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British Navy Commander James Bond, CMG, RNVR is a fictional character created by novelist Ian Fleming in 1953. He is the protagonist of the James Bond series of novels, films, comics and video games. He is portrayed as an SISmarker agent residing in Londonmarker. From 1995 onwards, SIS would be officially acknowledged as MI6. Fleming was inspired by Serbian agent Živan Marinković.

Bond holds the code number 007, except for the novel You Only Live Twice, where he temporarily becomes "7777". The "double-0" prefix indicates his discretionary licence to kill in the performance of his duties. He is famous for introducing himself as "Bond, James Bond" and for ordering his vodka martinis "shaken, not stirred"; his usual and characteristic formal clothing is a dinner jacket. In the films he usually wears a Rolex Submariner watch or, in later films, an Omega Seamaster.

He has been portrayed on film by Sean Connery, George Lazenby, Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton, Pierce Brosnan, and Daniel Craig, the last interpretation being the only one with an official fictional biography of the character. However, Bond was first portrayed by Barry Nelson in a 1954 American television film based on the novel Casino Royale, and next by Bob Holness in a 1956 South African radio series based on the novel Moonraker. David Niven played Bond in Casino Royale, a 1967 satire, which was lightly based on the Bond novel of the same name. Several other actors, including Peter Sellers and Woody Allen, were also designated as James Bond in the satire.

Literary Bond

Background

An illustration of James Bond as he appears in the Young Bond series by Charlie Higson


In Fleming's stories James Bond is an ageless character in his late thirties. In Moonraker, he admits to being eight years shy of mandatory retirement at age 45 - therefore, 37 years old at the time of the novel.

James Bond's birth year is unknown because Fleming changed the dates and times of events. Most researchers and biographers concluded that he was born either in 1917, 1920, 1921, or 1924 (see more). Fleming never said where James Bond was born although people have speculated, based on derivative works.

You Only Live Twice reveals Bond is the son of a Scottish father, Andrew Bond, of Glencoemarker, and a Swissmarker mother, Monique Delacroix, of the Canton de Vaudmarker. The boy James Bond spends much of his early life abroad, becoming multilingual in German and French because of his father's being a Vickers armaments company representative. When his parents are killed in a mountain climbing accident in the Aiguilles Rougesmarker near Chamonixmarker, eleven-year-old James is orphaned.

In On Her Majesty's Secret Service, the Bond family motto might be Orbis non sufficit (Latin for "The world is not enough"). The coat of arms and motto belonged to the historical Sir Thomas Bond; his relation to James Bond is unclear and neglected by the latter. In fact, he is indifferent to his potential genealogical relationship to Sir Thomas Bond, demonstrated by his abrupt response to Griffin Or on being told of the motto:

After the death of his parents, he goes to live with his aunt, Miss Charmian Bond, in Pett Bottommarker village, where he completes his early education. Later, he briefly attends Eton Collegemarker at "12 or thereabouts" (13 in Young Bond), but is removed after four halves because of girl trouble with a maid. He reminisces about losing his virginity at sixteen, on a first visit to Parismarker, in the short story "From a View to a Kill". Bond is removed from Eton and sent to Fettes Collegemarker in Edinburghmarker, Scotlandmarker, his father's school. Per Pearson's James Bond: The Authorised Biography and an allusion in From Russia, with Love, Bond briefly attended the University of Genevamarker. Some of Bond's education is based on Fleming's own, both having attended Eton, and the University of Geneva.

World War II service with the Royal Navy

In 1941, Bond lies about his age in order to enter the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve during World War II, from which he emerges a Commander. He retains that rank while in the British Secret Service of Fleming's novels, and the continuation novels, and the films. Continuation novelist John Gardner promoted Bond to Captain in Win, Lose or Die. Since Raymond Benson's novels are a reboot, Bond is a Commander, and a member of the RNVSR (Royal Naval Volunteer Supplementary Reserve), an association of war veteran officers.

After joining the RNVR, Bond is mentioned travelling in the U.S., Hong Kongmarker, and Jamaicamarker, and that he joined another organisation, such as the SOE or the 00-Section of the SIS or as leader of a Royal Marine unit on secret mission behind enemy lines in the war or in (Fleming's) "Red Indians" 30 Commando Assault Unit (30 AU). One supporting fact is Bond in the Ardennesmarker firing a bazooka in 1944. The 30 AU were the only British small unit attached to the US Army in Europe. In Bond's obituary, his commanding officer, M, alludes to the rank as cover:

"To serve the confidential nature of his duties, he was accorded the rank of lieutenant in the Special Branch of the R.N.V.R., and it is a measure of the satisfaction his services gave to his superiors that he ended the war with the rank of Commander." — You Only Live Twice, chapter 21: "Obit"


In the SIS

Bond is a civil servant, working in the Ministry of Defence as a Principal Officer, a civilian grade equivalent to a Captain in the Royal Navy.

Bond is introduced as a veteran 00-agent in Casino Royale. It is never stated when Bond became a 00-agent, though references in Casino Royale suggest during World War II while Goldfinger suggests 1952.

Bond earns his 00 status with two tasks, outlined in Casino Royale. The first, assassinating a Japanese spy on the 36th floor of the RCA Building at Rockefeller Center in New York City; the second, assassinating a Norwegian double agent who betrayed two British agents. Bond travels to Stockholm to stab and kill the man in his sleep. In James Bond: The Authorised Biography of 007, Pearson suggests Bond first kills as a teenager.

The literary James Bond is reserved in his licensed killing, sometimes disobeying kill orders if the mission might be accomplished otherwise, as in "The Living Daylights" where he makes a last-second decision to disobey orders and not kill an assassin. Instead, he shoots the assassin's gun and accomplishes the mission. Later, he feels so strongly about that decision that he hopes M will fire him for it.In the novel Goldfinger, James Bond is haunted by memories of a Mexican gunman he killed with bare hands days earlier. There are Fleming works in which Bond does not kill anyone. Bond hates those who kill non-combatants, especially women.

It was part of his profession to kill people.
He had never liked doing it and when he had to kill he did it as well as he knew how and forgot about it.
As a secret agent who held the rare Double-O prefix – the licence to kill in the Secret Service – it was his duty to be as cool about death as a surgeon.
If it happened, it happened.
Regret was unprofessional — worse, it was a death-watch beetle in the soul."
Goldfinger, chapter 1: "Reflections in a Double Bourbon"


Nonetheless, he kills when needed.

Bond has a cavalier attitude toward his death, accepting that he most likely will be killed if captured, and expects MI6's disavowal of him. He withstands torture in Casino Royale without talking.

In the novels preceding Dr. No, Bond uses a .25 ACP Beretta automatic pistol carried in a light-weight chamois leather holster, however, in From Russia, with Love, in the draw, the gun snags in Bond's jacket, and, because of this incident, M and Major Boothroyd order Bond re-equipped with a Walther PPK and a Berns-martin triple-draw holster made of stiff saddle leather. He continues using this pistol until John Gardner's Licence Renewed, where he uses different weapons, choosing the ASP 9 mm in later books. According to Gardner in the novelisation for Licence to Kill, the Walther PPK is not Bond's favourite weapon. With Raymond Benson, Bond begins using the PPK again until being updated in both the film and novelisation Tomorrow Never Dies with the Walther P99.

James Bond: The Secret World of 007 reports that Bond is a judoka and knows other martial arts.

Description and personal life

In the novels (notably From Russia, with Love), Bond's physical description has generally been consistent: slim build; a three-inch, vertical scar on his right cheek (absent from the film version); blue-grey eyes; a "cruel" mouth; short, black hair, a comma of which falls on his forehead (greying at the temples in Gardner's novels); and (after Casino Royale) the faint scar of the Russian cyrillic letter "Ш" (SH) (for Shpion: "Spy") on the back of one of his hands (carved by a SMERSH agent). In From Russia, with Love he is also described as 183 centimeters (6 feet) in height and 76 kilograms (167 lb) in weight.

Also, Bond physically resembles the composer Hoagy Carmichael. In Casino Royale, the heroine Vesper Lynd remarks, "Bond reminds me rather of Hoagy Carmichael, but there is something cold and ruthless." Likewise, in Moonraker, Special Branch Officer Gala Brand thinks that Bond is "certainly good-looking . . . Rather like Hoagy Carmichael in a way. That black hair falling down over the right eyebrow. Much the same bones. But there was something a bit cruel in the mouth, and the eyes were cold."

When not on assignment or at headquarters, Bond spends his time at his flat off the Kings Roadmarker in Chelseamarker. His flat is looked after by an elderly Scottish housekeeper named May, who is very loyal and often motherly to him. According to Higson's Young Bond series, May previously worked for Bond's aunt, Charmian. Bond hardly ever brings women back to his home: it happens only once between the novels Diamonds Are Forever and From Russia, with Love when he briefly lived with Tiffany Case; and once in the film series: in Live and Let Die, M and Moneypenny visit Bond at his flat, forcing him to hide his female company in the wardrobe. According to Pearson's book and hinted at in From Russia, with Love, Tiffany often got into arguments with May and eventually left. At his home, Bond has two telephones. One for personal use and a second red phone that is a direct line between his home and headquarters; the latter is said always to be ringing at inopportune moments. Some believe that James Bond was a real person.

Bond is famous for ordering his vodka martinis "shaken, not stirred." In the novel Moonraker, he drinks a shot of vodka straight, served with a pinch of black pepper, a habit he picked up working in the Baltic region. He also drinks and enjoys gin martinis, champagne, and bourbon. In total, Bond consumes 317 drinks of which 101 are whisky, 35 sakes, 30 glasses of champagne and a mere 19 vodka martinis. This is an average of one drink every seven pages. Bond occasionally supplements his alcohol consumption with the use of other drugs, for both functional and recreational reasons. For instance, in Moonraker Bond consumes a quantity of the amphetamine benzedrine accompanied by champagne, in order to gain extra confidence and alertness during his bridge game against Sir Hugo Drax; and in On Her Majesty's Secret Service he consumes the barbiturate derivative seconal in order to induce a state of "cosy self-anaesthesia" in his London flat.

In Fleming's novels, Bond is a heavy smoker, at one point reaching 70 cigarettes a day. On average, Bond smokes 60 a day, although in certain novels he attempts to cut back so that he can accomplish certain feats, such as swimming. He is also forced to cut back after being sent to a health farm per M's orders in Thunderball. Bond specifically smokes a blend of Balkan and Turkish tobacco with a higher than average tar content from Morlands of Grosvenor Street called "Morland Specials." The cigarette itself has three gold bands on the filter signifying Bond's (and Fleming's) commander rank in the secret service. Additionally Bond carries his cigarettes in a trademarked monogrammed gunmetal cigarette case. In continuation novels by John Gardner, Bond cuts back by smoking low-tar cigarettes from Morlands and later H. Simmons of Burlington Arcade. Later works by Raymond Benson has Bond continuing to use this brand.

Although Fleming states in the novel On Her Majesty's Secret Service that "James Bond was not a gourmet," he clearly appreciates food and has a sophisticated (if perhaps idiosyncratic) palate. When in England, Bond "lived on grilled soles, oeufs cocotte and cold roast beef with potato salad," his favourite food is scrambled eggs served with coffee (particularly as served by his housekeeper) although "the best meal he had ever eaten" is enjoyed in Miami during the novel Goldfinger, and comprises stone crabs with melted butter served with toast and iced rose champagne. In the same novel Bond also articulates his hatred of tea, which he describes as "mud" and considers partially responsible for the decline of the British Empire.

Bond is an avid boating enthusiast. He is seen on boats both for business and leisure. Bond is seen boating in Dr. No, From Russia with Love, Diamonds Are Forever, Thunderball, You Only Live Twice, Live and Let Die, The Man with the Golden Gun, Casino Royale, and Quantum of Solace.

The tombstone of James Bond´s wife, Teresa, which Bond visits.
Shown at a James Bond convention in 1992.
Bond has meaningless affairs or one night stands with several women he encounters, and discards them the minute they become an inconvenience. Fleming had a tempestuous love life; he had numerous affairs even though he was married, and there were frequent accusations of sado-masochistic acts in his relationships with women. This has led critics to speculate over how much Fleming projected his own character into the figure of James Bond as Bond, too, has a dismissive attitude towards women. For instance, Bond does not desist from hitting women and his rough handed treatment of women has been noted. His suave, chauvinistic charm even seduces women who initially find him repellent, like spa nurse Patricia Fearing in Thunderball.

In On Her Majesty's Secret Service, James Bond marries, but his bride, Teresa "Tracy" di Vicenzo, is killed on their wedding day by his archenemy, Ernst Stavro Blofeld. In the novels, Bond gets revenge in the following novel, You Only Live Twice when, by chance, he comes across Blofeld in Japan. Owing to events in that novel Bond and Kissy Suzuki bear a child, although Fleming's novels do not state his existence. Bond is obviously aware of his son's existence by the time of Raymond Benson's short story "Blast From the Past" in which his son asks him to come to New York City as a matter of urgency before being killed by Irma Bunt.

Birth year debate

According to Pearson, Bond was born on November 11, 1920. However, the novel You Only Live Twice implies a birth year of 1924. In the novel, M writes an obituary for James Bond after believing him to be dead. M writes that Bond left school when he was 17 years old and joined the Ministry of Defence in 1941 "claiming an age of 19." If Bond was 17 in 1941, then he was born in 1924. Also Tiger Tanaka, a Japanese secret agent, states that Bond was born in the year of the rat, which hints at 1924. However, the novel Moonraker (which is set in 1954) states that Bond's age is 37. This would place Bond's date of birth in 1917-1918. In From Russia, with Love it is stated that the Moonraker mission was three years prior. This would make Bond around the age of 40. With only five years remaining until he was forced into retirement. The time setting in From Russia, with Love also complicates the debate. In the novel, August 13 falls on a Friday. The only time this happened in the 1950s was 1954. The Soviet Dossier on Bond said that he started to work for SIS in 1938. This would be consistent with Bond earning his "00" as described in Casino Royale.

A more complex date of birth, according to John Griswold and his book Ian Fleming's James Bond: Annotations and Chronologies is November 11, 1921. Griswold notes that Bond's joining of the Ministry of Defence was originally written in Fleming's manuscript as 1939 and later changed to 1941. Briefly, Griswold contends that Bond joined the Admiralty in 1939 (the same year Fleming joined) and 1941 is a year marker that places his recruitment into an organisation that was later attached to the Ministry of Defence by Fleming. Griswold believes that a lot of details in Bond's timeline make better sense with the original 1939 date. For instance, if one computes Bond's age for when he was admitted into the Admiralty to when his parents died, then Bond would have been 11 in 1933 from January 1 through to November 10 if he was born in 1921. 1933 is the year mentioned in Casino Royale for when Bond "bought" his first Bentley. Since all of the years claimed for when Bond was born would have made him too young to purchase this Bentley, a more likely scenario is that he "inherited" it from his late father. Griswold presented this idea to Ian Fleming Publications in February 2003. The company recognised this issue for its Young Bond series of novels featuring Bond as a teenager in the 1930s and along with its author, Charlie Higson, defined Bond being born in the year 1920. In Higson's series, the Bentley in question was purchased and used in December 1933 in Double or Die by Bond with money he had received for helping someone win a lot of money at a roulette table. Previously Bond had inherited a Bamford & Martin Sidevalve Short Chassis Tourer around Easter 1933 from his Uncle Max.

Cinematic Bond

Actors

Barry Nelson was the first actor to play James Bond on-screen in a one-hour version of Casino Royale made in 1954. In this version Bond was Portrayed as an American C.I.A. Agent, while Felix Leiter was the MI6 Agent. Patrick McGoohan was the first actor to be offered the role of Bond in the EON series, but he turned it down. The first to portray 007 was Sean Connery in Dr. No, released in 1962. Connery played the role in four further films before resigning. Australian actor George Lazenby was cast in On Her Majesty's Secret Service in 1969. However, Lazenby resigned, and Connery returned for the next film, Diamonds Are Forever, in 1971, and later in the non-EON produced Never Say Never Again in 1983, giving him the longest association with the role appearing in seven films over a 21-year period. 1973's Live and Let Die featured Roger Moore's debut as Bond. Moore also appeared in seven consecutive EON produced films between 1973 and 1985.

After Roger Moore's retirement, the role subsequently went to Timothy Dalton, who was contracted in 1986 for three films (with an option for a fourth) as James Bond. Dalton starred in The Living Daylights (1987) and Licence to Kill (1989), with the third film planned for 1991. However, legal ownership problems of the James Bond franchise delayed release until 1995, by which time Dalton had resigned. Persistent rumours state that Dalton's third film was going to be The Property of a Lady, but the story, treatment, and draft screenplays were called GoldenEye.

In 1994, Irishmarker actor Pierce Brosnan was hired as James Bond. Brosnan's debut, GoldenEye (1995), was the franchise's highest-grossing film at that date, and he starred in three more films. Brosnan is the only actor who did not star in a James Bond film titled after an Ian Fleming story and is the second actor not to have been from the United Kingdom, also the only actor who did not resign from the role.

The current actor to play the role is Daniel Craig, hired in 2005. Craig's debut in Casino Royale was successful both critically and commercially. Craig's performance was also the first in the series to earn a BAFTA nomination for Best Actor. The 22nd Bond film, Quantum of Solace, was released in 2008 and the 23rd is scheduled for 2010.

Before Sean Connery was cast as James Bond, Harry Saltzman favoured Roger Moore for the role, while Cubby Broccoli preferred Cary Grant (but the producer ultimately decided against Grant because he knew that if he succeeded in signing him, it would be a one-year deal and the next film would necessitate a search for another Bond). Before George Lazenby was cast in On Her Majesty's Secret Service, Timothy Dalton was offered the part, but turned it down as he then felt himself to be too young for it. Pierce Brosnan was initially approached after Roger Moore relinquished the role, but his contract with the TV show Remington Steele made him unavailable.

In the course of the official series, American actors have been engaged to play James Bond on two occasions — and have been approached at other times as well. John Gavin was contracted in 1970 to replace George Lazenby, but Connery was well-paid to re-appear in Diamonds Are Forever. James Brolin was contracted in 1983, to replace Roger Moore, and prepared to shoot Octopussy when the producers paid Moore to return. To date, the only American to play James Bond is Barry Nelson, in the 1954 American television adaptation of Casino Royale, though Brolin's three screen tests were publicly released for the first time as a special feature named James Brolin: The Man Who Would Be Bond in the Octopussy: Ultimate Edition DVD.

The actors who have portrayed Bond have varied greatly in age. George Lazenby was 29 when On Her Majesty's Secret Service premiered, while Roger Moore was 57 when A View to a Kill was released.

Background

When introduced in 1962, the cinematic James Bond already was a veteran Secret Service agent: in Dr. No, when ordered re-equipped with a 7.65 mm Walther PPK pistol replacing his Beretta automatic pistol, agent 007 protests that he has used the weapon for 10 years.

The 2006 film Casino Royale is a reboot of the film series. Unlike its source novel where Bond was already a veteran, jaded 00-agent, the film depicts his first mission as 007. The film's official website gives a biography of the Bond that parallels the backstory of Fleming's literary character, but it is updated to reflect Bond's new birth date of April 13, 1968; April 13 being the day in which Casino Royale was published in 1953 and 1968 being the year in which Daniel Craig was born. This version of the character was born in West Berlin, Germany. His parents, Andrew Bond and Monique Delacroix Bond, died in a climbing accident, so he was brought up in Kentmarker, UKmarker, by his aunt Charmain.

Like the original character, Bond is kicked out of Eton College and attends his father's alma mater, Fettes Collegemarker. Bond attends the University of Geneva while at Fettes through an exchange program. After Fettes, Bond joins the Royal Navy and attends Britannia Royal Naval Collegemarker at the age of 17. The modern biography clarifies Bond's military service by stating he joins the Special Boat Servicemarker while in the Regular Royal Navy, where he obtains the rank of Commander, and then is placed in the 030 Special Forces Unit (a reference to Fleming's 30th Assault Unit during World War II, a unit he nicknamed his 'Red Indians'; see Casino Royale). Bond serves covertly in Iraqmarker, Somaliamarker, Iranmarker, Libyamarker and actively in Bosniamarker. He is then recruited by the RNR Defence Intelligence Group. Bond attends specialized courses at Cambridge and Oxford universities during this period, earning a degree in Oriental Languages from Cambridge. Bond is noted to be fluent in English, French, German, Russian, and Italian, and writing passable Greek, Spanish, Chinese, and Japanese at the time he joins MI6marker. In training, he receives exceptionally high marks for physical endurance, logic, and Psychological Ops exercises. He serves in the Royal Navy from age 17 to 31, joining MI6marker at age 30, and is promoted to 00 Agent at age 38 in 2006.

Description and personal life

In film (as in the books), Bond is portrayed as highly intelligent and educated. In Goldfinger, he calculates how many trucks it takes to transport all the gold in Fort Knoxmarker. In You Only Live Twice Bond asserts having a First in Oriental Languages from Cambridge Universitymarker; in the film, The Spy Who Loved Me, an acquaintance identifies him as a Cambridge graduate; in the film Tomorrow Never Dies, Bond visits Oxfordmarker to study Danish. In Casino Royale, he is shown to have skill at calculating probabilities of draws from a deck in a Texas hold'em tournament in Montenegromarker. Bond is shown to be a polyglot yet Ian Fleming's stories, the films, and the post–Fleming continuation novels contradict each other about which languages he speaks; these include German, French, Russian, and Japanese.

Cinematically, Bond's smoking habit has been off and on usually going with changes in society. During the films starring Connery, Lazenby, and Dalton, Bond was a smoker of cigarettes. During Moore's and Brosnan's tenure he smoked cigars instead of cigarettes. In Brosnan's second portrayal of Bond, in Tomorrow Never Dies, he remarks upon a Russian who is smoking by saying "Filthy habit". The last time Bond smoked on film was in 2002 in Die Another Day. In Daniel Craig's tenure, he has yet to be seen smoking.

In more recent films, Bond's attitude toward women has softened somewhat; he respects the new, female M, while a few female characters, such as Elektra King and Paris Carver, have gotten under his skin. When the film canon was rebooted with Casino Royale, James Bond's sexual appetite had somewhat cooled though he somewhat jokingly admits to an attraction to married women, reasoning it "keeps things simple." His pursuit of Solange Dimitrios is merely for the purpose of collecting information on her husband, Alex, to stop a terrorist plot. Once he retrieves the information, he leaves her immediately without having sex with her. As in the source material, James falls deeply in love with Vesper Lynd to the point of considering quitting the spy business to be with her.

As in the books, Bond is a skilled combatant. Bond's switch from the Beretta to the Walther PPK is carried over in Dr. No. In Tomorrow Never Dies he switches to the Walther P99. In Quantum of Solace, Bond uses the Walther PPK again.

The cinematic Bond's attitude towards killing has changed through the years. Connery's Bond in Dr. No outdoes his literary counterpart by killing Professor Dent in cold blood. For You Only Live Twice, screenwriter Roald Dahl was told Bond could kill any amount of people as long as he didn't do so sadistically. In The Living Daylights, Dalton's Bond ignores orders to kill an amateur sniper and later states he only kills professionals. GoldenEye suggests the brutality of his job troubles Brosnan's Bond while he admits cold-blooded killing is a filthy business in The World Is Not Enough. Nonetheless and as always, he kills when needed, and in The World Is Not Enough, commits murder in shooting the unarmed Elektra King (although one might argue it is justified, as her instruction to her counterpart, Renard, to dive the submarine endangers the entire city of Istanbul). Craig's Bond has shown a shockingly callous ease and brutality towards killing others, even going so far as to kill a possible source for information when specifically warned not to by M in Quantum of Solace. Similarly, the cinematic Bonds are not above subjecting the villains to outright horrible deaths, such as throwing a henchman into a grinder and later burning a fuel-soaked Franz Sanchez alive in Licence to Kill, pushing a terrified and screaming Elliot Carver in front of a gigantic running drill in Tomorrow Never Dies, and electrocuting Gustav Graves and sending him into a flight engine in Die Another Day.

Alternative biographies and theories

The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen

A wholly non-canonical conjecture about the Bond lineage can be found in Alan Moore's comic book series, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, set in Victorian Britain. In it the portly, sinister, and secretive MI5 agent placed in charge of the League is named Campion Bond. His superior, the overall director of the top-secret team, is code-named M, an obvious reference to the James Bond series. Although Moore makes no overt connection between Bond and Campion (due to copyright issues), the code Double-O Seven being engraved in morse code on Campion's walking stick and keys, has led fans to propose that Campion is meant to be an ancestor of the modern secret agent. Another character in the comic notes that the Bond "Family's got a reputation. A bad 'un." In the recent The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Black Dossier, a young MI6 spy named "Jimmy" appears, possessing Campion's 007 cigarette case and clearly meant to be Bond, with another character comparing him to his grandfather (Campion). Jimmy is presented as an incompetent psychotic rapist whose daring exploits against Dr. No are no more than a cover story for him to commit double agent work against the United Kingdom on behalf of the United States. The Black Dossier also hints that Campion and Jimmy are both descendants of Sir Basildon Bond, an underling of Sir Jack Wilton, the original M, who in 1558 established Prospero's Men (the original League) for Queen Gloriana I. Prospero, the head of the organization, was the original 007. Further evidence is the presence of Auric Goldfinger, who is mentioned in The New Traveller's Almanac.

Wold Newton

In his fictional biographies, author Philip José Farmer suggests that Bond belongs in the Wold Newton family tree along with Tarzan, Doc Savage, and many other fictional heroes. Followers of Farmer's speculations have greatly elaborated on Bond's family.

Code name

One proposal long debated by fans of the film series is the notion that "James Bond" is merely a code name used by a long line of British secret agents. The idea was used in the non EON film Casino Royale when Connery was not used and Peter Sellers changed his mind about playing James Bond in the film. While it does explain Bond's longevity and frequent changes of appearance, this idea has always been highly controversial.

Neal Purvis and Robert Wade, screenwriters of the Bond series since 1999, had this to say when asked about this theory: "We don't believe Bond is just a transferable codename - and don't like the idea at all. Bond is a character, a special individual, who happens to have been played by different actors." (The entire interview can be viewed at: http://www.hmss.com/films/CasinoRoyale/interview/)

Die Another Day director Lee Tamahori believed that the name "James Bond" is a code name (like 007) which is given to the best and most accomplished secret agents. The theory is meant to explain the changes in actors (e.g., Roger Moore vs. Timothy Dalton) and Bond's apparent agelessness. The idea was created so that Tamahori could get Connery to make a cameo appearance in the film, and thus explain how it was possible that Connery and Brosnan as Bond could both be on film at the same time.

Tamahori explained the theory: "My idea was basically that there have been several Bonds. It's just a prefix and a code name. Even James Bond is not the guy's name. That's the way I've always been able to view these things from when Connery left and Lazenby and Moore took over, right up to Brosnan. How could this guy be so young still? Of course to me, it is just a prefix and a code name. That means that Connery either died or retired, Moore died or retired and so on. Following that, that allows you to have possibly two James Bonds in a movie. What happened to the others? Were they retired from active service or were they killed? That's where I came from."

The theory, as well as the intent to have Connery cameo in Die Another Day, was rejected by producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson (although a televised news report during production reported erroneously that Connery had filmed a cameo as Bond's father). One and probably the only evidence to support this theory is Lazenby's final line in the pre-title sequence of On Her Majesty's Secret Service where the Bond girl runs away after Bond is ambushed on a beach: "This never happened to the other fellow." The theory is denounced by most fans due to continuity in subsequent films when Bond's wife, Tracy (from On Her Majesty's Secret Service) is mentioned — most notably in The Spy Who Loved Me, where Moore's Bond reacts emotionally when the death of his wife is mentioned. In the later For Your Eyes Only Bond is seen attending Tracy's grave, and Felix Leiter refers to Bond's marriage in Licence to Kill. Also in The World Is Not Enough, when Electra inquires Bond whether he ever lost a loved one, Bond does not give an answer and changes the subject immediately. In addition to this, once in a while, Bond is seen with gadgets and weapons, such as Honey Rider's knife, from previous films that he obviously kept as souvenirs. In the game Everything or Nothing, Brosnan and Moore's Bond at least are intended to be the same individual, as the Brosnan's Bond recalls encountering Jaws and Max Zorin.

A scene was apparently originally planned in On Her Majesty's Secret Service that would feature Bond having plastic surgery as a means of explaining his new appearance, but the scene never made it into production. The idea that the James Bond name — in addition to the 007 number — has been given to subsequent agents was also featured in the Casino Royale satire, where the original James Bond is a retired, legendary British spy who won a VC at the Siege of Mafeking and who berates M for having given his number and name to a brash young agent whose description appears to match Sean Connery's Bond. Later in the film, six further MI6 agents are assigned the name "James Bond 007", including Vesper Lynd and baccarat master Evelyn Tremble.

The theory is by the status of some actors in their final appearance as a particular. In Timothy Dalton's last film (License to Kill) he resigns in order to pursue a personal agenda, and in Pierce Brosnan's final film (Die Another Day) he is abandoned by SIS only to be secretly approached by M offering reinstatement. One could also argue that these films refute the theory because in those films, Bond lost 007 status but was still James Bond.

Daniel Craig's portrayal of James Bond is significant, in that it represented a 'reboot' for the series as it shows the character earning his '00' status. In true to form ambiguous fashion, the Daniel Craig films point to both sides of the argument. For: The character is called "James Bond" prior to being awarded '00' status. Against: The Judi Dench 'M' character is retained. This may well remain a series of "intentional continuity errors"...

References

See Also and External links




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