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M is an officer at the head of MI6 and James Bond's boss.

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    The Character in General 
  • Code Name: M is simply a title given to the head of MI6.
  • Da Chief: M frequently berates Bond when he takes initiatives that would cause much trouble for the British government, as M is fully responsible for the actions of MI6 agents.
  • A Day in the Limelight: In Moonraker, the first act is more personal for him than in most Bond stories and actually sees him get out of the office, if only for a high-stakesnote  game of bridge. "For Your Eyes Only" also delves into his psychology a bit, where he grapples with the problem of using his position to take a personal revenge. (Bond understands, and spares him the decision by doing the mission off-the-books). And in Colonel Sun, he's kidnapped and becomes the McGuffin. We also get to see his home and learn something about his personal life.
  • Legacy Character: Applies to the film versions.
  • Obstructive Bureaucrat: As explained in Da Chief above, M tends to not like when Bond takes initiatives on his own, because it can result in much diplomatic incidents and thus troubles for M's ass if the British government finds out about it.
    • Robert Brown's M is probably the most uptight, inconsiderate and inflexible of the Ms as shown in Licence to Kill when he places work over Bond's care for his friend Felix Leiter. While his actions may have been justified after Bond began a Roaring Rampage of Revenge, that is still no excuse for talking to the hero like he is a piece of crap whilst also ignoring the fact that Bond also has a point. There's also the fact that when Bond was unavailable for the Istanbul job, he still assigned 007 to it and then went to America to have a go at him when he didn't turn up in Istanbul to do the job, instead of just assigned another agent like 008 and be done with it.
    • Ralph Fiennes' M, in his conversations with Judi Dench's M, initially appears to be some arrogant pencil pusher that will get in her way of catching the bad guys. He is actually not, and never does.
  • Prophetic Name: All of the canonical people holding the title have first and/or last names starting with "M". In the novel The Man with the Golden Gun, M's full name is revealed for the first, last, and only time in the Fleming novels as Admiral Sir Miles Messervy.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: M is generally far from being an incompetent boss, and helps Bond whenever the trails he follows are serious or when he is on something crucial.
    • Especially Bernard Lee's M, often doing all he can to give Bond the elbow room he needs and frequently clashing with his government superiors for doing so. For instance, in Moonraker, after Bond ends up embarrassing both him and Frederick Gray, M is forced to take Bond off the case until he produces a vial of the gas he recovered in Drax's laboratory. M decides to give him a two-week leave of absence in order to pursue a lead in Rio.
    • Gareth Mallory also proves to be a strong moral rampart when MI6 itself is shut down in Spectre, defending it to the very end against Max Denbigh's mass surveillance program. While he tries to keep MI6 alive, he also finds out Bond is on a serious trail and lets him operate. All of this turns out to be the best thing to do, as Denbigh is actually a Spectre mole. Mallory even directly helps Bond in taking down Spectre's nefarious project by directly confronting Blofeld and Denbigh.


Admiral Sir Miles Messervy / M

Voiced by: David King (You Only Live Twice, BBC Radio 4, 1990), John Standing (BBC Radio 4 Dramas since 2008)

  • Alliterative Name: Sir Miles Messervy.
  • Code Name: He's known as M internally but uses another codename, "MAILED-FIST" to sign off (all-caps) dispatches. Bond comments that there's a suitable simpler English word, "Em", a term of measurement used in printing, but M probably finds it not dashing enough.
  • Comic-Book Time: The continuation novels by John Gardner and Raymond Benson, set in the present day (1980s onward), still have him active despite the original Fleming novels starting in the 1950s. Until he eventually retires several books in, and is succeeded by the M from GoldenEye.
  • Expy: Ian Fleming based the character on Rear Admiral John Godfrey, commanding officer of the Royal Naval Intelligence Division in which Fleming served during World War II. Fleming also took inspiration from his own mother, Evelyn, who he nicknamed "M".
  • Given Name Reveal: His real name is revealed in the novel The Man with the Golden Gun.
  • I Need a Freaking Drink: In the Fleming novels, the club M frequents keeps a supply of cheap red wine from Algeria on hand just for him. He calls it "Infuriator" and drinks it only in small quantities unless he's in a really bad mood.
  • It's Personal: In the short story For Your Eyes Only, he sends Bond to Cuba as essentially his personal hitman to avenge the murders of an old married British couple, his dear friends. He's deeply troubled about this until Bond takes the hint and gives him the excuse that it's a matter of state, since the criminals and corrupt official behind the murders can't be allowed to treat British citizens that way.

    Bernard Lee 

Admiral Sir Miles Messervy / M
"When you carry a 00 number, you have a licence to kill, not get killed."

Played by: Bernard Lee

Dubbed by: Serge Nadaud (French, 1962-1974), Jean Brunel (French, 1977-1979)

Appearances: Dr. No | From Russia with Love | Goldfinger | Thunderball | You Only Live Twice | On Her Majesty's Secret Service | Diamonds Are Forever | Live and Let Die | The Man with the Golden Gun | The Spy Who Loved Me | Moonraker

The first M in the film series.

  • Absentee Actor: Bernard Lee was fighting stomach cancer when the filming of For Your Eyes Only began, he could not attend it and passed away shortly afterwards. Bill Tanner (played by James Villiers) and Minister of Defence Sir Frederick Gray replaced him to give Bond his mission orders in that film. A new M would appear in the following film, Octopussy.
  • Alliterative Name: Sir Miles Messervy.
  • Character Aged with the Actor: Bernard Lee played M for 17 years, in 11 movies, more than any other actor in the role, and it showed (his hair had turned completely white by the time of Moonraker).
  • Deadpan Snarker: He can really get in some good jabs when he wants to, and Bond and the situations at play never fail to provide him reasons to snark.
  • Distinguished Gentleman's Pipe: He is seen with a pipe sometimes. He doesn't always smoke with it.
  • Frontline General: While not getting directly involved, this M would often set up a field office not too far from where Bond is working.
  • Grumpy Old Man: He can be quite cranky on occasion, sometimes as a result of Bond's actions.
  • Moment Killer: He regularly interrupts Bond and Moneypenny's flirting, sometimes via the intercom of Moneypenny's office.
  • Noodle Incident: In From Russia with Love M and Moneypenny are listening to an audio recording sent to them by Bond. When Bond starts to mention an embarrassing incident involving M in Tokyo, M immediately pauses the recording and dismisses Moneypenny from the room.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Lee's M and Connery's Bond, for all their bickering, were still clearly friends (to the point that they once apparently wingmanned for each other in Japan). This is most obvious in Thunderball, where M repeatedly defends Bond in front of his doubting superiors.

    Robert Brown 

Admiral Marian Hargreaves / M
"We're not a country club, 007!"

Played by: Robert Brown

Dubbed by: Émile Duard (French, The Spy Who Loved Me), Jean Davy (French, 1983-1985), Philippe Dumat (French, 1987-1989)

Appearances: The Spy Who Loved Menote  | Octopussy | A View to a Kill | The Living Daylights | Licence to Kill

The second M in the film series.

  • All There in the Manual: This M's name is never pronounced or indicated in the films, but it's very plausible that the character Robert Brown played in The Spy Who Loved Me, Admiral Hargreaves, may have been promoted after a possible death or retirement of Messervy in-universe.
  • Bad Boss: If one thinks the syringe that one of his agents was preparing to inject Bond with once arresting him for being a Rogue Agent was a lethal injection in Licence to Kill, then this M was intending to have Bond executed once found on the spot for his insubordination after having Took a Level in Jerkass into becoming a morally ambiguous Tautological Templar.
  • Contrasting Replacement Character: He's way more uptight than his predecessor and less tolerant of Bond's antics. That said, he had a softer, more amiable edge.
  • Distinguished Gentleman's Pipe: Like his predecessor, he's often seen smoking a pipe.
  • Hero Antagonist: He becomes this in Licence to Kill when he tries to stop a rogue and increasingly reckless Bond.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Despite his cold manner, he was somewhat justified in trying to stop Bond's Roaring Rampage of Revenge in Licence to Kill, especially considering he had just brutally murdered Killifer by feeding him to a shark. He had reason to believe his vendetta with Sanchez would lead to a major scandal if he continued killing in that manner.
    "This private vendetta of yours could easily compromise Her Majesty's government."
  • No Sense of Humour: He was not nearly as witty as Bernard Lee or Judi Dench's portrayals.
  • Pointy-Haired Boss: In Licence to Kill, he neglects to inform Bond that there are operations going on at Sanchez's Banana Republic lair when Bond accuses their American allies for doing nothing and instead results to haranguing him for "sentimental rubbish."
  • Sudden Sequel Heel Syndrome: In Licence to Kill, he is noticeably more of an Obstructive Bureaucrat towards Bond than his past appearances.
  • Tautological Templar: Robert Brown in Licence to Kill reacts cold-heartedly to the Leiters' tragedy, labels Bond as a Rogue Agent for caring about them, claiming that it's not MI6's business (despite the many times Leiter assisted them), and then orders MI6 operatives to arrest Bond or even execute him if necessary when he goes rogue. Deep down however, he still wishes Bond to survive, if his very worried "God help you, Commander" when Bond escapes custody is any indication.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: In Licence to Kill, he is very abrupt and harsh with Bond when he confronts him in Florida about the neglect of his duties, due to his vendetta, showing No Sympathy towards Felix's tragedy and criticizes Bond for lack of professionalism and objectivity. Brown also treats Moneypenny slightly more poorly then before, criticizing her for making typing errors.
  • Ungrateful Bastard: Despite all the service Leiter has done for MI6, this M places duty above all and shows No Sympathy towards the tragedy that involves Leiter losing a leg and having his bride murdered.
  • Upper-Class Twit: His Obstructive Bureaucrat Da Chief and Pointy-Haired Boss approach to his job makes him the worst M in the franchise.

    Judi Dench (I) 

Barbara Mawdsley / M
"If you think I don't have the balls to send a man out to die, your instincts are dead wrong. I've no compunction about sending you to your death. But I won't do it on a whim."

Played by: Judi Dench

Dubbed by: Liliane Gaudet (French, 1995-1999), Annie Bertin (French, Die Another Day)

Appearances: GoldenEye | Tomorrow Never Dies | The World Is Not Enough | Die Another Day

The third M in the film series, in the Pierce Brosnan Bond era.

  • All There in the Manual: Assuming Robert Brown's M was Admiral Hargreaves, Judi Dench's M holds the distinction of being the only M whose name is not revealed in the entire film series. The name of the Brosnan era M was "Barbara Mawdsley" according to the script of GoldenEye, as well as in the Raymond Benson novel The Facts of Death.
  • Boyish Short Hair: Her hairstyle represents the suppression of her femininity in order to succeed in a male-dominated field. She even tells Bond in The World Is Not Enough that her job requires her to ignore her maternal instincts.
  • The Chains of Commanding: She needs to make the hard decisions, no matter what her personal feelings are. Best exemplified in The World Is Not Enough when she ignores her maternal-like connection to Elektra King and uses the younger woman twice as bait to try to catch the terrorist Renard.
  • Damsel in Distress: She is imprisoned in the appropriately-named Maiden's Tower in The World Is Not Enough, and Bond must rescue his boss from Elektra's clutches.
  • Dark Secret: In The World is Not Enough, M is so ashamed over how she handled Elektra King's kidnapping that she sealed Elektra's file so that no one else can access it. When Bond requests the classified information as an employee, M flatly refuses with a stern warning ("I will not tolerate insubordination, 007"), so he resorts to using their implicit mother-son relationship (the gentle way he asks, "What happened?") before she willingly discloses a painful part of her past.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Very much like Bernard Lee's M, she has quite a supply of wit against Bond.
  • Defrosting Ice Queen: Played with; she never leaves anybody in doubt as to who's calling the shots at MI-6, and is especially disdainful of Bond upon her introduction. However, she eventually comes to trust his judgement and is quite reasonable with him when he must resort to unorthodox tactics to resolve a crisis.
  • Drink-Based Characterization: Bourbon, neat. It shows she's no nonsense and gets down to the bottom line. Tellingly, Bond takes his bourbon with ice when she pours him a drink.
  • Foil: In The World is Not Enough, M and Elektra King are powerful women who have very different ways of exercising control within a patriarchal system. Elektra overuses her femininity to manipulate the men around her, whereas M suppresses her femininity to maintain her authority over her employees (especially male chauvinists like Bond); when handling Elektra's kidnapping, M even explicitly states that she went against her instincts as a mother.
  • Frontline General: She got into scrapes a couple times, none of her predecessors did before.
  • Iron Lady: She wouldn't be leading MI-6 if she wasn't one tough lady of authority, and she definitely is one.
  • It's Personal: Bond accuses M of this in The World Is Not Enough, as she was a very close friend of Sir Robert.
    Bond: I brought the money in that killed King.
    M: Don't make this personal.
    Bond: I'm not; are you?
  • My Greatest Failure: Her handling of Elektra King's kidnapping.
  • Parental Substitute: To a lesser extent during the Brosnan era compared to Craig's, but still there, such as when M mentions to Elektra King that Bond is her best agent, but she'd never tell him that in person. As a close friend of Sir Robert King, M is a maternal figure towards his daughter Elektra (whose mother had passed away some years ago before the events of The World Is Not Enough).
  • Power Hair: Her short hairstyle also serves to highlight her position of authority.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: She delivers a scathing one to Bond upon her introduction in GoldenEye, firmly establishing her grip on MI-6 and shoots down any doubts Bond may have about how far she is willing to go to get the job done. Bond wisely chooses not to challenge her any further.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: In The World Is Not Enough, M was the one who convinced her family friend Sir Robert King not to pay the ransom to Renard, who was holding King's daughter Elektra hostage at that time. This event is what drove an embittered Elektra to team up with Renard in a plot to cause a meltdown in order to monopolize the oil market; even ordering the successful murder on King and taking M as prisoner; even Renard coldly berates M for making such a unwise decision, something which left M in complete guilt.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: She delivers this to Bond in Die Another Day when she's led to believe that Bond has surrendered valuable information to the enemy during his captivity in North Korea, and promptly strips him of his 00-licence when he is finally recovered. It isn't long though before he escapes and she realizes that something far bigger than Bond is unfolding and promptly reinstates him.

    Judi Dench (II) 

Olivia Mansfield / M
"Christ, I miss the Cold War!"

Played by: Judi Dench

Dubbed by: Nadine Alari (French, 2006-2015)

Appearances: Casino Royale | Quantum of Solace | Skyfall | Spectre note 

"I suppose I see a different world than you do, and the truth is that what I see frightens me. I'm frightened because our enemies are no longer known to us. They do not exist on a map, they aren't nations. They are individuals. And look around you - who do you fear? Can you see a face, a uniform, a flag? No, our world is not more transparent now, it's more opaque! It's in the shadows - that's where we must do battle."

Technically the fourth M in the film series, as she's still played by Judi Dench (the sole remaining cast member to carry over from the Brosnan era), but this time in the era of Daniel Craig's Bond, which is a Continuity Reboot.

  • Affectionate Nickname: In Skyfall, characters call her "Emma" in private a couple of times, implying that this is her real name and that "M" is a play on it as Bond suggested in Casino Royale. Her real name is actually Olivia Mansfield.
  • All There in the Manual: A prop from the end of Skyfall reveals that her name in the Craig continuity is "Olivia Mansfield".
  • Boyish Short Hair: Her hair is still short to outline her power, but this time it has more to do with the fact that Dench is in her late 70's.
  • The Chains of Commanding: She needs to make the hard decisions, no matter what her personal feelings are.
  • Character Aged with the Actor: Judi Dench's tenure in the series lasted as long as Bernard Lee's (17 years in the full-fledged role, 20 if the Video Wills cameo of Spectre is counted), even though she technically played two different Ms. In-universe the character is also considered a veteran, especially in Skyfall as Gareth Mallory pushes her to resign before the hearing so she could get a honourable retirement.
  • Composite Character: Or rather, Composite Character Archetype. In Skyfall, as the main female deuteragonist for the second half of the film, she arguably also fills the role of the Bond girl.
  • Dark Secret: She betrayed one of her best agents — Tiago Rodriguez (Raoul Silva) — and sold him out to the Chinese when Hong Kong was handed over to the Chinese government in 1997 as he ignored her orders and went rogue. It brutally comes back to haunt her in Skyfall.
  • Deadpan Snarker: She still has quite the occasional wit against Bond.
  • Defrosting Ice Queen: Played with; she never leaves anybody in doubt as to who's calling the shots at MI-6, and is especially disdainful of Bond upon her introduction. However, she eventually comes to trust his judgement and is quite reasonable with him when he must resort to unorthodox tactics to resolve a crisis.
  • Frontline General: She got into scrapes a couple times, none of her predecessors did before.
  • Hauled Before A Senate Subcommittee: In Skyfall, she is required to testify before a Defence Ministry hearing about her services' effectiveness following Bond's failure in Turkey and the bombing of her headquarters. It's rendered moot when Silva and his henchmen attack the hearing and M is eventually killed before they come to any decision.
  • Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy: In the climax of Skyfall, she keeps missing with Bond's PPK and notes that she's never been a good shot. Her likely diminished sight due to her age doesn't really help either.
  • Iron Lady: In the Craig movies in particular as his Bond is more "wild" than Pierce Brosnan's, and therefore she has to be more stern with the former in order to try to keep him under control.
  • Parental Substitute: She really takes on a motherly Tough Love role to Bond here.
  • Posthumous Character: In Spectre, Bond receives a video following her death in Skyfall, which basically kicks off the plot. It contains her last will, that is going after Marco Sciarra, killing him and uncovering the organisation he works for, providing him his first lead to Spectre.
    Bond: She wasn't gonna let death get in the way of her job.
  • Power Hair: Her short hairstyle. By then it has more to do with the fact that Dench was pushing 80, but it's still a sign of authority.
  • Punny Name: "Olivia Mansfield" appears to be a pun on "I live in a man's field". Fitting, given the James Bond series' tradition of puns for female characters' names.
  • Retirony: In Skyfall, Gareth Mallory tries to convince her to retire due to her age and the hearing also means her career has great chances to end. She eventually dies of her wounds in the Final Battle.
  • Shrine to the Fallen: Like Miles Messervy before her, there's now a portrait of her at the MI6 office in No Time to Die.

    Ralph Fiennes 

Gareth Mallory / M
"There’s no shame in saying you’ve lost a step. The only shame will be in not admitting it until it’s too late."

Played by: Ralph Fiennes

Dubbed by: Bernard Gabay (French)

Appearances: Skyfall | Spectre | No Time to Die

"Have you ever had to kill a man, Max? Have you? To pull that trigger, you have to be sure. Yes, you investigate, analyze, assess, target. And then you have to look him in the eye. And you make the call. And all the drones, bugs, cameras, transcripts, all the surveillance in the world can't tell you what to do next. A licence to kill is also a licence not to kill."

The Chairman of the British Parliament's Intelligence and Security Committee and formerly a Lieutenant Colonel in the SAS, Gareth Mallory got promoted as the head of MI6 following the death of the previous M (Olivia Mansfield).

  • Aesop Amnesia: In Spectre, he chastises C for wanting to move away from assassins to assassination by drone instead, essentially stating that there will always need to be a human being who pulls the trigger. In No Time to Die, he essentially forgets this, and develops the Heracles program to quietly assassinate MI 6’s enemies with tiny nanobots instead of requiring a human being to do it.
  • Armor-Piercing Question: His pointed shutdown of Denbigh's arguments against the 00 program, seen in the folder quote.
  • Asskicking Equals Authority: He's easily the M who has the most amount of screentime as an active combatant, especially in Spectre. Even in Skyfall, he's still shown to be capable in a firefight before he actually becomes M by the film's end.
  • Badass Bureaucrat: He's initially a Member of Parliament and he works at a desk, but don't think he's a pushover. He's one of the first to jump into the firefight with Silva and his cohorts and handles himself nicely despite taking a shot to the shoulder.
  • Bait-and-Switch Tyrant: Early on in Skyfall, he seems to be an obstruction to Judi Dench's M and Co., and before Silva shows up there's even a bit of fauxshadowing that makes it seem like he might be behind the attacks on MI6.
  • Benevolent Boss: M (Judi Dench) screwed up spectacularly, so Mallory had no choice but to hold her accountable. Much the same, at the beginning of Spectre, Bond went way overboard and was promptly chewed out. But other than these two instances, Mallory is a man who has utmost faith in his men and wholly supports them - even teaching them a thing or two about Loophole Abuse.
  • Big Good: Affirms himself as one in Spectre, as he's the staunchest defender of MI6 when Max Denbigh wants to shut the intelligence service in favour of the Orwellian "Nine Eyes" (which is actually a backdoor entrance into the world's major intelligence services' databases for SPECTRE). In the climax, M himself puts a stop to Denbigh's project and has Blofeld arrested.
  • Colonel Badass: He was a Lt. Colonel in the SAS and survived torture at the hands of the IRA during The Troubles.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Particularly in Spectre.
  • Everyone Has Standards: Spectre in particular shows that he has strong moral principles.
    • In Skyfall, he unapologetically believes that M should be called to account for her handling of the crisis, but is visibly appalled when it becomes clear that the actual committee hearing is basically turning into little more than a Kangaroo Court.
    • In Spectre, he opposes Max Denbigh's Big Brother Is Watching project as he feels it is oppressive and anti-democratic.
  • A Father to His Men: Somewhat downplayed in that he's not particularly close to any of his subordinates beyond a strictly professional basis, but he still has quite a few shades of this.
    • In Skyfall, he shows genuine concern for the undercover agents whose identities were contained in a stolen hard drive and warns M (Judi Dench) to pull out the agents before their covers could be blown, and he is noticeably skeptical about James Bond being placed back on active service when the latter returns worse for wear after being presumed dead.
    • In Spectre, even though Bond, Q, and Moneypenny all disobey or lie to him to varying degrees, his first reaction to learning of said disobedience from C’s surveillance data is not to get mad at them for their insubordination, but to get mad at C for spying on his agents/staff. When he later learns that C was working for Spectre the whole time (and presumably gave all the surveillance data on MI 6 agents to Spectre), he confronts C and eventually kills him after a brief struggle, with plenty of subtle Papa Wolf undertones on his (M’s) part throughout.
    M: Not a good feeling being watched, is it?
    • In No Time to Die he gives the order to launch missiles on an island housing poisonous weapons, while Bond is still on it. It is painfully obvious that the decision weighs on him heavily, but he does so anyway after Bond urges him on. Bond's death saddens him greatly.
  • The Fettered: In Spectre, his moral compass drives him to firmly oppose Max Denbigh's mass surveillance project. Even the shutting of MI6 doesn't prevent him from actively trying to stop what is revealed to be Spectre's nefarious scheme to control the flow of intel of the major secret services of the world.
  • Frontline General: He is involved in the action in the climax of Spectre.
  • Idiot Houdini: It's safe to say that most of the long, long list of things that go wrong for MI 6, the United Kingdom, and the world in general in No Time to Die are the result of his catastrophic incompetence (see Lethally Stupid), but while he gets plenty of What the Hell, Hero? moments from his staff once they find out how badly he's screwed up, the film ends with him carrying on with business as usual with zero apparent consequences for his career.
  • It Never Gets Any Easier: Malory becomes the first hero in the franchise to openly address the moral-responsibility associated with taking a human life. When a young agent in the film Spectre casually quips how The Status of Double-O is awarded to those who are willing to pull the trigger, Malory chastises him with weary sadness that The License to Kill is a responsibility and burden, not awarded to cold blooded killers, but only those who know when not to pull the trigger.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: In the beginning when he's in Obstructive Bureaucrat mode, at least, when he shuts down M's objections to being summoned to meet him:
    M: Forgive me, but why am I here?
    Mallory: Three months ago you lost a computer drive containing the identity of almost every NATO agent embedded in terrorist organizations across the globe. A list, which in the eyes of our allies, never existed. So, if you'll forgive me, I think you know why you're here.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: While he may be a bit harsh towards Judi Dench's M before her hearing, there's no doubt that Mallory is just doing his job. When he takes over as M, he shows himself to be far less harsh and bitchy than his predecessor. Indeed, the only time he's harsh with 007 is when 007 went AWOL and killed someone for apparently no reason, a situation in which he was very right to be upset. Once his reasoning is clear, he does try to dissuade 007 from pursuing the plan further, but doesn't expend too much effort in stopping him when he does.
  • Legacy Character: He becomes the new M after the death of Judi Dench's character.
  • Lethally Stupid: No Time to Die is not his finest hour. First off, he chooses to develop a genetically-targeted nanoplague as an ultra-precise assassination tool while keeping it a secret from the entire rest of the British government, without sparing a single thought for the uncountable horrific ways in which such a weapon could be both deliberately and accidentally misused by both legitimate and illegitimate wielders. Then, he fails to adequately vet the scientists he picks to work on his plague or secure their research facility, letting a faction of SPECTRE steal it for use in an Enemy Civil War via a special-forces assault in the middle of London that killed dozens of scientists and blew up part of a skyscraper. The following chain of events causes the deaths of long-term British ally Felix Leiter (who was forced to investigate with lethally inadequate information due to MI 6 refusing to come clean about its screw-up), legendary 00 agent James Bond (who got dragged into the whole mess for similar reasons), and a whole lot of innocent civilians who were collateral damage from the Heracles attacks on the SPECTRE high command. Oh, and he was forced to cause a massive international incident by ordering a Royal Navy bombardment of an island in disputed Russian/Japanese colonial waters.
  • Naïve Newcomer: In his debut in Skyfall, he feels acting in the shadows goes against serving the public, but Judi Dench's M points out that acting in the shadows is the point of espionage. He gets his Character Development later on after witnessing the Kangaroo Court and Silva's assault, and is seen ordering Q and Tanner to discreetly lead Silva to Skyfall Mansion without letting anyone else find out.
  • Punny Name: His name is oddly Arthurian-sounding, evoking both Sir Gareth of the Round Table and Sir Thomas Mallory (or Malory) who wrote the most prominent version of Sir Gareth in Le Morte d'Arthur.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure:
    • Judi Dench's M screwed up and he wants her to be held accountable. Nothing odd there. Following his promotion, he's more akin to the Ms of old in terms of how he approaches the job. He only chews out Bond on a single occasion - and he really deserved it.
    • He was also on Q's and Tanner's side when they were trying to lure Silva to where Bond and Dench's M would be hiding.
      Mallory: What are you doing?
      Q: *stammering* We're just... monitoring—
      Mallory: Creating a false tracking signal for Silva to follow.
      Tanner: W-well...
      Q: N-no sir—
      Mallory: Excellent thinking. Get him isolated. Send him on the A9, it's the direct route. You can monitor his progress more directly, and confirm it with the traffic cameras.
      Q: B-but sir, what if the PM finds out?
      Mallory: Well then we're all buggered. Carry on.
  • Retired Badass: He's an ex-SAS colonel (this alone makes him a badass for life by default) who was once held hostage for three months by the IRA. As Silva and his goons learn the hard way, this is a bureaucrat who can more than hold his own alongside and against MI6's finest.
  • Taking the Bullet: When Silva attacks the inquiry hearing, Mallory instinctively jumps a railing. Seeing Silva about to shoot M with his pistol, Mallory pushes her to the ground and takes a bullet in his left arm. He's seen wearing a sling for the remainder of the movie.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: After the previous M dies. He succeded in her position at the head of MI6 and becomes more friendly and nicer to James and every of his agent subordinates at the end of Skyfall and onwards in Spectre.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: In No Time to Die, Bond chews him out thoroughly when it comes out that MI6 had secretly supported the development of the Heracles viral weapon — a weapon which of course falls in the hands of the bad guys.
  • What Were You Thinking?: On the receiving end of this - secretly supporting the development of the Heracles nanobot bioweapon, with a 100% lethality rate and capacity to be pinpoint targeted is just one step away from being a Synthetic Plague. M can only defend himself in that it would leave no collateral damage when properly controlled, but in the wrong hands? It warrants crossing the Godzilla Threshold.