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Headscratchers: James Bond

  • Just why won't Bond sleep with Moneypenny? There is nothing different from her and any other chick he's bedded.
    • They fact that they work together? So Bond wouldn't be able to do his usual 'love them and leave them' routine.
    • She's also one of the few stable elements in his life. I highly doubt he wants to risk one of his multitudes of enemies catching him in the act with her.
    • Assuming they genuinely are attracted to one another and aren't just playing an amusing private game, perhaps it's because of James' feelings for Moneypenny that he won't sleep with her. He doesn't think of her as just another of his frequent one-night-stands, he honestly has romantic feelings towards her and he's afraid he'll ruin that if he sleeps with her.
    • Along with that, Bond is self-aware enough to know that he's a callous asshole with a dangerous lifestyle and that most of the women who have ever slept with him have ended up either better off without him, or dead. If he actually likes Moneypenny as a friend — which he does — it's no mystery why he decides to give her a pass on that.

  • Isn't an Aston Martin a bit conspicuous for a secret agent? Wouldn't a secret agent based in London in The Sixties have driven a Morris Minor or something like that?
    • Well Bond hardly ever operates in London itself. And most of the time when he operates abroad he is generally playing high status characters who might be expected to have an Aston Martin.
    • Rule of Cool. A spy always has to have a cool car, and as mentioned above, James is usually playing high profile characters.
    • Normally it would, but most of Bond's cover ids seem to be millionaire playboy-types. An Aston Martin would actually make him less conspicuous in that case.
      • Which is the same logic behind the Ferraris in Miami Vice. Works better for Bond, in fact - in Miami Vice one might have thought that the baddies would have noticed they were being tailed or staked out by people in a white Testarossa, even if it makes sense for Crockett to drive one to meets...
    • Realism aside, the whole point of James Bond is that he's a wish-fulfilment character for his readers / watchers — he beds beautiful women, gets into exciting adventures, lives in a (relatively) simple world where the good guys and the bad guys are clearly defined and the bad guys are easily defeated... and drives cool cars. The whole point of Bond is that he's an opportunity to indulge a fantasy, and fact is the Morris Minor, while a perfectly reliable and common vehicle, was not exactly the stuff of wish-fulfilment and fantasy. If you were a guy in Britain who was into cool cars in the 1960s and didn't have much money, you probably didn't spend your life hoping you'd one day get to drive a Morris Minor — you probably would, because they were cheap and you likely couldn't afford anything else. The Aston Martin on the other hand...

  • When Bond is dubbed in foreign languages, are there any particular rules on the use of the two forms of "you"? Or, for that matter, honorific use in Japanese?
    • Good question, but why specifically Bond? Russians, for example, have multiple ways of dealing with T-V distinctions in translating foreign fiction; it depends on the translator. In LOTR, they just stuck with the "singular nonpolite" ty and had Aragorn explicitly lampshade it. For "realistic" settings, on the other hand, the usual rules of everyday speech apply.
    • Bond Girls. I'm interested in what forms are used by Bond to them and when it changes.
      • In German dubbings the change from formal to informal 'you' occurs when Bond (or any other two characters) kiss for the first time.
      • Thanks.

  • Personally, I've always wondered what happens to the (still living) Bond girls in between each movie.
    • Short relationship with Bond, then break-up. At least that's how it goes in the novels.
    • Thrown into the recycle bin.
    • You actually see what happens at the beginning of some movies. Bond is out having a jolly good time with some babe, he gets a call or a message from the boss, and he's off, and we never hear from the girl again. He just leaves them in the lurch without explanation.
      • He's definitely got that kind of personality.
    • More likely it never works out because he's a professional killer that spends his life travelling around the world. The one time he did settle down, the woman was killed. Bond probably ends it either because he knows it won't work out or he's worried that they'll get hurt. Your choice which explanation he uses on which Bond Girls.

  • In the Daniel Craig movies, where are Q and Moneypenny?
    • Reserved for future installments?
    • The problem they have is that by this point James Bond movies have practically become a parody of themselves (Ice-hearted villainess called Frost, Bad Guy called GRAVEs, Henchman called Mr. Kill etc) And they wanted to do a return to the form of the books. Q is a comic relief character in the movies, which doesn't exist in the books. While Moneypenny is in the books it's the innuendo and comedic interchanges between her and Bond that the movies rely on. Neither of these are suitable for a revamped Darker and Grittier Bond
      • Really? The Nolan movies have Commissioner Gordon and Alfred, despite the Alfred role being filled by Lucius Fox and the police not fully trusting Batman. Why? Because they are important character in the Batman mythos. Likewise, Q and Moneypenny are important characters in the Bond mythos. Who is supposed to give Bond his gadgets? Who is supposed to play a grandfather role to Bond? What other female can Bond strike a relationship with WITHOUT brooding and whining?
      • Bond doesn't get any gadgets in the Craig movies. If he has no gadgets, there's no use for Q. If they decide to give Bond gadgets in the next one, they'll introduce Q. As for Moneypenny, her absence made the Vesper plotline more plausible. With that plot all resolved, maybe we'll see her too. On the other wiki, they say that if they find a place for these characters, the'll introduce them. We'll know by 2012.
      • Also, they are very influenced by the Fleming novels. Q here is an armourer and rarely gives gadgets to Bond. The few items he does give over the books are things that today are taken care by his cellphone. Plus it puts him closer to Fleming's Bond, who had to rely on his wit, not his gadgets.
    • There's Villiers, who could vaguely fill the Moneypenny role, but he's male. Let's see how that works out.

  • Just a question concerning Q and his constant complaints about Bond having gadgets destroyed or brought back in a less than pristine condition - what the hell does he think James Bond actually does for a living?
    • Presumably, he is able to compare Bond's return rate with other agents, and finds it lacking.
      • "Well 006 failed to defeat the evil drug dealer and prevent the nuking of the west coast of Florida. On the other hand, he did manage to return the magnetic watch undamaged".
      • Interestingly, so far as we know, Florida still exists in the Bond universe. Presumably, 006 was able to complete the mission and return the magnetic watch undamaged. Non-mutual-exclusion is a funny thing.
      • Interestingly enough, as far as we know, Japan still exists in the real universe AND was itself nuked. Twice. No reason Florida can't soak up a little radiation here and there and keep on chuggin'.
    • Bond is rather reckless with his stuff even when the situation doesn't call for it. Consider how he raced the Aston Martin up a narrow mountain road in Film/Goldeneye for no good reason. Well, except for that reason.
    • Q's the guy of guy who'd understand that, but he'd still probably annoyed about having gadgets destroyed. Think about it: if you spent all your time building stuff and most of the stuff you give to 007 gets destroyed, you're going to be annoyed a little bit even if you know he's the best agent you have. Also, I think at this point it's a running joke between them. And I'm pretty sure he didn't want Bond destroying the Sandwich-looking gadget in GoldenEye. "Don't touch that! That's my lunch."
      • Maybe it's a Truth in Television. It seems to be a common characteristic among people in charge of signing out equipment to be somewhat resentful of having to let it out of their sight at all, let alone getting it back in less than pristine condition.
    • I get the feeling Bond just throws away the stuff he doesn't need, while the other agents ensure they're brought back in one piece.
    • This is a Headscratcher? Gadgets cost time and money to build. Q is a public servant working for a government department which, for all that it involves spies, doubtlessly has to worry about budgets, supplies and manpower just as much as any department. Every time Bond destroys or loses a gadget, it's something that has to be rebuilt or replaced, which consumes time, manpower and resources that could be better applied elsewhere. Hence, Q would like Bond to return the gadgets he's issued with in one piece and gets irate when Bond doesn't.

  • How does Q always give Bond the exact right gadgets? I know Bond improvises sometimes, but he never gives Bond a Watch Magnet Attract feature that he never needs or an EMP Pen that winds up useless.
    • The car accessories sometimes get neglected. In Film/Goldeneye, he simply didn't use any of them. In The World Is Not Enough, the car got sliced in half before he got to fully use it.
    • Law of Conservation of Detail.
    • Same way a modern military force decides how to equip their covert agents, I imagine. They assess the intelligence, calculate the most probable needs of their field agents, and equip them accordingly. If Q thinks Bond is likely to be rappelling down skyscrapers he'll give him a miniature grappling hook launcher hidden inside a wristwatch. If Q thinks Bond is going to have to blow out a wall or a window he'll give him a toothpaste tube full of plastique.
  • I remember reading somewhere that the Q scene is always written last in the screenplay, to introduce the gadgets Bond just so happens to find useful during the movie.

  • How many agents does Q outfit? If he's MI6's quartermaster, be he only seems to deal with 00 agents. Do the average MI6 agents get weapons from a different person or something?
    • In From Russia With Love, Captain Nash (actually Red Grant) has the same type of attache case as Q gave Bond.

  • If Q stands for Quartermaster, what does R stand for? Robert? Rubiks Cube? Rock and Roll?
    • There is no "R". This is just a feeble joke made by Bond in The World Is Not Enough about Q's replacement.
    • Replacement?
    • Alphabetically, R comes after Q. It makes sense. Except for Craig's jokes, we never know what M stands for either (especially when M was cast as a female.)
      • In the novels the male M is called Admiral Sir Miles Messervy, with the female M being called Barbara Mawdsley. The M designation is possibly a reference to Sir Mansfield Smith-Cumming, who was known as "C"- as all his successors as head of SIS.
    • Pierce Brosnan was actually glad that the name "R" didn't stick, as it would have come out in his Irish accent more like "air," most decidedly un-British.

  • Incidentally, why DON'T the villains just shoot him?
    • Because they're egomaniacs. They need to him to thoroughly humiliated before they kill him. It's the same principle as supervillains wasting money making sure all their weapons are thematic - it hinders them but it adds to the spectacle.
    • Dude, if you're gonna make an elaborate super-base or a killer satellite or anything that outlandish, you're sure as hell not just going to shoot him. If you're that sensible and practical you'd never make a super-base or something in the first place.
      • Having Bond die a painful, humiliating death is as much a message to his people as much as it is to stroke their own ego. Killing a living legend in such a manner is basically a way of telling British Intelligence "That's what happens. Don't fuck with me again." A dead spy is just that. A humiliated spy damages the aura of the agency that handled him and may lead to loss of credibility, particularly if they're trying to turn enemy spies or work with organizations they otherwise may not be able to deal with (like drug rings, terrorist cells, guerrilla groups, mercenaries, etc.).
    • Honorable mention to Auric Goldfinger, who was indeed just going to have Bond killed until Bond bluffed him into believing that Goldfinger needed him alive.
    • At least in Thunderball, they have a reason for being cautious about killing Bond at first. If Largo just snuffs him out early, it will result in a big, shiny "NUKES ARE HERE" sign. That's why Volpe is trying to kill him quietly, without drawing too much attention, at least until the point where Bond is spotted infiltrating the mansion and they switch over to "Bond must die" mode.
    • He does get shot at plenty of times, but they always miss (obviously). Blofeld was going to shoot him, after pulling the Blofeld Ploy, but the head of Japanese secret service pulled a Big Damn Heroes moment. Other times the villains just want Bond to die somewhere else. Usually, though, Bond has simply pissed them off by this point.

  • He goes all over the world. Runs in the same wealthy circles. He's been everywhere. But... he never runs into a family member or an old friend who isn't important to the plot. You'll never see "I'd like a martini, shaken not sti-" (drunk frat buddy chimes in) "JIMMY! Man, I haven't seen you since graduation, you old dog, what's happenin'??"
    • Simple, Bond is an Orphan and a sociopath. He doesn't have friends. The few people who can stand his presence (006, Felix, Moneypenny) are in the same business and know enough not to draw attention to him.
      • He's not a sociopath; he's just a secret agent. And he has plenty of friends, even if they are all in the same business. Most of his co-workers like him and he is on good terms with them (for example, he's upset when he learns Q is retiring).
    • Aside from Tomorrow Never Dies, when he runs into his old flame who is now dating the villain? And it's a major plot point because it blows his cover and gets her killed?
    • In The Spy Who Loved Me his first contact in Egypt turns out to be an old friend from Cambridge. Licence to Kill starts with him attending Felix Leiter's wedding, and he was friendly with Leiter's fiancée (as in, actually friendly) as well as Sharkey.
    • It's not unreasonable to assume that Bond has intentionally lost touch with old friends (for their safety, if nothing else). A college drinking buddy might be looking at 20 years or more since he last saw Bond in the flesh. Plus any spy worth their salt can fake an accent on the fly and tell them they're mistaken
    • I imagine that most black ops-style secret agents tend to be the kind of people who don't have a lot of close attachments in their 'real' lives outside of the service — the kind of people with few family or friends to notice or miss them if they just suddenly up and disappear one day or fail to come back. In short, Bond's old friends don't usually recognise him because Bond doesn't have a lot of friends, and those he does have are in the life somehow.
      • It's like Trevelyan says in GoldenEye: "Mr. Bond here will have a small memorial service, with only Moneypenny and a few tearful restaurateurs in attendance.". A previous "M" from The Man with the Golden Gun would have added "Outraged chefs" to the list though. It isn't exactly a close or a full social calendar though.
    • This is actually Lampshaded in Bond's last book, Solo. A former classmate of Bond's, whose first name Bond doesn't even remember, comes up to him on some random street in America and asks him if he wants to hang out sometime. The ensuing monologue basically consists of Bond wondering, irritatedly, "Did that just fucking happen?"
    • Amusingly, the novel version of Goldfinger starts off the main plot by the coincidence of having Bond, while stuck in an airport lobby in Miami, run into the guy who was sitting next to him when he was busy breaking Le Chiffre's bank in Casino Royale. Remembering Bond from that instance is what prompts Mr. Du Pont to offer him a short-term job, as Mr. Du Pont suspects he is being cheated at cards (which he is, by Goldfinger) and knows Bond is a world-class card player.

  • What the hell happened to SPECTRE? One minute, they're a global power on par with the US and USSR. Then, they disappear. Last we heard was when Bond killed Blofeld, but considering he always has a number two to replace him if he dies, why would that mean they just dissolve? Where the hell did they go?
    • I think they got tied up in the Thunderball fiasco, so the creators can't use them anymore.
      • The SPECTRE in the films is usually credited to the screenwriter who originally adapted Thunderball (which was remade as Never Say Never Again), and the producers chose to quit using it. Even as indicated below, we see the death of Blofeld who is not referred to by name in the film For Your Eyes Only, nor is SPECTRE mentioned.
    • After Blofeld's death in For Your Eyes Only, in which the organisation was already suffering (Blofeld's scheme involved one mook and a remote control operated by him), it collapsed entirely. The surviving members who wanted to carry on formed a new super secret evil organisation. It's name? QUANTUM.
    • Most likely Thunderball & You Only Live Twice cost them a great deal of money, leading to collapse. Volcano bases and custom spaceships don't come cheap. In OHMSS, he's trying to get himself declared a Count, probably for some sort of inheritance. In Diamonds are Forever, he's using Willard Whyte's resources to finance his operation.

  • "SPECTRE does not tolerate failure." Then pray tell, how come after Bond has foiled two plans Blofeld was personally overseeing, he is still in the position to be running a project that involves SPECTRE's own satellite?
    • He's the boss. Double Standard, perhaps.
      • That explanation occurred to me, but it opens up another question: why doesn't anyone challenge Blofeld's leading position when he repeatedly fails against the same person and brushes aside the rules he himself has set? Then again, maybe they did, and it contributed to SPECTRE's downfall, which is speculated above.
      • The moment someone challenges Blofield, they learn why you do not challenge Blofield. Generally, right before they die horribly.
    • Well its Blofeld Maybe his minions still have respect for him even after all the stuff ups he has caused.
      • On the same theme, in 'From Russia With Love' both Rosa Klebb and Kronsteen try to shift blame for the plan to kill Bond failing. Blofeld decides to kill Kronsteen as punishment for the plan failing. However, as far as I can see, the plan worked perfectly, Bond was unaware of what was going on, they had the film of him and Tatania as well as the Lektor. The only flaw in the plan was that the agent hired to carry out the assasination was a total psycho who wanted to see Bond crawl for mercy rather than just shoot him and make it look like suicide...and the choice of agent was entirely Klebb's responsibility. Is Blofeld the worst judge of performance or what?
      • He was probably just sick of Kronsteen's smugness and egotistical boasting and Bond still being alive was a good excuse to shut him up. I know I was.
      • Plus, the only two people who know what actually happened between Grant and Bond are Grant and Bond. Since Grant is dead and Bond isn't going to tell them what happened, all they have to go on is guesswork. It's noted that Grant was their top field agent, so what could have happened? Kronsteen's elaborate plan screwed it up somehow.

  • FYI, in real life the term MI6 (Military Intelligence Section Six) had fallen into official disuse after World War I. So when will the show use the current official name of British foreign intelligence, that is Secret Intelligence Service (SIS)? I thought that, since the series has been rebooted, the writers will finally use SIS instead of MI6.
    • They'll keep using MI6 because that's the organization that James Bond has been working for in the public consciousness for the last 50 years.
      • Fair point. But the thing is, James Bond and M are SIS agent themselves. They should refer their own service correctly, yes? Bond saying that he's MI6 is like CIA Director saying that he works for OSS.
      • Bond isn't an SIS agent. He's an MI6 agent. In whatever universe Bond takes place in, MI6 never fell into official disuse.
      • Maybe MI6 is in official disuse, but that doesn't stop it from being in operational disuse.
    • In most films they actually refer to it as "the British Secret Service" or "British Intelligence", and often "Universal Exports" though that is actually its cover name. If I remember correctly it was actually as late as GoldenEye that they started calling it MI6. Probably a mixture of research failure and History Marches On- the existence of the organization wasn't officially confirmed until the 70's or 80's ('course, few people were surprised), long after Bond began his run, and they probably messed up the name from that.
    • Shame they don't correct this in Casino Royale.
    • No, not really.
  • When Bond sees the Big Bad he's always wearing a Chairman Mao style jacket. One would think before he knows that he's dealing with the Big Bad, he'd recognize him as such just by this dress. Seems like they all favor this outfit at some point in the films.
    • Only two villains wear this from what I recall; Blofeld and Dr No. And both of them are encountered by Bond precisely at the moment when he discovers that they are the Big Bad.
  • I realize the Daniel Craig films (Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace) have effectively rebooted the series, but this brings up an interesting continuity question about the Bond movies from Connery to Brosnan. Is Brosnan's Bond supposed to be the same person as Connery's Bond? Is the Bond in GoldenEye supposed to be the same guy that faced Dr. No?
    • It's never explicitly stated one way or the other, but the probable inference is that he is. In the EON-licensed video game Everything Or Nothing, in which Brosnan plays Bond, the villain is the protege of Max Zorin, the big bad from A View to a Kill, and Bond explicitly mentions his encounter with him ("We played a game of Bridge together. He lost.") A common fan theory that reconciles the different actors playing Bond is that "James Bond" is actually a code name given to Agent 007.
      • Common, but wrong fan theory. If 'Bond' is a codename; why do people never refer to him as anything other than "James Bond" even if they are close associates, even at points where he has supposedly resigned from the secret service (Licence to Kill) or hasn't become a 007 (Casino Royale). And how come his wife was clearly called Theresa Bond?
      • Additionally, ask yourself: is it really satisfying to think of this series not as a chronicles of one man but of a succession of loosely-affiliated agents with the same code name?
      • Finally, it's definitely confirmed in Skyfall that Bond's name is not a cover or Legacy Character in Craig's continuity (yet, at least) as we clearly see his father's name as "Bond" on a tombstone, and the Old Retainer—who it's made clear doesn't know that Bond is a spy—refers to him as "James".
    • Leaning on the Fourth Wall aside, It's general consensus that Lazenby and Connery are the same Bond, especially if you assume that the Cold Opening of Diamonds Are Forever details Bond's Roaring Rampage of Revenge over Tracy's death. It's further pretty clear that Moore's Bond is also meant to be the same character: The Spy Who Loved Me alludes to Tracy's death (XXX casually gives Bond her intel briefing on him and mentions his wife having been killed, over which Bond angrily cuts her off) and For Your Eyes Only explicitly shows her grave and suggests Bond finally gets his revenge on Blofeld. Moore's age of 58 when A View to a Kill was filmed actually lines up fairly nicely if you assume Bond is aging as normal between films. It sets up Bond as being born in 1927, making him 35 during Dr. No. Pretty reasonable if Connery, Lazenby and Moore are all meant to be the same character. The problem is with Dalton and Brosnan. If they were also supposed to be the same character, Bond would be into his seventies during Die Another Day unless there was significant Comic Book Time involved. However that's likely not the case since the end to the Cold War is an outright plot point in GoldenEye.
      • Dalton definitely is, they mention his wife being killed in License to Kill. And Broson mentions the family motto.
    • The fact that Brosnan's Bond meets the Bond Girl of a previous Bond, both have been recast, and both still recognize each other pretty much kiboshes the whole "it's a codename" fanon straight-out with no other justification needed. Most adherents of the fanon just get annoyed when you bring it up.
    • When did that happen? I can't recall any Bond girl who appeared more than once.
      • Never happened, someone's probably assuming Paris Carver appeared prior to Tomorrow Never Dies. She doesn't.
  • Does your surname have to start with M for you to become M?
    • No, that's just the franchise being cute. In real life the director of MI-6 was referred to as 'C' because that was the code name used by its first director Sir George Mansfield Smith-Cumming, but his successors had the usual variety of surnames.

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