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Bugs: Stealth

Some people are shooting an advert for a shiny new sports car, which apparently has some amazingly amazing features. Whilst the brilliantly awful ad is being filmed, though, the two models make off with the car. I'd cheer, but by heck they're appalling actresses. To add insult to injury, one of them is the one who ruined the recent remake of Survivors (well, it was a fair split between her and the scripts). I'm trying not to hold that against her, but... hang on, no I'm not. Anyway.

Stolen cars are, of course, the province of small groups of techno-geeks. Police? What are they? And so in come the Bugs team to check out the security. The car, it seems, was just a shell - the real secrety secret stuff is hidden in an old banger. Since the thieves won't take long to figure out that what they've actually nicked is an old Ford Escort with a shiny hat on, the team have to protect said banger. Sadly, what they've failed to notice yet is that for some reason Ed has had his brain removed for the duration of this episode, and he therefore proceeds to act like an idiot for the next fifty minutes. He mucks about in the test car, behaves like he's five, and generally makes me want to punch him. Added to the bloody annoying car thieves, this does not make for a great episode. Happily there's some other stuff going on. Explosions, mostly. In this episode, pretty much everything goes bang. Sometimes repeatedly.


A car advert. From the nineteen eighties, apparently.


The world's most annoying car thieves.

It doesn't take the team long to realise that the car design firm that's hired them isn't just into cars. They do research of all kinds, and one of their clients is a supremely dodgy mercenary from some unnamed foreign parts. Down in the basement lurk many military secrets, being developed for Sinister Mercenary Man, including a shiny cage made of green light, and a huge, armoured vehicle. Which is not in any way a truck covered in plywood painted grey. Anything that touches the shiny green bars of the cage explodifies prettily. Which is nice, obviously.

Anyways, Beckett and Ed go off to test the test car, only for the car thieves to turn up again. Ed acts like a pillock in trying to chase them, and the team promptly get fired; but as Beckett points out, the thieves had to find out about the test route somehow, and the team (or he and Ros, at any rate) are the best bet of finding out how. So they get rehired again. Ed then helpfully gets himself carjacked by the thieves, only to find out that they're really thieves with hearts of gold, trying to get revenge on the man who destroyed their father and stole his business. Well that's okay then. It doesn't excuse their being annoying though, and nor does it excuse them from being complete idiots. Filling the stolen prototype with several tonnes of dynamite (okay, I forgive them), they settle back for the pretty fireworks, only for this week's bad guy to turn up to settle them good and proper. With a jolly big gun. For this week's bad guy isn't the Supremely Sinister Mercenary Man in the basement - Supremely Sinister Mercenary Man is in fact a red herring. Car Designer Man is this week's bad guy. Presumably he'll be dying messily some time in the next half hour then.


Ros finds a shiny green cage in the basement. Which of course is where one always keeps one's shiny green cages.


The shiny green cage makes random props go "Boom!" I like the shiny green cage.


The hi-tech computerised car diagnostics system. And not at all a hasty program knocked up on a BBC Micro.


Ros, a Scottish bloke who is confusingly pretending to be English for no discernable reason, and this week's bad guy, all watch Ed being a tit during the car test.


Who has pink security barriers? And a pink watchtower? Pink?!


Unexpected TARDIS console!


Ed is waylaid by a woman with an apparently very scary radio aerial.


Uh oh. The director's getting arty.


Why, hello there.


This week's bad guy enjoys himself with a big gun and some evil cackling, steadfastly refusing to listen to Ed's attempts to warn him that he's stood on top of nineteen thousand tonnes worth of boom. Fortunately Beckett wanders in just in time, and says "Is that a bomb?" in much the same tone of voice that you'd use to say "Is that a new car?"; and everybody legs it sharpish.


Then pretty much everything explodes.


Then the car joins in, apparently on some sort of delay.


Then something else blows up. And why not?


Then the car catches fire, and blows up a bit more. This whole sequence makes the entire series worthwhile. It's more bang than you get in a whole decade of ordinary television.

Then, the car thieves having run off, everybody goes back to the car design firm, apparently not in the slightest bit bothered by the fact that their employer had a wacking great rifle, and was prepared to use it on the car thieves and Ed. Well, to be perfectly fair, I can sympathise with him on all counts there. But still. Evil Car Designer Man, and the sinister red herring in the basement, are not at all sure about letting them stay on staff now though, and when Ed goes wandering in places he shouldn't, it's decided to terminate their contract. Just as this is happening, who should turn up but the car thieves again, by now thoroughly pissed off. This time they decide to steal the plywood armoured truck, although only Survivors-woman is able to get away. Ed, the other thief, Ros and Beckett all get scrobbled. Ros and Beckett are then told to bring back the truck, and its highly dodgy plutonium-powered engine, or Ed is toast.


Ed gets tasered, rather prettily. Usually I'd feel sorry for him, but he really is being a complete dickhead in this episode.


Meanwhile, Ros and Beckett do something techy. Ros is not just pressing random buttons, and Beckett is not playing with one of those kids' 'Discover Electricity' kits. Honest.


Look out. She has a garage door remote, and she's not afraid to use it.


The director's gone all arty again.


Ed is not happy to be a guest of the shiny green cage. Personally I'm rather relieved that it means he'll be out of the way for a while. And the more wooden of the car thieves alongside him. Bonus!


In a warming display of team spirit, Ros and Beckett get themselves snatched too.


Beckett is given an ultimatum. Chase a dangerous, radio-active truck driven by an idiot, or lose Ed. Choices choices.


Now, ordinarily I wouldn't dissuade any fictional character from blowing stuff up. She has several tonnes of dynamite just lying about, and who am I to try to stop her from using it? In this instance, though, the stupid on display is just too distracting. There's a big radioactive warning sticker right next to her. Who sees one of those and thinks "What we need here is a really big explosion?" Other than a complete berk.


Her out of Survivors is told about the plutonium. Her little shoulders slump. Ros and Beckett are surprisingly polite, given the circumstances.


A giant, armoured truck - now a giant, armoured nuclear bomb remotely heading back to base, as being tampered with has triggered its safety devices. These safety devices include avoiding anybody who gets in front of it, a much-discussed feature that Beckett makes use of to climb aboard in an attempt to defuse the bomb. Ros later joins him, and after realising that there's no time to dismantle the world's biggest dynamite collection, they figure that the best plan is to get the plutonium core out the way, so at least it'll just be a conventional explosion. Meanwhile, the truck rumbles onward back to base, where Ed and Thief #2 are still in the shiny green cage. The red herring and his men have all run off, back to whatever country they came from, but Evil Car Designer is still there, giggling and mocking Ed and Thief #2 and their shiny greenness. Because running away from an imminent nuclear holocaust is, like, so yesterday. Beckett and Ros manage to hoik the plutonium out of the truck, just as it arrives. Now, remember the safety device that stops the truck from hitting anyone?


Apparently it was specially designed to only avoid hitting people who aren't evil designers of cars. I'm going to assume that the safety features stopped working when the plutonium core came out, but if that's the case, why didn't the truck just stop? Anyway, it rams him into the shiny green bars, and he goes fizzle and pop, so that's nice. This enables Ed and Thief #2 to run away.


And then the whole building, which has hopefully been evacuated, although I don't remember that happening, since nobody outside of the evil crew in the basement knew it needed to be, goes boom. Along with this week's bad guy, as is by now traditional. The Bugs team must spend half their lives at inquests.

Next time, an end to world hunger. Possibly.

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