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James Bond Jr Online


Episode #65
by Mark Jones and Jeffrey Scott

Featuring: James, I.Q., Tracy, Gordo, Trevor, Coach Mitchell, Captain Plank, Skullcap.

Synopsis: In Norway, an archaeological team begins a dig, and quickly find what they are searching for - a curious golden medallion. But they're not the only ones searching for it. Skullcap and two goons appear on the scene, destroying the team's vehicles. A female archaeologist, Olga, tries to escape with the medallion, but Skullcap steals it, before blasting the archeologists off a cliff with his gun. He reports his success via radio to Captain Walker D. Plank, who is on a boat offshore.

James and I.Q. are also on a boat nearby, as part of (another) school trip, and James hopes to be able to do some skiing while they are there. I.Q. is more concerned about the android he has created of himself, which is already causing consternation back at Warfield when Trevor causes it to short-circuit. Meanwhile, there's trouble ahead as Plank matches the design of the medallion Skullcap has stolen to an illustration in a book - which in turn enables him to decipher instructions of how to locate 'Thor's Thunder', a legendary hammer said to grant its wielder superhuman powers.

Meanwhile, I.Q. and James spot an iceberg sailing close to their boat. Looking through their binoculars, they notice Olga lying unconscious on the ice. Winching the berg close to the ship, they rescue Olga, who tells them about the stolen medallion and the legend of Thor's Thunder. Immediately suspecting S.C.U.M.'s involvement, the trio head to the site where the medallion was found, where I.Q. uses a gizmo to retrieve runes describing how to find Thor's Thunder. They set out to follow Plank and his men.

Plank reaches his destination, meanwhile, and orders his goons to start melting a glacier that covers the area, in the hope of finding the hammer beneath. James, I.Q. and Olga arrive, and are alerted to trouble when they find streams of warm water. They are spotted, and shot at by Skullcap - but James uses a shiny piece of metal to reflect the laser beam back at the crooks. Plank himself then shoots at them, causing the chunk of ice they're standing on to fly down the mountainside towards the ocean.

I.Q. escapes with Olga thanks to his retractable skiing gear, while James lassoes a length of rope around a jagged rock on the cliff edge and swings off the lunp of ice as it plunges into the ocean. Olga and I.Q. pull him to safety. Back at Warfield, meanwhile, Trevor plays a prank on Tracy and Gordo by altering I.Q.'s android to look like him, then hiding in the closet to see if they think it's really Trevor. Unfortunately the android malfunctions, picks up Gordo and walks clean through the wall with him, leaving a Trevor-shaped hole behind it! The android then wreaks havoc in the grounds, overturning a gardeners' shed and attacking Gordo and Tracy with a hosepipe!

Back in the Arctic, there's more danger for James, I.Q. and Olga when I.Q. picks up a baby polar bear and feeds it. The angry mother soon lumbers into view and chases them, forcing them to seek shelter in a cave and scare her off with explosives from James's watch. In the meantime, Plank finally melts through the ice to find what he was looking for: an ancient Viking boat in which is hidden a map to the location of Thor's Thunder. James and the others catch up with him, and James steals the map, but Plank uses an old crossbow to shoot fireballs at the gang. James and the others run inside the boat, but Plank follows them and retrieves the map. He then sets the boat alight and locks them inside.

As the boat burns, the ceiling caves in, but James has an idea; he uses I.Q.'s pencil missile to knock a block of ice from the mountain outside, which flies back through the hole in the ceiling, hitting a makeshift catapult which launches the gang to safety. They then follow Plank's footprints to an ancient Viking village, where they find a statue of Thor, complete with the magical hammer. Plank takes the hammer, and uses it to destroy the statue before turning it on Bond and his friends. However, I.Q. finds a way to shatter the hammer by emitting powerful sonic waves from James's watch. This has the additional effect of destroying the village, sending Plank, Skullcap and the goons plummeting off a cliff. I.Q. uses his videophone to check in with Warfield, where robot-Trevor has a bewildered Gordo, Tracy and Coach Mitchell trapped up a tree - much to James's amusement.

Review: Buried Viking villages, longboats, medallions and statues - not to mention the magical artefact itself - place this final installment of the cartoon firmly among the 'magical quest' category of episodes, alongside Lamp of Darkness and The Gilt Complex. Plank and Skullcap - two characters usually played for maximum laughs - are scarily effective here as they lay waste to the team of archaeologists, before leaving Bond girl of the week Olga adrift on an iceberg. James and I.Q. are also effective, meanwhile, with higher stakes than usual as they are separated from the rest of the group. This includes Coach Mitchell, who seems finally to have given up any pretence of looking after James by failing even to accompany him to the Arctic. Phoebe is nowhere to be seen, sadly, and neither is Mr Milbanks - although he'll doubtless be issuing a serious telling-off to the hapless Noseworthy off-screen, following his latest android antics. All in all an enjoyable final on-screen outing, if a little disappointing in terms of closure to the series (see Notes below).

The remote Arctic setting forms an effective backdrop to a fairly enjoyable concluding episode - while separating Plank from Jaws and Nick Nack, and Skullcap from Dr Derange, makes for an unusual but suitably sinister S.C.U.M. partnership.

Given how much Thor's Thunder has been built up as a terrifying weapon over the course of the episode, it's destroyed disappointingly quickly and easily.

Gadgets & Gizmos:
I.Q.'s inventing career reaches its apex in this final episode of the TV series, by creating a lifelike android of himself to patrol his bedroom while he is away. The android, which Trevor later modifies to look like himself, is so sturdy that it can walk clean through walls. (The android concept would be revisited in the comic story Friends Like These.) Meanwhile, I.Q. has also invented space-saving retractable skis and ski poles, a torch which can transmit coded messages, and a tiny but powerful missile disguised as a pencil.

Notes: This is the final episode of James Bond Jr, although whether that was particularly the intention, or just an accident of the final running order, is up for interpretation. There is no attempt to round up the series in terms of storyline - presumably because a second was potentially in the pipeline. Two regulars, Phoebe and Mr Milbanks, do not appear at all in this episode, while unusually, only James and I.Q. are involved in the action - with Tracy and Gordo relegated to babysitting Trevor. S.C.U.M.-wise, this is the first and only occasion on which Skullcap hasn't worked with Doctor Derange - and Scumlord himself is nowhere to be seen in the final episode. The twelfth edition of the comic book series, Homeward Bound, arguably presents a more rounded conclusion to the franchise.

Lastly, there's no sign of Plank's wretched parrot in this episode. Maybe he finally had it stuffed.

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