I had a good time in the Lake District, and am back feeling refreshed!
1964. The boardroom of Corgi Toys.
Chair: ….and that, I think, concludes our agenda. Now, the Director of Research would like to address us.
Research: Thank you, Mr Chairman. I won’t keep you for more than an hour or so if you give me your undivided attention. While our regular products are doing well, I believe that there is an avenue which will bear very profitable fruit for us for many years to come.
Marketing: And what might that be?
Research: Ah, this overlaps with your department. We could and should attempt to tie in with profitable trends with our products.
Chair: Mm-hmm. All that you say could be true. What else?
Research: There is one popular trend at this moment. One very popular British trend.
Marketing: The Beatles!
Research: Ah…. All right, The Beatles. Then perhaps I should say there are two popular trends, and both are British. The other one, however, is James Bond.
Chair: That name’s come up before.
Research: Indeed, and this time there is a very distinctive car to go with it. I speak, gentlemen, of the Aston Martin DB5 which James Bond drives in his latest film, “Goldfinger”.
Marketing: All right, so we make a model Aston Martin. Seems straightforward enough.
Research: It’s not quite that simple. I’ve taken the liberty of having a sample made- here, have a look.
(He produces a model of an Aston Martin DB5 and places it on the table in front of the board members.)
Supplies: This is gold, though- I’m sure the one in the film is silver.
Research: Yes, that’s true but we felt the prototypes looked unpainted so we changed it to gold. It ties in with the film “Goldfinger”, as well.
Marketing: You said earlier that it wasn’t just a simple model. What did you mean by that?
Research: I’d been hoping someone would ask me that. Press on the exhaust pipe you see at the rear.
(The Marketing Director does so, and is surprised to see a small piece of metal jump up from below the car’s rear window.)
Marketing: Oh! That gave me a start! What is it?
Research: It’s a bullet-proof shield.
Marketing: Bullet-proof shield? How are the children supposed to know that?
Research: Trust me, they’ll know. And we will mention it in the packaging.
Supplies: That’s a neat little trick.
Research: Oh, we’re not finished. Can you see this little trigger behind the left front wheel?
Research: Give it a little push.
(The Supplies Director does so, and notices a change at the front of the car.)
Supplies: Is that meant to happen?
Research: Oh yes. Those are machine guns, as seen in the film, and extendible bumpers, which aren’t seen, unfortunately.
Marketing: This is genius, my friend, I have to hand it to you.
Research: There’s one more thing to tell you. Now, you see this second, bigger, trigger on the left side?
Marketing: Yes, I see it.
Research: Whatever you do, don’t touch it.
Marketing: And why not?
Research: Because you'll release this section of the roof and engage and fire the passenger ejector seat.
Chair: Ejector seat? You’re joking!
Research: I never joke about my work, Mr Chairman.
I still have mine though its silver not gold. and I used to have the similar Chitty Chitty Bang Bang car but stupidly lost it somewhere along the way
the ejector seat was dangerous because the little humanoid that shot out could easily disappear under a chair or down a heating vent
Me too- I have the original gold one, and in the box.
Never mind about James Bond - Barbel Is Back In Action!
😁 Thanks, CHB! No sooner am I back than the site takes a day off, though.
Octopussy’s Cheese Shop
1983. Octopussy sits behind a desk. She presses a button on the intercom.
Octopussy: Send the next candidate in.
Secretary: (On intercom.) Yes, ma’am.
(The door opens and a young woman enters.)
Candidate: Good morning, ma’am.
Octopussy: Good morning, please take a seat.
(The candidate sits down.)
Octopussy: Now, you have applied for a post within our organisation.
Candidate: Yes, ma’am.
Octopussy: Can you tell me why?
Candidate: There are many of us all over South East Asia, looking for a guru, spiritual discipline, who knows what. You train them, give them a purpose, a sisterhood, and a way of life.
Octopussy: In crime?
Candidate: In business. You have diversified into shipping, hotels, carnivals and circuses.
Octopussy: And which of these attracts you?
Candidate: Circuses! Since I was a little girl I’ve always loved circuses.
Octopussy: Our circus is full of cunning stunts.
Candidate: Then I think I’ll fit right in.
Octopussy: You would have to wear our red uniform.
Candidate: Excellent! I like red uniforms.
Octopussy: Yes… it’s a bit tight.
Candidate: Oh, I like it tight.
Octopussy: Well… it’s very tight actually.
Candidate: No matter. Fetch hither l’uniforme rouge serre.
Octopussy: I think it’s a bit tighter than you’ll like it.
Candidate: I don’t care how ****ing tight it is, hand it over with all speed.
Octopussy: Let me put it this way- does the phrase “camel toe” mean anything to you?
Candidate: (Puzzled.) No.
Octopussy: Then you’re hired!
Ah, Octopussy and possibly the future Mrs Boothroyd from my IC.
"Wry Owl Teats" 😂 if I remember correctly, Westward_Drift.
1963. Pinewood Studios, the Fort Knox exterior set. Cameras are everywhere, shooting the scene in which Goldfinger’s trucks are approaching the fence and gate. A happy Dana Broccoli walks up to her husband, her young son on her arm.
Dana: Cubby, darling, look who’s here!
Cubby: Michael! Good to see you!
(They shake hands warmly.)
MGW: Good to see you too, Cubby.
Cubby: How come you’re here?
MGW: Well, I had some time off from college so I thought I’d drop in for a visit. What are you shooting?
Cubby: Our villain, Goldfinger, is about to break into Fort Knox.
MGW: Fort Knox? There’s $15 billion there!
MGW: $15,000,000,000 in gold bullion weighs 10,500 tons. 60 men would take 12 days to load it onto 200 trucks. Now, at the most, he’s going to have 2 hours before the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines move in and make him put it back.
Cubby: Who said anything about removing it?
MGW: He’s going to break into the world’s largest bank, but not to steal anything. Why?
Cubby: Go on, Michael.
MGW: But of course! He’s got an atomic bomb!
MGW: Well, if he explodes it in Fort Knox, the entire gold supply of the United States would be radioactive for... fifty-seven years.
Cubby: Fifty-eight, to be exact.
MGW: It's an inspired deal!
Cubby: I think Richard Maibaum and you will make a good team, one day. Now, excuse me one moment…
(Cubby goes to talk with Guy Hamilton.)
Dana: I thought you would enjoy this.
MGW: Oh, indeed.
Dana: I can see you getting involved in all this, and enjoying it too.
MGW: I do believe you’re right, Mother.
(Cubby returns, holding a blue uniform.)
Cubby: I’ve had an idea- Michael, since you’re here, how would you like to put on this uniform and join Goldfinger’s men as they break in?
MGW: What? Me?
Dana: Oh yes- great idea!
MGW: But I’m not an actor- I don’t know how to say lines and-
Cubby: Relax, you won’t have to say anything. Just stand and walk with the other guys. We’ll all know that it’s you and we can laugh about it when we see the film.
MGW: Well…. Okay, I’ll give it a go.
(And so begins the Bond fan’s little in-joke- spotting Michael G. Wilson. From TSWLM onwards it starts in earnest: sometimes he’s just a voice, sometimes he plays a not so starring role such as “Man leaning on car”
or “Man reading newspaper”.
Sometimes he has an actual speaking part.
His son Gregg has more recently been doing the same.)
Oh, and if you haven’t spotted him in the Fort Knox scene, here’s a helpful pointer from Goldfinger himself:
1974. Pinewood Studios, set of “The Man With The Golden Gun”. Q’s lab.
Roger Moore: Yes, I’m sure it is. But just tell me where it was made and by whom.
James Cossins: Well, fortunately it’s all in one piece. 20.003 grams. Which leads us to deduce it was fired from a 4.2mm gun.
Roger: Boothroyd, there’s no such thing as a 4.2mm gun.
Desmond Llewelyn: The fact that no recognised munitions manufacturer, military or civil, produces such a bullet doesn’t mean that it doesn’t exist, 007. Q Branch have been making irregular calibres for most unusual purposes and we don’t put serial numbers or markings on them.
Guy Hamilton: Cut! Take 5 everyone, then we’ll do that again.
(Desmond Llewelyn takes Guy Hamilton to the side.)
Desmond: Guy, did I hear that right? Roger called James “Boothroyd”?
Guy: Yes, that’s right. That’s in the script.
Desmond: But he can’t be Boothroyd- I’m Boothroyd!
Guy: Eh? You’re Q!
Desmond: Q’s real name is Major Boothroyd- that’s been established since “Dr No”.
Guy: Are you sure?
Desmond: Of course I’m sure!
Guy: Oh. All right, we’ll change it to… to… Colthorpe!
Guy: Yes, Colthorpe. I was going to shoot the scene again anyway. Now, he has another scene, in M’s office, but we haven’t shot that yet. I’ll make sure to change the name there as well.
Desmond: Thank you, Guy.
FACTS: The real Geoffrey Boothroyd, an expert on firearms, wrote to Ian Fleming in 1956 pointing out several errors Fleming had made in previous novels with the guns James Bond was using. A grateful Fleming began a correspondence, and in "Dr No" included a character called Major Boothroyd who criticised Bond's choice of a Beretta (which he had been using up to this point) and advised him to use a Walther PPK, just as Geoffrey Boothroyd had indicated. This scene is in the film, albeit abbreviated, and this is the basis of Q.
One of Boothroyd's guns is on the cover of the hardbacks of "From Russia With Love".
Desmond Llewelyn did indeed object to the character played by James Cossins being called "Boothroyd", pointing out that he was Boothroyd, and so the name was changed to Colthorpe.
SPECULATION: Here's a picture of Geoffrey Boothroyd and one of James Cossins:
I see a resemblance, and wonder if that's just coincidence or with the character originally being named "Boothroyd" was meant as a tribute. I have no evidence to suggest this whatsoever.
...or maybe I do. The character is completely unnecessary in his two scenes. In M's office Tanner's there too and has one line. Nothing he does in Q's lab couldn't have been done by Q with very little rewriting. He'd never been seen before, and he wouldn't be seen again.
So why is he there at all?
1967. Roald Dahl, having eaten his nightly feast of Wonka bars and giant peaches, sleeps soundly. A phantom figure enters his bedroom.
Figure: (Louder.) Roald!
Dahl: (Awakening.) What? Who?
Figure: Good evening, Roald. Remember me? The name’s Fleming- Ian Fleming.
Dahl: Ian? But you’re dead! Are you a ghost?
Figure: Well, I’d prefer to say I’m a… spectre!
Roald: Oh, very funny.
Figure: I am here to remonstrate with you about what you did to my novel.
Roald: What? “You Only Live Twice”?
Figure: That is what I mean. You have desecrated one of my finest works.
Roald: But Ian-
Figure: I wrote that Bond would metaphorically die at the end of the story and be reborn, but you had him die at the start and be buried at sea and the whole thing would turn out to be just a ruse!
Roald: Oh no, you can’t blame me for that- Cubby and Harry insisted I use that idea which the previous writer Harold Bloom had come up with.
Figure: Well, I had the climactic battle between Bond and Blofeld in a castle and you had it in a volcano with thousands of ninjas!
Roald: No, not me- that was Cubby! Listen Ian, I was the one who kept in the Ama fishing girls and their village, and Kissy Suzuki being Bond’s cover for being there at all.
Figure: Hmph! You might have mentioned her name just once!
Roald: That was Lewis Gilbert- he thought that having Sean say “Kishy Shushuki” would sound terrible.
Figure: And how did Dikko Henderson suddenly become English rather than Australian?
Roald: Hey, I didn’t do the casting!
Figure: All my subtleties, all my culture clashes, gone, and my name's on this!
Figure: People will think I came up with the idea of a spaceship that eats other spaceships!
Roald: Ah, okay, that was me.
Figure: Then I have a curse for you.
Roald: A curse?
Figure: A curse. Just as I will forever be known as the creator of James Bond, you, despite all your many works, will forever only be known as the creator of a chocolate factory.
Roald: Ian, no!
Figure: But yes! No-one will remember all your other books and films, anytime someone mentions your name then all they will see is Willy Wonka and his chocolate factory.
Roald: But, Ian-
(The figure fades away.)
Could it have been a subtle hint to Desmond to not demand a pay rise? I remember reading many moons ago (not sure where) that Bernard, Lois and Desmond were unhappy at their pay scales, especially with the huge success of the franchise, and the producers were saying that we can replace you if you keep kicking up a fuss? I also read that Sean was after a Dean Martin/Matt Helm financial deal where he would share in the profits and if he was cut a deal then he would sign up for life as playing Bond. This was refused and henceforth an unhappy Sean thereafter. Dean Martin earned far more than Sean ever did playing Helm.
That sounds very possible, coupled with Desmond not being in the preceding movie at all.
and Lois Maxwell said she was paid more for OK Connery/Operation Kid Brother than she was for being in BondFilms. Don't know about all the other BondVeterans who were in the same film
but hint or no hint, Desmond outlasted all of them!
@Barbel being known for Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory's not such a bad fate. I may be a character in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang but I concede Willy Wonka's the better film, and I remember it as being he better book as well.
@caractacus potts You're right, of course, but I needed an ending! And if I could have worked in the lamb story I would have, too, but it felt contrived.
The lamb story:
1954. The house of Roald Dahl. Ian Fleming pushes back from the dining table.
Fleming: That was a delicious meal, Patricia.
Patricia Dahl: Why, thank you, Ian. Anne, let's you and me go chat and leave these two to their gossip.
Anne Fleming: (Laughing.) Oh, certainly.
(The ladies retire. Fleming lights a Morland Special, his seventieth of the day, and gratefully draws the smoke deep into his lungs.)
Dahl: A drink, Ian?
Fleming: But of course. Three measures of-
Dahl: Yes, yes, Ian. I think I know your recipe by now. Anyway, (He begins to pour and mix drinks.) how is the writing coming along?
Fleming: I’ve just finished the second one now.
Dahl: And what’s it called?
Fleming: “Live And Let Die”.
Dahl: We used to say “live and let live”, but it’s an ever-changing world in which we’re living. (He hands Fleming his drink.)
Fleming: Thank you. And what are you writing just now?
Dahl: Nothing- I’m a bit stuck for an idea, I’m afraid.
Fleming: What? That’s not like you.
Dahl: Just one of those things, I’m afraid.
Fleming: Surely you can think of something to write a short story about.
Dahl: No, I told you, I’m stuck.
Fleming: Would you like some help? With an idea, I mean?
Fleming: Well, that was lamb we had for dinner tonight, wasn’t it?
Dahl: Yes, it was.
Fleming: Why don’t you have someone murder their husband with a frozen leg of mutton which she then serves to the detectives who come to investigate the murder?
Dahl: What? That’s crazy!
Fleming: No, not at all. The police won’t be able to find the weapon, you see.
Dahl: …..no weapon…. Ian, that’s brilliant!
Fleming: Thank you.
Dahl: Maybe I can help you with an idea or two someday?
Fleming: Yes, that would be wonderful.
And here it is: Lamb to the Slaughter--Roald Dahl (1916-1990) (classicshorts.com)
By Roald Dahl, based (uncredited) on an idea by Ian Fleming. Good thing Kevin McClory wasn't there as well.
It's been filmed for TV a few times, once as part of "Alfred Hitchcock Presents" (so another tantalising glimpse of what Hitch and Fleming could have come up with together).
“Joe Dante, and later Peter Jackson, were initially offered the opportunity to direct the film [The World Is Not Enough].. Barbara Broccoli enjoyed Jackson's Heavenly Creatures, and a screening of The Frighteners was arranged for her. She disliked the latter film, however, and showed no further interest in Jackson. Jackson, a lifelong Bond fan, remarked that as Eon tended to go for less famous directors, he would likely not get another chance to direct a Bond film after The Lord of the Rings. “
But just supposing…
1999. Eon HQ. In a caviar factory on the Black Sea.
BB: Peter, we’ve been having a look through your revisions of the script.
Jackson: Oh yes? Fran and I have been working hard on that.
MGW: Yes… there’s one or two things we’d like to talk about.
Jackson: Such as?
BB: Well, let’s start with the big climax of the movie. Now, the Empire State Building we can get. It’s just a question of knowing the right people.
MGW: But having Bond fight a giant ape all the way to the top of it, that’s where we have a problem.
Jackson: I like that part! It dwarves anything you’ve had so far!
BB: Ah, yes, now that you’ve brought that up- we aren’t happy about the dwarves.
Jackson: What, all of them?
MGW: Yes, all twelve of them. They have to go, Peter.
Jackson: (Grumpily and unhappily, though not sleepily, dopily, sneezily or bashfully.) Oh well, if you say so.
BB: Now, the casting: you want Sean Bean as Renard, I see.
Jackson: What’s the problem? Everybody loves Sean Bean, especially when he dies in his movies.
MGW: Yes, but we just had him two films ago and he died in that.
Jackson: Oh, all right.
MGW: And you can’t have Ian McKellen.
Jackson: What do you mean? He’s perfect for the part!
BB: Yes, he is, but we already have an M and I think we’ll just be sticking with her for as long as possible.
Jackson: I see. Is that all, then?
MGW: No, not quite.
BB: Peter, you have to understand that Pierce Brosnan has a contract with us.
MGW: We can’t just replace him at this short notice.
Jackson: But I’ve already made promises!
BB: Then you’ll have to break them. No way is Elijah Wood playing 007 in this film.
1985. The mansion of Elton John. Elton, dressed in ostrich feathers, sits at his diamond-encrusted piano running through a few chords. He hears the sound of feet walking along the corridor.
Voice: Hey, Elton!
(Elton quickly whips a hat upon his head then sees it is his long time friend and lyricist, Bernie Taupin.)
Elton: Oh, hi Bernie. (Takes hat off again.)
Bernie: Elton, I’ve been hearing about the new James Bond film.
Elton: Oh? What’s it called?
Bernie: “A View To A Kill”.
Elton: Ah. Roger Moore again?
Bernie: Yeah, him again. Anyway, I’ve been told about the plot. It seems the villain will be trying to bring Halley’s Comet down to Earth.
Bernie: He’s going to bring it down into Silicon Valley. Next year is when it approaches close to Earth, you see.
Elton: Why would he want to do that?
Bernie: So his own investments increase in size, hugely- it’s a bit like Goldfinger wanting to make all the gold in Fort Knox unusable so his own stocks of gold increase in value.
Elton: Ah, okay. So what does that have to do with us?
Bernie: I think we should aim for getting the title song. You’ve been trying to do more movie work.
Elton: “A View To A Kill”? Lousy title.
Bernie: But we don’t have to use it- the last film “Octopussy” had a song called “All Time High”, and remember “Nobody Does It Better” from “The Spy Who Loved Me”?
Elton: All right, what do you have in mind?
Bernie: Well, Halley’s Comet doesn’t lend itself to a song so I thought we could be a bit more poetic and write something called “Shoot Down The Moon”.
Elton: Great! I like that! Let’s get to work.
(Half an hour later…)
(1) Elton John - Shoot Down the Moon (1985) With Lyrics! - YouTube
Elton: I think we’ve done a good job here.
Bernie: Yeah, it’s really nice. I’ll send it off to them today.
Elton: I think they’ll like it. What else could be their choice, getting some young band to do a song actually called “A View To A Kill”?
I'm interested in those Boothroyd posts above... When I recently saw FRWL I imagined that its original audience might at first have assumed that the "Equipment Officer" (Llewelyn) was a different character to the "Armourer", Major Boothroyd, seen in DN (Peter Burton). But FRWL's end titles credit Llewelyn as Boothroyd, so the assumption, from that point, is that it was the same chap after all... The rest is history...
The dining room at Fawlty Q Branch.
Colthorpe: I'll try the pate and the lamb casserole...
Major: Don't touch that! That's my lunch!
R (sarcastically) Thank you SO much! I hope you all enjoy your meals!
Major: I want that ready for Ahmed's tea party!
R (forcing a grin): Whatever you say, Major!
Colthorpe: The wine is corked!
R (Still sarcastically): Oh, I DO apologise! I'll take the bottle away for you... THERE, all gone! (Muttering aside) I wish I could make YOU vanish!
(Explosion. The dining room is in smoking ruins. Enter Cigar Girl through blasted wall.)
Cigar Girl: Que?
R (to Colthorpe, who is grimacing as he dusts down his lapels): SO sorry! She's from Bilbao!
Connie: Not to worry...I'll get on to that nice Mr O'Reilly... (Picks up phone) Hello... Mr O'Reilly... It's Connie Moneypenny here, O. H. M. Fawlty Service... I'd like to interest you in a demolition deal that involves...
Olivia Mansfield: Baaasill...!!!
😂😂😂 That’s excellent @Shady Tree
re this idea that Peter Jackson could have directed The World is Not Enough... some folks already complain that film is slow and overemotional, with a female character who adds nothing to the plot and is not persuasive in her role... these are all issues I had with his later Hobbit films, all that gratuitous slo-mo and Sam and Frodo staring into each others eyes. And of course he would have stretched the slight story into a ten hour trilogy. Everything folks dont like about this BondFilm would have been moreso!
On the other hand some folks would have appreciated the battle scene with a cast of thousands that would take up 3/4 of the running time without adding to the plot.
Oh, I'd have loved a ten hour three volume version of TWINE since it's one of my favourites! 😁
I think Elton did a good job there, too. The rising drama in that song is quite Bondian. Overall, though, it might have sat better with the more recent films of 'later Craig' than with mid-80s Moore - whose swan song as Bond was super-charged by New Romantic boy-band Barry fans!
I think it's a beautiful song, and that both Elton and Bernie deserve praise. Elton only sang it live for one tour, unfortunately. To me it was the best song on the accompanying album.
I learned it on piano at the time, though I've forgotten how to play it now.
1999. Pinewood Studios, screening room. Peter Jackson has just finished proudly displaying his cut of “The World is Not Enough” to Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson.
Jackson: Well, there it is! What do you think?
MGW: (Coming out of a daze.) Well… it’s a little long, isn’t it?
Jackson: Long? It’s only three hours.
BB: I’m not sure we’re ready for a three hour long James Bond film… yet.
MGW: Maybe in another twenty years we might do that.
BB: And you’ve not covered most of the plot.
Jackson: What? You told me to have lots of action and I’ve done that.
MGW: But not a boat chase covering three quarters of the running time without adding anything to the plot.
Jackson: And you told me to have a beautiful lady who turns out to be a villain.
BB: Yes, but we didn’t mean the Cigar Girl.
MGW: We meant Elektra King, and you haven’t got her.
Jackson: Not yet, she’ll appear in part two.
BB/MGW: (Aghast.) Part two???
Jackson: Yes, this finishes with Bond sliding down the Millenium Dome. Part two will start at the funeral of her father.
BB: And that’ll be three hours long, too?
Jackson: Oh yes, of course.
MGW: Look, Peter, everything that you’ve shot here was meant for the pre-titles sequence.
Jackson: You told me I could make it the longest PTS you’ve had to date.
BB: Yes, but not three hours long!
MGW: And another thing- why are Gandalf, Frodo, Legolas and company all standing on a bridge watching the boat chase?
Jackson: Er… they got a bit lost on their way to the Mountains of Moria.
BB: That would certainly be an unexpected journey.
Jackson: Hey, I like that! (Pulls out notebook and writes.) An… unexpected… journey. Thanks!
MGW: (Firmly.) No, this won’t do at all. Peter, go back to the editing suite and cut this down severely.
Jackson: Cut it down? To how much?
BB: Maybe fifteen minutes tops.
Jackson: (Horrified.) Fifteen minutes???
MGW: Fifteen. And you’ll have to lose Cate Blanchett reading the prologue.
2000. Pinewood Studios, screening room. Peter Jackson has just finished proudly displaying his cut of “The World is Not Enough- Part Two” to Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson.
BB: So… you’ve started with the funeral of Elektra’s father, and ended with the scene where she and Bond go skiing and are attacked.
Jackson: Yes, that’s right.
MGW: And you’ve still managed to make that three hours long.
Jackson: Well, there were some deleted scenes, I could always add them back in and-
BB: (In terror.) NO! … er, I mean, no thanks Peter, that won’t be necessary. Also, there’s still no sign of Renard.
Jackson: Of course not, he’ll be appearing in part three.
BB/MGW: Part three?????
Jackson: Well, there was only so much I could fit in.
MGW: Only so much? You had three hours!
Jackson: Yes, and I’ve still to fit in my cameo.
MGW: Your cameo?
Jackson: I always do a cameo in my films.
MGW: Your films? I’ve been doing cameos in James Bond films since you were in nappies!
BB: Calm down, calm down. Let’s change the subject. Peter, I see you’ve killed off Judi Dench.
Jackson: Naturally, I had to find a way to bring in Ian McKellen as M.
MGW: Then just change that right back- Barbara and I will decide when it’s time to kill off Judi Dench.
BB: And you’ll have to lose that dragon.
2001. Pinewood Studios, screening room. Peter Jackson has just finished showing “The World Is Not Enough- Part Three” to Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson.
Jackson: So, there you go.
MGW: Another three hour film, Peter?
Jackson: Oh, yes, of course.
BB: (Sighing.) There’s a couple of things we’d like to talk about, though.
MGW: Yes indeed. We’re not sure about this whole invisibility thing.
BB: Yes- Bond finding this ring which he can use to make himself invisible. We think that might be going a bit far.
Jackson: What would you prefer, an invisible car?
MGW: Oh no, that would be terrible.
BB: Yes, you won’t catch us putting James Bond in an invisible car. Anyway, we don’t like this ring- that’s got to go.
MGW: No, Peter, re-edit it and take out the ring.
Jackson: (Grumbling.) All right, if you say so.
BB: And while you’re at it, cut out all the Beatles music.
Jackson: I’ll get back to you on that.
MGW: All of it- every little thing.
Jackson: I will.
BB: Which brings us to the ending….
Jackson: The endings, yes.
MGW: No, Peter, the ending. Only one of them.
BB: One ending we want, and one ending is what we will get.
Jackson: I could cut them down, maybe do three or four?
MGW: One. You could save a good twenty minutes or so just there.
BB: One ending has been good enough for all the James Bond films before, and one ending is what this one will have.
Jackson: If you say so.
MGW: And no, you can’t have Christopher Lee.
Jackson: What! Everybody loves Christopher Lee!
BB: True, but we’ve had him before, in a very prominent role.
Jackson: You used Joe Don Baker in three different films!
MGW: True, but no-one’s gonna expect him to pull out a golden gun and start shooting.
2022. Having out-cheated Goldfinger at golf, James Bond has hidden a Homer in his car and follows him to Dover….
Customs Officer: There you are, Mr Bond. Mr Goldfinger’s car has been loaded on the 09.20 ferry to Calais.
Bond: Thank you.
Officer: I must say, that car is heavier than it looked!
Bond: (Interested.) Oh?
Officer: Yes, the ferry definitely went down in the water when it drove aboard. Still, what a car, eh? Rolls Royce Phantom II.
Bond: Phantom III.
Officer: Nearly a hundred years old. Almost as old as your car, eh, Mr Bond?
(He indicates the Aston Martin DB5, slightly nettling Bond.)
Bond: Don’t suppose you got a look at anyone in the car?
Officer: Only the chauffeur. Tough looking customer.
Bond: Well, I suppose I’d better get ready to follow them. When’s the next ferry due?
Officer: Next ferry?
Bond: Yes, I want to follow them on the next ferry.
Officer: Oh, you won’t be able to do that, Mr Bond.
Bond: What do you mean?
Officer: You’ll need to get to the end of this queue
and wait your turn.
Bond: Surely you’re not serious!
Officer: I am serious, and don’t call me-
Bond: Okay, okay. Time Barbel stopped doing that one. Anyway, I didn’t see Goldfinger wait in any queue.
Officer: Of course not- he has dual nationality, and he used his EU passport. You obviously have a UK passport.
Bond: Well, yes...
Officer: Then to the end of that queue you go.
1988. Eon HQ, in a French chateau. Roger Moore sits with Cubby Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson.
Cubby: Well, we’ve now had the box-office results in from “The Living Daylights” and I must say everyone is very pleased. Well done again, Roger.
Roger: Thank you, Cubby, it was a very enjoyable film to make. I hope that your next one is just as successful and I’d like to thank you for-
Cubby: Hey slow down there, Roger, slow down. We’re planning our next one and would like to ask you back again.
Roger: Oh no, really, I think I’ve definitely done my last Bond movie. I’m getting a bit too-
MGW: Nonsense Roger, you look fine. Didn’t John Glen say you had another four Bond movies in you and you’ve only done one since then?
Roger: He was being very kind, but still-
Cubby: Look Roger, I think this one will be very good for you. For one thing, the plot centres around Felix Leiter and we’d like to bring David Hedison back so the two of you will be together again like in “Live And Let Die”.
Roger: David! It’s always a pleasure working with David.
MGW: Yes, he’ll be playing Felix who’s your oldest friend.
Roger: And there you’ve hit the nail on the head, Michael- “oldest”. He’s the same age I am.
Cubby: And he looks fine, too.
Roger: We had to use a whole team of stuntmen to cover for me on the last film.
MGW: And we’ll use them again, and more.
Roger: I don’t know….
Cubby: Look Roger, let me put it this way.
(He pulls out his chequebook and writes a cheque out. Slowly.)
Cubby: Any thoughts?
(Roger studies the cheque. Slowly.)
Roger: Lots of stuntmen?
MGW: Yes, Roger.
Roger: No silly costumes, like a clown in “Octopussy”?
MGW: No, Roger.
Roger: No leading ladies young enough to be my granddaughter?
Cubby: No, Roger.
Roger: Hang on- no leading ladies young enough to be my daughter, either?
Cubby: Ah… maybe.
Roger: Well…. All right, I’m in.
1989. Royal Premiere of “Licence To Kill”, starring Roger Moore as James Bond.
Cubby: ….and of course you know our James Bond, Roger Moore.
The Queen: Of course. Good evening, Mr Moore.
Roger: Good evening, Your Majesty.
The Queen: I’m delighted to see you again.
Roger: Always a pleasure, ma’am.
The Duke: You’ve been doing these films for a long time, eh, Moore?
Roger: That’s true, Your Highness.
The Duke: Pushing 30 years now, what?
The Queen: Philip!
Roger: No sir, it was Sean Connery at first. I’ve only been Bond for about 17 years.
The Duke: Hmph, seems longer than that.
Roger: You're perhaps thinking of "The Saint", sir. I was The Saint back in the 1960s.
The Duke: Hmmm, remind me...?
Roger: I drove a beautiful white Volvo.
The Duke: I thought you were driving an Aston Martin.
Roger: No sir, that was in "The Persuaders!"
The Duke: Ah yes, the one with the ejector seat.
Cubby: (Quickly.) Next, can I introduce you to....
James Bond’s flat. He sits reading his signed copy of “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” when there is a knock on the door. Bond answers, after going through the usual security measures.
Delivery Man: Mr Bond James Bond?
Bond: That’s right.
Delivery Man: No. 007 Fleming Avenue, Chelsea?
Delivery Man: Got any ID?
Bond: Will this do?
(The delivery man finds the business end of a Walther PPK one inch away from the bridge of his nose.)
Delivery Man: All right, all right, keep your hair on. Here, this is for you.
(He hands over a parcel and makes for the exit, fast.)
Bond: A parcel? I wasn’t expecting any parcel….
(He examines the top of the parcel and sees that the sender is...)
Bond: Gumbold...? Gebruder Gumbold...? (His eyes open wide.) Blofeld's lawyers!
(He instantly dives behind the nearest chair and listens for a ticking noise from the parcel. Nothing happens. Carefully, he reaches behind him for a golf club then gently pokes at the parcel. There is a scratching noise from inside.)
Bond: What the hell...?
(Slowly he comes to his feet and approaches the parcel. He now notices that there are a series of small holes punched in it.)
Bond: Almost like... air holes?
Bond: Oh no, he hasn't...
Bond: He couldn't have...
Box: Meow! Meow!
(Bond opens the box lid. A beautiful white cat instantly jumps out and begins to rub against his leg, purring.)
Bond: This I was not expecting.
(At the bottom of the box he sees a letter, which he begins to read.)
We represent the estate of the late Ernst Stavro Blofeld, also known as Number One, also known as Hannes Oberhauser, also known as Monsieur le Comte Balthazar de Bleuville, also known as Monsieur le Comte Balthazar de Bleuchamp, etc etc. In his last will he specifically requested that we send the accompanying feline to you, knowing your deep love for such things. We trust that you will treat it well.
(Bond looks aghast at the letter, then to the cat which is happily making a place to fall asleep on his favourite chair. He reaches for his phone, and dials.)
Bond: Q, is that you?
Q: Of course it is, 007, what do you want?
Bond: I’d like, er, to come round and see you tonight.
Q: Tonight? Well, I suppose that would be all right. What do you want?
Bond: Let’s just say I have a surprise for you. And, er, I won’t be coming alone….