Tuesday, March 02, 2021

Dorothy and the Wizard of Oz: Cap'n Bill in "Going Nowhere Fast"

Okay, more characters from the books they're probably not going to get quite right. This time we'll see about Cap'n Bill, Trot, and Button-Bright. But first, Ozma's magic helps make spring cleaning a lot easier, if slightly more dangerous. (Didn't any of them see "The Sorcerer's Appretice" in Fantasia?) As everyone heads out for a post-tidy picnic, a flying sailboat crashes into the upper tower. The captain? None other than the legendary Bill Wheedles (yay!), a curly-haired boy with two intact legs (huh?). So how did he get there? Flashback to a scene on Sky Island (yay!) where the captains friends and first mates, Trot and Button-Bright (yay), a couple of tiny tots who sound like Dickensian street urchins (huh?) are runnig from the evil Boolooroo (yay—wait, no, that's not a yay!), a big burly fellow in a blue suit. (Huh? Okay, I'll stop with the editorializing now and just get on with it.) But Cap'n Bill is there to rescue them! The Boolooroo wants the secret to the Triple Rainbow, and stops Cap'n Bill and takes the tykes away on a purple dragon. (Yeah, definitely not the same Sky Island as the books. Whoops, sorry.) The Boolooroo orders a pair of raks to deal with Cap'n Bill, but he escapes to his ship, sails off, and vanquishes them. The damage to his ship, however, causes him to crash into Oz—and now we're caught up. Cap'n Bill needs to go back, defeat the Boolooroo, and rescue Trot and Button-Bright, but with a damaged ship and no crew, he has no chance. Of course Doroty and the boys pitch in to do both. One ship repair montage later, and they're heading to Sky Island! More raks attack, but some deft flying and magic cannons deal with them. The Boolooroo, not getting what he wants from the kids, decides to drop them off the edge of the island, where of course they land on the ship and into the Lion's arms. The Boolooroo didn't get what he wanted, so they sail off. Cap'n Bill offers Dorothy and her friends places in his crew, but they decide they'd rather headback to the Emerald City.

One of my all-time favorite scenes in the Oz books is the Crescent Moon flying over Oz in Pirates in Oz, so this reminded me a lot more of Captan Salt than Cap'n Bill. So while I appreciate the set-up of this story, I thought the ending was anticlimactic. There's a lot of saminess to the air battles, and the Boolooroo never gets his comeuppance. Too bad, with a stronger story this would have been much more satisfying.

And with that, we come to the end of the show's second season. There was a third, shorter season, that I hope to get to soon ("soon" being a relative term, seeing how long I keep taking between episodes), but it also has several two-parters, and it kicks off with an epic four-parter, so it may be a challenge to squeeze it all into the rest of my busy life. But I'm also going to try to be more proactive, and see if I can get this series finished within the next few months.

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