The Obscure Animated Series That Rewrote James Bond History

Apologies for the low quality of the images, but “James Bond Jr.” has not been remastered or even carefully archived, so the only available episodes are VHS-quality dubs pirated onto YouTube. 

“James Bond Jr.” was, one might be surprised to learn, an idea a long time in the making. Way back in 1967, an author named R.D. Mascott authored a kid-friendly James Bond novel in the style of Ian Fleming called “The Adventures of James Bond Junior 003½.” It was Mascott who posited that James Bond had a nephew who was also named James Bond, even though Fleming noted multiple times that James Bond was an only child and couldn’t have a nephew. It was reported in the New York Times in 1966 that Mascott’s novels were being pursued for a TV adaptation, likely to tap into a sudden boom of kid-friendly action programs like “The Avengers,” “Batman,” and “The Green Hornet.” That project fell through, and the idea wouldn’t be resurrected for another 25 years. 

Apart from the title character, and its setting at an exclusive spy school, Mascott’s novel doesn’t share any details with the 1991 TV series. 

The TV series, instead, was a legacy show about the descendants — or returns — of known 007-universe characters. Q’s grandson, IQ (Jeff Bennett), was an inventor who gave James Jr. his spy gadgets. Felix Leiter’s son was named Gordo (Jan Rabson), and he was a typical American surfer dude (common in the children’s media of the era). James was dating a young woman named Tracy (Mona Marshall), who was named after (but is not related to) Diana Rigg’s character from “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.” Also present was James’ and Tracy’s observant friend Phoebe (Susan Silo).

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