A Young Roger Moore

I’m so use to Roger Moore’s tongue and cheek humor that I sometimes forget that he was always an insightful and well read scholar of life but this interview of Roger Moore has help me appreciate him that much Moore… See Below

Because of his successful television shows, in particular the long-lasting series The Saint, Roger Moore was unavailable for the James Bond franchise for a considerable time. His participation in The Saint was not only as actor, but also as a producer and director, and he also became involved in developing the series The Persuaders! As Roger Moore frankly explains in his autobiography My Word Is My Bond (2008) on page 172, he had neither been approached to play James Bond in Dr. No, nor had he felt that he had been considered. It was only after Sean Connery had declared that he would not play Bond any longer that Moore became aware that he might be a contender for the role. But after George Lazenby was cast instead and then Sean Connery played Bond again, he didn’t consider the possibility until it seemed abundantly clear that Connery had in fact stepped down as Bond for good. At that point he was indeed approached and accepted the producer’s offer in August 1972. Moore says in his autobiography he had to cut his hair and to lose weight, but although he resented that, he was finally cast as James Bond in Live and Let Die (1973).

Moore played Bond in Live and Let Die (1973); The Man with the Golden Gun (1974); The Spy Who Loved Me (1977); Moonraker (1979);For Your Eyes Only (1981); Octopussy (1983); and A View to a Kill (1985).

Meet The New Q

Many fans were disappointed when the popular Q character was not brought back for the last two James Bond films starring Daniel Craig.  It was mentioned that Bond was taking a new direction by becoming more grittier and less reliant on MI6 gadgets. Fortunately for Q fans, time changes everything. Now it seems the financial troubles at MGM studios which delayed the new Bond movies which they produced traditionally every two years when an actor is under contract is in trouble of being side tracked by new superspy franchises. With the success of – – Sherlock Holmes and the fast action but gritty outings of Jason Bourne and Mission Impossible’s Ethan Hunt, Bond has found himself in a crowded market of good and sometimes intelligent films with clandestine themes. For this reason it seems the producers are throwing in the nostolgic arsenal of Q gadgets as well as revamping the role of the Quartermaster to guarantee a smashing comeback. It was rumored online that Benedict Cumberbatch of the BBC’s present day stylized Sherlock Holmes series would be cast as Q which would be a considerable change because of his age and face recognition. Unfortunately his calendar has been filled with the new Star Trek movie and the final season of Sherlock. So instead, British actor Ben Whishaw has been cast as the spy-gadget specialist in the new Bond thriller “Skyfall”. Mendes, the director definitely wanted to fill the role with a much younger Q. Wishaw has been a series regular on BBC’s 1950’s era TV drama “The Hour” and has also starred in a new movie adaptation of “The Tempest” with Helen Mirren.

Sunday Drive (A James Bond Short Story)

When committed in the name of revenge, even the vilest deeds may seem forgivable.

Bond had certainly not forgiven the Algerian. For weeks he had been lying sleepless, night after night, envisioning in detail how he would slowly kill this man. He’d rehearsed in is mind’s eye every gory and painful detail of his revenge on the man who exploited Vesper to betray him so deeply. He would inflict as much physical pain as he could conjure on the man who manipulated Vesper to use Bond’s love for her deceive him, and to ultimately kill herself for it.

Then came the moment Bond thought he had been living for.

The chance to exact his revenge on the man who, for being alive, had been haunting Bond’s thoughts. Bond had his P99 pointed between the man’s dark eyes, seeing the anticipation of death on the man’s face as clearly as he saw the tiny bids of cold sweat that formed on his forehead. Bond squeezed the trigger slowly, agonizingly slowly, then found himself releasing it without firing. He had let the man live.

As a professional it was the right choice, since the Algerian was a major source of information on the Quantum organization, but as a human being, albeit an emotionally cold one who had been meticulously trained to become a “blunt instrument” of her Majesty’s secret service, Bond still felt a deep emptiness inside. He interpreted it as the need for revenge, though the MI6 Psychiatrist insisted was the need for “closure.” Neither seemed within grasp, so the best Bond could manage was distraction.

This morning the distraction came in the form of the delightful sounds of his Aston Martin’s engine. Bond tightened his grip on the steering wheel, dropped a gear and took off a straight stretch of country road.

The car, a quite rare 1963 DB5 he had won in a poker game, was the closest thing to a “hobby” for him. On this Sunday morning he had taken her out for a drive outside London, hoping that the combination of engine sounds and the adrenaline of pushing the car to its limits will drown out his thoughts about Vesper. He found it helped ease the pain, though only partially, much like the double-Bourbons or amorous encounters did.

Rounding a hairpin curve at 100 Km/h he told himself, for the hundredth time, that he needed to get Vesper out of his head (or is it his heart) permanently if he is to fully function again.

“Well, 007, this should certainly help” Bond said to himself, having spotted a disabled Porsche at the side of the road, convertible top down and a strikingly beautiful young woman behind the wheel.

He pulled over slowly in front of the Porsche, glided out of his DB5 and made his way to the driver. His mood was beginning to change as his lips began to form his easy smile. Perhaps his most dangerous weapon.

“Well good morning Miss” his eyes were now smiling too.

The driver looked up at him. She was strikingly beautiful, her jet black hair and almond shaped eyes suggesting to Bond that she was half-white and half-Asian. “Thank you for stopping, but I’ve already rang for help and my boyfriend will be along any moment now.”

“Certainly, I…” Bond froze mid sentence, his eyes fixating on the necklace around her long, delicate neck. The woman was wearing an Algerian love knot!

“What’s the matter?” she asked as her hand reached instinctively and her fingers wrapped around her necklace.

“That’s an interesting necklace, ” Bond said through now clenched teeth, the easy smile replaced by a hard stare, studying her facial expression for clues.

Was this a trap? It certainly couldn’t be a coincidence that this woman was wearing the same necklace that was given to Vesper by the Algerian who seduced her… The same necklace worn by Corrine, the Canadian agent the Algerian was seducing when Bond caught up to him in Russia… And now on this woman broken down at the side of the road.

Bond began reaching for his Walther, but stopped short of drawing it as a Mercedes slowly pulled over behind.

A well-dressed and somewhat frantic looking man stepped out and clumsily hurried over. His hands were in plain sight and he didn’t seem to be hiding any weapons. “Are you alright Penelope?” he asked the girl, his eyes moving from her to study Bond.

“I’m fine Simon, this man was kind enough to stop and offer me assistance” she gestured towards Bond.

Simon was handsome, though somewhat awkward. He stuck his hand out to shake Bond’s hand, mumbling some thanks.

Bond shook his hand firmly, than tightened the grip. He then slid his thumb over the base knuckle of Simon’s thumb, forming a painful finger bar. The slightest added pressure will easily snap the thumb.

Bond glared into Simon’s eyes coldly and in a seething, cruel voice asked “Did you give her this necklace?”

Simon’s eyes were darting back and forth between his painful thumb and the piercing eyes of the stranger who was inflicting that pain. He was mumbling and whimpering and clearly on the verge of panic.

“Ummm… errr.. Yyyes….” He finally stuttered.

“Where did you get it?” Bond demanded, releasing the pressure on Simon’s thumb just a little, as a reward for his cooperation.

Simon, visibly shaken, looked helplessly at Penelope and shrieked “Who IS this mental person?” Penelope, now terrified too, was looking at Bond wide-eyed and speechless.

Still squeezing the man’s thumb with his right hand, Bond now grabbed Simon’s throat with his left hand and began to squeeze his Adam’s apple, never releasing his gaze.

“I’m going to ask you just once more. Where did you get this necklace?”

Simon squirmed and somehow managed to mumble something that sounded like “Let me show you.”

Satisfied that this man was obviously not a professional, Bond released his grip, and followed Simon to the Mercedes. Simon slowly opened the door and, under Bond’s watchful eye, reached for a Dunhill briefcase that was on the passenger seat.

“Open it slowly” Bond ordered.

Inside the case Bond could see a laptop computer, and several magazines. Simon fingered through them, then pulled out a cheap looking mail order catalog titled “Exotic Gifts.”

He turned the catalog over, and there it was, on the back cover.

“One of our most popular items! The Moravian Love Charm! Only 19.97 Euros”

Bond stared at the page for another moment, then at Simon with a bewildered look that almost seemed apologetic.

Could it really be? Could the “Algerian Love Knot” be just a cheap prop from a mail order catalog?

Bond turned started walking back towards his car.

“Wait!” whispered Simon.

“Bond turned and looked at him.”

“She… she doesn’t know… She thinks it’s a rare one-of-a-kind, please don’t…”

Bond turned and continued to his Aston Martin, not even stopping or saying a word as he handed the woman a his Universal Exports business card.

The Return Of Q Branch

Bond: Ejector seat, your joking?
Q: I never joke about my work 007!

Where would 007 be without Q?  “If it hadn’t been for Q Branch, you’d have been dead long ago” quoted Q in License To Kill.  Q frequently refers to Bond as “007”, rather than by his name. Despite the great annoyance Bond causes Q on many occasions, there is always a sense that while they may not be friends, they certainly get on well and have great respect for one another.

Q Branch was curiously absent from the rebooted franchise and many fans were upset at the exclusion. In fact there were two gadgets that was given to Bond in the reboot, played by Daniel Craig in Casino Royale, One being a mobile phone with a three dimensional GPS system to help him find the exclusive hotel and casino in Jamaica (now ubiquitously embeded in most smartphones today) and a rice size GPS locator embeded in Bond’s forearm. I will touch on the movie history and gadgets of the ever changing but irreplaceable Q and Q Branch.

Q (standing for Quartermaster), like M, is a job title rather than a name. He is the head of Q Branch (or later Q Division), the fictional research and development division of the British Secret Service. The character actually appears only fleetingly in Ian Fleming’s novels, but comes into his own in the successful Bond film series.


Beginning with From Russia with Love, Desmond Llewelyn portrayed the character in every official film except Live and Let Die until his death in 1999. Famously, he tells the agent, “I never joke about my work, 007″ (a line referenced by his successor in Die Another Day). Q is often annoyed by Bond’s seemingly playful lack of respect for the equipment Q and his branch develop.

Bond – [handing Q his coat] “Do you think you can help me? Someone seems to have stuck a knife in my wallet.”
Q – “Oh, and missed you, did they? What a pity!

Desmond Llewelyn retired his role as Q after filming The World Is Not Enough. Sadly, he died two weeks after the film open in the U.S. and the UK in a car accident. Fittingly, in his last role he had the perfect parting line.

Q: “I’ve always tried to teach you two things: First, never let them see you bleed;”
Bond: “And the second?”
Q: “Always have an escape plan” — before he is lowered out of view.

John Cleese replaced Desmond as Q in Die Another Day and became a fan favorite by matching wits with Bond with his now famous quick one liners;

Bond: “You’re cleverer than you look.” Q: “Still, better than looking cleverer than you are.” or “Ah yes, the legendary 007 wit, or at least half of it.”

In the first film, Dr. No, Boothroyd (Q) is played by Peter Burton in only one scene in which he replaces Bond’s .25 Beretta 418 pistol with Bond’s signature .32 Walther PPK handgun. The character later appeared in From Russia with Love played by Desmond Llewelyn, due to scheduling conflicts that kept Burton from reprising.  He is referred to by M as “the armourer.”

 The Future

Daniel Craig and the new director for the 23rd outing for James Bond, Mendez are interested in bringing back Q Branch and investigating the new Q  history and beginnings as the new branch heavy. Also, now that we know who will be the two dark characters in the movie, what about the actor that will play Q? The buzz around the EON and Spyglass Production is that Anthony Hopkins may have been asked to play Q instead of playing the villain in the next movie.  That will bring another dimension to the Q character but knowing Mendez excellent directing ability we may see some light hearted wit as well as some deeper insights into Q.


Gadgets can be a little tricky, remember in Casino Royale, Bond’s GPS phone was dated not to long after it debuted in the movie in 2006. The new Q Branch will have to think outside of the box, literally. In the latest novel by Jeffery Deaver, Carte Blanche, Bond uses a smartphone similar to an iPhone but with apps that allow James to eavesdrop on conversations and direct satellites to track moving vehicles. Q Branch quip that the phone should be called IQPhone since they created the special apps and features for it. using cloud base apps to monitor or to mask the identity of Bond should be the next step in gadgets since most of the hardware of old could be easily built today (even the invisible feature on Bond’s Jaguar is being tested as a similar stealth device for the US Army).




The Return Of Miss Moneypenny

Naomie Harris has signed on as the new Moneypenny according to the British newspaper The Guardian for the soon to be named James Bond 23 movie. Best known as the mysterious Tia Dalma in the Pirates of Caribbean franchise, Micheal Mann’s 2006 Miami Vice and the horror film 28 Days Later.

Missing in the first two films starring Daniel Craig, Moneypenny is one of the last of the familiar characters to be featured in the updated dark films by Mark Campbell starting with 2006 Casino Royale. The question is how are they going to treat the new Miss Moneypenny. Will she play M’s flirtatious secretary in next Bond film for light hearted banter or will she assume a more prominent role as the go between of 007 and M.

Moneypenny was famously played originally by the late Lois Maxwell from 1962 to A View to A Kill in 1985 and was followed by two other actresses.  Caroline Bliss continued the role opposite Timothy Dalton in The Living Daylights and Licence to Kill and the  sexy Samantha Bond opposite Peirce Brosnan in three of his four outings as 007.

“We’ve finished this story as far as I’m concerned,” said Daniel Craig in 2008, following his second turn as 007 in Quantum of Solace. “We’ve got a great set of bad guys. There is an organization that we can use whenever we want to. The relationship between Bond and M is secure and Felix is secure. Let’s try and find where Moneypenny came from and where Q comes from. Let’s do all that and have some fun with it.”

Harris will be joined by Ralph Fiennes and Javier Bardem as the new faces in Bond 23.  Daniel Craig and Judi Dench has also signed on to continue their respective roles.

Max Zorin – Ahead Of His Time

No longer considering himself a KGB operative when he oversaw the execution of a Soviet spy who attempted to sabotage his oil well, Zorin becomes self employed. Winning horse races with ease by activating illegal horse steroids by means of implanted microchips, forms a plan to destroy his only competition in Silicon Valley by triggering a massive earthquake in the San Andreas Fault at high tide, causing the valley to flood. Such a disaster would effectively wipe out all computer companies competing against Zorin in the world microchip market and leave him as the leading supplier of microchips.

Jon Ronson author of “The Psychopath Test” suggest that 20-25% of the top CEO’s around the world exhibit signs of being psychopathic.  If this is true then Max Zorin topped the list when he personally massacred hundreds of his own mine workers to ensure the success of his own plans.

Zorin’s plan is foiled by Bond and Zorin’s former lover and henchman May Day, played by Grace Jones, who joins Bond’s side after Zorin attempts to kill her, having already killed most of his workers as well as May Day’s friend Jenny Flex, and sacrifices her life to ensure that the bomb set by Zorin could not trigger the quake – she was killed in the explosion seconds after managing to push a trailer full of explosives out of the valley and into open air.

Christopher Walken played Max Zorin with a devil may care attitude and killer smile. You can tell that he relish the role of being a sadistic bad guy but you have to admit despite wanting to literately kill his competition in “A View To A Kill”, Max Zorin will forever be known as the villain who could have been a top CEO of the 20th and 21st century in the real world.

Most Successful James Bond

Pierce Brosnan. A combination of Sean Connery toughness and Roger Moore charm. Brosnan raised the bar for what it meant to be James Bond. Salary wise, his contracts with the Bond  franchise was more lucrative than the previous four Bond actors combined as well as the new Bond, Daniel Craig to date. Pierce is also known to have more input in the scripting and action sequences of his movies than the other actors as well.

In his early years Pierce Brosnan was a fire eater, circus performer and later a professional stage actor. Trained at the Drama Centre London.

In 1982, Brosnan moved to Southern California and rose to popularity in the United States playing the title role in the NBC romantic detective series Remington Steele. The Washington Post noted that same year that Brosnan “could make it as a young James Bond.” AfterRemington Steele ended in 1987, Brosnan went on to appear in several films, including The Fourth Protocol (1987), a Cold War thriller in which he starred alongside Michael Caine, The Deceivers and James Clavell’s Noble House both in (1988), and The Lawnmower Man (1992).

Brosnan was signed for a three-film Bond deal with the option of a fourth. The first, 1995’s GoldenEye, grossed US $350 million worldwide, the fourth highest worldwide gross of any film in 1995, making it the most successful Bond film since Moonraker, taking inflation into account.

Pierce also protected his pockets by ensuring that his contract allowed him to perform in other movies like The Thomas Crown Affair and The Tailor of Panama in between his role as James Bond. He even produced some of the movies through his production company he formed in 1996 called Irish DreamTime.

During his tenure on the James Bond films, Brosnan also took part in James Bond video games. In 2002, Brosnan’s likeness was used as the face of Bond in the James Bond video game Nightfire (voiced by Maxwell Caulfield). In 2004, Brosnan also starred in the Bond game Everything or Nothing, contracting for his likeness to be used as well as doing the voice-work for the character.

Even though he challenges himself with complicated roles, Pierce Brosnan continues to play suave characters similar to James Bond outside of the franchise with movies like 2004’s After The Sunset and 2005’s The Matador

In 2009, Brosnan finished the well-received movie The Ghost Writer, playing a disgraced British Prime Minister, directed and produced by Roman Polanski. The film won a Silver Bear at the Berlin International Film Festival. He starred as Charles Hawkins in the film Remember Me and as Chiron in Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief, both released in 2010.
In 2011, Pierce Brosnan will appear in Spy-Spoof Sequel, Johnny English Reborn, where he will be playing the role of Ambrose. The film is due to be released in the UK on 7 October 2011.

Seven Deadliest Bond Villains

In order to celebrate our illustrious 007, I’ve come up on my take on Bond’s deadliest villains, a kind of un-magnificent seven. Your opinions may very.

7. Le Chiffre (“Casino Royale) With his bleeding eye and creepy manner, Le Chiffre would undoubtedly give any woman her worst date ever. Mads Mikkelsen, who has a very odd vibe as Le Chiffre, is a HUGE star in Denmark.

6. Scaramanga (“The Man With the Golden Gun”) Tall , slender and elegant, Scaramanga brings an Old World charm to his Bond film villainy. Christopher Lee, who has spent more of his career biting people in the neck than shooting them, shines in a memorable change-of-pace role.

5. Rosa Klebb (“From Russia With Love”) With her rough face and trick knife, Klebb is a dangerous, short stuff nightmare. Lotte Lenya, as Rosa Klebb, really knew how to work that killer shoe.

4. Red Grant (“From Russia With Love”) Red Grant is so big, and so determined, he seems more like an unstoppable force of nature than a normal mortal. Robert Shaw, who was a popular novelist as well as an actor, was never again as tough, or as fit, as he is here.

3. Dr. No ( “Dr. No”) Dr. No, with his sinister world domination plan, is a worthy foe for our boy James. Although an Asian actor would undoubtedly be used today, in these oh-so PC times, Joseph Wiseman is wonderfully sinister as the Asian mad man with metal arms.

2 . Goldfinger (“Goldfinger”) Goldfinger is the epitome of the smiling villain. In the famous laser scene, he seems to really relish Bond’s discomfort. Rotund and cheery, Gert Frobe seemed born to play the role.

1. Odd Job (“Goldfinger”) The fact that Odd Job is tough, has a killer hat AND doesn’t speak adds up to one trifecta of toughness. Although the competition was intense, Harold Sakata ultimately snagged the job, earning himself both a place in Hollywood film history AND a comfortable perch at the top of my Bond bad guy list.

Do you have your own thoughts on Bond’s best villains? Good. Twitter amongst yourselves.

Death To Spies

2008 Casino Royale replaced  the MI6 nemesis S.M.E.R.S.H. with the fictional criminal organization Quantum to better reflect an updated Bond world. What most casual fans of everything Bond didn’t realize is that S.M.E.R.S.H. was actually based on Smersh, the  Soviet counter-spy agency with a fantastic history of catching spies and disrupting and aiding like-minded governments throughout the world.  At one time the agency was over 40,000 strong and operated in numerous countries.

Its name, taken from the Russian Smert Shpionam, or Death to Spies, was said to have been coined by Stalin himself.

Directly subordinated to the Soviet leader, Smersh got its dubious start by infiltrating the Nazi secret services and enforcing order and loyalty on the war front.

Spy Gear

Some items would not look out of place in a James Bond film. Smersh agents, conducting counter-intelligence, were known to carry pens that incorporated a shooting device as well as a miniature camera. There’s also reports of agents carrying parts of triangulating radios in inconspicuous packages, assembling them with other agents at a pre-determined locations to listen in on foreign spy’s secret communications.  Also, on display at Moscow’s Central Museum of the Armed Forces, captured spy equipment, by Smersh agents, ranging from Nazi encoders to miniature cameras hidden in hats and ties.


Smersh was ruthless in its methods. Units operating behind the fronts were charged with shooting down Red Army troops retreating in the face of German attacks.

To be captured by the enemy was officially regarded as treason and those who escaped risked being shot or shipped off to labor camps.

The military counter-intelligence also oversaw the deportation of entire ethnic groups within the Soviet Union. Many died en route or perished later in the camps.

Smersh was gradually absorbed into what was to become the KGB, and many of its operations still remain shrouded in secrecy.


Eva Green “Is” Vesper in Casino Royale

Vesper Lynd: [introducing herself to Bond] I’m the money.
James Bond: Every penny of it

In the novel, the character explains that she was born on a “dark and stormy” night, and her parents named her “Vesper” after the Latin word meaning evening to commemorate the night. Fleming created a cocktail recipe in the novel that Bond names after her. The “Vesper martini” became very popular after the novel’s publication, and gave rise to the famous “shaken, not stirred” catchphrase immortalised in the Bond films. The actual name for the drink (as well as its complete recipe) is uttered on screen for the first time in the 2006 adaptation of Casino Royale.

Eva Green was cast at the last minute in the role of Vesper Lynd in the James Bond film Casino Royale (2006). Green was approached in mid-2005 but turned it down. Principal photography was already underway, and director Martin Campbell noted casting the role was difficult because “we didn’t have the final script and a Bond girl always had the connotation of tits ‘n’ ass.” Campbell saw Green’s performance in the director’s cut of Kingdom of Heaven, and Green was approached again. She read the script, and found the character of Vesper far deeper than most Bond girls. Green’s performance was well received: Entertainment Weekly called her the fourth best Bond girl of all time; IGN named her the best femme fatale, stating “This is the girl that broke — and therefore made — James Bond”; and she won a BAFTA and an Empire award for her performance. Both were voted for by the British public.

Vesper Lynd: Am I going to have a problem with you, Mr. Bond?
James Bond: No, don’t worry, you’re not my type.
Vesper Lynd: Smart?
James Bond: Single.

In the 2006 film version of Casino Royale, Vesper Lynd is a foreign liaison agent from the HM Treasury’s Financial Action Task Force assigned to make sure that Bond adequately manages the funds provided by MI6. However, she is secretly a double agent working for the terrorist organization Quantum. She is coerced into this role by a threat to her boyfriend Yusef’s life. The necklace she wears depicts an “Algerian love knot.”

Green was raised in France, to a French Algerian mother and Scandinavian father where she attended and graduated from the American School of Paris, an English-speaking institution. Green stated that in drama school, “I always picked the really evil roles. It’s a great way to deal with your everyday emotions.”

Side note…Vesper Lynd, in the 1966 version of Casino Royale, was portrayed by Ursula Andress, who portrayed another Bond girl, Honey Ryder, in the 1962 film version of Dr. No.