08/16/18

The Life and Times of James Bond

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One of the most iconic, cool, competent, cocky but confident, fashionable, and well mannered, truly psychopathic and ultimate protagonist characters has to be James Bond. Created by Ian Lancaster Fleming (1908-1964), English author, journalist, and naval intelligence officer, Bond appeared for the first time in the novel Casino Royale, published in 1953. Until his passing in 1964, Fleming would write another twelve novels and two short story collections about the spy James Bond, with his wartime service and his career as a journalist providing much of the background, detail, and depth of the James Bond novels.

The Bond character was further developed by the over two decades now perseverance of the Broccoli family of American film producer Albert R Broccoli, and dozens of writers and screen writers. The first Bond film Dr. No was released in 1962, when I was four years old and I’ve been hooked ever since. I have read all of Fleming’s books and some of the books that have been written since his passing, by new authors that are carrying on the Bond folklore. President John F. Kennedy was also a James Bond fan, and watched a preview screening of From Russia with Love at the White House on November 21st, 1963. He was killed the next day in Dallas.

The following is based on the combined facts of Bond, in literature and filmdom, with a “wee bit of artistic wherewithal”, said of course in a Scottish accent, with beer foam dripping from my moustache. Chronologically, I try to follow Ian Fleming’s books as they were written, but also for continuity, use some of the release dates of Bond films including those not associated with Fleming/Broccoli, and to a very small extent, the books written by various authors of the “young” Bond. I’m sure loyal James Bond aficionados, may take issue with the continuity of this story, but the recent Daniel Craig as Bond series of films throws a wrench into things by rebooting to the beginnings and Bond’s first missions. While Fleming’s introduction of Bond was Casino Royale, in film Bond was introduced in Dr No, Fleming’s sixth Bond novel. As far as M goes, M was Rear Admiral Bernard Lee for the first eleven missions. After his death, Robert Brown took over for four, and then M Judi Dench was brought on for Bond’s next four missions, and then was transported back in time for Bond’s last four films, which chronicle his first few years with MI6. There are also too many Alex Leiter’s, Moneypennys and Blofelds.

Then there is the dilemma that there has been numerous individuals who have played Bond, but then this issue can be dealt with sensibly, by suggesting that since Bond would be recognized fairly quickly, as he was well known to the underworld and most all intelligence and secret service organizations, so to further the secrecy and stealth needed to carry on such heroic and often insane actions as he does, and have to infiltrate their organizations, every so often Bond gets a face replacement. In this scenario Bond has had seven face transplants and still looks good. Rumour has it that in a few years from now, Bond will be undergoing not only another face transplant but a skin transplant as well, for a mission, which as of yet remains undisclosed. The story to follow is not sensible so there are no face alterations, rationally on the other hand, Bond probably looked like Daniel Craig at the start of his MI6 career but as he aged he started looking more like Sean Connery.

All of these things make it difficult and confusing to get some sort of continuity in Bond’s career timeline, but I have simply done the best I could and tried to stay with what makes sense, and lean towards Fleming’s novels as to storyline and details. And mean him no disrespect whatsoever of his original brilliance.

 

Beginnings

 

James Bond was born in Germany to a Scottish father, Andrew Bond of Glencoe, Scotland, and Swiss mother, Monique Delacroix, and spent much of his first ten years abroad, as his father was a Vickers armaments company representative. The Bond’s traditional family motto is Orbit Non Sufficit, the world is not enough.

Bond became multilingual in German and French at an early age. Sadly his parents were both killed in a mountain climbing accident that orphaned him at age 11. After their deaths, a friend of Andrew Bond, Hans Oberhauser, became Bond’s temporary guardian. Oberhauser had a son, Franz, and though older than Bond, he began to resent the way his father was treating Bond as if he were his only son, and felt he was being ignored. But soon Bond was placed with his full-time guardian, his aunt, Miss Charmian Bond, in the village of Pett Bottom, Kent, England, where he completed his early education. Supposedly on a holiday to Paris when he was sixteen years old, he loses his virginity. Throughout his childhood, he and Miss Charmian would spend time each year at Skyfall, the Bond family estate in the Scottish Highlands.

Bond briefly attended Eton College, but was expelled over an alleged incident with a maid, and eventually graduated from Fettes Collage in Scotland, the same college his father had attended.

At about the same time, on the continent, Franz Oberhauser had already killed his father over the animosity felt towards Bond when they were younger, had staged his own death and adopted the name Ernst Stavro Blofeld. Over the years he would control the underworld, with his tentacles reaching into state intelligence organizations, trade unions and criminal cartels. Eventually he would create Spectre (Special Executive for Counter-intelligence, Terrorism Revenge and Extortion) , Smersh, and Quantum, and come up with all sorts of schemes to take over the world, and most importantly, to never give up on one day killing Bond.

After graduating from college, Bond enlisted in the British Navy as a commando, and participated in an unknown number of clandestine foreign military engagements, eventually becoming a Royal Naval Reserve Commander. In his early twenties (some have suggested when he was twenty years old), the 183 cm (6 ft) tall and supposedly still, 76 kg (170 lb) Bond, already an expert boxer, pistol shooter, scuba diver and knife thrower, applied and was accepted to join the British intelligence division of MI6 as an agent. His qualities of strength, action, confidence, and brutal violence if needed, were attractive to them. Much like his raw masculinity, being dangerous, confident, suggestive, calm, polite and smart was attractive to both women and men whom he would meet.

His first control officer in MI6 was Cmdr. Ian Fleming of Naval Intelligence, who would go on and become MI6’s chronicler and historian, and followed Bond’s career in particular, as they quickly bonded, as it were, and stayed lifelong friends. Fleming was supposedly very impressed when Bond showed up for work his first day in MI6, in an immaculate 1964 Aston Martin DB5. Bond still owns the Aston but it now spends its time in a storage locker. Over his career he has driven a plethora of vehicles, including the Aston Martin DB Mark III, a Lincoln Mark VII, various 1930’s Bentleys, a BMW 750iL, Yamaha XJ650 turbo motorcycle, dunebuggys, a double-decker bus, a Russian T-55M5 tank, hovercraft, numerous boats, and has flown gyroplanes, Cessna’s, and a Harrier T4 jet, to list but a few.

The head of the British Secret Intelligence Service at the time (M) was Royal Navy Rear Admiral Judi Dench, who had held the position for the previous ten plus years. As with all other heads of MI6, before her and since, they tend to be serious, efficient, no-nonsense authoritarians. M’s Chief of Staff and overseer of the 00 division was and still is, Bill Tanner, while MI6’s quartermaster (Q), Major Desmond Liewelyn, ran the research and Development Division. The Principal Secretary of the “Double O” division of MI6, and M’s personal secretary was Ms. Loelia Ponsonby. She would soon be replaced with MI6 agent, Mary Goodnight, who would occasionally, continue to assist Bond on assignments. Interestingly, noted neurologist Sir James Moloney, was frequently employed by M and MI6, but then as you will soon find out, one can see why.

Eventually Bond became one of perhaps nine agents to earn the designation double O, meaning they had a license to kill, or the “the authorisation to, at their own discretion, commit acts of assassination and other controversial activities in order to complete their missions, without having to first seek permission from headquarters”. The true number of how many agents are designated double 00 may never be known, but rumour has it there are three double 00 agents left, while some say Bond is the only 00 agent.

When he started, Bond was issued a .25 ACP Berretta 418 handgun, which was smaller than what he had been used to in the military, but found it a weapon that was easy to conceal, especially when using a shoulder holster, and considering Bond’s penchant for well cut tuxedos, and business suits, while wearing loafers.

Bond’s designation was awarded to him after his first assignment, which there are two different versions of. Perhaps, one was a false flag operation to hide something else that went down, with the other closer to the truth, who knows. One story goes that he got it after killing two enemy agents, a Japanese spy on the thirty-sixth floor of the RCA Building at Rockefeller Center (then housing the headquarters of British Security) in New York City, and a Norwegian double agent who had betrayed two British agents. The other story was on a mission that brought him to Prague, he assassinated Dryden, the traitorous MI6 section chief stationed there. He then traveled to Lahore, Pakistan, where he kills Fisher, Dryden’s contact with criminal organizations, after a violent and intense hand to hand fight to the death in a rundown apartment, ended when Bond strangles him. From there Bond tracks down a corrupt Greek official, Alex Dimitrios in the Bahamas, who in a matter of hours, loses his car to Bond in a poker game, Bond sleeps with his wife Solange, and then he gets killed by Bond in a crowded museum.

Regardless of what actually happened, after returning to London, Bond receives his 007 designation but gets read the riot act by M who sternly established her authority. Besides berating him for breaking international law, M also made it known she felt Bond was a “sexist misogynist dinosaur”. But then considering he is maybe twenty-two to twenty-three years old at the time, what can one expect his attitude to be, considering killing in cold blood doesn’t seem to be a problem for him, yet at the same time he’s funny, smart, confident, and with the amount of experience already under his belt at such a young age, would seem to confirm one of Cmdr. Fleming’s favorite sayings “I shall not waste my days in trying to prolong them”.

Bond’s first mission “officially” was the Casino Royale operation. With British treasury agent Vesper Lynd, at his side, they were tasked with trying to bankrupt Le Chiffre, a terrorist financier and paymaster for the Russian counter-surveillance agency, Smersh, which also controlled some of Europe’s largest trade unions, and other divisions of Russia’s secret service.

Bond and Vesper attend a game of Texas hold-em poker at the Casino Royale in Montenegro. CIA agent Felix Leiter was also in attendance, and would become one of Bond’s very few friends throughout their careers. Also in attendance, including those actually at the table, were members of various countries’ intelligence and secret service organizations.

After losing the bulk of the money Vesper had brought with them and to stay in the game, Felix and the CIA bankrolled Bond the rest of the way. In the final hand it was all in, $115 million. Le Chiffre topped all the other hands still left at the table except Bond’s, who beats him with a straight flush.

After blowing such millions of dollars that was not his, Le Chiffre became a cornered animal, rare for a Bond villain. Kidnapping Bond and Vesper, Le Chiffre viciously tortures Bond, but a Smersh hit squad led by a Mr. White suddenly breaks in and assassinates Le Chiffre and his henchmen, and since the contract did not include Bond or Vesper, the assassins release them, though not before cutting a Cyrillic “LLI” into the back of Bond’s hand, signifying the Russian word shpion (spy), and Vesper making a private deal with Mr. White, the money Le Chiffre lost in exchange for Bond’s life.

Sharing a suite in a Venetian hotel while they recovered, Vesper would be the first woman Bond fell truly in love. Bond confesses his love to her as does she, and actually resigns from MI6 so that they can have a normal life together. But unbeknownst to Bond, in order to save his life Vesper had agreed to assist in the transfer of the money won at the Casino Royale, into Mr White’s and Smersh’s hands. After catching her in the act and feeling as though he had been played, his heart probably felt ripped out of his chest. They end up in a sinking building in Venice, with Vesper trapped. With all he had Bond valiantly attempted to save her but the building soon sinks underwater, and though Bond still did everything he could, Vesper refused his attempts and allowed herself to drown.

Later Bond discovered a text message left for him by Vesper, with Mr. White’s name and phone number. Bond tracked him down and kidnaps him, but instead of killing him he hands him in to the authorities. Every year since Vesper’s death, Bond still visits her grave in Cornwall England. It has been said that after losing Vesper, Bond would slowly begin to, instead of doing his job because of his principles; he began to use his job more often than not, in pursuing personal battles.

After surgery on the back of his hand to try to erase the inscription carved into it, and months of recovery time, the loss of Vesper lay heavy upon him. Bond eventually took on another minor mission which ended in Nassau, Bahamas. Taking a few days off, he was invited to a dinner party held by the Governor. After the guests all leave, the Governor and Bond retire to his den for a cigar. There Bond created what he would call the Vesper; three measures of Gordon’s Gin, one of Vodka, and half a measure of the wine-based aperitif Kina Lillet, shaken and not stirred, until its ice cold, then add a large thin slice of lemon peel, and served in a deep champagne goblet. This drink would be his usual, and often. And though Bond also enjoys expensive wine and champagne, especially if any caviar happens to be lying about, he also enjoys the occasional neat whiskey or scotch. It was estimated by fellow agents and the few friends he has, that his weekly alcohol consumption is about five times the recommended amount, yet incredibly his alcohol intake doesn’t seem to affect his performance. As for non-alcoholic drinks he stays away from tea, once blaming it for the downfall of the British Empire, and instead prefers coffee, dark and thick. Coincidently perhaps, from what we will learn of Bond, a Vesper martini has approximately 130 calories, which on average is what men burn during sex.

Bond also became a very heavy smoker, averaging about 60 custom-made cigarettes a day (3 packs). Over time he would cut that vice down to the occasional cigar, and since, has been able to quit cigarettes altogether.

As they sipped and smoked, Bond asked who the boring couple at the party were. The Governor began by telling the story about the relationship between fellow Brits, civil servant Phillip Masters and air hostess Rhoda Llewellyn. After a brief whirlwind romance they married and moved to Bermuda. Early into the marriage Rhoda began a long open affair with the son of a rich Bermudian family. Philip was devastated, his work began to slide, and eventually he suffered a nervous breakdown. Taking the time to recover he traveled a bit, then returned and divided his home into two sections, his and hers. In private they did not acknowledge each other, in public they simply pretended to be a couple. Eventually Phillip divorced her and moves back to the UK, leaving Rhoda with all their debt, and stranded in Bermuda. And though Phillip was successful in his plan of avenging Rhoda, emotionally he never recovered, while Rhoda remarried a rich Canadian. The “boring couple” were Rhoda and her Canadian husband.

The Governor explained the point of the story as being, when you don’t  have a quantum of solace in a relationship, defined as “a precise figure defining the comfort, humanity, and fellow feeling required between two people for love to survive”, it’s time to end it and give it up. As soon as lack of respect for each other rears its ugly head, it’s over, simply walk away. I’m sure, and it has been said, that Bond thought long and hard over that story. Perhaps flying back to London was enough time to think about his and Vesper’s relationship, where their quantum of solace ended with her dying, and he began to focus on seeking revenge for her death.

Returning to London, Bond finds out Mr. White had escaped and there had been an attempt on M’s life. Chomping at the bit he was given a mission that was possibly related to such events.

The assignment was to eliminate wealthy businessman Dominic Greene, who intended to stage a coup d’état in Bolivia to seize control of their water supply, and who was, whether by twist of fate or happenstance, a member of the Quantum criminal organisation. Bond was assisted by Bolivian agent Camille Montes, who was plotting revenge for the murder of her own family. Also helping was MI6 agent Strawberry Fields, who Bond seduced, but unfortunately she was subsequently killed working undercover. The mission would become known as one of Bond’s most violent, as he destroyed Greene’s plans and captured him, then left him in the middle of a desert with nothing but a can of oil. M later told Bond Greene was found with two bullets in his chest and his stomach held a can of oil. Bond simply shrugged and thought, Greene’s boss no doubt.

M asked where his loyalties lay and was he mentally able to continue doing his job, Bond replied he never left. Besides, Bond felt the mission wasn’t yet completed, and on his own time flew to Russia and tracked down Vesper’s former lover Yesef Kabira, who was now involved with Smersh and Quantum, and had been involved in the blackmailing of Vesper, thus, indirectly responsible for her death. But once again, instead of a double tap to the forehead Bond allowed him to live and be arrested.

Another mission around this time took Bond and fellow agent 006, Alec Trevelyan, to infiltrate a Russian chemical weapons facility. There they were attacked and captured. During the struggle 006 was shot and left for dead, while Bond made his escape. In actual fact Trevelyan had faked his own death and would spend the next nine years creating what became known as the Janus crime syndicate. Oblivious to such knowledge, until nine years later, when Bond meets the attractive psychopath and sadist Xenia Onatopp in Monte Carlo, and soon finds out she is a member of Janus. He also finds out she had recently killed a Canadian Admiral by crushing him between her thighs while having sex. Though knowing all this, Bond still seduces her and while undressing for bed, and removing his jacket, Onatopp notices his shoulder holster and tells him that “you won’t need a gun”, Bond replied, “well that depends on your definition of safe sex”. A downright scary individual, she visibly experienced an orgasm whenever she killed someone. But then, at the same time, this mission would be Bond’s most violent operation to-date, where he personally killed 47 individuals.

Bond also finds out that Janus’s leader is none other than the now scarred and disfigured Trevelyan, whose plan was to steal the command codes and hardware to control two electromagnetic pulse weapons (GoldenEyes) mounted on orbiting satellites. During the theft Onatopp excitedly killed every individual in the scientific faculty that built them, except for one lone survivor, Natalya Simonova, a skilled programmer who hid and lived. Simonova ends up with Bond and after becoming lovers, she helps him complete his mission. Onatopp on the other hand ends up fighting Bond, and died crushed against a tree by a crashed helicopter. In the end, Trevelyan asked Bond, “I might as well ask you if all those martinis ever silence the screams of all the men you’ve killed or if you find forgiveness in the arms of all those willing women for all the dead ones you failed to protect”. A mirror of each other, their fight to the death was extremely brutal, until Trevelyan was dropped seventy meters onto a satellite dish.

A few months after the mission where he had taken the air out of the tires of Dominic Greene’s and Quantum’s grandiose plans, Bond found himself in New York City, investigating the deaths of three MI6 agents over a 24 hour period. With friend CIA agent Felix Leiter at his side, they investigated a couple of Harlem nightclubs, but were kidnapped by a Mr. Big (short for Bonaparte Ignace Gallia), a ruthless gangster and drug dealer, who owned a chain of New York, “Filet of Soul” dinner clubs. After some torture, carried out by Mr. Big’s henchman Tee Hee Johnson, who had a pincer for a hand, Bond told their mundane made-up cover story. To determine if Bond was telling the truth Mr. Big brought in the beautiful, Simone “Solitaire” Latrelle, so named because she excluded men from her life. She was a tarot card reader and possessed the power of obeah, a voodoo cult of the West Indies. She was said to be able to see the future and events in the present. She lied to Mr. Big saying Bond was telling the truth, so he and Leiter were released, though not before Tee Hee breaks one of Bond’s fingers.

Leaving Mr. Big, Solitaire was seduced by Bond, and gladly helps him complete the mission, though by doing so she would forever lose her powers. With Solitaire’s assistance, Bond tracked Mr. Big down to the small Caribbean island of San Monique, where he ruled over his people using voodoo and the occult. To his people he was known as Dr. Kananga. His big plan was to distribute, free of charge, two tons of heroin, through his chain of “Filet of Soul” restaurants, thereby increasing demand by creating more addicts. Bond killed Mr, Big, by blowing him up with compressed air, and his remaining henchmen, Mo Thing, Sam Miami, The Flannel, and Blabbermouth Foley, then burned the island’s poppy crop to the ground.

In between missions, and considering his exploits in far off exotic locations, and trysts with beautiful women, when Bond  was back in London, he was actually very routine driven. Bond lived in a flat off King’s Road in Chelsea, and was looked after by an elderly Scottish housekeeper named May Maxwell.

Some people who knew him at the time, thought there was a slowly, seeping “sourness” to him. When in town Bond showed up at his office at MI6 headquarters, at about ten and be gone at about six, Monday to Friday. Most of his evenings were spent at the pub playing cards with a few close friends, with his card game of chance being baccarat and not poker.

To Bond, his increasing alcohol consumption meant “relaxation, ritual and reliability”. Rumour had it that he had had rotating affairs with three similarly disposed married women, each one used strictly as cold passionate release. Then, and for quite awhile, his off and on regular love interest when home was Sylvia Trench, who he had met playing baccarat at a club. She would endear herself to Bond from the time they first met, when she shook his hand and confidently said, “Trench. Sylvia Trench”. Bond would reply in kind, and keep the greeting as his own, which at times would seem odd. Considering that over time, every time he’d be trying to fly under the radar, to be secret, as it were, he would blow his cover by declaring his name out loud upon introduction each time he meets a bad guy, “Bond… James Bond”.

On an even more personal note, when at home, Bond’s favorite foods were grilled sole and baked oeufsen cocotte (eggs and crème fraiche), eggs Benedict, and cold roast beef with potato salad. When on a mission, however, Bond ate far more extravagantly, as it was then on MI6’s credit card.

Bond rarely listened to music, and if he did, only when he was home. Though his housekeeper once admitted his musical tastes run the gamut, from orchestral compositions by John Barry, David Arnold, George Martin and Thomas Newman to the singers Shirley Bassey, Tom Jones, Nancy Sinatra, Dusty Springfield, Louis Armstrong, and Lulu. He seemed to prefer female singers such as Carly Simon, Rita Coolidge, Sheryl Crow, Gladys Knight, Alicia Keys, Sheena Easton, K.D. Lang and Adele, but also enjoyed listening to the Pretenders, Duran Duran, Chris Cornell of Soundgarden and Audioslave, Jack White, Sam Smith, Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass, and Moby.

Bond’s next assignment began when a hard drive containing the details of undercover agents was stolen by a mercenary, by the name of Patrice. Bond and experienced fellow MI6 agent Eve Moneypenny, track Patrice down to Turkey, where he and Bond get into a fight atop a moving train, with Moneypenny set up as a sniper, but from afar. She was ordered over her headset by M, to take out Patrice. But Moneypenny missed and hit Bond instead, who fell off the train and dropped over 91 meters (300 ft) into a raging river, while Patrice got away. Bond was presumed dead after search attempts found nothing.

Three months later, M’s outspoken nemesis in meetings, Gareth Mallory, the chairman of the British parliament’s Intelligence and Security Committee, was pressuring her to retire. Amidst this, MI6’s computer servers were hacked, with M receiving a taunting message, just before MI6 headquarters in downtown London exploded.

With everyone thinking he was dead, Bond had used the presumption to stay off the grid, but when he learned of the attack on MI6 he returned. And though Bond failed a series of physical and psychological examinations by Dr. Moloney, M approved his return to the field. His job, identify Patrice’s employer, recover the stolen hard drive, and kill Patrice. Ordered to MI6 Q’s office, Bond’s Berretta was replaced with a 7.65 mm Walther PPK (the same handgun Hitler used to kill himself). Eventually Bond would be issued what he uses today, the 9 mm Walther P99.

Bond found Patrice in Shanghai and they fought once again, but this time Patrice falls about the same height that Bond fell from the train, unfortunately Patrice does his header off a tall building. Bond ended up in Macau, where he met the lovely Sévérine, an accomplice of Patrice. A former sex slave who worked for a Raoul Silva, she collaborated with Bond to show him where Silva’s base of operations was and to kill him.

While travelling to a small island off the coast on Sévérine’s yacht and becoming lovers, she and Bond were captured and taken to see the man himself, Raoul Silva. Who turns out to be, Tiago Rodriguez, a disgruntled ex-employee, former MI6 agent, now working as a cyber-terrorist, and the one behind the hacking and attack on MI6 headquarters. He also carries a deep resentment of M, because years ago, she had turned him over to the Chinese in order to save six other agents. Silva shot Sévérine in the head while she was tied to a statue, while the bound Bond could only watch. But Bond eventually takes Silva down and he was brought back to London.

At MI6’s new underground headquarters, Q attempted to decrypt Silva’s laptop, but unknowingly gave the laptop access to the MI6 servers, which allowed Silva to escape. During a government inquiry into MI6’s, and M’s in particular, handling of the stolen hard drive, Silva attempted to assassinate M, but Bond arrived in the nick of time, though not before Mallory would be the one to take a bullet, saving M’s life. Bond quickly hustled M into a waiting car and they made their escape. Bond and M travelled to the Bond family estate Skyfall, in the Scottish Highlands, and met up with the estate’s gamekeeper, Kincade. They quickly prepared booby traps around the property and house, expecting Silva to show up, because Q and Bill Tanner had led an electronic trail for him to follow, like breadcrumbs.

A group of Silva’s men slither in but Bond, M and Kincade killed most of them, though M took a bullet but concealed it from Bond. Soon enough Silva showed up himself by helicopter, with more men and heavy weapons. Bond sent M and Kincade off through a tunnel to a chapel on the grounds and fought a delaying action. Soon he had to also escape down the tunnel, but Silva showed up at the chapel first, and held a gun to M’s temple as he pressed his up against hers, pleading with M to kill them both. Finally Bond appears and throws a knife into Silva’s back killing him. Cradling M in his arms she would succumb to her wound and breathe her last breath.

Following M’s funeral, Eve Moneypenny would retire from field work to become secretary for the newly appointed M, Gareth Mallory. And Bond would once again try to hide extreme loss through booze, women, gambling and increasingly, mixing Benzedrine, an amphetamine, into a glass of champagne every now and then.

A few days after M’s funeral Bond would receive a posthumous message from her detailing a terrorist bombing plot going to be pulled off by terrorist leader Marco Sciarra in Mexico City. After foiling the attempted bombing, Bond confronted Sciarra, and before he kicked him out of a helicopter for him to fall to his death, Bond took Sciarra’s ring, which was emblazoned with a stylised octopus. He would soon find out that it is the emblem for a group called Spectre.

When he returned to London, Bond was suspended from field duty by the new M, but Bond disobeyed M’s orders and traveled to Rome to attend Sciarra’s funeral. There he seduced Sciarra’s widow, Lucia, who tells him Marco belonged to an organisation of businessmen with criminal and terrorist connections. Bond used Sciarra’s ring to infiltrate a meeting to select Sciarra’s replacement, where he identified the leader as Franz Oberhauser. The meeting also included talk about putting a hit on someone, who Bond surmised to be Mr. White, and whom Bond knew very well. Bond’s cover was blown at the meeting and he ran for it, followed by the assassin Mr Hinx, who he loses. Bond contacted Ms. Moneypenny to find out who Oberhauser really was, considering he was presumed dead years earlier. Moneypenny in return found out that the previously known Mr. White was a former member of Oberhauser’s organization’s subsidy Quantum, but who was now in hiding.

Bond tracked White down in Austria, where he was dying of thallium poisoning. He tells Bond all about Oberhauser’s organization, called Spectre, short for Special Executive for Counter-intelligence, Terrorism Revenge and Extortion. It was run as a commercial enterprise, with the executive made up of three from six of the world’s most notorious organizations, including the neo-Nazis, jihadists, drug lords, arms dealers, terrorist organizations and mad megalomaniacs. Not aligned to any nation or political ideology it was all about money and power no matter what it took. White asks Bond to find and protect his daughter, Dr. Madeline Swann, a psychiatrist working at a private medical clinic and who could help him find Oberhauser. After Bond promised to do so, White committed suicide. Bond finds Swann and they become lovers.

Soon Bond and Swann are captured by Oberhauser himself, and taken to his base of operations in the Sahara desert, where he admits he now goes by the name Ernst Stavro Blofeld, and as he tortured Bond he tells him of their connection so long ago and the deep resentment he still felt. Bond also finds out that many of his past villains, including Le Chiffre, Dominic Greene, Raoul Silva, and Mr. White, were actually all agents of Spectre, running its various umbrella organizations.  Bond and Swann eventually escaped and blew up Blofeld’s base, leaving him to his death.

Back in London, a couple of weeks later, Bond and Swann are kidnapped separately. Bond is taken to the ruins of the old MI6 building, scheduled for demolition after Silva’s bombing. A disfigured Blofeld showed up in a helicopter and told Bond that he must escape before explosives are detonated or die trying to save Swann, who is also somewhere in the building. Bond breaks loose and after finding Swann, they escaped by boat as the building collapsed around them. Bond then shoots down Blofeld’s helicopter, which crashed onto Westminster Bridge. Bond pulled the injured and disfigured Blofeld from the wreckage and allowed him to be arrested. Of course, the bald Blofeld would eventually escape, and continue acting on his lunatic fantasies of taking over the world. Most often while stroking a Chinchilla Silver Persian cat purring on his lap.

Over the next few months MI6 itself seemed splintered, as to loyalties and resentment, and along with a disturbing rise in failed missions and agents deaths, the powers that be finally decided that M Mallory was to be replaced by British Navy Rear Admiral Bernard Lee.

Having individual introductory meetings with his agents, M Lee tells Bond his latest physical assessment was poor because of his excessive drinking and smoking, and sent him off to re-hab at the Shrublands Health Clinic near a UN airbase. There Bond noticed a tattoo on a fellow patient indicating he was a member of a Chinese criminal organization, and had something suspicious going on with another patient whose head was covered in bandages. Bond was caught searching his room and after a brief struggle the man with the tattoo tried to kill Bond using a spinal traction machine. Bond was saved by his physiotherapist, Patricia Fearing, whom he then blackmailed into having sex in exchange for not telling her employer about the incident. The man with his head wrapped in bandages was Spectre pilot Angelo Palazzi, whose face was being surgically altered to match French Air Force pilot François Derval, who was also staying at Shrublands.

By the time Bond returned to London he finds out that an RAF Avro Vulcan strategic jet bomber loaded with two atomic bombs was stolen from the base that was nearby the clinic he had just returned from, and that the French pilot who usually flew her was found dead.

At a meeting at MI6, all agents were informed that Spectre was demanding $400 million in diamonds from NATO in exchange for the bombs, or else Spectre would destroy a major city in either the US or the UK. The plan was overseen by Blofeld, but carried out by his number two, the eye patch-wearing, wealthy playboy, and head of Spectre’s Extortion Division, Emilio Largo.

The Americans and British launched “Operation Thunderball” to take Spectre down and return the two atomic bombs intact. Acting on a tip, M sent Bond to the Bahamas, who hooked up once again with CIA’s Felix Leiter. In Nassau, Bond met Dominique “Domino” Derval, Emilio Largo’s mistress, and soon after seducing her, Bond informed her that Largo killed her brother (the pilot killed at the clinic) and recruits her to spy on Largo. But while doing so Largo captured her in the act and tortured her by burning her with a cigar for heat and then using ice cubes for cold. Domino eventually escaped and told Bond the two bombs are onboard Largo’s yacht, the Disco Volante, so Bond contacted MI6 and soon an American nuclear submarine showed up to assist. The crews of both vessels engaged in an undersea battle, while Bond, who was weakened after disabling the bombs, fights Largo who quickly gets the upper hand and just before finishing off Bond, Domino showed up and shot Largo in the back with a spear-gun.

Bond and Domino escaped, along with Largo’s nuclear scientist Dr. Ladislav Kutze, who in the end had turned on Largo and assisted Bond to save the day. While travelling in a boat in their escape he innocently admitted he can’t swim, Bond pushed him overboard. He and Domino end up convalescing in the same hospital.

Altogether there were seven operations against Spectre. For Bond, perhaps the toughest of these was when he was once again, on her majesty’s secret service, and trying to thwart another Spectre plan run by Blofeld, who this time was brainwashing patients to distribute bacteriological warfare agents throughout the world. While Bond was trying to track down the lunatic, he ran across the Contessa Teresa di Vicenzo, who preferred to be called Tracy, on a beach and saves her from committing suicide by drowning. It is said it was love at first sight. No doubt the experience affected Bond considering the suicide by drowning of Vesper earlier in his career. With the assistance of Tracy and her father, Marc-Ange Draco, the head of the European crime syndicate “Unione Corse”, they are able to attack Blofeld’s Swiss Alp’s lair, and foil his plan though once again Blofeld escapes.

After the mission and smitten by the resourceful, headstrong yet vulnerable woman, Bond proposes marriage and she accepts. They were married in Portugal, and driving away to I’m sure a very wonderful, exotic honeymoon somewhere, when Bond pulled over and got out to retrieve some flowers from the car, just as another car driven by Blofeld pulls up and Blofeld’s partner Irma Bunt, opens up on them with a machine gun. Bond survives, but Tracy is killed in the attack. Blofeld would escape and Irma Bunt would disappear, and be the only villain to have beaten Bond, leaving him broken and human. It would also be the only time Bond ever married. Word has it that when the first policeman showed up a tearful Bond was cradling Tracy’s body on the side of the road, and told the officer, “It’s all right. It’s quite all right, really. She’s having a rest. We’ll be going on soon. There’s no hurry you see, we have all the time in the world.”

Eight months after the murder of Tracy Bond, Bond was drinking and gambling heavily, and beginning to make mistakes, even confined to his desk  in MI6’s diplomatic branch, where he had been temporarily been transferred to. M saw a depressed man in mourning and as a last resort sends Bond to Japan on a semi-diplomatic mission. There Bond was to simply trade some information from radio transmissions captured from Russia, with the head of Japan’s secret intelligence service, Tiger Tanaka, who would provide information in return. The deal fell through when Tanaka revealed that they had already penetrated the British information source and gotten the information themselves. But Bond and Tanaka immediately connect, and Bond decided to stay another couple of days as Tanaka introduced Bond to the Japanese lifestyle, which began to make an impression on Bond, in a good way some have said.

After many conversations over sushi and plenty of sake, one day Tanaka tells Bond that an NASA spacecraft was hijacked from orbit by an unidentified spaceship and that it might have landed on the small isolated Japanese island of Ama. Tanaka asks Bond to help investigate and with permission from M, they come up with a plan to infiltrate the island, which had nothing more than a couple of small fishing villages, and an extinct volcano that dominated the island. After a few flybys of the island it was determined that the spaceship had to have landed inside the volcano. On one of the reconnaissance missions Bond was captured by a Mr. Osato, a Japanese industrialist rumoured to be working with Spectre. And that, lo and behold, the true mastermind behind this operation was Ernst Blofeld, who had been hired by the People’s Republic of China to start a Soviet-American war.

Bond woke up, tied up, in an opulent cabin aboard a yacht. Spectre operative number eleven, Helga Brandt, entered and interrogated Bond but he somehow managed to seduce her enough for her to kiss him, and who then ended up freeing him in order to have sex. After spending the night together, Brandt would change her mind and try to kill Bond but he escapes. Brandt meanwhile, would be dropped into a pool of piranhas by Blofeld for her failure.

Back in Tokyo, Bond began training with Tanaka’s ninja troops, and made to look Japanese in order to disguise himself as a fisherman alongside a wife, who would act like newlyweds and spend their honeymoon on the island in order to infiltrate it. The woman chosen, Aki, one of Tanaka’s assistants, would play the role of the wife, and of course became romantically involved with Bond. Unfortunately she was poisoned by a Spectre assassin, who’s target was actually Bond. Quickly moving on, Tanaka selected Kissy Suzuki, an intern in the service, who entered into a fake marriage with Bond, who began to look more Japanese each day. Tanaka renames Bond “Taro Todoroki” for the mission.

After arriving on the island, Bond and Suzuki established that the mouth of the volcano was indeed a disguised hatch to the secret rocket base. Tanaka and his ninjas attack, and in the ensuing battle Bond faced off with Blofeld in the control room. Some say Blofeld activated the base’s self-destruct system, and escaped. More credible sources say Bond finally killed him, strangling him in a vicious rage. Whichever the case may be, Bond, Suzuki, Tanaka, and his surviving ninja troops escaped, though in the confusion when in fact the entire complex did explode, Bond and Suzuki became separated from the main group.

While escaping, Bond had suffered a head injury, leaving him an amnesiac. He and Suzuki made their way to another small fishing village, with Bond believing he was a simple fisherman. Kissy conceals his true identity to keep him forever to herself. And once again, the rest of the world believed him to be dead, with his obituary appearing in the newspapers. Many who knew him were body-slammed by the news.

Soon Suzuki becomes pregnant, but doesn’t tell Bond, hoping when she does tell him he will marry her for real. Though now a peaceful, loving and simple fisherman, Bond would have flashbacks of things he could not understand and confused over the fact he had no memory. But for all intents and purposes he was a happy man. He had a renewed sense of humour and a purpose in life and becoming healthier each day.  Even dabbling in Haiku (Japanese poetry), and supposedly written by or in the style of Japanese poet Matsuo Bashō, “You only live twice. Once when you are born, and once when you look death in the face.”  (You Only Live Twice, Chapter 11)

Reading a newspaper one day there was a reference to Vladivostok, Russia, which touched a nerve, making him wonder if the far-off city was a key to his missing memory. Bond told Suzuki he must travel to Russia to find out. It was a sad parting of ways but Bond was adamant, and left a crying Suzuki, who had decided to keep her secret to herself, and become the only woman to bear his child. Suzuki and the baby’s current whereabouts are still unknown.

Finally making his way to Russia, Bond was kidnapped by their secret service, tortured, then brainwashed into assassinating MI6’s head M.

A year later a man claiming to be the presumed dead Bond appears at MI6 headquarters, in London, and demands to meet the head of the Secret Service. Bond’s identity was confirmed, but during his debriefing interview with M, Bond tries to kill him with a cyanide pistol, but the attempt failed. MI6 doctors, medical specialists and psychologists swarm Bond over the next few months, and find out he had suffered the loss of his only wife and biggest true love, a head injury which caused amnesia, lived as a Japanese fisherman for several months, and had been tortured and brainwashed in Russia, but they could cure him they frowned, and so they say they did.

De-programmed, Bond is given another chance to prove his worth as a member of the 00 section, and once again to be the best tool in their toolbox. He is soon is sent to Jamaica, with the seemingly impossible mission of killing the world’s most professional and feared assassin, Francisco (Paco) “Pistols” Scaramanga, a Cuban assassin who was believed to have also killed several British secret agents. He was known as “The Man with the Golden Gun”, because his weapon of choice was a gold-plated Colt .45 revolver, which fired silver-jacketed solid-gold bullets.

Tracking Scaramanga down to an island off China’s east coast, and Bond being Bond, he seduced Scaramanga’s mistress Andrea Anders. Afterwards, and in front of Scaramanga, whom he had just met, she entered the room they were in and Bond looks at her and said, “Miss Anders, I didn’t recognize you with your clothes on”.

MI6 agent, former personal secretary and friend Mary Goodnight, also appeared and assisted Bond in his endeavors, while still having the time to strike up a romance together. Bond and Goodnight foiled Scaramanga’s terroristic plans, with Bond facing off against him, and though Bond takes a shot in the arm, Bond killed him with two shots to the chest. And instead of killing Scaramanga’s sidekick, the short person Nick Nack, Bond cages him. It would be Bond’s only mission in which he only kills once. But after this mission it is said that Bond became ever more cold and emotionless.

His most recent missions, at least what has been leaked, include one run by M Brown, which brought Bond and CIA friend Felix Leiter, to Key West to initially take out drug lord Franz Sanchez. They quickly captured him, and soon after, Bond is best man at Leiter’s wedding. But a crooked DEA agent allowed Sanchez to escape, who quickly sent his crew to ambush Leiter and his newlywed. Felix is lowered into a tank occupied by a Tiger shark, while his wife is raped and killed. Bond showed up later to Leiter’s home and finds his friend maimed and wife killed. First going after the DEA agent, Bond found him and killed him by dropping him into the same shark tank Felix had been dropped into, but this time not letting him out. Before following the trail to Sanchez though, M showed up and reassigns Bond to a mission in Turkey, but Bond refused. M suspends him and revokes his 00 status. No matter, once again Bond goes rogue.

Assisting him in taking out Sanchez was ex-CIA agent and pilot Pam Bouvier, who he met of course, in a Bimini bar. They fly to the Republic of Isthmus, where Bond put out the word to Sanchez that he was an assassin for hire. But just before Bond gets close and assassinates Sanchez, two British Hong Kong Narcotics Bureau agents, along with MI6 agent Fallon, sent by M to arrest Bond, capture him. Thinking the agents are assassins, the paranoid Sanchez kills them all, saving Bond so he could hire him.

After Bond met Sanchez’s girlfriend Lupe Lamora, who was visibly attracted to him, Bond finds out the trick in Sanchez’s successful drug business was that his scientists had figured out how to dissolve cocaine in gas, and sell it to Asian dealers disguised as fuel. Bond and Bouvier systematically took down Sanchez’s empire. Bond kills Sanchez’s three main henchmen, by using a pressure chamber, wood shredder and harpoon. Finally facing off with Sanchez, Bond was caught in a bad spot and about to be attacked with the a machete wielding, covered in fuel madman, but at the last second Bond pulled out the lighter Leiter had given him for being best-man and lit Sanchez up.

Partying afterwards at Sanchez’s estate, with Lupe now the host, Bond gets a call from Alex telling him M was trying to get a hold of him and asking for Bond to return. Hanging up Bond politely rejected Lupe’s advances and romances Bouvier instead.

A few months later it was off to Hamburg, Germany, where Bond was ordered to investigate Elliot Carver, a psychopathic media mogul who planned to provoke global war to boost sales and ratings of his news divisions. There Bond bumps into Paris Carver, a former girlfriend of his who was now Carver’s trophy wife. He seduced her by relighting old flames, to get information on Carver. Then afterwards and with the assistance of Colonel Wai Lin, a Chinese spy, who Bond also seduced, together they destroy Carver’s plans and kill him, and most of his henchmen, unfortunately, not before one of them killed Paris.

The next mission to arise out of the dirt was germinated when a dear friend of M, Sir Robert King, a British oil tycoon, was assassinated by Victor “Renard” Zokas, a former KGB agent turned high-tech terrorist. Bond chased down the assassin, hired by Renard to do the actual deed, but she died during the chase. Getting first aid on a few minor injuries absorbed during the chase, Bond seduced Dr. Molly Warmflash, an MI6 agent and doctor assigned to examine him. Bond’s assignment then became to protect King’s daughter Elektra, who had previously been held for ransom by Renard. But soon Bond doubted where Elektra’s loyalties exactly lie.

Bond unraveled Renard’s scheme to increase petroleum prices by triggering a nuclear meltdown of a submarine in the waters of Istanbul, Turkey. Assisting Bond was Dr. Christmas Jones, an American nuclear physicist. Elektra eventually revealed that indeed, she and Renard were co- conspirators, and that she had had her father killed as revenge for using her as bait for Renard.

Elektra ends up abducting M, whom she resented for advising her father not to pay the ransom money, and imprisoned her in the one thousand year old, Maidens Tower, which lies on a small islet located at the southern entrance of the Bosporus strait, off of Turkey. Bond and Christmas were then captured by Elektra’s henchmen, and while Christmas was taken aboard a submarine, Bond was taken to the tower where Elektra tortured him with a garrote. But allies of Bond seize the tower and free Bond and M. Bond and Electra would face off and after getting the upper hand on her and pointing a gun at her head, Electra smiled at Bond and told him that “he would be unable to kill her because he’d miss her too much”. Bond smiled back “I never miss”, and promptly shot her in the face.

Bond gets aboard the submarine, frees Christmas, gets into a fight with Renard, who was killed by being impaled by a plutonium rod shot out of a sub’s reactor core at high speed, and finally, he and Christmas set the sub to safely implode underwater. They both escaped from the submarine via the torpedo launcher. Supposedly after the mission, Bond and Christmas would spend a couple weeks holed up in Bond’s London flat “recovering”.

Bond’s most recent assignment, and perhaps his last, was no doubt one of his most brutal. After infiltrating a North Korean military base, which was suspected of being the base of operations for a Colonel Tan-Sun Moon, who was trading weapons for conflict diamonds. Someone rats Bond out, and Moon attempted to kill him, but after a chase ended with Moon’s apparent death, Bond is captured by his father General Moon. Bond is kept in captivity for fourteen months, interspersed with seemingly endless torture sessions. It has been rumoured that Bond went mad.

Eventually Bond is traded in a prisoner exchange, sedated and taken to Hong Kong, where M suspends his 00 status under suspicion of having leaked information under duress. Bond believes he was set up by someone in the British government, and as Bond does, he decided to avenge the betrayal. And but yet again escapes MI6 and goes rogue.

He soon learns of agents connected to the supposedly dead Colonel Moon operating in Cuba. There Bond met American NSA agent Giacinta “Jinx” Johnson, with whom he immediately seduced. Afterwards they made their way to a gene therapy clinic, where patients can have their appearances altered through DNA restructuring. Bond confronted a Korean agent, who escaped, but which led Bond and Jinx to a cache of diamonds bearing the crest of the company owned by British billionaire businessman Gustav Graves. They learn that Graves only appeared a year prior, seemingly out of thin air, after apparently discovering a vein of diamonds in Iceland, which led to his current wealth, celebrity, and philanthropy from its assets.

Back in London Bond meets Graves, along with his assistant Miranda Frost, who was also an undercover MI6 agent. After a fencing duel between Graves and Bond that nearly got out of hand, Graves invited Bond to Iceland for a scientific demonstration. Bond gets a phone call from M who told him that MI6 had doubts about Graves, restored his 00 status and offered all the assistance he needed.

At his ice palace in Iceland, Graves unveiled a new orbital mirror satellite, “Icarus”, which is able to focus solar energy on a small area and provide year-round sunshine for crop development, but in actual fact his plan was to use it to cut a path through the Korean Demilitarized Zone with concentrated sunlight, allowing North Korean troops to invade South Korea and reunite the peninsula by force.

Jinx infiltrated Graves’ command centre, but was captured. Bond rescued her and later discovered that Colonel Moon was still alive, because he’s Gustav Grimes, via gene therapy to change his appearance. Bond confronted Graves, but Frost arrived to reveal herself as the traitor who betrayed Bond in North Korea. Bond escaped only to return in an Aston Martin V12 Vanquish to rescue Jinx, who had been captured once again within the palace. After she almost drowned, Bond saves her by using CPR, then simple kissing techniques, while Graves and Frost escaped to their C-130 cargo plane and headed back to North Korea, with the Icarus weapon on board. But totally unaware that Bond and Jinx had stowed away on board as well.

After Graves tells his father General Moon, who was also onboard, of his diabolical plan, his dad was horrified by the plan because it would cause a nuclear war with the United States. Graves shoots his father dead. Bond and Graves then engage in a fist fight, while Frost attacked Jinx. Getting beaten badly by Bond, Graves attempts to escape by parachute, but Bond opened the parachute, and caused Graves to be pulled out of the plane and into one of its engines, killing him and disabling the Icarus beam. It is said Bond yelled out after him, “time to face destiny”. Jinx meanwhile had killed Frost, and they escaped from the disintegrating plane in a helicopter from the cargo hold, carrying away Graves’ stash of diamonds in the process. And once again Bond ends up with a beautiful woman for a week or so long sexual affair, this time in a South Korean Buddhist temple located on the slopes of a forested tranquil valley.

Love interest, sidekick or foe, and whether or not he is on a mission or relaxing, or dealing with the demons inside his head, Bond has no qualms about sleeping with beautiful women. Most are “ubiquitous symbols of glamour and sophistication”, and seem to always have splendid figures and tend to dress in a “slightly masculine, assertive fashion, wear little jewellery and they generally use little or no makeup and no nail polish”. Whatever the variation in dress they are always very beautiful. Many of the women Bond beds have some sort of independent job or even career, with some involved in intelligence or law enforcement. Even those who were criminals tended to be similarly independent-minded in how they approached their work.

Other than the ones already noted, his little black book also includes, Tiffany Case, who is a good example of the type of women Bond was attracted to. Bond first met Tiffany on one of many earlier operations against Blofeld’s Spectre organization, this one, infiltrating a diamond smuggling ring connected to Blofeld’s plan of destroying targets in China, the United States and the Soviet Union with a laser satellite he had created, and then propose an international auction for global nuclear supremacy. Tiffany was one of the members of the smuggling gang, and had developed an antipathy towards men after being gang-raped as a teenager. Many women Bond has been with have had similar experiences, as many of them had risen up from being either sex slaves or sexually assaulted and gravitate to becoming a mistress or aide to the man running the organization, simple self preservation. Like many women Bond came to admire, Tiffany was tough, but lonely and insecure, and like many others, felt more confident in themselves when with Bond. Who himself hoped he could at least align them with a more honest lifestyle. Bond fell in love with Tiffany, the first time he had done so since Vesper and Tracey, even though he did fit in a quick affair with a similar beautiful woman with a similar background, by the name of Plenty O’Toole, who unfortunately would be killed soon after.

After the mission was completed and another Blofeld plan had been thwarted, Tiffany moved in with Bond back home, but eventually she left him to marry an American business man, and is now supposedly a very loving and happy wife and mother to three children. Alike was Honeychile Rider, a shell diver who was making a living by selling Jamaican seashells to dealers in Miami, when she met up with Bond. After being sexually abused for much of her young life, then assisting Bond on a mission and becoming his lover, she would move to Philadelphia, where she married a doctor by the name of Wilder and had two children with him.

Others in his book include, Fatima Blush, Holly Goodhead, Chow Mee, Gala Brand, Countess Lisl von Schlaf, Melina Havelock, Lavender Peacock, Penelope Smallbone, Jill and Tilly Masterton, Fiona Volpe and wealthy business woman and smuggler, Octopussy. He has slept with women on trains, planes, in a forest, a stable, a motorized iceberg, in hospitals, a submarine, and a dinghy, and even on the space shuttle, along of course in multiple suites of fine exotic hotels and inns. Rumour has it that when Bond and a woman are kissing, making love, or implying he will do so, they nearly all purr “Oh James”.

Bond has had an estimated 78 sexual encounters over his career so far, but actually has had sex with only 55 of them. Unfortunately 75% of the women he sleeps with attempt to kill him, and that one of every three women he beds dies. Of his main love interests, whom some within MI6 have called “Bond Girls” only two have died. Both, being the ones Bond loved the most, the previously mentioned Vesper Lynd and Tracy Bond.

As to his day job, to-date Bond has over 378 kills and the cause for nearly 1,000 collateral damage deaths. On the flip side it was estimated that he has been shot at over 5,000 times. Since his medical records have never been released, he has taken who knows how many bullet and knife injuries along the way, as well as all the mental and physical damage from being tortured on a fairly regular basis.  Supposedly Bond has a habit of laughing hysterically when being tortured, and there is no doubt being held by the North Koreans for so long had to have affected him, but supposedly he has always been that way. When being tortured by Le Chiffre on his first mission, by being tied to an open bottomed chair naked, and having his testicles hit with a carpet beater, it is said Bond laughed in Chiffre’s face, spitting at him “that the whole world will now know that you died scratching my balls.” By happenstance Le Chiffre is killed soon after. It is also said by those who know him or have faced off against him that Bond also has a dry wit about him, especially after many of his kills, and as we have touched on throughout, seemed to be a master of the one-liner.

Today he has a scar down his right cheek and left shoulder, with visible plastic surgery on the back of his right hand. It has been estimated that he has had at least sixteen, maybe more, severe concussions over his career. As to PTSD, one would think his case would be severe, but then I don’t know, can psychopaths be afflicted with such a disorder.

One would also have to consider some of his foes that he has fought, other than those already mentioned. One of the most formidable would have to be the mercenary henchman, Jaws. Standing 217 cm (7.1 ft) tall with steel capped teeth, he was big and very strong. The first time they fought, Bond found himself in an unbreakable death grip and about to be bitten, and only got out of it by pushing a nearby broken electric lamp up against Jaws teeth, stunning him. Jaws also had an uncanny ability to survive any misfortune seemingly unscathed, in this one mission alone he survives an Egyptian structure’s collapse on top of him, being hit by a van, being thrown from a rapidly moving train, sitting in the passenger seat of a car which veers off a cliff, a battle underwater with a shark, and the destruction of his employer, scientist and anarchist Karl Stomberg’s base of operations.

On another mission Bond and Jaws faced off once more, and after falling over one thousand meters (several thousand feet) after accidentally disabling his own parachute (he falls through a circus tent and lands in the trapeze net), a later crash through a building inside a runaway cable car, and finally going over the over 300 m (1000 ft) Iguazu Falls, in Brazil, Jaws turns on his latest employer and helps Bond complete the mission. Perhaps because of a growing respect for each other or because Jaws realized he was working for a madman named Hugo Drax, who’s plan was to stuff every space shuttle available with hand-picked, genetically perfect young men and women of varying races, then poison all of humanity, but leaving the other animals alone, then repopulating the planet. In the end Bond cornered Drax in the International space station’s airlock, shoots him with a cyanide-tipped dart, then ejected him into space. Speaking of the space shuttle, Bond has had many operations and associations with the US manned space program, including the projects Mercury, Gemini, Apollo, and the Space Shuttle program.

Other foes include the Korean manservant of greedy megalomaniac Auric Goldfinger (who wanted to control the world’s gold supply), the bald and deadly Oddjob, who wore a steel razor sharp brim on his bowler. There were the mobsters Sol “Horror” Horowitz and “Sluggsy” Morant, who Bond killed with shots to their foreheads. On another mission, two of Bond’s antagonists were a pair of gay hit men, Mr. Wint and Mr. Kidd, and a pair of female body guards, Bambi and Thumper. The girls fought Bond wearing bikinis until they all ended up in a pool and Bond held their heads underwater until the second before they drowned and released them. The girls were arrested, while Wint and Kidd were blown up later.

Bond’s toughest foe pound for pound, was undoubtedly Donald “Red” Grant, a viscous Spectre assassin possessing Bond’s ugliest traits and relenting toughness. A ruthless hand to hand fight came to an end with Bond garroting him to death.

The villains and the henchmen that Bond has faced run the gamut, with most of them seemingly very over-ambitious. Nearly all were snobby, intellectual, and geniuses and scientists with elaborate island fortresses and lairs, all trying to take over and control the world in some sort of way. Many also have some sort of strange physical disfigurement, and were all pure megalomaniacs, perfectly blending ego and viciousness. Interestingly the only American villain Bond has faced was Brad Whitaker, a loud, obnoxious and brash American arms dealer, working out of Afghanistan. Go figure. Bond killed him by activating a bomb disguised as a key chain, which dropped a large statue of 18th century British general, Duke of Wellington onto his head crushing him. With Bond remarking that the poor chap, “had met his Waterloo”.

There also has been a litany of female antagonists who could also hold their own against Bond. Spectre assassin Fiona Volpe wounded him severely in a fight and actually cornered him, but just as she went in for the kill she herself is killed. One of the toughest female foes, and the boss of one of Bond’s toughest male foes, the already mentioned Red Grant, was Rosa Klebb, number three at Spectre.

After killing Red Grant, Bond tracked Klebb to a hotel in Paris, where she was to rendezvous with Grant at the conclusion of his mission, and where Bond finds out that she and Red have been trying to kill him in revenge for him killing Dr Julius No, during his previous mission. Dr No was also a tough opponent, being nearly 2 m (6’6”) tall, steel pincers for hands and having Dextrocardia, where the apex of his heart was located on the right side of his body, and not on the normally left. To end their final fight Bond tossed No into a vat of nuclear reactor cooling water, where he boiled to death.

Back in the hotel room, Klebb battled Bond solo, and after failing to kill him with a gun hidden in a telephone, she successfully poisons him by means of a fugu venom-laced blade hidden in the toe of her shoe. Bond slowly collapses to the ground and begins to die, but Rene Mathis, an agent of the French secret service DGSE (General Directorate for External Security) breaks in and captures Klebb. Mathis was a long time friend of Bond, and had both worked together on numerous few missions, including a few with Bond and Mathis’s other long time friend Alex Leiter. Here, Mathis perhaps saves Bond’s life, as he relentlessly performed CPR on his friend until the paramedics arrived. It took Bond months to recover.

Another time, while taking out Max Zorin, a psychopathic industrialist, and the product of a Nazi genetic experiment who attempted to destroy Silicon Valley and take over the microchip market, Bond came up against Zorin’s lover and chief henchwoman, the extremely powerful May Day. Her bodyguard detail included the assassins Jenny Flex, Pan Ho, Alison Doody and Papillon Soo Soo. As the mission neared its end, May Day is abandoned by her lover Zorin and would turn on him, and help Bond complete the mission. As we have seen, Bond has the uncanny ability to seduce many former female foes in turning and helping him instead. During the “Goldfinger” operation, Bond’s foe was Pussy Galore, who was the leader of Pussy Galore’s Flying Circus, a group of women aviators working for Auric Goldfinger, and who happened to be lesbian. By the end of the mission, they end up in bed, where Bond asks, “They told me you only liked women,” Pussy purred in her reply, “I never met a man before.”

So far details of 25 missions have been leaked or hacked then leaked, with who knows how many we will never know about or if the information was even correct. No doubt many of them as Bond the catalyst to all sorts of goings on. Strangely, though Bond’s missions have taken him to over 60 countries, as well as outer space, and he has saved the world numerous times, there would be only two films ever made about his exploits.

The Casino Royale operation would be the basis for one of only two films ever made about Bond, and Hollywood being Hollywood, would make the story a “spy-comedy spoof”. The other film made was a version of MI6’s Thunderball mission, called “Never Say Never Again” which was released in 1983, and starred Sean Connery (in his mid-fifties) as Bond, who comes out of retirement for one more mission, Barbara Carrera as Fatima Blush, Kim Basinger as Domino Petachi, Klaus Maria Brandauer as Maximillian (instead of Emilio) Largo, and Max von Sydow as Ernst Stavro Blofeld. The movie was mostly filmed in the French Riviera and the Bahamas.

The farcical “Casino Royale” film on the other hand, was an ensemble affair done entirely tongue in cheek. Released in 1967, its cast included David Niven as Sir James Bond, Ursula Andress as retired British secret agent Vesper Lynd, who was forced back into service in exchange for writing off her tax arrears, Peter Sellers as baccarat master, Evelyn Tremble, who would be recruited by Vesper to challenge Le Chiffre at Casino Royale. After the game Le Chiffre hallucinogenic ally tortures Tremble, but Vesper rescues him only to kill him. Barbara Bouchet plays Bond’s new secretary Miss Moneypenny, the daughter of the original Miss Moneypenny. Joanna Pettet played Mata Bond, Bond’s daughter by the famed spy Mata Hari, and Jacqueline Bisset played Miss Goodthighs. The extremely Scottish, Duncan Macrae, played the French agent, Rene Mathis, forcing the confused Evelyn Tremble to state his concern that despite being a French agent Rene spoke with a Scottish accent, Rene replied, “Aye, it worries me too”.

Other cast members included William Holden as CIA executive and agent, Ransome, Daliah Lavi, as British secret agent The Detainer, John Huston as M, who dies from an explosion caused by his own bombardment of Bond’s estate when the cross-spy-agency team visits in the beginning of the film, Terrence Cooper as Coop, a British agent and karate expert who begins training to resist seductive women, and Orson Welles as Le Chiffre, Smersh’s financial agent, who is desperate to win at baccarat to repay the money he has embezzled from the organization.

Its premise was that the criminal organization Smersh was going around assassinating intelligence officers all over the globe, primarily because of their inability to resist sex. It got so extreme that M would lead a contingent of heads of secret service agencies, including French Intelligence, the CIA, and the Russian KGB, to try to talk Bond, retired from the secret service 20 years previously, to help them out. When they all meet on Bond’s estate, a bomb goes off and M dies in the explosion. Ironically he was the culprit behind the attack. Bond comes out of retirement to head MI6. The film’s tagline: “Casino Royale is too much… for one James Bond!” refers to Bond’s ruse to mislead Smersh by having six other agents pretending to be James Bond.

A high-stakes baccarat game was arranged at the Casino Royale, in Royale-les-Eaux in Northern France, and was located atop a giant underground headquarters run by the evil Dr. Noah, who secretly was Sir James’ nephew Jimmy Bond, and played by Woody Allen. Noah was once an MI6 agent but had defected to Smersh to spite his uncle and destroy him by discrediting his “celibate image”.  His plan was to use biological warfare to make all women beautiful, and kill all men over 137 cm (4 ft 6 inch) tall, leaving Noah as the “big man” who gets all the girls. Jimmy captured The Detainer, and pleads with her to please be his partner. She agrees then cons him into swallowing an “atomic time pill” he had developed, making him a walking nuclear devise.

After also being kidnapped by Noah, Bond, Moneypenny, Mata and Coop escape and fight their way back up to the casino. The casino is then overrun by secret agents from many organizations, including British, American, Russian and French support troops. It was chaos in the casino and surrounding grounds. Elsewhere Noah is counting down his nuclear explosion, by his hiccups. When he reaches his last hiccup the pill explodes and vaporizes Casino Royale, killing everyone. Bond and all of his agents then appear as angels flying up into heaven, while Noah is shown falling backwards into hell.

Its main theme song, the instrumental “Casino Royale”, written by Burt Bacharach, was performed by Herb Alpert and the Tijuana brass, while the hit song to come from the film was Dusty Springfield singing “The Look of Love”. The soundtrack album became famous among audio purists for the excellence of its recording. It then became a standard “audiophile test” record for decades to come, especially the vocal performance by Dusty Springfield.

Rumour has it that Bond is now retired, after purchasing a 61,000 sq m (15 acre) patch of land on Oracabessa bay, on the northern coastline of Jamaica, earlier in his career. The former site of a donkey race track, Bond would eventually build a three bedroom home, every window louvered, on a cliff overlooking a private beach on the property which he called Goldeneye. It is said his companion is Dominique “Domino” Derval, the woman he first met years ago during the Thunderball mission. Maybe he’s writing his memoirs, or staring off into space sipping on a Vesper, or painting pictures, but no doubt heavily medicated and hurting aplenty getting out of bed each morning, considering the damage his body has taken. And though the life and times of James Bond seems fictional, regardless, there is no doubt a team of clinical psychologists would have a field day with Bond… James Bond.

 

 

 

 

 

Sources

Ian Fleming, “James Bond” Novels – Casino Royale, Live And Let Die, Moonraker, Diamonds Are Forever, From Russia With Love, Dr No, Goldfinger, For Your Eyes Only, Thunderball, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, You Only Live Twice. Pan Books Ltd: Toronto, 1964. And from the memories of watching, numerous times, every Bond film ever released.

http://www.ianfleming.com/james-bond/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Outline_of_James_Bond

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Bond_(literary_character)

http://www.uselessdaily.com/movies/james-bond-43-interesting-facts-about-the-movie-series/#ixzz5NwGeFFVp

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=19bA1jN2sKk

https://ca.ign.com/articles/2012/10/24/25-things-you-probably-didnt-know-about-james-bond