Monday, August 25, 2014

James Bond Jr [1991]: Episodes 41-65

Well, kiddies, we're a wee bit shy of being two-thirds of the way through with James Bond Jr.  Will your humble blogger make it through the remainder of the experience unscathed?  Will anyone read these posts to even find out?

Time, and time alone, will tell.  And much like poor Tracy Bond, we do not have all the time in the world, so let's get this train a-rollin'.

Episode 41: "There But for Ms. Fortune"

airdate:  November 11, 1991
written by:  Alan Templeton and Mary Crawford

Well, luckily, our first episode back from the hiatus is pretty damn wackadoo.  First up, this:




"Die Eisformel" is evidently the title this episode had during its German release.  But the video I found on YouTube was demonstrably an English-language episode, so what gives?  Beats me, but by now I kind of enjoy being confused by James Bond Jr, and "There But for Ms. Fortune" / "Die Eisformel" gave me plenty of opportunities for that.



The plot (such as it is) involves Ms. Fortune and Snuffer attempting to get their hands on some sort of scientific invention of I.Q.'s -- a super-duper freezing agent, I think it was -- which is itself only a means to a grander end: kidnapping Major Boothroyd himself, who's going to be at Warfield judging the school's science fair.  Except I think I got it slightly wrong; they are possibly instead planning to kidnap I.Q. so as to lure Boothroyd (better-known as Q) to Las Vegas so that they can kidnap him.

However, because Trevor is seriously fuckin' ragging lately, he is acting like a complete dick to I.Q.  He bullies I.Q. out of his jacket and his moped (!), and gets kidnapped by Ms. Fortune, who has planted a tracking device on I.Q.'s bike and thinks that Trevor is I.Q..  This leads James, Gordo, Tracy, and Phoebe, along with the actual I.Q., to sneak off to Vegas to try and save poor ole Trevor.

Speaking of whom, we are gifted with the unwanted sight of Trevor in swim trunks during the course of the episode:


James is suitably horrified.

Trevor is headed to the jacuzzi, where he refused to allow a pair of younger students to join him.  Pretty soon, I.Q. shows up, drops his freezing agent into the pool, and freezes Trevor's lower body into a solid block of ice.  Then, he and the younger boys walk off, for God knows what purpose.  It is a British private school.


That one kid is an albino, I guess?  Did the animators run out of beige ink and decide to devote their remaining supply to the kid on I.Q.'s right?  It is a mystery.

Other bits of lunacy this episode abound.  When Snuffer plants a homing device on I.Q.'s moped, here is where he places it:




Right on the front!  And yet, neither Trevor nor I.Q. notices it.  Amazing.

Once Trevor has been kidnapped, Ms. Fortune has Snuffer fire a ransom note into Professor Millbanks' office through the window, breaking it.  Millbanks hits the ground immediately, and once there, he looks around all shifty-eyed, making sure the coast is clear.  This cracks me up for no reason I can figure out, so I'm just going to post the screencaps I took and assume that at least 0.007% of you will find it as funny as I do:






If I were stoned, I bet I'd be laughing my ass off.  (Says the guy who has never been stoned.  Ever.  I got drunk on Zima a few times in college, though, and everything seemed funny then, so I assume being stoned would be much the same, except smellier and more respectable.)

Once the gang is in Vegas, Tracy and Phoebe immediately become distracted by the fact that one of their favorite singers is appearing:




James tells them to go to the show and he'll come get them if he needs their help.  They try to go, but it is sold out, so they enlist the help of I.Q. and Gordo to help them sneak backstage by posing as backup singers, the "Warfield Warblers."




It works.  This is an actual subplot of the episode.  Through a madcap twist of fate, they end up on-stage with Pelvis Paisley (who sings, amusingly, about his "blue velvet shoes," tells the entire audience that they are beautiful, and thanks his momma), pressed into duty as -- you guessed it -- backup singers.  Bizarrely, the episode cuts away before showing this actually happen!  What a rip-off.

Meanwhile, James is in possession of a special slot-machine coin that he has been instructed to play at a specific slot machine, but a guard will not let him play because he is too young.  So he sweet-talks a woman working the casino into playing it for him.  Her name: Delta Card.  Her dress: short as a motherfucker.




You only see the panties for a frame or two (I checked), but I believe this may be the first appearance of ladies' undergarments in an episode of James Bond Jr.

And the episode goes on from there.  A bunch of other bullshit happens, but the video of the episode was split into three separate files, and the third part is of genuinely awful video quality, so screencapping it pointless.

Before I sign off, though, I offer this:




Can you say for certain that this is not the same dam that was used in the filming of GoldenEye four years later?  I mean, yeah, sure, one of them is real and the other is animated.  But apart from that, can you be sure?

Oh!  I neglected to mention a scene during which the students are sneaking out of Warfield by tip-toeing through Professor Millbanks' office and using a hidden passageway.  He's at his desk, sleeping while sitting up, snoring away.  The gang keeps inadvertently banging doors shut loudly as hell, and every time, he does that snorfling-almost-awake thing.  It is dumb as hell, but I laughed a pretty good bit watching it.  Not gonna lie; this episode cracked me up.

Hey, I'll take what I can get from this series!

Episode 42: "Invaders from S.C.U.M."

airdate:  November 12, 1991
written by:  Jennie Tremaine

Before we proceed, a confession: it has been nearly six months -- six months...! -- since I last watched an episode of James Bond Jr and worked on these posts.  So, needless to say, I'm probably a bit out of practice.  Let's see how apparent it is:

The episode begins with James and Gordo saving a girl -- named (sigh) Haley Comet -- from what seems to be a flying saucer attack.  There's a small "alien" menacing her, and from the way it grunts whilst being smacked by James, it's actually Nick Nack in disguise.  However, I'm currently embroiled in a full-series rewatch of The X-Files, so you'll pardon me when I say that I want to believe it's really an alien; honest I do.

Turns out, Haley's father (Professor Comet) is some sort of genius or something, and he's supervising a high-profile satellite launch soon.  Haley calls him, and it turns out that he, too, has had a close encounter: he's been contacted by aliens, who are coming to pick him up!  This guy is pretty stupid for a genius.

A bit later, we see Scumlord talking to the "aliens":




Jaws, Nick Nack, and Dr. Derange?!?  Yikes.  Anyways, they're all pretty damn proud of themselves for fooling that moron Professor Comet into thinking they are interplanetary beings.  I haven't finished watching this episode yet, so I'm going to make a prediction: these three numbskulls will somehow end the episode by seeing an actual flying saucer.

The "aliens" show up at Professor Comet's place and he happily marches into their ship.  James, I.Q., and Haley show up to try to stop him, but they are too late, although they do arrive just in time for James to grab a ladder and get into the ship as it is taking off.

The "aliens" take Professor Comet back to their castle, where they reveal themselves and demand that he do something with the satellite.  I forget what, because I stopped paying attention.  Meanwhile, Gordo and Tracy and Phoebe get Trevor in trouble while he's snooping around looking for proof that James is off school grounds again.

Isn't this exciting?

Anyways, there's about five more minutes of bullshit after that, and then this episode is, mercifully, over.  Sadly, the villains do not have an actual alien encounter, so there's one prediction from yours truly which failed utterly.

Episode 43: "Going for the Gold"

airdate:  November 13, 1991
written by:  Doug Molitor

James is in the gym lifting weights.  Specifically, he is doing a set of benchpresses.  All of a sudden, he can't lift the weights.  What's up with that?  The answer: Barbella.



James has only one way to deal with being in a tight spot like this.  You guessed it:




Oh, yeah!  It's like you read my mind!  James knows how to deal with a lady like Barbella, no doubt about it.  Check out what happened next:




Wow!  It sure was a good idea for James to squirt that oil onto the ground, so Barbella would slip on the puddle and fall down!  That James, he thinks of everything.

The episode is about Warfield competing in the International High School Games, which is like the Olympics except crappier.  You're going to find this hard to believe, but S.C.U.M. has plans to steal stuff from a museum that is next door to the stadium.  I know!  I couldn't believe it either.  Barbella is involved in that plot, alongside Goldie Finger.

This is a wretched episode.  To give you a good idea of the quality of plotting, I offer this: at one point, Barbella has Bond dead to rights, about to shoot him with a crossbow.  Cut to another scene, which for all I know may be miles away: I.Q. is testing a new invention, a high-powered helium balloon, to which he has attached an anchor.  (Go ahead and place your bets and see if you can figure out where this anecdote is going.)  It goes soaring into the air, whizzing madly; I.Q. shrugs it off as a failure and walks off.  Cut back to the scene of James's impending death, which is interrupted -- you guessed it -- by the anchor hitting Barbella in the head.

We're talking about that level of convenience.  Awful.

Finally:




 
Episode 44: "A Deranged Mind"

airdate:  November 14, 1991
written by:  Jeffrey Scott

A few years back, when I began attempting to acquire episodes of James Bond Jr from YouTube, I had surprisingly good luck, and I eventually scooped up all 65.  However, there were three episodes that I could find only in German-dubbed versions.

This is the first of those, so it ought to be fun finding out whether not being able to understand the dialogue has any impact on my "enjoyment" of the episode.  I think I'll try to write a summary, and see how it turns out.  Let's get to it!

Some army dudes shoot down a U.F.O., and inside they find what appears to be three aliens.  Somebody says something about the Pentagon.

At Warfield, Phoebe says something about New York, which I assume means everyone is going to fly to New York on her father's dime.  That's how this shit usually goes.  Gordo -- whose surfer-dude accent is pretty rad in German -- comes in and knocks over a beaker of I.Q.'s that's got superglue in it.  I don't think Gordo knows it's superglue; neither did I until he and Tracy end up with their hands glued together.

They're all at the airport, and James starts talking to some blond girl whose suitcase opens up and all her shit blows away.  She doesn't seem too bummed out about that.  A baggage handler drives up in one of those long baggage cart thingies, and maybe it's just the German-language dub working on me, but this guy sure does look like Hitler:




The similarity may be coincidental, but the dude soon pulls out a laser rifle and tries to kill James, so maybe it's not that coincidental.  Anyways, James and Hitler roll around on the ground for a bit, and then -- I shit you not -- an airplane tries to run over them.  They both manage to roll out of its way, so they've got one up on Charlize Theron in Prometheus at least.  Hitler runs off, escaping James' clutches.

Our gang all end up at the Army base, where the blond girl seems to be examining the alien occupants of the craft.  There are science guys and army guys there, too, but shit jumps off when the girl accidentally slaps a control panel and lets the aliens loose.




Say, isn't this two consecutive episodes to feature UFOs?  Oh, wait, no; that other one was two episodes ago.  In any case, I'm sure that this time, they really ARE aliens, and not some stupid plot.

But, no; in mere moments, this asshole shows up:


I'm happy to report that Derange's outrageous French accent still comes through, even in German.


He says something about "contact mit S.C.U.M.," which makes me feel as if I probably missed a great Derange zinger.  Ah, well, that's what I get for not speaking German.

Against all odds, James and I.Q. are shocked by this turn of events:




Guys, the name of the episode is "A Deranged Mind."  How can you be surprised?

Anyways, the other two aliens, I am happy to report, are NOT Jaws and Nick Nack.  No, Barbella and Oddjob are the on-call henchmen this week, and they start blasting away with laser rifles:




Derange traps James inside the flying saucer, and engages the self-destruct sequence.  I hope he dies.

Meanwhile, the S.C.U.M. agents flee the scene.  Barbella decides she doesn't want to be dressed as a reptiloid anymore, so she tears her suit off, which is way hotter than I'd have ever imagined it would be:








Oh yeah.

The villains dress a robot up as one of the aliens, and then James escapes somehow.  Trevor sees the robot, and is scared to death, because he thinks it is a real alien.

Derange steals a helmet which will control a soldier robot, and he uses it to have the robot pick Oddjob up by the skull, presumably to teach him a lesson or something.  There turn out to be a lot of those robots, and James and company have to fight a bunch of them.  None of the regular character are cut in half, which seems like a shame.

Derange is attacked by a tank, and lights a match, which he throws at the tank, destroying it.  In no language does that make any sense.  He then sends Oddjob and Barbella to pick up a helicopter and fly it over to him so they can escape, but James and the blonde have defeated the henchmen and taken the helicopter.  For some reason, they land it and pick up Derange, which surprises him.  Somehow, he gets the upper hand, expels them, and then goes and picks up Oddjob and Barbella, who seem moderately chastened.

Trevor has decided he's had enough of being scared, so he goes to a weapons locker, straps himself up with ammo and machine guns like he's headed to liberate Newt from the queen alien, and then goes off to seek his enemy.  The second he sees the "alien," he panics and takes off running the other way.  Oddly, the robot also panics, and it, too, runs off in the opposite direction.  Weird.

Derange lands at the United Nations, and this helmet he's wearing seems like it might be able to control all sorts of things.  James arrives, and he subdues Derange by zapping his helmet with a live wire.  This, disappointingly, does not kill Derange, and the villains escape again.  Trevor finds out the "alien" is a robot, and with that, this episode is over.

Frankly, I feel like the German may have been an improvement.
  
Episode 45: "Catching the Wave"

airdate:  November 15, 1991
written by:  Alan Swayze

The version of this episode this episode that I found allegedly has Swedish audio.  I can't swear that that's true, since I honestly don't know what Swedish sounds like unless it's being spoken by a chef whose hat covers his eyes.  I didn't hear anyone say "bork-bork-bork" the entire episode, so I'm skeptical.

Anyways, the episode starts out with James seeing Jaws and Nick Nack up to no good on top of a building near a skylight.  He busts their shit up real good, then cue the opening credits, which are in lame old English.

Jaws and Nick Nack report in to their boss, who, this episode, is Baron von Sakrin.  Yay.

At Warfield, there's a lot of talking going on.  I don't what these folks are saying.  I do not mind that in the slightest.  Somehow, all that conversating ends up with James, Tracy, I.Q., Gordo, and Phoebe on the beach somewhere.  A hot redhead walks up and introduces herself.

At the villains' headquarters, Jaws eats a banana.  For some reason, I am delighted to see Jaws eating a banana.  There must be something wrong with me; I don't know how else to explain it.  I'd have screencapped the banana-eating extensively, but it happens in the background and doesn't last long, so you'll have to make do with this:




See that bearded guy?  He's some sort of doctor, whom S.C.U.M. have obviously kidnapped.  I could have sworn that I heard von Skarin refer to him as "Doctor Beard" at one point, but later he's calling him Doctor Farragut; so I probably misheard.  And hey, isn't "Farragut" Phoebe's last name?  I think this might be her father!

James and the redhead go somewhere in a boat, and Phoebe stows away under a pile of jackets.

Gordo is surfing.  I.Q. is watching, and then this happens:







It's just water, y'all, settle down.  What'd you think it was?

James and the girls are attacked my a model airplane, which James destroys with a palm tree.  Or maybe it's a coconut tree.  I'm no expert.

James, Phoebe, and the redhead infiltrate some island, but keep getting attacked by planes and lasers and whatnot.

Anyways, James eventually stops whatever S.C.U.M. is doing.  Nothing much interesting happens the whole rest of the episode, except when an animator forgets for a few frames that Jaws doesn't have a real mouth:




Weird.

Jaws is foiled by slipping on a bunch of bananas.  A literal bunch of bananas, I mean.  I guess that almost counts as interesting, mainly because I'm interested to know why anyone would slip on a bunch of bananas.  I thought it was traditionally a banana peel that caused slippage, but then again, I'm not a professional writer like Alan Swayze.

I don't know if this was actually the worst episode of the series or if I was oppressed by the Swedish, but this twenty minutes felt like three hours.  Thankfully, it's over now.  "Only" twenty episodes remaining!  I may weep.

Episode 46: "The Last of the Tooboos"

airdate:  November 18, 1991
written by:  Mark Jones

Well, we're back to watching the episodes in English, although with a title like "The Last of the Tooboos," I'm not sure that's going to be much comfort.  Let's get it over with...

The plot of this episode involves S.C.U.M. agents Dr. Derange and Skullcap plotting to steal the last two tooboos in existence.  What's a tooboo, you ask?  It's a bit like a zebra, and according to James, it's the rarest animal in the world.




The episode's many indignities include having Skullcap recreate one of the best stunts of the entire series:




Apparently, the tooboos carry enzymes which will radically increase the strength and intelligence of a human.  James and company fly to Tibet to try to stop S.C.U.M.  Phoebe borrows one of her father's planes to get them all there.  Gordo is very pleased with the private accommodations.  "This is sure better than first class," he says; "I mean, like, this is 'Rad' Class!"  Which did not make me laugh.

I did laugh a few times during the next scene, in which Skullcap is talking to Derange.  The tooboo stolen from the zoo arrives, and Derange says, "What a beautiful sight!"  Skullcap replies, "The snow...?"  Derange replies, "Nuh, you full!"  Which is like "No, you fool!" but in a French accent.  So, yeah, I laughed at that, God help me.




Then, I laughed again a few moments later when Derange mentions having a welcoming party in case James Bond Jr shows up, and Skullcap asks if he wants him to get cake and ice cream.  "No, my half-brained henchman!" Derange answers.  The funny part is the Derange pronounces "brained" with two syllables, to rhyme with "painted."  He does that in most every episode with words that end in -ed, and it typically makes me chuckle, but for some reason the phrase "half-brained" got an actual laugh out of me.  So did Derange saying "tried" that way a bit later.  I downright LOLed at that one.

In fact, Derange is in fine form throughout this episode.  The character is voiced throughout the series by actor Julian Holloway, who also plays Professor Millbanks.  Boy, he's worth every penny he got paid to be Derange, and probably more.  He cracks me up on a consistent basis, and he really went for it -- and got it -- during this episode.  At one point he pronounces "minutes" as "min-yuh-its," which killed me for a solid ten seconds.




Naturally, James foils Derange's plans, and all is right with the world.  The tooboos even manage to have a baby tooboo, although what happens after that shall ever after remain a mystery to me, as the episode ended early.  Oh, well.

In closing, an out-of-context screencap:


"Tonight: YOU."


Episode 47: "S.C.U.M. on the Water"

airdate:  November 19, 1991
written by:  Jeffrey Scott

So, the Warfield kids are, like, participating in a rowing competition when all of a sudden there's this yacht on fire on account of how some S.C.U.M. henchmen working for Captain Walker D. Plank boarded it and kidnapped a dude and then the dude's daughter accidentally caught it fire, and so James and Phoebe and I.Q. exit the race to go save the yacht, and then we find out that the dude was a scientist designing a new hydrofoil, and meanwhile Trevor has led one of the other row teams (which also includes Tracy and Gordo) so badly off course that they can't get away from the current which keeps pulling them out and then they almost row straight into a mine that earlier almost killed James but luckily (or unluckily depending on your point of view) doesn't, and then Plank is firing heat-seeking missiles at James WHICH STILL DON'T GODDAM KILL ANYONE but then later someone fires one and accidentally destroys Plank's lair and then there's a lot of hydrofoil action that makes me feel like I'm on meth or something and then the day is saved so that's good.




Anyways, yeah . . . this is a terrible episode.  The animation is even crude than is typically the case, and that's saying something.  Ditto for the amount of sense the story makes, which is sub-substandard.  Certainly one of the very worst episodes.

Episode 48: "Goldie's Gold Scam"

airdate:  November 20, 1991
written by:  J.R. Morton

As I write this, it is Sunday, August 17, 2014.  I've got the day off, and feel like trying to make some tangible progress with this post.  So my resolution is to power through as many episodes of James Bond Jr as sanity will allow me.  Predictions?  I'm not sure I'll make it through more than two, personally.

This episode begins with the Warfield gang in Africa.  Their car is charged by a rhino, and James finds a control device on it.  Before long, we find out that this is a dastardly scheme concocted by Goldfinger.  And as if that wasn't evil enough, his daughter, Goldie Finger, is also in on this one.




Their plan: to irradiate gold mines so as to drive up gold prices.  Or to make it look like the mines are irradiated, at least.  Honestly, I'm not sure which; I drifted off for a bit.

Episode 49: "Canine Caper"

airdate:  November 21, 1991
written by:  Benjamin Pollack

Skullcap -- whom I detest -- showed up at the very beginning of this one, so that got things off to an aggravating start.  Luckily, though, he's once again working for Dr. Derange, so that's cool.  Derange kidnaps a defense minister, who hides some important microfilm on his dog's collar.  Naturally, the dog followed James home to Warfield.




Derange asks him where the "mee-crow-fill-em" is.  Other delightfully Frenchified words: "dispute" is rendered as "disp-yutt"; "follow" as "fulluh"; and "Skullcap" as "school-cap."  All in all, though, Derange is disappointingly subdued this episode.

In the course of the episode, I.Q. gives James a hologram ring which projects a hologram of the user several feet.  That's pretty dumb, but it's no dumber than the invisible car from Die Another Day.

The plot involves Derange trying to destroy the foundations of Scotland Yard using highly corrosive acid.  For this, he needs the plans to the building, which have been hidden on "Charlie" the dog (eventually revealed to in fact be named Regis).

Not a particularly good episode, you'll be surprised to learn.

Episode 50: "Weather or Not"

airdate:  November 22, 1991
written by:  Francis Moss and Ted Pedersen

Dr. Derange causes a snowstorm to break out in London unexpectedly, and the event is covered for television by a meteorologist named Wendy Day.  So, yeah; it's going to be that kind of episode.

I was so unengaged by this episode that I didn't even take any screencaps.

Episode 51: "Ol' Man River"

airdate:  November 25, 1991
written by:  Francis Moss and Ted Pedersen

Well, guys, there's no way to sugar-coat this one: this episode's plot involves Walker D. Plank, Jaws, and Nick Nack trying to destroy the levees and flood New Orleans.  With the city in chaos -- "kay-arse," Plank calls it -- the S.C.U.M. agents will break into the U.S. mint, steal the plates, and then print all the money they want.

Yikes.




Obviously, this episode aired well over a decade prior to the Katrina disaster in Louisiana, so no actual charges of insensitivity are due James Bond Jr.  It's just an unfortunate coincidence.  Still, it isn't the sort of association one wishes to make during a silly kiddie 'toon.



Episode 52: "Between a Rock and a Hard Place"

airdate:  November 26, 1991
written by:  Jeffrey Scott

In this episode, James has hoodwinked Professor Millbanks into letting everyone go to the wilds of Australia on a field trip.  Supervised by Coach, of course.  They're all sitting around roasting wieners when all of a sudden they see what appears to be a crashing airplane:




This briefly gave me hope that S.C.U.M. might sit this episode out, and that the plot would instead revolve around the Warfield gang's attempts to locate and rescue the downed pilot, whom they saw parachuting to safety.

But, no, before long these assholes show up:


 

I am at least thankful that Dr. Derange is present.  If it'd been one of the other lousy main villains, I don't think I could have taken it.

The episode is also blessed by the appearance of these two folks:




The woman is named Kathy Kangaroo.  I shit you not, "Kathy Kangaroo."  (James calls her Kathy; I could swear she calls herself "Cassie," though.  We'll give James the benefit of the doubt.)  The dude is her brother, George; why the writer didn't name him Kaspar is a mystery to me.  Anyways, George and Cassie have evidently been hired to find the downed plane.

Among this episode's charms: James and I.Q. and Kathy use an inflatable tent as a hot-air balloon; Kathy fells both Jaws and Oddjob with a boomerang; Oddjob cuts a tree in half with his hat; Trevor gets scared by a koala in a petting zoo; and Dr. Derange is still French.

As far as episodes of James Bond Jr go, this one was pretty decent.

Episode 53: "Sherlock I.Q."

airdate:  November 27, 1991
written by:  John Fox

Here are the things you need to know about this episode:

#1, it includes a character named Inspector John Q. Law.  Who has a daughter named Marsha.




#2, it involves I.Q. being involved in an accident while on the way for the annual meeting of the Baker Street Irregulars, of whom he is a member.  He gets a knock on his head, and develops temporary amnesia wherein he believes himself to be Sherlock Holmes.




Do you need to know more?

You don't; take my word for it.

Episode 54: "Killer Asteroid"

airdate:  November 28, 1991
written by:  Mary Crawford and Alan Templeton

A space shuttle is hijacked in mid-flight, and it turns out to be the work of Goldfinger:




This leads to James, I.Q., Tracy, Phoebe, and Gordo flying to Iceland to try and stop the villainous plot.  The second Gordo gets off the plane, he's mobbed by reporters and whatnot; evidently, he's the one-millionth visitor to the nation, so he gets treated like a celebrity and gets to do fun things like drink cod liver oil and go to the opera.




Not much of an episode, but I've seen worse.

Episode 55: "Danger Train"

airdate:  November 29, 1991
written by:  Steve Hayes

James and I.Q. are in San Francisco for some reason, and uncover a S.C.U.M. plot involving a cold-fusion train.  Amusingly, the episode involves two different sets of S.C.U.M. agents trying to get the train: Miss Fortune and Snuffer have one plot going, while Captain Walker D. Plank and his goons have another one afoot.  That's kind of funny.

The guest female character this episode is named Misty Dawn, and she looks like this:




Which made me think of Caroline Dhavernas, who looks like this:




She even sounds a bit like Dhavernas, but as far as I can tell, it wasn't her.  She'd've probably still been a kid at that time, anyways.

These are the things you find yourself thinking about during James Bond Jr.

Episode 56: "Quantum Diamonds"

airdate:  December 2, 1991
written by:  Jeffrey Scott

As this episode begins, Jaws and Nick Nack are hijkacking a train.  Jaws is having even worse pant-length problems than usual:




Even more amusing than that is that when the henchmen take the train to Dr. Derange, he explodes with fury at them because when he told them to go out and get some coal, he intended for them to just buy some.  Alright, I admit it: that's pretty funny.  Well, it's sort of funny, but on James Bond Jr it passes for high wit.

Derange's plan is to use a particle accelerator to turn a bunch of coal into diamonds and make billions of dollars.

Later, the episode includes a scene in which James holds a dead log over Old Faithful (yes, the geyser), puts a boulder inside it, and uses the geyser as a means of creating a cannon with which he takes down Dr. Derange's helicopter.  Pretty dumb.

There were two plot points in this episode that I enjoyed: one, Coach Mitchell actually takes part in the adventure alongside James and I.Q.; two, the guest girl character turns out to be a traitor, who is trying to get the super-diamonds for herself.  Neither of these things is high art, but I like it when the series shakes up its own formulas a bit.

Or at least I like it in comparison to when it doesn't.

Episode 57: "Rubies Aren't Forever"

airdate:  December 3, 1991
written by:  Kent Stevenson

According to the theme song, "James Bond Jr chases S.C.U.M. around the world," but that isn't true, is it?  He doesn't chase them anywhere; they just show up wherever he already is.  So I call shenanigans on the theme song.

In this episode, James just happens to be in the vicinity when some bikers working for Baron von Skarin kidnap a hot redhead named Ruby Delight and steal her ruby necklace.




As it turns out, Ruby is the nice of S.C.U.M. agent Tiara Hotstones, who is using her as a jewel mule or something.




Have we ever seen Hotstones before?  I seem to recall that we have, but I'm not positive.  Allow me to consult my records...

Yep, she was in episode 26, "Dance of the Toreadors."  And now we know that, so let's move on, briefly mentioning that the plot of this episode involves using rubies as relays for some sort of airplane equipment.  I wasn't really paying attention.

I was paying enough attention to notice that at one point, Tiara Hotstones loudly accuses Baron von Skarin of having incompetent henchmen.  Von Skarin replies by hollering, "Do you know how hard it is to find good help?!?"  I laughed out loud at that.

I also laughed out loud (albeit for different reasons) when it is revealed that Phoebe can fly an F-15.


Phoebe is by far the most competent person on the show other than James and I.Q.  Why James doesn't ditch the bimbos and get with her is beyond my ken.



Note that those two screencaps are of a different shape.  Whoever put this particular episode onto YouTube split it into two parts, and for some reason they seem to have tried to crop the second part into a more cinematic aspect ratio.  That's sort of an odd thing to do, but whatever; I'm just happy to have seen it at all.  "Happy."
 
  
Episode 58: "Garden of Evil"

airdate:  December 4, 1991
written by:  Perry Martin

Here's what we're dealing with.  The gang from Warfield is in Shanghai, and Professor Millbanks introduces the students to Jasmine, the lovely young woman who is going to be their guide.  Trevor, obviously smitten, walks up to her, takes her hand in formal fashion, does a little bow, and asks her if all the girls in China are as lovely as she is.  She laughs and says, "I don't know.  Are all the boys in England as corny as you?"

All the other characters laugh pretty hard at this.




Even Professor Millbanks is laughing, which surely cannot be appropriate for an educational professional.  Meanwhile, poor Trevor is humiliated.




Now, granted: the series expects us to see Trevor as a complete heel who is in perpetual need of a good comeuppance.  But this, for me, is a bridge too far.  Trevor did not deserve to be publicly shamed like that.

Anyways, the plot involves Doctor No using mind control gas.  He's already got control of a British secret agent code-named Marco Polo.  Marco Polo is perhaps the closest the series ever gets to having a James Bond cameo, so we may as well have a look at him:




Also worth looking at (again): how lame the cartoon version of Doctor No is.




He only shows up a few times; obviously, he wasn't a villain the producers were proud of, and nor should they have been.
 

Episode 59: "The Thing in the Ice"

airdate:  December 5, 1991
written by:  Francis Moss and Ted Peterson [sic] [other episodes spell his name as "Pedersen"]

"The Thing in the Ice," eh?  Hmm...

In this episode, a work crew in the Antarctic descend into an underground cavern and find what appears to be a large opaque dome.  A bearded worker strikes it with a pick-axe, and tentacles begin working their way out.



  
One of them shoots acid at him and prevents his elevator from ascending to safety.  The rest of his group tries to flee via helicopter, but they, too, are brought down by an acid blast.




Coincidentally, a field-trip from Warfield is headed there to study at Station Bright Star.  When James and the other students arrive, they meet the survivors of the helicopter crash, including Sandy Shales, the station's geologist.

The damage to the station is observed by Scumlord, who sends Jaws and Nick Nack to find out the cause of it.

James, I.Q., Sandy, and Coach Mitchell go to try and locate the missing team member who was lost at the beginning of the episode.  They've only got an hour to do so, for reasons that slipped past me.  It's nice to see Coach Mitchell involved in the action again.




It doesn't take long for them to find the missing crewman, who is muttering "Got to stop it!  Got to stop it!"




James finds huge footprints in the snow.  And then, while looking into a hole, a tentacle shoots out, grabs his leg, and pulls him in.




After the commercial, he gets free.  I swear to God, I was watching; but I have no idea how he got loose.  Eventually, he's attacked by Jaws and Nick Nack, which is not a step in the right direction for the episode.  Later, when the creature attacks again, James and Sandy find themselves teaming up with Jaws and Nick Nack to escape the "thing."  Which actually kind of IS a step in the right direction, not just for the episode, but for the series.  And anyways, if Moonraker can get away with turning Jaws into a good guy, why not James Bond Jr, at least for a little while?

I.Q. discovers that the creature is after metal, not humans: it eats metal, evidently, and the "acid" is its digestive fluid.  Meanwhile, James and the others have found the dome-like structure from the beginning of the episode.  They go inside and discover several rows of boxy objects which James hypothesizes are eggs incubating infant creatures like the one they encountered earlier.



  
Bad news, although that doesn't stop Jaws from snatching one to take back to Scumlord.

Before long, though, I.Q. shows up to explain that the creature is not, in fact, an alien being, but a mining robot that went haywire and began trying to replicate itself.  Lame, lame, lame.

Jaws seemingly falls to his death, but is later revealed to be okay.  Whew...

Anyways, they defeat the robot, and all is well again.
 

Episode 60: "Goldie Finger at the End of the Rainbow"

airdate:  December 6, 1991
written by:  Mark Jones

This episode begins at a castle, where a deliveryman brings a crate and drops it off.  Inside?




Yeah, that's Nick Nack dressed as a leprechaun.  While in character, he does a perfect Irish accent, which is baffling in any number of ways.

The rest of the episode involves Barbella, Goldie Finger, and a bunch of silliness involving a hidden passage inside a castle.  Oh, and some hidden gold.  It's bullshit, basically.  The whole thing ends with a rainbow, which I thought about screencapping but didn't, because fuck that.

Episode 61: "Dutch Treat"

airdate:  December 9, 1991
written by:  John Bates.

I bet he does.

This episode involves Tiara Hotstones, so that's a bad sign right off the bat.

As the title hints at, the gang is in Amsterdam.  To prove it, Phoebe is wearing a Dutch hat:




The episode involves a stolen emerald, which Tiara drops into a vat of chocolate while being pursued by James.  So naturally, Phoebe accidentally buys the chocolates, and then gets kidnapped when Tiara and her henchmen determine that she must have the emerald.

Pretty dumb.  The plot involves a machine designed to use the emerald to enable perfect currency forgery.  Makes sense.

The whole episode is almost worthwhile just for the stupid face one of the henchmen makes at one point when he's about to crash into something:




Episode 62: "No Time to Lose"

airdate:  December 10, 1991
written by:  Francis Moss and Ted Pedersen

Dr. No steals some plans for a top-secret weapon, but the plans are incomplete, so he orders his henchman Spoiler to kidnap Q.  Not I.Q. but Q himself, who is evidently going to be at Warfield for a Science Club banquet.

Spoiler fucks it up, though, and kidnaps I.Q. instead.  Dr. No chastises Spoiler, who wanted Major Boothroyd, not lousy old Horace Boothroyd.  "Well, how am I supposed to know?" grumbles Spoiler.  "They don't come with labels on 'em!"




Dr. No orders I.Q. to be strapped to a table, and he begins using a laser to cut through it.  Evidently, he has spoken to Goldfinger about interrogation techniques.  He's not cutting up toward the groin, though; this a kid's show, so he's going to decapitate I.Q. instead.  Lucky for us, it doesn't happen.

Meanwhile, James makes time with a woman from Q-Branch security.  She wears  beret for no apparent reason.

Q never shows up, surprise, surprise...

Episode 63: "Monument to S.C.U.M."

airdate:  December 11, 1991
written by:  Jeffrey Scott and Mark Jones

Dammit...
 
Spoiler is in this episode, too, which makes two in a row; and that's three too many, because Spoiler mostly sucks.

Luckily, Dr. Derange is on hand to balance things out a bit.

The Warfield gang is in Arizona for a science fair or something, because that makes a lot of sense.  I.Q. has invented a perpetual-motion engine, but his presentation is disrupted when he discovers a force field disrupting it.  He and James investigate, and, of course, they find Derange.
  



The plot this time involves S.C.U.M. plotting to melt the polar ice caps and raise the sea level, thereby making a lot of recently-purchased properties more valuable.  That's dumb even for Dr. Derange.

Speaking of dumb, boy, Spoiler is: he finds I.Q. unconscious on the ground and says he's never seen him before.  Dumbass, you just kidnapped him last episode!  I.Q. has amnesia again, so he helps Spoiler fix his motorcycle.  Spoiler is so pleased he makes I.Q. part of his morotcycle gang, and gives him a new outfit:




Wow.  He even gets a new name: "Geek the Freak."

WOW.

This might get my nomination for Worst Episode of the Series.  Even Dr. Derange saying "persuaded" and "deranged" doesn't help.

Episode 64: "Northern Lights"

airdate:  December 12, 1991
written by:  Francis Moss and Ted Pedersen

The Warfield kids -- as well as Professor Millbanks and Coach Mitchell -- are in Canada to assist with a local beautification project.  Naturally, there is a S.C.U.M. plot in the works.

More importantly, a Canadian woman named Bettina develops an instant crush on Trevor, to the mystification of all around her.

The S.C.U.M. agents -- led this time by Baron von Skarin -- are making their hideout in an abandoned movie theatre this episode, which kind of charms the theatre manager in me.




The plot involves a S.C.U.M. effort to harvest energy from the aurora borealis.  Stoopid.

Episode 65: "Thor's Thunder"

airdate:  December 13, 1991

The final episode, and I'm stuck watching it in German.  Could be worse, I guess!

And, in fact, it turns to BE worse: this episode was mislabeled, and it's isn't "Thor's Thunder" at all; it's a German dub of "The Last of the Tooboos"!

So, sadly, we get all the way to the end of the series and are deprived of watching the very last episode.

As Gordo Leiter might say: bummer.

*****

So, we've come to the end of the episode "recaps."  That can mean only one thing: at long last, it is time to break out the Double-0 Rating system again, and put James Bond Jr to the test.

Rating this series is going to be difficult.  It could be really easy if I let it be: I could just give it a flat 000/007 and be done with it.  But I don't think that would be fair.  It's a silly series, and no adult should spend the approximately 22 hours it takes to sit down and watch the whole thing (even if he is blogging about it).

It wasn't made for adults, though, was it?  Nosir, indeed; it was made for children, and it probably ought to be judged that way, at least partially.

I toyed with the idea of trying to completely divorce myself from the idea of how adults see the show, and give my ratings based on how I think kids would respond to the show.  Clearly, though, that would be madness.  But so would it be if I rated it purely as an adult would.

Compromise is needed, but how to go about it?

Well, to be honest, I just couldn't come up with anything.  So, doing what I do, I'm going to just go with my gut and see what happens.  Let's find out!
(1)  Bond ... James Bond

This category assesses the portrayal of James himself.  Technically, James Bond doesn't appear; but clearly, we're just using James Jr as a stand-in.
  
So, how does he fare?
  
Well, let's be honest: he fares extremely well, if you look at it from a certain point of view.  I mean, shee-IT, he can do damn near anything.  If anything, he's even more capable, confident, and cool than his uncle!
  
  
this action figure had "shoot from the hip" action
  
Looking at it that way won't cut it for me, though.  Ultimately, I find James Jr to be a bore.  He may be capable, confident, and cool, but I find him to be a bit lacking in the charisma department.
  
I can't be totally harsh, though.

Points awarded:  001/007.  That "1" is for you, kiddies.
 
(2)  SPECTRE

Main Villain:

For this category, I was strongly tempted to award Trevor Noseworthy the distinction of being considered the show's main villain.  I mean, the dude is always an antagonist, and he's (I think) in every single episode.  So clearly, he's the primary villain.

But that would be silly, and I'm trying to be at least a wee bit objective here.  So clearly, Scumlord has to be considered the main villain.

And he sucks.  I mean, he's just flat-out incompetent; he should have fired every single one of his employees ages ago.  If I were him, I'd have lined them all up against a wall and shot them.  They can't get anything right!

Apart from that, he really is a dull baddie.  I suppose the fact that his face is perpetually in shadow is intended to create a sort of mystique like Blofeld had in the first few movies.  But for me, it falls flat.

Again, though, I think it might work relatively well for the short-pants set.  So while I'm inclined to give a zero, I won't.

Points awarded (Main Villain): 000.5/0007.  I've created a mild breach of You Only Blog Twice protocol here by awarding a half-point in an individual category; but, as I said, I'm following gut, so I'm going to allow it.
 
Henchmen:

I suspect that the villains would be the standout element of the show for many a kid.  I, of course, cannot take them seriously, even as cartoons.  And to be honest, most of them kind of suck anyways.  Jaws and Nick Nack have their moments, but goobers like Goldfinger, the Worm, Baron von Skarin, Barbella, Goldie Finger, Miss Fortune, etc. end up being pretty doggone lame.

Ah, but then there is Dr. Derange.  Dr. Derange actually made me laugh on more than one occasion.  He sucks as a bad-guy, but so what?  He pronounces words weird, has a thick French accent, and is batshit insane.  What's not to love?

I'm awarding this category a point just for him alone.

Side-note: I feel as if the series could have utilized more characters from the films.  Instead of lame-o dweebs like Worm, where was the cartoon version of Baron Samedi?  Good lord, man, that one was a no-brainer!  No Scaramanga?!?  That's just nonsense.  I'd also like to have seen Colonel Klebb, Mayday, and Kamal Khan, and there may be others I'm not thinking of.  (I've purposefully omitted Blofeld, because rights issues would have prevented it anyways.)

But leaving out Baron Samedi and Scaramanga is inexcusable.

Points awarded (Henchmen):  001/007
 
Total points awarded (S.P.E.C.T.R.E.):  000.75/007
 
(3)  The Bond Girls
 
Main Bond Girl:

Tracy Millbanks gets this distinction, I suppose.  She's even more of a bore than James, which explains why James cheats on her each and every episode.  (The cartoon equivalent of it, at least.)

Points awarded (Main Bond Girl): 000/007

Secondary Bond Girls:

They are legion.  There are something like 65 of them, I guess.  Typically, they are themed to the episode's location or plot, which results in a lot of variety.  Some of them end up being female equivalents of James himself, which is to say, competent, confident, and cool.  All in all, they make for decent company.
 
Points awarded (Secondary Bond Girls): 001/007

Total points awarded (The Bond Girls): 000.5/007
 
(4)  "Oh, James..."

Action/Stunts:

Since this is an animated show, there are no stunts.  But there IS action; quite a lot of it.  And it's usually pretty daffy.  I believe there is one scene in which I.Q. is dragged off of a mountain as the result of being strapped to a car, but he survives.  With amnesia, granted; but still, even for a cartoon, that's excessively silly.

The low quality of the animation makes assessing the action on the merits of its technical qualities a non-starter, so we're going to simply award a null here.

Points awarded (Action/Stunts):  000/007

Editing:

I'm sure there would be a way for me to properly assess this if I put some thought into it.  I'm not going to put any thought into it.  Except for noting that the series did a relatively effective job of choosing good beats to go to commercial on.

Points awarded (Editing): 001/007

Costumes/Makeup:

Well, we can use this category as a means of assessing the character designs, I guess.

At first glance, I think you would have to say that the designs are ridiculous for most of the characters.  But upon further reflection, I think I can see a bit of room to . . . well, perhaps not to praise the series, which is what I was about to say; but to at least give it a few kudos where kudos are perhaps due.  I think that for most kids who would have been fans of this series, the character designs would be practically burned into their brains.  From James' Warfield jacket to I.Q.'s hair to Phoebe's glasses to Coach Mitchell's mustache (not to mention things like Jaws' socks and Dr. Derange's lazy eye), I think I am forced to admit that for what this series is/was, the character designs are effective.

And so...

Points awarded (Costumes/Makeup): 004/007.  A shocking result, I know.  But I feel it's an honest one.

Locations:

Again, we can't judge this the way we would the movies, because it's animated.  However, let's give the series credit for finding inane plot excuses to keep the action bouncing around the world from episode to episode.  The plots take us all over, from Antarctica to Ireland.  Is it conceivable that the globetrotting nature of the series might have gotten a few kids interested in learning about some of these colorful places?

Yeah, sure; that's plausible.

Points awarded (Locations): 002/007.  Give 'em credit for trying.

Overall points awarded ("Oh, James..."): 001.75/007
 
(5)  Q Branch
 

Bond's Allies:

Bond's core of allies consisted of: I.Q., Tracy, Phoebe, and Gordo, with Coach Mitchell and (to a lesser extent) Professor Millbanks occasionally stepping in to render aid.  There's also Trevor to consider, although classifying him as an ally would be iffy at best and a flat-out lie at worst.

Additionally, many episodes featured helpers from various local authorities and organizations.

For our purposes, though, we're mainly concerned with Bond's classmates.  Tracy, as we've discussed, is a bore.  I.Q. is ridiculous; he'd almost certainly be a kiddie favorite, but for my money, he's just too silly.  Gordo is kind of silly, too, and while he looks like he'd be used as James' muscle, he's more often used to make jokes at Trevor's expense.

Which leaves us with Phoebe Farragut.  I like Phoebe.  I kind of feel bad for her; she clearly want to bear James many, many children, and she's just as clearly never going to get the opportunity to do so.  It's a real shame, because of all the women who appear on the series, she's the most deserving of James' attentions.  If anything, she's too good for him.

Alas, it isn't to be.
 
Points awarded (Bond's Allies):  002/007.  I'm deferring to a sense of what kids would enjoy here, at least a bit; and then I'm adding a point because I feel sorry for Phoebe.

Direction:

I think this might be a good time to talk about the voiceover work.  An animation director would be responsible for that, right?  Sure, let's assume so.

You won't hear anything here that's more advanced that you would hear on a similar cartoon from roughly the same era, such as Inspector Gadget.  But, again, I'm forced to admit that most of the choices that were made for the voice-acting would have worked well on kids.  A few characters end up being a bit nondescript -- Goldfinger and his daughter, for example; and Scumlord, too, for that matter -- but most of them would be distinctive enough that they'd burn themselves right into people's brains.

Of course, you already know about my enjoyment of what Julian Holloway brought to the table as Dr. Derange.  Apart from him, though, the other actors mostly do good jobs with what they're given.

Points awarded (Direction): 003/007

Cinematography:

We'll use this opportunity to assess the quality of the animation.

I won't say much about it.  It's not particularly good, but I've seen worse.  The animators seem to have occasionally tried for at least a hint of subtlety, and to be fair, for a cartoon that was undoubtedly on a tight budget, the screenplays asked a hell of a lot out of the animators they hired to complete the work.

So, with that in mind...

Points awarded (Cinematography): 002/007.  Are you surprised I was that generous?  Me too.

Art Direction:

We discussed character design already, so here, I guess we'd be talking about stuff like "set" designs and the like.  And to be honest, I'm not prepared to do so.

Points awarded (Art Direction): 001/007.  Lazy, lazy, lazy.  Sorry!

Special Effects:

Let's ignore this.

Points awarded (Special Effects):  n/a

Gadgets:

Well, God knows we've got a lot to cover here.  I.Q. cooks up three or four every episode, and few of them ever get brought back for return appearances.

The gadgets are silly.  There's just no other way to look at them unless you revert all the way into pretending-you're-a-kid mode.  The question is, are they cool?

For my money, they really aren't.  Even more so -- WAY more so -- than in the movies, the gadgets are simply whatever doodad James will need to get out of a jam later in the episode.  I can tolerate it in the movies.  I can't here.

Points awarded (Gadgets):  000/007, and I was tempted to go to minus-one.

Opening-Title Sequence:

Composed of quick shots from various episodes, the title sequence is actually a fairly effective and memorable one.

Points awarded (Opening-Title Sequence): 002/007.  I'm tempted to go a point higher, but I think that might be pushing it.

Overall points awarded (Q Branch): 001.67/007
 
(6)  Mission Briefing

Well, what can you say about the plots?  Virtually none of them work very well; I think I made a few surprised notes about stray episodes that worked better than others, but not a single one of them -- except maybe for the one in which two sets of S.C.U.M. agents are sort of in competition with each other -- stands out in my memory.

I could belabor the point, but why bother?
 
Points awarded:  000/007

(07)  The Music

Title Song:

That damn song is burned into my memory.  I listened to it EVERY time; I never skipped the credits, not even once.  (Unless you count the episode I didn't see.)

And I'll say this about that: the song never annoyed me.  I wouldn't go so far as to say it's a good song, exactly.  But for what it is, it's effective, and it's catchy, and the fact that I didn't want to poke my eardrums out by the time I got to, say, episode 56 . . .well, that must say something good about it.

Points awarded (Title Song): 002/007.  And honestly, I feel another point would not be unreasonable.  But let's not go there.

End Credits Song:  n/a

Points Awarded (End Credits Song):  n/a

The Score:

The score was written by Dennis C. Brown and Larry Brown, and unless I am mistaken, they only wrote about one episode's worth of score and then used it over and over and over again.  There were probably a few scene-specific bits composed for certain episodes that included dancing scenes or whatnot; but on the whole, I believe that this series did what a lot of cartoons probably do, i.e., use stock music created for the show by its composers.

And if so, then they did a pretty good job.  I got more tired of the scores than I did of the theme song, but not to a huge extent.  For what it is, it does its job capably.

Points awarded (The Score):  001/007

Total points awarded (The Music):  001.5/007

Double-0 Rating for James Bond Jr:  001.02/007

The tally so far:

006.23 -- From Russia With Love
006.03 -- Goldfinger
005.58 -- The Living Daylights
004.84 -- Moonraker
004.76 -- Dr. No
004.42 -- For Your Eyes Only
004.39 -- Live and Let Die
001.43 -- Never Say Never Again
001.02 -- James Bond Jr

I'm not going to lie to you, folks: I was briefly tempted to massage the numbers a bit just so as to keep Never Say Never Again dwelling in the cellar.  But if I'm being honest with myself, I simply can't do it.

Thing is, intellectually, I do honestly feel as though James Bond Jr is doing a more capable job of being a children's cartoon than a few of the lower-rated movies are of being James Bond movies.  I'd give it a shoulder up on not only Never Say Never Again, but also Diamonds Are Forever.  I wouldn't feel the slightest bit bad about it, either, and if I went into some sort of purely-objective attempt and tried to assess what its target audience -- children -- might feel about it, then it might get a few rungs farther up the ladder than that.

However, objectivity is not my goal here.  It's partially objective in intent, sure; but only partially.

And at the end of this long process, I am subjectively forced to conclude that James Bond Jr probably does belong at the bottom of the heap.

Anyways, I hope you've gotten at least some mild enjoyment out of all this inanity.  I also hope that Danjaq will eventually release the entire series on DVD so that the show will not remain in obscurity.  I can understand why they'd want to keep it covered up and out of sight, but it's not fair to its fans; and it's also not an honest handling of the franchise's legacy, which, like it or not, DOES include a 65-episode cartoon.

As a bit of a bonus, I've decided to scan and post the entirety of the first issue of the Marvel Comics series based on the cartoon.  It is an adaptation of the first episode, and it will give you a decent indication of the tone of the show, plus the designs.  Here goes:


























I'm curious to see how spending this much time with the series affects my feelings about our next film.  Speaking of which...
 
You Only Blog Twice will return in ... GoldenEye.

14 comments:

  1. "According to the theme song, "James Bond Jr chases S.C.U.M. around the world," but that isn't true, is it? He doesn't chase them anywhere; they just show up wherever he already is. So I call shenanigans on the theme song."

    I was starting to notice that, myself. Too funny.

    Personally, I think it'd have been fun to watch the whole series in German and just provide plot summaries based on what you thought was going on. If I ever do sit down with James Bond, Jr., I'll take this approach.

    It's got to be gratifying to get to the end of this and be able to apply the Double-O-rating system knowing you didn't skip out on any of it, as tempting as it may have been at points along the way. I admit, your amusement at Dr. Derange rubbed off on me, and I find myself positively predisposed to him just from these write-ups. Everyone else, not so much.

    I still crack up thinking there's someone out there somewhere who is familiar with James Bond solely through this series. I'd love to sit with this person and show him / her Moonraker.

    Hats off to completing the whole series - there should be some kind of medal for such a thing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The watching-in-a-language-I-don't-speak experiments really were amusing. Maybe it was just the variety of the experience, I don't know.

      Isn't it fascinating to consider the people -- and they must exist, probably in decent numbers -- who think of this show as their James Bond? I'd love to track a few of them down and interview them. Heck, that might be a good project to consider for the future.

      Delete
  2. Thank Christ that's over! I was reading through your synopses of the episodes and I could actually feel my IQ dropping like an anvil. Then I reminded myself that you actually had to subject yourself to this drivel and suddenly my sacrifice didn't seem so bad. I applaud your dedication even as I worry about your mental health.

    My fear is that this piece of shit has lowered the bar for you so much that next you'll be singing the praises of Joe Don Baker in "Goldeneye" and Denise Richards in "The World Is Not Enough." I pray I'm wrong!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Funny you should mention that, because I have exactly the same fear. When I rewatched all the movies a couple of years ago, I did not enjoy the Brosnan era at all. If I suddenly find my opinion being revised upward again, I'll have no choice but to conclude that "James Bond Jr" is at fault.

      We'll find out in a few weeks, hopefully!

      Thanks for actually slogging your way through all of this mess. I -- more than once -- found myself thinking, "You know, Bryant, there will be a few people who feel the need to actually READ all this crap you're writing about this mostly-lousy show. Are you SURE you need to write another paragraph?" And then I'd feel kind of guilty.

      But it's all over now, at least until Danjaq loses control and hires Michael Bay to produce the reboot! Ugh...

      Delete
  3. Just wanna let you know. The episodes "Catching the Wave" and "A Deranged Mind" that you reviewed aren't in German. They are in Swedish. I should know, since I was the one who uploaded them on Youtube. ;-)

    (I recognize the TV3 logo in the upper right corner)

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    Replies
    1. No kidding? Hey, man, in all seriousness: thanks for taking the time to upload those episodes. I was worried when I started working on this that I'd have trouble finding most of the episodes. But it turned out that only one (the final one) escaped me. Apparently, I have you to thank for a good bit of that. So, again: thanks!

      Thanks also for the clarification on the Swedish/German issue. I suppose this is my cue to apologize for being a dumb American! So sorry about that, Europe!

      Delete
    2. No problem! :-)

      I suppose the only episode that isn't available on Youtube (in any language) is "Thor's Thunder"? I WOULD have uploaded it too if the tape wasn't completely vanished. I think it disappeared when I moved to my own apartment. I haven't seen it since then. :-(

      Delete
    3. I can't swear they are all still up, but they were up -- except for "Thor's Thunder" -- as of about six months before I wrote these posts.

      I know all about losing stuff in a move, by the way. Lost a HUGE collection of "Star Trek" novels that way once. Among other things.

      I think it's a real shame EON hasn't put "James Bond Jr." out as a big box-set. Or at least made it available on Netflix or something. I get why they wouldn't; they're embarrassed of it. But I think there are probably a lot of kids who loved it back then who would love to be able to have it, and I bet kids today might enjoy it, too.

      Ah, well! Maybe someday. As for me, I enjoyed working my way through it all. It's kind of crap, but in a wonderful way. I definitely had more fun with it than I expected.

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  4. Hello again! I've just added English subtitles in my Swedish uploads of the two episodes. My English isn't perfect, but I hope it will do. :-)

    A Deranged Mind:
    Part 1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c3Go4-Hrf3c
    Part 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0-zNUtEeW6c

    Catching the Wave:
    Part 1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KCHeIik1GK4
    Part 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eZePLoi4ATE

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    1. Very cool. Even if your English is awful (and I can tell from the way your write it that it is very, very good), that would be worth thanking you for.

      Let's hope the producers will someday realize that putting the series out on Blu-ray and DVD is the right thing to do. I've developed a bit of a fondness for the series, so I'd definitely buy it.

      Thanks for the links AND for the hard work!

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    2. "from the way your write"

      My own English is pretty poor today, evidently...

      ;)

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    3. No problem. It took some hours, so I'm glad the effort is appreciated. I hope the plots were easier to follow now, even if you may have to pause once in a while to have time to read. :)

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  5. Finally found the tape that includes the last episode of the series. You can find it on my channel. I've already added English subtitles to it. Be sure to give the credits to the right language during your eventual review. :-)

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    Replies
    1. WOW!!!

      Thanks so much! I look forward to seeing it.

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