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Bugs: Pulse

There's a businessman. He gets taken to some offices by a large chauffeur in a very nice hat. Nice hat notwithstanding, the businessman clearly isn't very happy about the experience; even though, shortly after arriving, he's introduced to Anton Lesser. Who wouldn't want to be introduced to Anton Lesser? Okay, so he has a lousy beard in this, but he's still Anton Lesser. Nonetheless, the businessman is unmoved, both by his host, and by the business offer that he's soon made. Obviously there's no room in this world for people who are mean to Anton Lesser, so the chauffeur picks up a large bazooka that they just happen to have lying about the office, and blasts the businessman to kingdom come. More television programmes should start this way. When offices (and businessmen) are exploding even before the theme music kicks in, then the viewer is assured of quality. Especially with Anton Lesser in the picture as well.

It's Anton Lesser!

A very big gun.

Yep, definitely a very big gun.

Hurrah for the very big gun!

Bit noisy though.

It's come to various people's attention that businessmen who refuse offers from a certain company have an alarming habit of exploding shortly afterwards. Rather than tell the police about this, somebody's obviously decided that it's a far better plan to leave it to the three amateurs with the nice toys, so in come the Bugs team. Beckett sets himself up as the new managing director of a firm that has recently got a suspect offer, whilst Ed realises that he knows the owner of another firm on the hit list. He goes off to try to persuade her to play it safe. And oh look, she's got a small daughter. No danger in being able to predict any plots there, then. Happily, Ed's friend is played by Fiona Gillies, who was in Joking Apart, and is therefore cool - even if she is playing a woman who makes weapons that are specially designed not to be dangerous. What's the point of a non-dangerous weapon? They're weapons! Surely the entire point is to be weaponly?

Ed and his old girlfriend have a big gun as well.

Which they use to be very cruel to a desk fan. It's a non-lethal gun, apparently. It shoots tiny pellets that you can use to immobilise a helicopter's engine, without harming the people inside.

Yes... I can see one slight flaw in that...

It's Anton Lesser again! With a shiny disc. Anton Lesser very helpfully explains the plot to Beckett here, which is kind, if inexplicable. He's not bothered explaining it to anybody else - he generally just blows people up, and leaves it to them to figure out why. Anyway, turns out that he's trying to buy up as many small companies as possible, so that when their bigger rivals go bust, he'll be in control of their replacements at the top. Beckett ponders whether to accept the offer or explode. He chooses not to explode, which is frankly rather unsporting of him.

Old style modem! I used to have one of them. 28.8K. Oh, the speed. Mind you, it was quite nice to have an off button; and a big clicky one at that.

Ros figures out that Anton Lesser and his giant chauffeur are finding out all of the ins and outs of the business world by running a software back-up service. Businesses give them all of their data to look after, and they read it at their leisure. It's a pretty nifty scheme, really. Ed is dispatched to plant a video camera at their offices.

The computer's entire hard drive is backed up on those four discs. What are they, super discs?! Still, the bit we're supposed to be concerned with is the camera hidden inside the briefcase. Not that it works, as the building is shielded in case of an electromagnetic attack, so Ros has to go inside to plant a relay. She pretends to be a prospective client, but she could really use some undercover lessons. It's the tenth episode. Shouldn't she be a little more practiced at all of this by now?

Ros, you're walking with Anton Lesser. Look impressed, damn it.

Meanwhile, Ed's girlfriend has turned down Anton Lesser's offer. Predictably, since she's Ed's friend, she hasn't then exploded. Even more predictably, her daughter has been kidnapped instead. Ed and Ros convene at Non-Lethal Weaponry HQ, having figured out that something is up.

Why does the basement have pink mood lighting? Why would anywhere have pink mood lighting, let alone a basement?!

I don't think the small girl appreciates being in a cage.

Jean-Daniel, super crook. He's not really a chauffeur, but is actually the brains behind the whole operation, and uses Anton Lesser as a front. Really not sure why he'd bother pretending to be a chauffeur, but there you go.

Realising that Fiona Gillies is compromised, due to her kidnapped daughter, Ed and Ros go to see if they can help. She's too worried to listen to reason, and panics, driving off with a specially designed rocket that she's been asked to build for Anton Lesser and Jean-Daniel. Meanwhile, having put two and two together as regards the Bugs team, Jean-Daniel has decided to go on a Beckett-hunting operation. With a bazooka, naturally, as small weaponry is for cissies.

See, I told you Fiona Gillies was cool.

His gun is bigger, though.


He's basically his own poster for evilness. I'm surprised he doesn't have a slogan written across his chest.

And boy does he have a thing for dramatic lighting.

We're off again.


And thus is Beckett added to the hostage collection. Elsewhere, Ros chases after Fiona Gillies's home-made missile, finding it on its way somewhere with Anton Lesser in tow. Yet again, Ros fails to be impressed by the fact that she's sharing the screen with Anton Lesser. Yes, I know he has a rubbish beard in this, and yes I know that in a few years time he'll be starring in Invasion: Earth, but it's not like he wrote that for goodness sakes. He probably is rather more responsible for the beard, though, admittedly.

Ed is somewhat alarmed to find the Bugs offices boomed.

Jean-Daniel seems rather taken with Beckett. Not that this will in any way stop him from going for the big gun at the earliest opportunity.

Beckett tries his hand at childcare. Jean-Daniel telling them that they're going to die probably wasn't the best starting point, but he perseveres anyway.

Beckett, move back a little. Your shirt is dangerously close to those pink trousers.

Five minutes alone with a small girl, and Beckett is determined to escape. Few could blame him.

Oh look, it's Anton Lesser again. He tries to dissuade Ros from disarming the missile, which turns out to be an electromagnetic pulse affair, intended to explode over London. Everybody's data will be wiped out, all those big businesses will collapse, and the little ones can take over, since their data will be safe. It's rather a nice plan.

Unfortunately, the beard seems to have affected his brain. They do that, you know. As the counter ticks down to zero, and Anton Lesser celebrates having stopped Ros from interfering, he fails to realise that he's stood right behind the missile. Actions and reactions, etc and so forth. Fiery flaming exhaust and large thrust, meet man with silly beard. Exit Anton Lesser. Ah well. On the plus side, maybe it singed off the beard.

Back at Evil HQ, Jean-Daniel helpfully explains how his computer system works. Aw, isn't he nice. He then gets distracted by something on a security camera, and goes off to investigate, leaving Beckett alone with his entire computer system. While Jean-Daniel searches for things to blow up, Beckett escapes and resolves to save the day, armed with just a small child and a pink stuffed rabbit. Go Beckett.

Ed and Fiona Gillies attempt to defend themselves from a bazooka by sheltering behind a leaf.

Fortunately not that one.

Beckett thoughtfully allows a small girl to save the world, on the grounds that it'll be a good formative experience.

Jean-Daniel is less than delighted to find his plans in tatters and ruins. In a fit of rage, he chases Beckett and the small girl (and the stuffed rabbit) around the place with his amazing self-loading bazooka. It's a lovely chase scene, very well staged and directed, and even very well lit. Outside, meanwhile, having decided to leave the subtlety to the people inside the building, Ros arrives; and with no other way inside, basically smashes her way in with a big truck. Seconds later, having been redirected by Beckett, the girl and the rabbit, the missile also arrives, and nips in through the recently created entrance. So was Beckett hoping that Ros would just happen to come by at the right moment, and make a convenient entry point for it? Because otherwise I'm not sure how redirecting it was really intended to help. It would still have carried out Jean-Daniel's plan. As it is, though, it explodes inside all of the nice shielding, wiping out Jean-Daniel's fancy techie bazooka in the process.

Ed takes him down with a super-propelled glue gun, thus making him only the second crook to survive in this entire series - and he only survived because the production team liked him, and decided to bring him back for series two. Otherwise he'd presumably have been offed just like poor Anton Lesser.

A thoroughly glued Jean-Daniel. By the end of series two, the Bugs team might well be wishing that they'd finished him.

And so endeth series one. For the record, the tally stands at: ten episodes = twenty crooks = two survivors - which so far makes the Bugs team considerably more dangerous than any of the people that they've put out of business. Not bad going for a team of geeks who don't even carry guns. I think the lesson we're supposed to take from this is don't break the law, or you'll explode. Not quite Shakespeare, I know, but who cares about that when there's stuff exploding? Priorities, people. At the end of the day, it's always the explosion that matters. You can try to deny it, but really you know that it's true.


Fans of good television may wish to know that the presence in this episode of the lovely Anton Lesser has inspired me to dig out my copy of Invasion: Earth, from the concrete bunker in which I'd buried it. Fans of good television may therefore wish to be somewhere else for the foreseeable future. Exposure to Invasion: Earth has been shown in laboratory tests to cause outbreaks of insanity and extreme violence amongst science fiction fans; along with anybody else who has ever watched television. The Geneva Convention requires me to warn you of this.


( 3 fierce growls — Growl fiercely )
Jan. 25th, 2011 07:30 pm (UTC)
Hi, hello! I have spoken to you a few times but I'm actually here via google this time, I've been desperately searching for Ros pics, and this seems to be the only place where they exist. Is it okay if I nab a few for a post I'm making?

(I LOVE BUGS BY THE WAY, and I love your review of Bugs episodes, I love the pink moodlighting, if I ever have a basement I would give it pink mood lighting just so that if Ed ever turned up it would be suitably pretty for him.)
Jan. 25th, 2011 07:42 pm (UTC)
Hello again. Feel free to use what you want. :)
Jan. 25th, 2011 07:46 pm (UTC)
( 3 fierce growls — Growl fiercely )

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