the anomaly.

In his base, Doctor Derange goes into more detail about his plan. He was responsible for the recent property purchases I.Q. read about, and his plan is to tilt the Earth's axis so that the polar ice caps are closer to the sun, causing them to melt, thus bringing about widespread flooding and devastation. S.C.U.M.'s new purchases, located in the middle of continents, will be safe from the flooding and will therefore be worth a fortune. However, his sinister scientist friend says he'll need further power from the generators - so Derange commands Jaws and Nick Nack to head down to the local power station to arrange it.
Meanwhile, James and I.Q. are getting closer to the power source in their jeep. However, they're stopped in their tracks by a national parks officer called Sally, who tells them they can't go into the restricted area. They decide to detour via the power station to see if there's another way in. Jaws and Nick Nack are already there; Jaws bites through the wire mesh with his teeth to gain entry, then rips the door out of its frame, confronting the station staff inside. Jaws flips a switch marked 'danger', and the staff tell him he'll overload the circuits - but he doesn't seem concerned. James and I.Q. pull up and catch the villains in the act, so Jaws hurls Nick Nack at them as a projectile, flooring the pair. He then threatens them with a live electrical cable, forcing the teens and the staff into a corner. He's about to fry them when James remembers I.Q.'s fire-extinguisher pen, which he uses to blow the power source.

Jaws and Nick Nack make their escape, but are pursued by Sally, who thinks they're trespassing tourists. She tells them they're in violation of state laws, but isn't impressed when Jaws simply pulls her car bonnet off in response, cutting her brakes so she can't stop. As Jaws and Nick Nack glide into the secret base, James and I.Q. see Sally's car in trouble, and and uses a chain to save it from falling off a cliff. Just as she gets out, however, the car tumbles down the cliff - with I.Q.'s leg caught in the chain! At the bottom of the ravine, I.Q. is unconscious, and found by Spoiler and one of his goons, who take him off on their motorcycles to see if he knows anything. James and Sally reach the bottom of the cliff but can't find I.Q. anywhere. They do find the cycle tracks though, and decide to follow them in the jeep. Back at the expo, Trevor explains all the features of his automatic grooming helmet to an astounded audience - but they aren't so impressed when he only succeeds in gagging himself with a bow-tie. He claims it's due to a voltage overload - but when he attaches I.Q.'s magneto power adaptor the device actually works as it should.

Meanwhile, Spoiler and his sidekick interrogate I.Q.. They call him 'geek', but he has amnesia from his fall so that he can't remember who he is, and thinks it's his name. He doesn't remember James either, so the two give up and prepare to drive off to look for Bond. But when Spoiler's bike backfires, and I.Q. successfully fixes it with one of his gadgets, Spoiler suddenly takes a liking to him - and adopts him into his gang! They provide him with a suitable outfit, telling him he's 'gonna be a lean, mean machine', that he 'eats nails for breakfast', and that he'd 'do anything to mangle that two-bit runt Bond.' Confused, I.Q. concurs, suggesting they 'go mangle him. Sally and James are still looking for I.Q. when the bikers approach from behind. James can see I.Q. cheering on the back of Spoiler's bike. They fire missiles, causing Sally's jeep to plummet off (another) cliff. Luckily, James uses the string shot on his watch to pull them to safety as the car falls and explodes. They scramble onto a promontary, but then that disentegrates and they're in mid-air again. It's a good thing that the button on his belt releases a parachute. At the base of the cliff they encounter I.Q., who doesn't recognise the name - pronouncing himself 'Geek the Freak'. Spoiler arrives and ties up James and Sally, as James desperately tries to convince I.Q. to remember his previous identity.

Spoiler prepares to blast the pair of them into the ground, but James wriggles out of it by challenging Spoiler to a bike race, suggesting he'd lose. They make a bargain - if James wins, I.Q.'s allowed to leave with him. The race begins, and Spoiler begins to concoct ways to do away with James. At the expo, Trevor demonstrates his gyro-groomer on Tracy, giving her a complete makeover. She looks hideous, but it doesn't stop dozens of interested consumers running up and demanding Trevor's device. A wealthy Texan businessman approaches, offering Trevor 'a cool million' to go into business with him, if he meets him at five o'clock. Spoiler releases oil from his exhaust onto the road, causing James and Sally to skid around a bit - then he uses an ignition feature to light the oil, creating a wall of fire. James uses his watch string-shot to pull them over the fire and gets to the finish-line first. When I.Q. protests about being handed over to James, wanting to remain with Spoiler, the biker gets sick of him and throws him off the motorcycle. He bumps his head again, and remembers who he is. Just as Spoiler's about to impale James with a huge metal spike protracting from his bike, I.Q. uses a spanner to loosen his wheelnuts, causing the bike to collapse. As James holds Spoiler down, Sally keeps the other bikers at bay - and they force information about Derange's whereabouts from the villain. As the three drive off, I.Q. demands to know why he's wearing strange clothes, and James tells him - but he doesn't believe it.

I.Q. finds Derange's base with his magnetic device, where the extra energy from the power station has made Derange's magnetic field as strong as that of the Earth's core. They overhear his plans, and I.Q. realises the ice caps are in danger. He messes with Derange's machinery, hoping to overload the circuits and cause the device to break down - but Jaws stops him in his tracks. Derange pulls the switch to start the machine and tells Jaws to finish them off - but I.Q. uses his own magnetic engine to pull apart the pipes in the lab. James goes for Derange, but the mad scientist threatens to put the machine on full power if he comes closer - which would throw the Earth out of its orbit! James puts his hands up, but clicks his heels together to start the booster rockets on his shoes. He flies up to the ceiling, overloading the device by kicking the control panel. Derange flees, followed hotly by James and I.Q., but he gets away. Sally congratulates James for saving the planet, and he and I.Q. head off for the expo. At the show, the rich businessman is wearing Trevor's helmet and is busy promoting the device, suggesting mass production to make a fortune. I.Q. and James enter, and I.Q. realises that Trevor is using his booster device to make the helmet work. He warns him that the storms outside could interfere with the magnetic booster, but Trevor ignores him, and the businessman is duly fried by a burst of lightning. He chases Trevor off, demanding the replacement of his $500 suit.

Review: This is Doctor Derange's sixteenth and final appearance in the TV series of James Bond Jr., so by now the fact that his plot in this episode is bald-faced nonsense should come as no surprise whatsoever. This one's arguably more outlandish than usual, bearing more than a passing resemblance to his equally unlikely scheme from It's All in the Timing (once again, both electromagnetism and the Earth's rotation come into play within a torrent of nigh-indecipherable technobabble). But in fact, Derange himself gets little to do here, sidelined by his various henchpeople - notably Spoiler, also in his final outing, who actually comes across as rather likeable in this episode. The I.Q.-amnesia sub-plot lurches clumsily between amusing and cringeworthy, but at least it's fairly original, and it provides a unique insight into Spoiler's own mentality and motivations in a way that is rarely seen with any of the show's other villains. And the lack of Warfield silliness does this episode no harm, either - Trevor, while present, is (albeit tenuously) tied to the plot, and it's interesting to see one of schemes almost working - the aristocratic grooming helmet, with built-in toothbrush and bow-tie adjustment, is a stroke of genius if just a tad implausible. Possibly the most likeable character in the episode (aside from Spoiler) is intrepid and fearless park ranger, Sally, whom, aside from her crime-fighting and conservation skills, puts a smug Bond in his place at least twice, replying while dangling from a cliff-face to his offer for 'a hand' that, 'I have two of my own'. On the whole, there's far too much going on here for a twenty-two-minute slot, leading to some slightly sloppy storytelling and a particularly rushed ending - but there's more than enough about this episode to make it enjoyable, and it's a good deal better than some of the others towards the series' end.

I.Q.'s brief friendship with Spoiler is on the whole good fun and, in a strange way, it was sad to see it come to an end. Plucky junior Bond girl Sally also gets the thumbs-up; she doesn't scream once.

S.C.U.M.'s anti-discrimination policy regarding the undersized needs a serious review; at one point Jaws simply picks up Nick Nack and hurls him as a weapon at James and I.Q. The absence of Skullcap from Derange's last stand is also disappointing, although the continuity in James Bond Jr. is clearly designed so that episodes can be played out in syndication in just about any order - so why not watch The Eiffel Missile straight afterwards to make yourselves feel better?

Lines to Remember:
Sally: 'I'm sorry, this is a restricted area. Only authorised park vehicles can go beyond the public highway.'
James: 'Allow me to introduce myself. I'm Bond. James Bond. Junior. Can't you make an exception?'
Sally: 'I'm Sally, and I make no exceptions.'

Lines to Forget:
Spoiler, on I.Q.'s motor-fixing methods: 'Even I couldn't soup up an iron pony like that. You're one of us!'

Gadgets & Gizmos:
There's plenty to be getting on with here, many recycled from previous episodes. I.Q.'s magnetic 'perpetual motion' engine could spell the end for the fossil-fuel shortage, so why he's exhibiting it at a school science show rather than flogging it for billions is beyond us. His fire-extinguisher pen's also fairly impressive; there's the parachute-belt, string-shot watch, the booster-boots and magneto motor amplifier; and in addition he produces a miraculous motorbike-fixing attachment. However, Trevor's gyro-grooming helmet has to win prize for gizmo of the day. It supposedly 'eliminates unsightly shaving nicks, removes plaque and ties a perfect windsor knot - all at the same time.' Pity it doesn't work.

S.C.U.M. on the Surface?:
S.C.U.M.'s clearly behind this one - the mass land purchase was, Dr Derange says, carried out by the organisation, and the motorcycles belonging to Spoiler's freaks bear the now infamous skull insignia.

Phoebe has gone AWOL for this episode; her whereabouts are never accounted for. Nor is the fact that James and his friends have apparently travelled to Arizona unaccompanied by Warfield staff.

Spoiler claims not to recognise I.Q. when they come across him; but he has a short memory. In just the previous episode, No Time to Lose, he was responsible for I.Q.'s kidnap. A dodgy running order can't be to blame; Spoiler didn't recognise I.Q. in that episode, either. Not that continuity has ever mattered much in James Bond Jr. Meanwhile, Spoiler's appearance reverts back to that seen in Scottish Mist, with blonde hair and a blue biker suit. Whoever did the artwork for No Time to Lose was evidently working off the black and white version.

The good Doctor's borderline-psychotic accomplice, who possibly has one of the most disturbing voices in the series (there've been a few), is not given a name, and in any case disappears halfway through the episode to make way for more established villains. His fate is not revealed, and his presence in the first place is unnecessary to say the least, following in the 'nutty professor' tradition of episodes such as The Inhuman Race and Ship of Terror.

Young Bond is remarkably blasé about disabling Derange's device; having kicked it and caused a few sparks to fly he disappears for the expo in less than fifteen seconds. One might have thought, given that the entire population of the world was at stake, that he might have stuck around to check it was properly disconnected.

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