REGULAR CAST, GUEST CAST & CREDITS
TV GUIDE PROMO
SYNOPSIS by Sally Dye
THINGS TO LOOK OUT FOR
Kim Michalis (Nicole)
Charles Pierard (President Jefferson)
Written by Eric Morris
Directed by Josh Becker
TV GUIDE PROMO
Jack Stiles, an American spy, is sent to the East Indies where he teams up with a British secret agent to stop Napoleon. ClickTV
Daring American spy Jack Stiles is sent to the East Indies where he teams up with beautiful British secret agent Emilia Rothschild to thwart Napoleon's advances in the region. Log Line
This pilot episode establishes the premise of the show and depicts the creation of the Daring Dragoon. Jack gets enlisted by Pres. Jefferson and meets secret agent Emilia Rothschild. My old buddy Josh Becker directed this. Bruce Campbell's Website.
American spy Jack Stiles teams with British agent Emilia Rothschild to thwart Napoleon's advances in the East Indies.
This commentary is by Sally Dye.
The story opens with a scene of a snow-covered castle with the caption "1801...Somewhere across the Canadian border...". Inside the castle, a young woman is chained by French soldiers, who are threatening to send her headless body to the White House wrapped in the British flag. The purpose of this would seem to be to cause the U.S. and England to go to war again, because the young woman is the niece of President Thomas Jefferson. Before the soldiers can carry out this dastardly plan, however, the wall explodes inwards and in leaps a well dressed gentleman whom we later discover to be our hero, American agent Jack Stiles. Jack defeats all the soldiers and frees the young woman. They run into the courtyard, only to be accosted by more French soldiers. The plan -- sing! They sing the French national anthem, and all the soldiers drop their weapons to join in, until their commander arrives and orders them to shoot. Jack and the girl jump off the castle wall and float to the ground far below by using the girl's hoop skirt as a parachute. The girl wondes how she will ever repay Jack for saving her.
Later, the young lady is "repaying" Jack in his bedchamber when Thomas Jefferson himself knocks at the door. Jack pushes the girl into hiding and greets the President, who informs Jack of his new assignment as an undercover spy on the East Indian island of Pulau Pulau. His purpose will be to partner with a British undercover agent there to stop the spread of Napoleon's empire. Jack is less than thrilled at this news, but the President's parting words convince him: "If you touch my niece, I'll have George Washington chop off your cherry tree."
Jack arrives on Pulau Pulau and is almost knocked over by a small boy carrying a masked action figure. A young Englishwoman standing nearby identifies the masked doll as the Daring Dragoon, a mythical folk hero. She turns out to be Emilia Rothschild, Jack's contact. She runs a prosperous import business on the island and his cover is to be her personal attache. Jack's main objection to this plan is that he doesn't take orders from a woman, but Emilia merely pulls out a letter from President Jefferson, which order him to listen to her. She takes Jack to her home, an elegant mansion which impresses Jack. (She also reveals that she is a widow -- her husband had been a Frenchman who was working against Napoleon.) Emilia takes Jack through an illusionary fireplace into her secret laboratory and shows him some of her inventions, such as an underwater breathing apparatus. Jack: "What are you, a mad scientist?" Emilia: "No, only mildly irritated." Emilia reveals that their first mission is to intercept the French governor's orders to a troop of French soldiers who are to be sent on an attack mission. Em wants to find the orders and change the intended target.
Em and Jack visit Governor Croque's mansion. They find Croque admiring a portrait of himself and his diminutive brother, the Emperor Napoleon. Captain Brogard interrupts the discussion to inform the governor that graffiti celebrating the legendary Dragoon is becoming a problem. Jack excuses himself and leaves Em to discuss the situation with Croque and Brogard and goes into the governor's study to search for the secret orders. He finds so many other interesting things, though -- a deck of risque playing cards, for example -- that he takes too long and Emilia comes searching for him. She is quite exasperated when she finds him playing with the cards and tells him that Croque's men are looking everywhere for him. Suddenly there is a loud voice from the hall announcing that the penalty for breaking into the governor's study is death.
While Croque's soldiers try to break in the door, Jack uses various items, including a mask made from Emilia's black underwear, to disguise himself as the Daring Dragoon. When Croque and Brogard and the soldiers finally manage to break in, they find the "Dragoon" holding a knife to Emilia's throat and demanding an end to French imperialism. Jack fights Brogard and then drops a chandelier on the rest of the soldiers and pretends to leap out the window. When everyone but Emilia runs out to see where he went, Jack climbs back inside and removes his disguise.
Back at the lab, Emilia is angry that Jack has endangered their mission and made their jobs harder, since all the soldiers are now on high alert. She tells Jack that she has written President Jefferson to have Jack recalled from Pulau Pulau and that she plans to finish the mission alone. She has discovered that the orders are already on board the troop ship and she plans to get to them before they are opened by the captain.
Emilia manages to get aboard the ship by using her underwater breathing apparatus. The soldiers guarding the boat spot her wet footprints and she is almost apprehended, but Jack, dressed as the Dragoon, distracts the soldiers so she can escape.
Emilia tells Jack that she found the orders and rewrote them to redirect the attack to the South Pole. She also asks Jack if he will stay if she writes another letter to President Jefferson requesting it. Jack produces her first letter and proceeds to tear it up. Emilia is angry that Jack would have gone through her mail and asks Jack to accompany her to the secret lab so she can yell at him in private. They exit through the fireplace with Jack pondering the need to stock up on marshmallows.
11-14-99. JACK OF ALL TRADES is going to begin filming in New Zealand on Monday November 15, 1999. The script they are going to start with is dated 11/9/99, is titled "Return of the Dragoon", and is slated for the Michigan Mafia's very own Josh Becker.
11-14-99. As to the filming schedules of CLEO and JACK, they are not going to film them simultaneously. CLEO has just finished filming the first 14 episodes, then they will start on JACK tomorrow. Then when JACK has 28 episodes in the can, they are going to return to CLEO and finish out the contract -- another 14. This means that we will be seeing A LOT of CLEO repeats. However, if JACK is as bizarre as it seems, it might be more humane to watch CLEO reruns than JACK ones.
THINGS TO LOOK OUT FOR
These things are by Beth Gaynor.
12-30-00. From Marguimarz. I love stock footage. Really I do! Everytime an editor uses stock footage it is usually frought with nits. For example, When Jack and Emilia meet for the first time, she is wearing a blue dress. In the next scene we see Jack and Emilia walking to her home. She is clearly wearing a blue and white dress. The editor used some stock footage as filler. When we see them again as Emilia is opening the front door, she is back to wearing her blue dress.
12-30-00. From Marguimarz. As the Daring Dragoon was "sword playing" on the ship, the broach he wears on his cape unbuckled. He jumped up and when he came back down again, the cape was buckled. When did he have time to do this? He was fighting Brogard at the time.
12-30-00. From Marguimarz. Croque said he was Napoleon's brother. Now it is not established in this episode whether Croque is Napoleon's full, half or step brother. But one begs to ask, "why the different names"?
12-30-00. From Marguimarz. Emilia Rothschild told Jack Stiles in this episode that her departed husband was French. Rothschild is decidedly not a French name. In "Daddy Dearest" we learn that Emilia's maiden name is Smythe. So where did the name Rothschild come from?
12-30-00. From Marguimarz. BTW, in the Jack of All Trades official web page, Graves is listed as the last name of Emilia's father. Since Smythe is listed in the credits, I am going to assume that this is canon.
12-30-00. From Marguimarz. In this episode, Governor Croque introduces the family portrait of Napoleon as "the supreme Emperor du France". This episode is supposed to take place in 1801. Napoleon did not become Emperor of France until 1804.
12-30-00. From Marguimarz. When Jack was in the Governor's Study, where did he get the sword he used to fight off Brogard? Enough said.
Click here to read a transcript of RETURN OF THE DRAGOON.
Review of RETURN OF THE DRAGOON on Scifi.com.